Tag: First Amendment

Teaching Earnest Smith About the First Amendment

State Rep. Earnest Smith wants to pass a law that prohibits people from photoshopping elected officials to make fun of them.

According to Rep. Smith, ““No one has a right to make fun of anyone. You have a right to speak, but no one has a right to disparage another person. It’s not a First Amendment right.”

Some enterprising listener of my radio show has taken up my idea to show Earnest Smith how wrong he is. Whoever it is has created BrayingJackass.com where you can submit your photoshop efforts.

Supreme Court decision due Monday in Cardinale v. City of Atlanta Open Meetings case

The Georgia Supreme Court will announce Monday at 8:30 am its decision in the case of Cardinale v. City of Atlanta et. al. At issue is whether “Committee Briefings” must be advertised and open to the public under Georgia’s Open Meetings statute.

Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens, through his office, notified the City Council that the closed briefings violated the Open Meetings Act.

Matthew Cardinale, editor of Atlanta Progressive News, sued the City Council and took the case to the Supreme Court, arguing for himself.

Peach Pundit’s publication of internal City of Atlanta memoranda from counsel helped prevent the City of Atlanta from obtaining an injunction against APN publishing the documents.

Remember, folks, the First Amendment protects all of us from overreaching government, as do the Georgia laws requiring Open Meetings and Open Records.

If you value open government, you might consider donating to the Atlanta Progressive News, who footed the bill for Cardinale’s defense of open government for all Georgians.

God and Country

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The photo above shows the church where I exercise my First Amendment right to worship as I am called to. On April 15, 2009, many of us gathered at the Georgia State Capitol under the protection of our right to assemble. Most weekdays in January through April we may petition the legislative branch of our state government. And on this blog, as well as other place online and off, we exercise our rights to free speech and to publish opinions and information that the government may not like.

(Before you say it, SOGTP, the Supreme Court held in Gitlow v . New York that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution extends the protections of the First Amendment to the states. Love it or hate it, I don’t make the rules.)

I’ve written here recently about the pitched battle between Atlanta Progressive News and the Atlanta City Council.

Now, the Fulton County Daily Report is covering the actions of the City of Atlanta Law Department as it sought and received in Fulton County Superior Court a prior restraint (subscription required) against APN’s publication of the infamous memoranda.
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