"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Does Local Government Have the Right to Quell Free Speech ?

Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. One citizen at tonight's BoS meeting thinks that the town Code of Conduct ordinance should be amended to ban employees and elected officials from writing about town affairs.( He would allow writing about the county though. How generous.) I need to add that his apparent frustration is that he is not welcome on the blog and that I moderate comments. Here is a better suggestion: write your own blog. 
This is a " say what?" moment. We are not Saudi Arabia or China or other suppressive government.
This is the USA. Reporting on BoS decisions or discussions is my right. I  am a selectman, but I do not give up my right to speak and write as a free citizen. I never speak for the BoS. I only report and express my opinions. No individual selectmen has any authority to make a decision. Only a majority of the BoS can do that. 
You may notice the logo on the left column of the blog. Freedom of speech is not to be taken lightly or misinterpreted:

LegalMatch believes free speech is essential to our democratic form of government. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution specifically guarantees that "Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;" a protection that extends specifically to websites like ours, and to bloggers everywhere.