First Amendment rights apply to everyone

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I respond to Christopher Acker’s letter of July 7. Had I been going along with what he wrote, he would have lost me at line two when he mentioned “paid-for protesters” as if that were a fact and not just what he prefers to believe. To include that phrase without evidence to back it up sends a clear signal that nothing that follows will be trustworthy, either.

Indeed, the very next line verifies that thinking: “the media have gone gaga telling us that the president can only pick someone they support.”

Huh? I have seen no news stories, no opinion pieces, no headlines suggesting the president must nominate to the Supreme Court a candidate approved by the media. The nominations will be discussed in the media, of course; they always are. Surely Acker doesn’t take that to mean the media must approve, though. The discussions have to do with freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the right of citizens to know what’s going on. It isn’t a part of the actual selection process.

He goes on to protest the freedom of speech exercised by, and I quote, “the press, special interest groups, protesters with signs and Hollywood no nothings.” (No nothings? Wouldn’t the phrase be “know nothings”? ). And freedom of speech continues to annoy him, right to the end of his letter: “I have read the Constitution many times and still cannot find the words Hollywood, destructive street protesters, or political party in it when reading Article II, Section II,” he wrote.

You’ve seen it, Mr. Acker. You just didn’t recognize it because you weren’t looking in the right place. The rights of Hollywood, street protesters (most of whom are not destructive; tossing in this word is like tossing “paid-for” in front of “protesters.” It’s what you prefer to believe) and political parties are covered under the First Amendment: Freedom of speech. You don’t have to like it, Mr. Acker. But you do have to tolerate it.

Margo Bartlett


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