So far, Occupy Wall Street protesters in Nashville have been arrested - under a hastily written "state policy" as opposed to an actual law - for expressing their freedom of speech and freedom to peacefully assemble between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. In a later round of arrests, a reporter was taken into custody, apparently for exercising the freedom of the press after dark.
Fortunately, there was Judge Tom Nelson to keep the Governor in check. For a second straight night, he dismissed the protesters' arrest warrants, telling troopers delivering the protesters to jail that he could "find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza."
Haslam argued that arrests were evidence that action was needed. There are two patent problems with that line of reasoning, Bill. First, can I similarly argue that shooting someone is evidence that they needed to be shot? Second, was Judge Nelson's dismissal of the arrest warrants evidence that the action was, in fact, not needed?
The message to Governor Haslam couldn't be more clear: when you're being un-Constitutional, you are - by definition - being un-American.
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