Gunco Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This partnership fighting for freedom ought to make Smegs happy.

Klan Offshoot Fights NYC Anti-Mask Law
Friday December 3, 3:00 am ET
Amanda Montez, Legal Times


The Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is asking the Supreme Court to uphold its right to demonstrate while wearing traditional hooded masks.
In Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan v. Kelly, the church -- which its lawyers describe as "an ideological descendant" of the original KKK -- argues that a New York City anti-mask ordinance violates its free speech rights. The law prohibits groups of masked people from congregating in public -- except for a masquerade party "or like entertainment." The case is among dozens that the Supreme Court will discuss at its private conference today to decide whether it will grant or deny review.

ADVERTISEMENT


The controversy over the right of the American Knights to wear their hooded masks in public demonstrations began in 1999, when the group sought a permit for a rally in front of the New York County Supreme Court building while wearing traditional regalia, which includes full face masks. New York City police said the anti-mask law would prevent members from marching and turned down the permit.

The American Knights group was founded in 1994 to advocate racial separatism and "white pride." Founder Jeffrey Berry, in a lower court deposition, said its members follow the "old tradition of the hood and robe," which is generally associated with the Ku Klux Klan of the Reconstruction era and the early 20th century.

The organization challenged the police action and on Oct. 21, 1999, won an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to allow the costumed demonstration to proceed. The next day a panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the injunction, in effect barring the masked demonstration. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who handles emergency appeals from the 2nd Circuit, affirmed, forcing the group to demonstrate wearing hoods and robes, but not masks.

The American Knights went back to court seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of the ordinance. In 2002, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. struck down the ordinance, ruling that the prohibition violates First Amendment rights of anonymous speech and symbolic speech. Baer also said the ordinance is an unconstitutional content-based restriction since "a face mask worn to delight the public is lawful while one intended to sway its political beliefs is unlawful."

But in January of this year a 2nd Circuit panel reversed. Judge Jose Cabranes, writing for the panel, wrote that the "viewpoint" discrimination claim was unfounded, adding that the mask did not do anything more to express the group's message than the robes and hoods.

"The Supreme Court has never held that freedom of association or the right to engage in anonymous speech entails the right to conceal one's appearance in a public demonstration," the panel ruled.

The 2nd Circuit reviewed the history of the New York ordinance, originally enacted in 1845 to stop armed insurrections by Hudson Valley tenant farmers who used masks when they attacked law enforcement officers.

New York City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo argued to the court that "New York's anti-mask law was ? indisputably aimed at deterring violence and facilitating the apprehension of wrongdoers ... [and that] the statute was not enacted to suppress any particular viewpoint."

The interest of police in maintaining the law includes new concerns over the role that masks may play in a post-9/11 New York City, where security concerns in public gatherings and demonstrations have expanded.

The Klan group, represented by attorney Beth Haroules of the New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation, cites the 1958 Supreme Court decision in NAACP v. Alabama, which allowed the organization to maintain the secrecy of its membership rolls. NAACP leaders feared that revealing their membership would put members at risk for "economic reprisal, loss of employment, threat of physical coercion, and other manifestations of hostility."

Haroules argued that the American Knights, too, face the same reprisals for exercising their First Amendment rights and deserve the protection afforded by their traditional masks. Underlining her claim that the Klan group was discriminated against, she listed other New York demonstrations in which protesters used masks without being barred by the police, including Tibetan supporters of the Dalai Lama who feared being identified by the Chinese government.

"Even the most reviled members of our society are entitled to the fair and evenhanded application of the law," the brief stated.
 

·
Class 07 FFL/SOT
Joined
·
6,297 Posts
Next we will be told that Bank Robbers need the same "Right."
 

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Somehow I detect support of Islamic costumes is behind this.
 

·
Class 07 FFL/SOT
Joined
·
6,297 Posts
The Islamic costume I like the best is that one that jihadist is wearing as the tracers are punching through his body while he is standing in the street trying to launch an RPG.Way.........koooooooool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Custer said:
"Even the most reviled members of our society are entitled to the fair and evenhanded application of the law," the brief stated.
Key point that most folks seem to forget about. If they can do it to the other guy, they can do it to you.

Question isn't whether or not the KKK must wear those pointy hoods to cover their pointy heads. Question is whether there is a consitutional right to protect one's identity in the course of public political statements, or whether not protecting that right will impede public political discourse.

Myself, I don't think there is any such right. Whaddya think? Note that in some countries if you don't hide behind a mask or bandanna or some such when you make a political statement in public, that is generally the last time you are seen.
 

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am more of a believer that government is limited in power than I am in the BOR as a expression of our rights.

As I have posted before, many of the Founders were afraid that if we added a BOR future generations may look to it as our only rights.

I think their fears were well founded as it turned out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
I dunno Custer. I think that approach would have worked if there had been a clause in the Constitution that said explicitly that if a power of the Federal government isn't explicitly listed in this document, then the Federal government doesn't have that power. I do rather like that approach, though.

But, yeah, instead of specifying that the powers of the government are limited to those that are enumerated, we instead specified in the BOR that the rights of the citizens are not limited to those that are enumerated.
 

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
I dunno Custer. I think that approach would have worked if there had been a clause in the Constitution that said explicitly that if a power of the Federal government isn't explicitly listed in this document, then the Federal government doesn't have that power. I do rather like that approach, though..
That is exactly what was intended and I submit was written.

I doubt there is a constitutional scholar or judge would would disagree with that.

But, the devil is in the details. Since the 1930's they have expanded the Feds powers by new interpretations of the original words...like they did in interstate commerce.

This was being done while your watchdogs at the ACLU were messing around with someone's rights to say fubar on radio.

One topical matter is eminent domain. Taking private property for "public use" was constitutionally sanctioned. That meant bridges, forts and a limited class of government run and owned properties.

In 1954, SCOTUS expanded the phrase "public use" to include "public purpose" and the genie was out of the bottle.

Anything that enhances revenue can now be taken, it seems, even if it it is then turned over by the state or city to a private developer.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top