FREE SPEECH IN MALLS….Last year

FREE SPEECH IN MALLS….Last year I had a consulting job with a company in San Jose and I commuted up there for three days every week. While I was there I stayed at the noisy, unfriendly, and dilapidated ? but cheap! ? confines of the Pruneyard Inn, a mere few hundred feet from the Pruneyard Shopping Center.

This matters not a whit, except as a meaningless lead-in to this much-blogged story about the guy who got thrown out of a mall in New York because he was wearing an anti-war T-shirt. As InstaPundit notes, the mall’s action was quite legal since it’s a private organization, but he suggests rightly that “other people are free to take their business elsewhere” if they don’t like it.

And what does this have to do with my consulting? Nothing except to extol the virtues of my home state: here in California, in the famous case of Robins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center, the California Supreme Court ruled that you do have free speech rights in a public mall ? in California anyway. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this ruling unanimously, but, as Glenn notes, not too many states have followed our enlightened lead.

So the lesson is, if you want to protest the war at a mall, move to California. We welcome you.

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