HECKLERS' VETO AND ILLEGAL ALIENS
Congratulations to Carlsbad California Police, San Diego law enforcement, Senator Bill Morrow, talk-show host Roger Hedgecock, attorney Peter Lepiscopo, and others who heroically fought the Hecklers' Veto over free speech.
Days before our ultimately successful August 11 Carlsbad forum called "Defense of our Nation Begins at our Borders," the Carlsbad Cultural Center broke its contract and refused to host our well-advertised event. Pro-Illegal Alien Open Border activists threatened our event and our lives.
Fear of violence and injury to the theater were the excuses for the last minute booting of our wonderful group that featured Congressman Tom Tancredo, Minuteman Jim Gilchrist, former Treasury Secretary Peter Nunez, Assemblyman Ray Haynes, Commissioner Robert Vasquez of Idaho, and myself. Fortunately a last minute law suit brought Carlsbad Superintendent Roach to his senses and we overcame the Hecklers' Veto.
But Hecklers' Veto is a pernicious device used nationwide against excellent, ethical speakers who state politically incorrect ideas that "offend" those who cannot and will not argue with language but prefer to quash ideas with violence or its threat. So powerful was the Hecklers' Veto in California that our host, state Senator Bill Morrow, a retired Marine JAG, could not get us an emergency welcome at an unused, beautiful Marine Corps facility. Our ideas were out in the cold.
We prevailed. Others can learn from our expensive experience. We had 409 in the audience, about an equal number of people who wanted to get seats but came after all free seats were assigned. There were about 200 loud, bull-horn shouting protesters. Most were Hispanic but there was a contingent of Muslim men in Palestinian headscarves and women in full Islamic burkas (with signs stating such non-sequiturs as "No person is Illegal," "No Hiroshima in Mecca," and "12 billion Muslims hate Racism."). Protecting us were about 250 police officers in full riot gear with face shields plus automatic weapons plus SWAT team members who arrived in black tank-like vehicles. The cost was astronomical. But we made an important point nationally.
Hecklers who shout, curse, harass, mock, name-call, and shout-down a willing speaker to a willing audience are not protected under the Constitution's First Amendment. Hecklers intimidate speakers or make such a racket that speakers cannot be heard. The real threat, however, is their brilliant manipulation of government to do the dirty work of actually silencing speech. Hecklers intimidate government officials such as police chiefs, mayors, and school superintendents to fear public disorder hecklers intend to cause. Government then preemptively silences speech hecklers dislike. Hecklers' Veto silences speech content. That imposes a prior restraint on transmitting ideas.
Freedom is never free. The formidable police presence in Carlsbad was costly. But civilized discussion must be protected against the Hecklers' Veto. It was, beautifully.
Government's essential purpose is protecting individual rights. Truth is best tested in the marketplace of ideas. Each listener that night in Carlsbad exerted his individual right to hear speakers using facts, logic, and statistics detailing negative effects of Illegal Aliens on the economy, public health, criminal justice, and American culture.
I spoke about Illegal Aliens and American Medicine, making many points that earlier I have written about on NewsWithViews.com, and in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (Spring, 2005). I spoke of the 84 California hospitals that closed between 1994 and 2003 primarily because EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, requires every emergency room to treat any patient coming with an "emergency" whether or not able to pay, insured, citizen, or Illegal Alien. A woman in labor must remain to deliver her baby. This unfunded mandate fines hospital and doctors up to $50,000 if refusing to treat but does not pay for treatments. Hospitals go bankrupt.
Infectious disease perils afflict America because Illegal Aliens enter our open Golden Door without health exams. Contagious diseases America vanquished, such as malaria, polio, and hepatitis, and rare diseases of Third World poverty, such as leprosy, Chagas Disease, and Dengue Fever, erupt nationwide. Centers for Disease Control examined 38,291 California cases of Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (60% fatal, treatment costs $200,000 to $1,200,000 per patient). This national time-bomb ticks ominously in 38 of California's 61 health jurisdictions. 84% of patients are "foreign born" non-English speakers from Mexico and the Philippines.
Illegal Aliens also contribute syphilis and gonorrhea. Illegal Alien Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) are so common that the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, "Operation Predator," that began in 2003, has caught 6085 Illegal Alien SVPs. Most prey on children. Notorious rapists and killers attacked kids aged 8 (in Florida, buried her alive), 5 (in Minnesota), and 3 (in San Diego County). California apprehended 1578 Illegal Aliens SVPs, and San Diego 685.
the Hecklers' Veto in Carlsbad was a triumph for rationality, American
law, and law enforcement.
© 2005 Madeleine Cosman
- All Rights Reserved
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Dr. Cosman is a medical lawyer located in California. Her forthcoming book in 2005 is Who Owns Your Body?: Doctors and Patients Behind Bars. She lectures worldwide on medical law and medical policy, has testified before Congress on medical law issues, and has spoken in Washington for Cato Institute and Galen Institute. She wrote the ABCs of the Clinton Medical World for Congress in 1993. A Director of California Rifle and Pistol Association, she writes "Guns and Medicine" for Firing Line. One of her 15 published books was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and was a Book of the Month Club Dividend Selection.
Madeleine promotes free-market, patient-centered medicine, and Health Savings Accounts.
Her J.D. is from New York's Cardozo School of Law, Ph.D. from Columbia University, M.A. from Hunter College, and B.A. from Barnard College. She is a member of the New York State Bar, New Jersey Bar, American Bar Association's Health Law Section, and American Inns of Court. Madeleine is Professor Emerita of City College of City University of New York and a Life Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.
Days before our ultimately successful August 11 Carlsbad forum called "Defense of our Nation Begins at our Borders," the Carlsbad Cultural Center broke its contract and refused to host our well-advertised event.