August 18, 2017

COMMON SENSE, MID-WESTERN STYLE, FROM THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: “Daryle Lamont Jenkins, a member of the anti-fascist movement, told National Public Radio on Thursday that violent confrontation is justifiable when police won’t stop white supremacists from marching. In other words, he believes in illegal vigilante action when police refuse to violate marchers’ constitutional rights.” That’s the bases loaded-triple. Here’s the home run:

Imagine how quickly our country would descend into anarchy if vigilante action ever did become justifiable. The minute it becomes acceptable to break the law to silence one group, all others become vulnerable to attack by anyone who disagrees with them […]Ahead of Trump’s inauguration, extreme left-wing groups began using the slogan “Punch a Nazi” as they advocated violent intervention to halt demonstrations by far-right groups. One self-declared anti-fascist punched white supremacist Richard Spencer, a Trump supporter, in the face on Inauguration Day while he was being interviewed on a Washington, D.C., street. It was not OK then, nor will it ever be.

“A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.” — Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (2017).