ACLU will no longer defend free speech rights of armed protestors

Workers use a crane to lift the monument dedicated to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney after it was removed from outside the Maryland state Capitol in Annapolis early Friday. AP/Jose Luis Magana

While routinely denounced as a bastion of liberalism, the ACLU has often drawn leftist fire for its defense of the free speech rights of the radical right – on the theory that vilified speech is what the First Amendment is designed to protect.

Earlier this summer, for instance, the civil liberties group came to the defense of a Ku Klux Klan chapter that wanted to “adopt” a section of highway in Union County.

City officials in Charlottesville, Va., initially denied white supremacists a permit for their rally last weekend, but the ACLU filed a lawsuit defending their right to gather. However, in the aftermath of the Saturday violence, the ACLU has imposed a new limit on who it’s willing to defend. From the Los Angeles Times:

The national organization said Thursday that it would not represent white supremacist groups that want to demonstrate with guns. That stance is a new interpretation of the ACLU’s official position that reasonable gun regulation does not violate the 2nd Amendment.

A statement from the ACLU’s California office:

 “If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in activity protected by the United States Constitution,” the statement continued. “The 1st Amendment should never be used as a shield or sword to justify violence.”

***

In Maryland, workers removed the 145-year-old statue of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney outside state capitol shortly after midnight this morning, the Washington Post reports. Taney was the author of the pre-Civil War Dred Scott decision that refused U.S. citizenship to African-Americans.

***

In Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed said Thursday he will pull together a group of advisors to help decide how to address growing calls to remove Confederate statues and rename streets bearing Confederate monikers.

***

The Associated Press reports that Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach, the GOP mayor of Georgia’s oldest city, wants the city’s 138-year-old monument to Confederate soldiers expanded to include other actors in the Civil War, including African-Americans. More than that, the mayor has proposed asking state lawmakers to change the name of the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge, an architectural symbol of the city that was named for the segregationist governor of the 1930s and ’40s.

***

The call by state Rep. Stacey Abrams, a Democratic candidate for governor, to remove the Confederate carving from Stone Mountain has made its way into the messaging of at least two Republican candidates. State Sen. Michael Williams of Cumming, a GOP candidate for governor, built a fund-raising issue around his opposition to “rewriting Georgia’s history.”  In an email to us, Senate President pro tem David Shafer of Duluth, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, called the carving an “engineering and artistic marvel” that shouldn’t be destroyed “for political purposes.”

***

Tuesday will mark the beginning of qualifying in the race to become the next mayor of Atlanta. One sign: On Thursday, Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves, a candidate for mayor, won approval of a resolution authorizing the county to negotiate a deal with the Atlanta Hawks to upgrade Philips Arena – and thus keep them in the city. The county is a part-owner of the arena, along with the city.

These are the lines that Eaves wanted in the press release: “We watched how the City of Atlanta let the Braves slip away to Cobb County…We didn’t want to replicate what the City Council and mayor did in dropping the ball.” You can feel the burn.

***

An international trade case over solar panel imports could kill the solar energy boom in rural Georgia, WABE (90.1FM) reports. Two bankrupt U.S. solar panel manufacturers, Solar World and Georgia-based Suniva, had a first hearing in Washington, D.C. this week before the U.S. International Trade Commission, charging unfair overseas competition. Should the commission agree, and if President Donald Trump imposes tariffs, solar panel prices could double.

***

On a similar topic, Tim Echols, a Republican member of the state Public Service Commission, has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal explaining why nuclear-generated energy is a national security issue. The troubled construction of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle are now the only nuclear project underway in the country. A taste of Echols’ argument:

Diversifying the energy supply makes sense, because no one knows what the future holds. The U.S. could institute a carbon tax, or even regulate frackers out of a job. No matter what happens, nuclear reactors will ensure Georgia’s electric rates stay competitive.

They also will keep the U.S. from forfeiting its nuclear leadership. As other states have decommissioned reactors without replacing them, the world has begun looking to nations like China and Russia. The World Nuclear Association reports China is increasing its nuclear generation capacity 70% by 2021 and will surpass U.S. output by 2030. The only way for America to continue setting international standards for safety and security is to invest in reactors and technology.

 

Reader Comments 2

86 comments
Graeme Jones
Graeme Jones

Does that include baseball bats, pee, knives and pepper spray?

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

SO, I guess Antifa, BLM, NBPP, and the rest of those instigating Liberal protest groups are out of luck, eh?

Red Phillips
Red Phillips

The ACLU bends the knee to the baying PC mob. Wusses.

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Thomas Adams
Thomas Adams

I'm damn sure don't need the AJC to tell me what the think about politics!! Unless of course, you want Hillary as president.

Silent Jay
Silent Jay

Speak louder. You hood muffles you.

Angel Chesson
Angel Chesson

Y bc we show our guns blm had guns they hid they took their torches and burned the town down. Uuuumm doesn't seem to happen when white carry torches or guns.

Thomas Meduri
Thomas Meduri

The Democratic pig doesn't understand nothing . I told a liberal if me and you and your mother were in New York City and your mother was held at knife point , what would you want me to do , shoot the guy and save your mother or let her die.. never got my answer...

Silent Jay
Silent Jay

A lie.


And you couldn't find New York City with GPS.

George Mortensen
George Mortensen

So much for the ACLU. Yet another organization flying under false flags that has caved to Maxist drivel and political correctness. And the AJC gleefully agrees with the loss of anyone's freedoms. Hey, Cox family! When did you decide the 2nd Amendment wasn't worth your support? What a sad and evil little rag.

Carole Mellin
Carole Mellin

You're either with the Nazis or you're against them. It's that easy.

Joanna Lidia Mirage
Joanna Lidia Mirage

I just don't like this "Here is what you need to know in politics today" , how about everyone decides for themselves what they need to know?

Sandra Dale Sikes
Sandra Dale Sikes

So now there are restrictions on just who gets protected? Really?

Teresa Minton
Teresa Minton

Why would you need a gun in a peaceful protest. Oxymoron.

Tracy Dodd
Tracy Dodd

They will if they are a liberal group attacking conservatives

Mike Pregon
Mike Pregon

So they are not going to defend racist groups like the black panthers. BLM and Antifa. Good.

Rick Richmond
Rick Richmond

Then your not who you say your are. The constitution says they can. If you are a supporter of that document then your wrong and not in America's interest.

Chris Knowles
Chris Knowles

So that will include #BLM and #AntiFa I hope.

Ziah La Costa Nostra
Ziah La Costa Nostra

Yeah because the Nazis with the Kmart torches and sticks shouldn't be worried about \U0001f914

Chris Knowles
Chris Knowles

Oh but #BLM and #AntiFa with bats and pepper spray are okay, right.

Deena Deal
Deena Deal

One of the hardest things I had to learn, in high school, was that every American had a right to their beliefs & the right to publicly state those rights, even if they were Communists. The ACLU has always been the beacon that always stood for the American constitution. I see that is no longer true. I see there is no longer a need for this organization. Let me be clear, I do not in any way support any organization that exists to promote violence & criminal public disruptions of any sort. The KKK, the neo Nazis, & all antifa groups dispicable.

Chase Caudle
Chase Caudle

Yep. We'll defend you until the end. But this is the end.

Andrew Murphy
Andrew Murphy

This is a slippery slope. The term white supremacist is being thrown around loosely and will eventually be used against any white person who refuses to bow to political correctness and display white guilt when asked to. This has nothing to do with race because it's a globalist power play. These globalists don't care about minorities or any other group they only care about creating civil unrest and weakening the white majority in this county. It's hostile takeover time and all who can or will oppose them will be the next group labeled and accused.

Silent Jay
Silent Jay

You seem to fit the term very well.

Allene Gossman
Allene Gossman

Great, just so long as they include Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and communist groups committing mayhem. "Peaceful assembly" requires no definition.

Neil Mutchler Ibarra
Neil Mutchler Ibarra

For all my Obama brethren, did you know that regular stunna lenses may allow you to look directly at the eclipse if you want to?

Jay Ansley
Jay Ansley

Will they no longer defend free speech of club carrying members of Antifa and BLM, or is it only whites and conservatives they are against?...............MPA

Jay Ansley
Jay Ansley

Kevin Tuttle You really think ACLU will go against the left? If they do, it will be a miracle but I doubt it.........MPA

Kevin Tuttle
Kevin Tuttle

I don't know what you mean by "the left". I know that the ACLU has, many times before, defended the rights of white supremacists to march and demonstrate.

Tiana Kelly
Tiana Kelly

The ACLU protects the speech of all walks. Shhhhhhhhh. This is about violence.

Carole Mellin
Carole Mellin

Jay Ansley Antifa=anti-fascists. The entire American military was antifa during World War II, since Nazis are fascists.

Nelms Graham
Nelms Graham

Carole Mellin As I stated before,the American Military during WW2 was also mainly white.

Kerry Oaborne
Kerry Oaborne

So they'll defend the 1st amendment but not the 2nd?

Jeremy Cobb
Jeremy Cobb

does that go for both the left and the right

Jim Dempsey
Jim Dempsey

Steve Bannon the Nazi is gone. Racist Trump on Monday. Watch. Watch!

Mara Aed
Mara Aed

Read GEorge Orwell, this is step 7 toward communism! Good luck stupid

Kevin Tuttle
Kevin Tuttle

I don't recall Orwell talking about the ACLU.

Steve Morris
Steve Morris

So now since the first ammendment is gone it applies to all. Shut down the fake news

Kevin Kitchen
Kevin Kitchen

Why?? The First and Second Amendment give them the right to free speech and to bear arms. Just as they do us who will stand against them. #Antifa

Teresa Holman
Teresa Holman

Reed wasting more taxpayer money. I would think the Atlanta AIDS epidemic would be more pressing. Or maybe the failing schools.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Civil liberties include the 2nd Amendment

Teresa Holman
Teresa Holman

Yet they work with CAIR/Muslim Brotherhood (terrorist group). As they wage Civilizational Jihad across America.

Michelle Watson
Michelle Watson

Carrying a gun or not does not negate your 1st Amendment rights.

Kevin Tuttle
Kevin Tuttle

Nonsense, they said nothing of the kind.

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