Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Federal Appeals Court Rules SC Occupy Protesters Have a "Viable Claim"

Remember back when "Occupy" was a thing? It was was back in November of 2011 or so. The protesters who were forcibly removed from the Statehouse grounds back then haven't just gone away. Maybe the Governor should have consulted with Permanent Press first.

Anyway, the Occupy folks have taken their case all the way to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which just decided that the Occupy protesters "have a viable claim" that the State of South Carolina violated their First Amendment rights.

You can read the full text of the opinion here.[PDF]

Here's where I am on this: Let's assume that the State did violate the Occupier's rights by forcibly removing them from the Statehouse Grounds. Ok, so what are the damages? The Occupy protesters want damages for the State violating their First Amendment rights. Well, for you law-geeks out there, there is a whole area of jurisprudence on who to measure such damages. You can read about it at length in this law review article, which just happens to be published by my law school alma mater.

I'm not sure I would award them much money, but I'd be fine with letting them go back to the Statehouse Grounds and protesting as much as they want, as long as they don't fall asleep. Sleeping isn't political speech, it's...well it's sleeping.

All I know is that if Governor Haley had followed my advice and just ignored these people, they'd probably be gone by now.

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