I’ll Find Somewhere Else to Honor Thomas Jefferson

It’s difficult to remain optimistic when reading sentences like this, from the DC District Court’s decision in Oberwetter v. Hilliard (pdf):

In creating and maintaining the Jefferson Memorial in particular, the government has dedicated a space with a solemn commemorative purpose that is incompatible with the full range of free expression that is permitted in public forums.

… It would be strange indeed to hold that the government may not favor its own expression inside the Jefferson Memorial, which was built by the government for the precise purpose of promoting a particular viewpoint about Jefferson.

Not being an attorney, I can’t offer a qualified on the legal arguments. I followed the reasoning of the decision well enough. While I’d love to pick at the accepted meanings and justifications used in the text, I’m sure it’s “correct”. But defending the power to restrict the First Amendment to honor it is not good policy. We should all be embarrassed that all the little pieces along our history could lead us to viewing this as acceptable.

Put differently, fuck that bastard version of the Constitution, assuming that First Amendment still protects any speech. I assume it does, since it’s not as if I’m criticizing something sacred, like a politican.

Both links via Radley Balko.