Did the case involve burning crosses on public grounds, or on private premises? Because if it is the latter, you can ban it–unless there is something very peculiar about VA’s free speech laws that I don’t know (they would have to be a lot more expansive than the traditional First Amendment analysis to prevent owners of private premises from expelling people from those premises).
My understanding is that the cross was burned on the burner’s property. So it was a matter of some burning their cross on their lawn.
Yeah, exactly as said above. The issue was much like flag-burning, in that the act of burning a cross itself was made illegal, rather than the externalities (such as burning it on someone else’s private property)
I agree that someone should be able to burn a cross on their own front lawn. I also think that anyone trying to burn a cross in someone else’s front lawn deserves whatever happens to them, be it a double-dose of buckshot or a severe crotch-mauling from a pair of rabid Dobermans
Sorry to be so pedantic, but it would be more correct to title it Ku Klux Klogic.
Only two Ls.
Under the first amendment, Congress (legislatures) can make laws which regulate time and manner of speech, but such limits cannot be content based.
They could thus pass a law stating that it is illegal to burn structures on your front lawn, but such law can make no reference to the “content” of that structure.
Thus although the law could in practicality, affect crosses, the law would make it illegal to burn pink hearts, yellow moons, green clovers, blue diamonds and anything else that a person wants to burn on their lawn regardless of its form.
If it were done on someone else’s lawn, the law in all jurisdictions that I am aware of does not permit the use of excessive or unreasonable force. This means that one cannot use deadly force to protect property. In most jurisdictions, one can use deadly force if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to protect their own, or another’s life. (A mistaken and unreasonable belief that one’s life is in danger would be manslaughter)
Even more simply, just cite them under whatever local rubbish-burning ordinance exists. Most towns have them. Leaf-burning is only allowed by permit and usually then only in certain time slots. Cite the fuckers EVERY SINGLE TIME, and give them the maximum fine allowed by law. Ignore what they’re burning, and just cite them for burning. That ought to piss them off.