Thursday, August 29, 2013

There's interesting news from my hometown, Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it appears the County Commissioners are contemplating a county ordinance limiting picketing in residential areas.

So Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is located, will limit residential picketing.

The thing is, the proposed ordinance prohibits pickets targeting a particular residence (what might "targeting" mean) "without the express prior consent of the occupant(s)." Hmmmmmm.  "Express consent" is an interesting catch phrase.

Suppose a pro-Abortion group wants to show support for local abortion doctor?  Permission granted, based on the beleaguered occupants desire for a sign of affection from the community.

Suppose a pro-life group wants to protest against local abortion doctor.  Permission denied, equally obviously.  After, a man's home is his castle.

Nor do the obvious ham-handed likely possibilities draw the limits of the variations that are possible:

Suppose the husband of abortion physician has disliked his wife's practice for sometime (as an African American he has come to understand that Jesse Jackson was right when he referred to abortion as the genocide of the black race).  So he tell the pro-life group, "sure, you can picket but your signs have to educate and inform on the racial implications of abortion."  The abortionist wife, on the other hand, says, "no you can't."

What if children say no, but parents say yes.

And that pesky tenant in basement apartment, suppose she says yes even though the landlord upstairs says no.

And still there's that "targeting" language.

Is it targeting to identify abortion as the modern American equivalent of the Holocaust, even where no effort or speech connects that rhetorical consideration with the occupants of the residence?   I mean, suppose the sign just says, "Abortion ... The American Holocaust."  No sign saying, "Dr. Smith at 1234 Sesame Street Is Akin to Josef Mengele."

Must occupants be identified in a way that sets them apart from neighbors, than others living in the community?

What if the picketers go two doors down with signs indicating that the house two doors up is occupied by an abortionist, her husband and kids?

Of course, the First Amendment has never stopped pro-abortion politicians from pandering for votes.  And, sadly, it has never stopped pro-abortion justices of the Supreme Court from pandering to their constituencies.  Yet, as the article indicates, Commissioner Johnson at least offers the hope that sanity will prevail (along with Freedom of Speech).