Reason magazine has an interesting article about “free speech zones” that are set up whenever the President comes into town (and before anyone bashes Bush for being a Nazi or something similarly inflammatory, Clinton did the same thing. Actually, I think the Secret Service started the practice during Clinton’s term).
Now the part of the First Amendment that says “Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” is also imperiled. When the far Left The Progressive and far Right The American Conservative both decry the creation of free speech zones into which protesters are corralled whenever the President comes to a town, one should pay attention. These Orwellian “free speech zones” are typically far away from the venue where the visiting President is appearing, so that he can enjoy a Potemkin village experience in which he sees only an adoring populace through his limousine windows. Protesters can peaceably assemble, just out of the President’s sight and earshot.
For those who don’t know me, free speech is my biggest hobby horse. I’ve never supported free speech zones; the entire idea is contradictory (how can something be free if it can only be in a specific area?).