Trump, Protesters, and Free Speech

A very insightful article from Andrew Napolitano on the recent Trump campaign events besieged with protests:

The legal issues here are complex and subtle, involving property rights and free speech. As a lessee of a government-owned building for his rally venue, Trump could not prevent any person from entering or remaining because of the person’s political views.

However, he could have asked the police to employ reasonable force to remove those whose behavior made it impossible for him to use the venue for the principal purpose for which he leased it. Since the First Amendment requires breathing room, the police must be extremely tolerant of protesters and may remove only those whose behavior physically prevents the use for which the venue was leased.

Stated differently, protest of political speech is itself protected speech, but protest cannot be so forceful or dominant that it vetoes the speaker.

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