In the 1995 Hurley decision the Supreme Court unanimously decided that the First Amendment also prevents an individual or group from saying something they do not wish to say. In this case a private parade committee; thus, as a private organization, the judges upheld the notion that they can select which messages are expressed to onlookers and which messages are not.
The town of Amherst already ran afoul of this clear-as-day decision when they tried to deny the privately run Amherst July 4 Parade Committee a permit due to restrictions on the signs that marching groups could carry. You know, the very same rules the town used when it organized a 350th Anniversary Parade.
The ACLU instantly set the People's Republic strait, and the Parade continues in the traditional old fashioned way.
The greatest freedom our flag represents is the right to burn it.
But I do indeed cringe when unbalanced individuals or groups push the envelope, such as a pastor threatening to burn the Koran on 9/11, or the KKK wanting to publicly dress up in their sheets or neo-nazis to march through Skokie, a heavily Jewish suburb of Chicago.
The Supreme Court yesterday heard oral arguments about whether a whacko religious group that should be ignored has the right to hold homophobic signs while picketing outside the funerals of American soldiers who died for their country in far off Iraq or Afghanistan. Icky. Icky. Icky!
But, that is the price we pay for our freedom. I remember once seeing my wife and another dear old friend wearing burkas, and it was not a pretty sight.