Either everyone has privilege & immunities, whether speech is true, false, well-intentioned, polemical, or no one has it. To criminalize speech is the beginning of totalitarianism. The fine points of when you can criminalize speech or not, misses the point completely. Court opinions over 20 pages long, about whether an American, a Minnesotan, could or could not speak a few words, miss the point. The Minnesota Constitution guarantees the right to speak freely. One cannot speak freely if one is even the least bit concerned with being prosecuted, or sanctioned, or loss of property because of the speech. Because the fear will gag you, all by itself.
What lawyers and judges call the “chilling” of speech, is impossible to prove in a court of law. To prove it, you would need to bring in, not just the one person brave enough to stand up and say “I know I should be fearful but this is the right thing to do,” you would need to bring in all 40,000 people who were too afraid to stand up. The whole point of constitutional lore making the “chilling” of speech illegal, was to paint a broad, broad circle around the subject speech, to say, the diameter of this circle reaches far and wide, and if even one person who might possibly be afraid to speak out (in particular, to criticize government) because of a statute, rule, or court order, that is too many.
As one wise person said (guys, I’m in my car, I can’t get the exact quote and attribution for you right now, but think it was Clarence Darrow), said, in order to protect liberty, you need to have too much of it. Speech is liberty and liberty is speech. It’s what it’s all about. It’s what it has already been all about. From the Boston tea party, to no taxation without representation, to the present. In order to protect speech, you need to protect too much of it.
Sometimes speech makes people upset. I feel ya. But that’s life.
Sometimes speech makes people want to act vindictively, like when you catch a judge doing something wrong, and they punish you for pointing it out. That, as well, is life. Life in the big city, as they say.
Or, more properly, life in America.
This past year has been strange for me in the sense that I have seen such oddball, strange, even insane behavior from people, all around the issue of appointment v. elections (gosh, get over it already), and around whether or not I was going to publicly file the “emails.” I found it quite humorous the attempt to make me look crazy. Hey, I have my faults, but at least I’m not acting like you guys.