When Big Bad Brother Becomes the ‘Heckler’

Will Big Brother impose mandatory treatment for individuals with climate change denial disorder? Are treatment programs for weight loss, addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, and assorted phobias at risk of being banned by government? No way, you say. Think again. The U.S. Supreme Court adopted the phrase, “Heckler’s Veto,” when it held that it is the government’s duty to protect a speaker exercising his or her First Amendment right from hecklers who threaten or use violence in order to silence them. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reiterated the principle in Bible Believers v. Wayne County on Oct. 28, 2015: “The First Amendment offers sweeping protection that allows all manner of speech to enter the marketplace of ideas. This protection applies to loathsome and unpopular speech with the same force as it does to speech that is celebrated and widely accepted. The protection would be unnecessary if it only served to...(Read Full Article)

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