Wednesday, March 12, 2008

D.C. Council, U.S. Supreme Court Clash On Amplifiers

District of Columbia councilmembers owe it to their constituents to do a little homework before simply pandering to special interests and dismissing citizens' desire for quiet enjoyment of home.

Councilmembers Marion Barry, David Catania, Mary Cheh, Carol Schwartz, and Tommy Wells' genuine concern for D.C. residents and the constitution has earned each of them gold stars. Bravo.

In the meantime, the other councilmembers who simply throw up their hands and do nothing should please review the U.S. Supreme Court decision KOVACS V. COOPER, 336 U.S. 77 (1949). It upheld a municipality's right to defend citizens against amplified devices.

This wonderful gem is among many beautiful opinions found in the ruling:

"The preferred position of freedom of speech in a society that cherishes liberty for all does not require legislators to be insensible to claims by citizens to comfort and convenience. To enforce freedom of speech in disregard of the rights of others would be harsh and arbitrary in itself."

Councilmembers can find more in the ruling's complete text.

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