Speech by Government Employees
robertmw at MINDSPRING.COM
Wed Dec 31 18:26:03 PST 1997
At 04:13 PM 12/31/97 EST, Art Spitzer rote:
>In a message dated 12/22/97 10:01:49 AM, dlaycock at MAIL.LAW.UTEXAS.EDU wrote:
>> A school choir director selecting songs for the official school
>>program is clearly acting in an official capacity. I don't see how he
>>could possibly have either a free speech claim or a RFRA claim.
>If this is correct, as I think it is, then are we all (except Jim Henderson)
>in agreement that the defendant school officials in the Alabama case cannot
>possibly have any First Amendment or RFRA defenses against Judge DeMent's
>injunction, since they have no relevant First Amendment or RFRA rights when
>acting in their official capacities?
Speaking in my individual capacity only, I agree with Art. Actually, though
that is not a defense being asserted in the DeKalb County case before Judge
DeMent. Or, the issues in that case don't involve the assertion by the
school administrators or teachers of their own free speech rights or
religious expression defenses. Rather, the issues on appeal to the 11th
Circuit involve whether Judge DeMent's order is overbroad and violates the
*students'* right to free expression, and, to a degree, whether the school
can be ordered to police the Gideons.
That defense *is* being asserted in the Ten Commandmants/Court Prayer case
that is pending before the Alabama Supreme Court involving Judge Roy Moore
in Etowah County. Personally, I think it specious, hypocritical and
irresponsible for Judge Moore to assert his personal freedom of religion as
a defense to his official capacity mis-conduct. When he puts on those robes
and the jurors are summoned to court, there's no question what capacity
he's acting in when he invites the local preachers in to lead the venire in
-- Rob (yes there are liberals in state government) Weinberg.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Rob Weinberg, Montgomery, AL
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