Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

This State Requires a Free Speech Permit | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on January 23, 2018

Luckily there is an easy solution for most of us. Avoid New Jersey, which most sane people do anyway.

But live and let live is apparently not the philosophy of New Jersey cops. When they saw two people preaching on the property of the New Jersey Transit system, they had to step in. The Transit officers said that they asked for the preachers’ identificationbecause they were not behaving like normal commuters.

When the officers asked Karns and Parker for valid identification, neither complied. The officers then arrested the ministers on charges on obstruction for their refusal to show the officers ID. The two preachers were also charged with defiant trespass for preaching without a permit.

Under New Jersey law, “noncommercial” expression on state property requires a permit.

What makes this different from most free speech cases is the arguments that the government used to justify their behavior. You need a permit to preach in public. How do they define preaching? To many, talking politics sounds a lot like preaching.

And why should you need a permit to practice your right to free speech or religion in public? By what standard does the government deny permits? The government can charge money for the privilege of exercising a right…

And the worst part is, a U.S. circuit court of appeals agreed with the state of New Jersey. They said state permitting laws trump basic rights like free speech…

So apparently officers don’t have to wait until they suspect a crime has been committed. They can arrest you just for suspecting that a crime will be permitted.

And let’s keep in mind here that the “crime” is free speech…

Be seeing you

prison bars



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