Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So what about private property rights?

You know that you have no private property rights when a court rules that someone can be on your property in order to exercise their free speech rights. One mall in California (no surprise there) found out that very thing.
The California Supreme Court has ruled that shopping malls can't stop protesters from urging the boycott of stores while on mall property.

In a 4-3 decision Monday, the justices ruled that the Fashion Valley mall in San Diego violated California's free speech laws when it kicked out demonstrators in 1998.

Members of a workers' union at the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper were forced out of the mall for distributing leaflets urging the boycott of the Robinsons-May store.

The union was involved in a dispute with company management and wanted to hurt Robinsons-May's business because it advertised in the newspaper.

The high court ruled that California's free speech laws protect such demonstrations.
This is just plain wrong. A company should be able to determine who gets to be on their property and who does not. It is not a matter of free speech. It is a matter of private property rights and this court is just wrong in their decision. Free speech does not mean total access to any private property upon which people wish to trod and exercise said speech. There is no guarantee of freedom of speech on private property, only that the government shall not infringe upon that right. The 1st Amendment certainly does not guarantee a right to be heard or that your speech rights trump the rights of private land owners. I do not know California laws, as stated in the article. However, if their laws can be interpreted so as to squash the rights of property owners, the laws are wrong and need to be either repealed or declared unconstitutional.

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