The First Amendment, as Judge Andrew Napolitano points out,
prohibits the government from infringing upon the freedom of speech, the freedom of association and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
But what’s the point if government declines to listen, and/or decides to specify where a citizen might be allowed (which includes a decision to not allow) to speak, even if not speaking to his government, decides to specify where groups of citizens will be permitted (which includes a decision to not permit) to congregate?
We have though, this brand new law, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. This law, as Judge Napolitano says,
permits Secret Service agents to designate any place they wish as a place where free speech, association and petition of the government are prohibited.
Thus, federal agents whose work is to protect public officials and their friends may prohibit the speech and the gatherings of folks who disagree with those officials or permit the speech and the gatherings of those who would praise them, even though the First Amendment condemns content-based speech discrimination by the government.
Our government has forgotten a critical item, and Judge Napolitano has missed it, also. This item is far more than a “mere” violation of our Constitution. As out Declaration of Independence acknowledges,
…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….
Government works for us. It has no capacity for declining to listen to us (much less to not hear us), or to dictate to us, its employers, where the employee might choose to listen—the conference room is ours, not government’s. We will gather in the conference room of our choice, gather whom we will in that room—including our subordinate government—and say what we will to that government. And that government will heed us.
After all, our Declaration of Independence also acknowledges that
…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government….
…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Our present administration has chosen to ignore all of this. We have an election coming up, an excellent opportunity to throw off this administration and to institute a new one.