Benetton and govt encouragement of speech-based boycott
funk at LCLARK.EDU
Tue Mar 21 14:36:43 PST 2000
"Scarberry, Mark" wrote:
> But I'm more interested in what the resolution shows about the
> lack of commitment to free speech principles on the part of the rather
> liberal California legislature.
I assume there would be no 1st Amendment problem if an individual legislator
spoke on the floor of the house and called upon all Californians to join her in
boycotting Benetton. Not only that, I don't see any inconsistency with free
speech principles. In my view, the essential free speech principle is that
GOVERNMENT cannot restrict speech, not that individuals cannot condemn certain
speech and call upon other like minded persons to take concerted but
non-governmental action against it.
I further assume that there would still be no 1st Amendment problem if a
majority of other legislators joined the first one in condemning Benetton and
also calling on others to boycott Benetton.
The question is whether a non-binding resolution of the legislature is different
from the above. Perhaps, but I doubt it. So long as the resolution is nothing
more than the expression of a view of a majority of the legislators with no
legal effect, I see no 1st Amendment problem.
Lewis & Clark Law School
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