If true, and the government is applying a facially neutral law in a manner that effects viewpoint-based discrimination, that's highly troubling.
Unfortunately, you don't get much of the other side of the story from this link. The fact that the USSC refused to hear the case means that the plaintiffs lost at at least one level (the appellate court may have refused to hear the case as well, or the appellate court may have ruled in favor of the government). So something tells me there's more to this than what's put forth on the website.
BB: Agreed... and I wonder why we keep hearing allusions to "free speech zones" in the MSM, and yet no one is taking the issue up seriously.
Obviously, the press is still free, so why is no one paying attention to this, at least to satisfactorily debunk it?
Zap: Sheehan aside, there have been quite a few reports of people being taken to stadiums miles away from the president to voice dissent, while people with pro-Bush signs were left where they were. I'm just surprised how little attention is being paid to the issue.
I know what you mean. It seems that some of the Bush and war protesters take the civil disobedience thing a bit too far so I understand why they want to keep many of them further away from the president.
Sheehan and others do get closer than the anti-globilist lunatics.
If the only thing a person is doing is holding an anti-Bush sign, and other people around them are allowed to hold pro-Bush signs, then the former has a right to remain. If the policy is applied in a content-neutral way (no signs allowed at all), then fine, although I have a bit of a problem with rules that explicitly seek to protect the president from seeing anything contrary to his policy.
Same thing happened to me in 2004 before the election when Kerry was in town for some function at the Regan library. A column of motorcycle cops came up the road and blocked off the intersections, one cop came and posted up next to my car on the side of the road, I tried to roll down my window and say hi to the cop, make some small talk, but I just got the 'SIR ROLL UP YOUR WINDOW NOW!' I waited something like five minutes before the actual motorcade came by, and another five after. I was pissed, but I did get to see a soon to be failed presidential candidate, albeit through two inch thick windows.
I spoke to a friend this weekend who specializes in constitutional law... her take is that the Supreme Court tends to shy away from any cases involving the restriction of executive power, if for no other reason than because they have no way of enforcing their ruling. She also admitted that she is not acquainted with this particular case.
I don't buy the argument that the USSC ignores executive power issues, but I also don't know enough about the selection process for cases. Is only one Justice's (or his/her staffer's) approval necessary to bring a case before the court?