Free Speech Geekery: DNC “Freedom Cages” Constitutional

If you’re interested, a federal district court judge has held that the City of Denver’s arrangements to confine convention protesters to a fenced area in the parking lot at the Pepsi Center is constitutional. The opinion does not break any new ground when it comes to First Amendment jurisprudence, but I did get a chuckle over footnote 8:

Nomenclature being an important part of framing an issue, the parties have each referred to this area by a different term. The Defendants [City of Denver and Secret Service] prefer to call it a “public access area.” Some of the Plaintiffs [ACLU, others] refer to it as a “free speech zone,” and sometimes, a “freedom cage.” The Court adopts the term “Public/Demonstration Zone,” in part because it is similar to the terminology most commonly used by the witnesses. Although the parties’ written submissions did not punctuate it in the manner that this Court has, the inclusion of the slash renders the phrase the most neutral and apt description of the multiple purposes the Zone is intended to serve.

Battle of the euphemisms loses all its fun if you spell it out like the judge/pedant. The opinion is here (PDF).


~ by Gabriel Malor on August 6, 2008.

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