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turn off yourmind

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 1,740
Loc: Here, there and everywher...
Last seen: 12 years, 3 months
Virginia V. Black - Cross-Burning Case
    #4632895 - 09/08/05 04:57 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I found this at my old haunting grounds. They banned me for not being racist, which I find amusing as I get accused of it here.


A Virginia statute (1) prohibited the burning of a cross with the intent to intimidate, and (2) created a rebuttable presumption that anyone burning a cross does so with the intent to intimidate.

In 1998 Barry Black, a Klan leader in Virginia, was charged with violating the law after lighting a cross on the property of another Klan member at a Klan gathering. His case, along with two others, eventually found their way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the defendants argued that the statue violated their First Amendment rights.

In April 2003 the Court ruled as follows:

* In light of history, cross-burning can constitute a threat. If it is done with the intent to intimidate, it is not protected by the First Amendment. (Here reversing the Supreme Court of Virginia, which found that such a content-based standard violated the First Amendment)

* Nonetheless, the presumption created by the statute is unconstitutionally overbroad.

So the court left us with the following rule: if a certain kind of expressive action is deemed ?threatening,? a state can prohibit engaging in that act with the intent to intimidate, but there can be no presumption of such intent.

O?Connor wrote the opinion and Rehnquist joined in it. Soon-to-be Chief Justice Roberts? opinions on these matters are not yet known, and it?s of course uncertain who Bush will nominate to replace O?Connor.

Will this rule be applied to the display of symbols such as swastikas or Confederate flags? Will it be extended to speech such as Holocaust denial or discussion of racial differences? Or could Bush's appointees be more generous in terms of First Amendment protection than O'Connor and Rehnquist were?



"Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest."
From the Declaration of the Continental Congress

"We can have peace and security only as long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood."
Charles A. Lindbergh,"Aviation, Geography, and Race", Reader's Digest, Nov. 1939

"We must secure the existance of our people and a future for White children."
David Lane

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