01 December 2006

Nashua city official asks KingCast and Jerry Doyle for help against School Board First Amendment restrictions.

The viewpoint-based, prior restraint against Free Speech in Nashua that I noted in this post about embattled school superintendent Julia Earl has led a certain city official to seek information on how my former client prevailed on a nearly identical issue in Federal Court. Said official is working with city attorney Stephen Bennett to craft appropriate policies here in Nashua. See the related Nashua School Board response to federal NCLB investigators here in Nashua Telegraph Michael Brindley's story 1, 2 -- and read this Nashua Telegraph Forums piece (375 426 504 752 reads).

I've traveled this road before; in fact it is my life blood -- hence the name of the blawg -- so I duly (and gladly) provided it this morning, with links to a 1999 Columbus Alive profile story about protester Jerry Doyle's acquittal under my auspices, and this post about Jerry Doyle being imprisoned in my absence. That's what public service and civic duty is all about, folks.

BTW that official is Alderman at Large Fred Teeboom, who founded and headed a non-profit organization registered with the NH Secretary of State, called First Amendment Legal Defense Fund. I did not want to assume that he would allow me to print his name because so many people are afraid to speak out anymore in the Country, but he has given me express permission to use his name, as he considers pursuing this case to Court. As there are precious few individuals in the Northeast more capable of arguing this case than me, I will begin my research to see if I may legally argue before the Court. Mandamus is certainly an option.

And area citizens are upset: Seth Dewey's 13 Nov. '06 letter to the Telegraph, and Lori Hurlburt's 03 Dec. '06 letter as well.


That having been said, let's take a look in the comments section for more discussion on the merits, and a look at a prior First Amendment case in which Alderman Teeboom prevailed on the use of City Hall public areas for the Nashua Taxpayer's Association, using an Atlanta case brought by none other than Thurgood Marshall, whom I mention throughout this blawg, in the "Socratic Method" post and in my signature post with Mother Ann.

Funny, Markos Moulitsas and some fascists at Daily Kos kick me off the board, but real people with real issues want to talk to me while others at Daily Kos congratulate me. Whatever, it's All Good. Watch Justiceforkids and KingCast movies for more information.


Christopher King said...

See, those in favor of quashing public dissent will argue that it's not a viewpoint-based restriction.

But really, it is: As I point out in this post:


Eliminating the entire subject matter of discussion is really just a shorthand way of eliminating the free speech rights of those who complain, just as surely as shutting down all the swimming pools in the South was proxy for keeping out the undesirable black folks.

My question, then is this:

Can't we do more to protect the rights of everybody in this country, the Land of the Free?


Christopher King said...

Federal District Court, New Hampshire, #C-93-473-L, 8 September 1993.

Nashua Taxpayers Association v. Rob Wagner, Mayor of the City of Nashua, et al., Docket#C-93-473-L, 8 September 1993

"It is the ruling of this court that the ban of the use of the Nashua City Public Auditorium is a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendment. The court therefore issues a temporary restraining order prohibiting the defendant from not allowing the plaintiff use of the auditorium on September 15, 1993 and October 20, 1993."

It was a complete victory for the NTA, with the Court granting the restraining order, and awarding in excess of $5,000 in legal fees to pro-bono attorney Woody Haskell.

Truly a slam dunk.

The precedent was set by Thurgood Marshall arguing for the NAACP in:

Bynum v. Schiro, 219 F. Supp. 204 (1963), aff'd 375 U.S. 395 (1964), in which the District Court held that a city's policy of denying use of a public building to one group while allowing for such a use by another which supported views consistent with city policy was a violation of free speech of the First Amendment and equal protection of the Fourteenth Amendment.


Christopher King said...

Lastly, it should be noted that Alderman Teebom and I most definitely do not agree on many things politically.

But what makes it a pleasure to speak with him is that he at least places value in the right to agree to disagree, and that the government has to sit there and take some heat sometimes.

Especially when they're jacking up taxes, and cutting teachers while School Board Superintendent Julia Earl plays fast and loose with Federal money and then demands $1.5M to leave after the Board tries to fire her.....