When constitutional rights border on criminality
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
The recent tragedy and clashes in Virginia have many wondering about laws that may have been violated versus constitutional rights.
Among them, Freedom of Speech and how it pertains specifically to UNR student Peter Cvjetanovic, who was among the White Nationalist ralliers carrying torches on August 12.
Many insist he should be expelled. On Monday afternoon, UNR President Mark Johnson said, “We have no legal or constitutional basis upon which to expel him from his studies or terminate his employment."
UNLV Constitutional Law Professor Thomas McAffee says, under the Constitution, even ugly, bigoted rhetoric is protected by law.
"If he's just saying something kind of hateful, that we detest, that's still in general considered protective speech," said McAfee.
What about Freedom of Assembly? Technically, it's a right to Peaceably Assemble.
"If both the demonstrators and the counter-demonstrators are armed for hand to hand combat. I don't think the police have to wait until the battle is full-blown," said McAffee.
Charlottesville Police have been criticized for having a slow response. There were also reports some demonstrators were armed.
Is that protected under the 2nd amendment Right to Bear Arms? Professor McAffee says it is protected provided the arms-bearer is properly permitted, but the moment a weapon is pointed or even reached-for that is considered an act of imminent violence.
Imminent Violence or Imminent Lawlessness are actual legal terms which essentially mean when public safety becomes at risk, police then have a right to step in.