Have Your First Amendment Rights Been Violated? (L50)

Should the police be allowed to enforce a politician’s verbal restriction against making a video of him at an open meeting?

The police should not be allowed to enforce a politician’s verbal restriction against videotaping him at an open meeting because it is an unconstitutional act, and it directly violates the rights of those trying to properly document a public event. The first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” (First Amendment Rights). Freedom of (speech and) press, as stated, grant that if one is on public property, they may lawfully photograph (or videotape) anything in plain view. This includes persons within range of sight, whether they be located on private or public property. The only way that a politician could lawfully restrict the use of video cameras or photography during a meeting would be if both the photographer and the politician were located on private property; in this case, the property owner is within their rights to personally set rules and standards for what they will allow on their land (Know Your Rights).

 

Bibliography

“First Amendment Rights.” Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association. Web. 04 Feb. 2015. <http://www.ushistory.org/gov/10b.asp&gt;.

“Know Your Rights: Photographers.” American Civil Liberties Union. American Civil Liberties Union, July 2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2015. <https://www.aclu.org/kyr-photo&gt;.

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