Monday, April 17, 2006

 

You Can't Hand Those Things Out Here

Would the Pennsylvania State Police Have Cited Thomas Paine For Littering and Arrested him for Trespassing?

Two Hundred plus years ago, a rabble rouser named Thomas Paine put out a pamphlet called "Common Sense." It outlined the grievances the colonists had with King George III and espoused the call for revolution. During a three month period in 1776, his pamphlet sold more than 120,000 copies. He sold his pamphlet on the public streets and the public rights of way.

In 2006, when we try to express our views in the public right of way in Pennsylvania, the State Police threaten us with citations. There are many rights we take for granted in this country, and unfortunately, the right to free speech is one of them. When the State Police took down the signs of the 20th Senatorial District candidates and threatened to write citations, why weren't we all outraged? Why did local newspapers just assume the State Police were within their rights?

Let the word go forth from this time and blog, the public right of way is public. We encourage all good Americans to post political signs in the rights of way of our highways and byways. Be Thomas Paine for a day. Whether it's for your favorite politician or expressing your disgust with PennDOT or the State Police, put up your signs. Put up your signs. Put up your signs. Make us proud.

We will be posting the legal opinion of a well known expert in Pennsylvania Election law either later today or tomorrow.

Comments:
Good thing the PSP wasn't around in 1776, or Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams would have spent July 4th in the hoosegow
 
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