Clowns have rights.

Even these clowns have rights.

That's the basis for the ACLU's lawsuit against the (finally enforced) rules regarding protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

The Constitution’s objective is to limit the role of Government and to  protect the rights of the individual.  I support free speech and have long opposed idiotic restrictions like campus speech codes.  As much as I loathe groups like the Klan and Neo-Nazi groups, I understand their First Amendment rights to hold and express their views.

But clowns and racists are not special. Yes they have First Amendment rights but they do not have the Constitutional right to express themselves wherever and whenever they want, free of any consequences.

No one does.

I can’t show up at your place of employment and blow a three foot long plastic vuvuzela horn in your face for hours. You can’t go to the Public library and taunt the librarian about the death of her father. Together, we would not be allowed to go to the local shopping mall and clog the hallways and prevent workers and patrons from having access to their offices, public restrooms. We would not be allowed to swarm them and prevent access to the building or to their cars. When a building, even a public building, closes, we have to leave.

Yes, speech is protected in this country and we all have a right to dissent and express disapproval of our government. But the permitting process for Capitol protests in Madison is not about the content of the speech. The process is about the behavior of the speakers and the crowds to whom they speak.  The rules serve to protect the rights of everyone involved, including those who work in the Capitol. That’s right, the ACLU is fighting a proposal that protects state workers.

The Big Labor protesters of 2011 also disrupted other groups who had permitted events. What about those people's rights?

Here are the guidelines for obtaining a permit to protest at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Here is the process by which one could obtain a permit in the US Capitol.  Why isn’t the ACLU suing President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid? You know why.

This isn’t about protecting Constitutional rights. This is a nuisance suit by a liberal group against a conservative governor who they loathe.  Hence the selective outrage.

Then again, the ACLU is the same group that is suing to stop the largest highway project in state history because building roads is discriminatory. Really.

Clowns.