MORE ARTICLES FROM ‘Assembly Commentary’

Protests over the protests at clinics that perform abortions

Nothing about the national debate over abortion is simple — and that applies at times to even the words and manner we use in talking about it.

Civil rights movement rode assembly, petition to greater freedom

The march toward civil rights for African-Americans is the best example of all five First Amendment freedoms at work, but at the heart of the movement were assembly and petition.

Funeral-protest bill likely to stir First Amendment fight

Measure, which awaits President Obama’s signature, already has drawn the ire of Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps.

Conventions likely will test commitment to first freedoms

In the name of security, public safety and even decorum, battle lines already are being drawn over who will be able to say what, where, when and how.

Dubious protest-control tactics threaten First Amendment

Once reserved for restraining violent individuals, tasers and other non-lethal weapons now often are used to stifle protest.

Juvenile court went too far barring offender from courthouse

California appeals court finds restriction violated minor’s right to access the government building.

Government must be careful with tactics against Occupy camps

Narrowly focused laws seem to have replaced hasty police actions rooted more in passion, politics and polemics than in public welfare.

Brown v. Louisiana: First Amendment reminder from civil rights era

Ruling on this date in 1966, Supreme Court said non-disruptive sit-in by five black men at Louisiana library was not breach of the peace.

Planning can prevent violations of free assembly at political conventions

Balancing First Amendment assembly rights with public safety, security is an achievable goal for cities hosting this year’s political conventions.

Time to ‘occupy’ our history books

Although the recent anti-Wall Street demonstrations may appear novel, a look back at time reveals that occupation as a form of protest isn’t new.

New year rings with freedom of assembly

With “Occupy” and union protests, 2012 is picking up where 2011 left off: Assembly is often at the top of the news, if not our collective mindset.

Federal judge seeks balance in Minn. Occupy ruling

Court sets a First Amendment-friendly tone and offers one approach to ‘living with each other’ in a civil society.

‘Occupy’ crackdowns limited by First Amendment

Looming over every demonstration is the First Amendment’s protection of assembly and petition — still a huge barrier to authorities who would wish the anti-Wall Street movement to evaporate along with the last wafts of tear gas.

Arresting journalists with demonstrators hurts us all

Occupy Nashville incident reveals problems that arise when police employ an ‘arrest ’em now, sort ’em out later’ policy in dealing with protesters and reporters.

Freedom to assemble, not camp out indefinitely

In most cities, ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters could show up at a public park every morning and go home at dusk, and there would be no challenge to their presence.

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