Free speech under fire (yet again) in Michigan
Dearborn governmental officials are trying to stop Anti-Islam minister Terry Jones from holding an anti-Islam Good Friday protest in this heavily-Muslim Detroit suburb.
They’ve actually gone to court to block Jones’ protest. They’ve offered to let him protest if he posts a $100,000 bond.
Jones’ speech may be ugly, uncharitable, inflammatory and irresponsible, but the Bill of Rights’ guarantee of free speech does not exempt unpopular speech from First Amendment protection.
The court has already said that Nazis can march in Skokie, Illinois and that Fred Phelps can picket funerals from Topeka to Timbuktu. Presumably, if Nazis and Phelpses are protected by the First Amendment, Terry Jones is protected as well.
Meanwhile, Dearborn hasn’t tried to stop Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly from holding an anti-Terry Jones/Pro-Islam rally in their city. It went forward without a hitch.