There has been some public debate on whether or not the Government can restrict any such First Amendment right to “Free Speech” in America, and whether or not the People’s free right to express themselves freely, to educate, inform, and audit the Government, and its activities anywhere in the United States.
At stake is the People’s Right to Hold Public Gatherings, Meetings, and Other Activities in the public sector with the goal of addressing concerns, to educate, and to inform, and audit the Government and to Watchover the Daily Activities of the Government. The First Amendment gives to the people, the ability to File a List of Grievances, to Inform Themselves, to Educate Each Other, thus Expressing themselves to the Government, and to their Fellow Neighbors within the Community itself.
What that all means, is that “WE” have reserved to ourselves, that the Congress cannot ‘restrict’ any member or person outside of the District of Columbia the natural right to free speech anywhere within the Republic of 50 States, allowing them to freely engage with, their Representatives, Public Officials, Officers, Government Staffs with the right to educate, inform, and audit their government and their activities.In South Dakota, as an American Citizen of our “Republic” – we have the Natural Right as Protected by the Amendment:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances; whereas, we furthermore adopted Article 6, Section 1 in our State Constitution which reads as follows – Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. In all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense. The jury shall have the right to determine the fact and the law under the direction of the court.
In the Supreme Court Case Cox v New Hampshire:
What the court has stated, and ruled upon, was that “government” may adopt rules, and codes of such, to protect the people from themselves in the means of Public Health, Safety, and the Welfare of all the People and their Property. This means, we the people an adopt rules such as “Time” measure the time taken by the people of which they can plan, schedule, or arrange when (something) should happen or be done with the goal of the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole; whereas we can adopt rules such as “Place” which is is any point, building, area, town, or country of which activity can take place, and finally, the “Manner” a way of doing, being done, or happening; mode of action, occurrence, etc.A unanimous Supreme Court, via Justice Charles Evans Hughes, held that, although the government cannot regulate the contents of speech, it can place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on speech for the public safety. The Court held that the New Hampshire law was not meant to prohibit speech, but simply to regulate it when it took the form of a parade or other form of large gathering. The Court said that the government had a legitimate interest in keeping order at such events, and it could impose a fee for the license that was proportional to the amount of police presence that would be required to ensure the peaceable nature of the event.
In the interest of Public Health, Safety, and the Welfare of the People of the Republic, the People and their Representatives have the constitutional protected right to freely engage in the freedom of expression, giving to them the Right to Educate, Inform, and Audit their government, and its activities, to file a list of grievances, with the positive goal of holding public discussion to address the past, the present, and future agenda of the people within their communities.
The “People” elect their Representatives to represent their public and private interests within the community by placing those people on a governing board, of giving to them the ability to bring forth resolutions, initiatives, let alone to administrate or investigate matters of public interests, giving back to the people the ability to ‘govern’ over the government itself.
And then, there is the “People” rights to act through the spirit of the First Amendment in order to advocate, or activate the means of publishing their own journals, chronicles, opinions, their dialogues with the goal of further, educating, informing the people, thus conducting their own private audits of such government activities, not being openly discussed in public forums.
Now, there has been some talk within the community of Sioux Falls, that their City Council has limited, or severely restricted the people’s ability to be heard, or to express themselves within their public forum of a public meeting.
However, the People and their Representatives have adopted rules as such, to govern over, and best manage those public meetings, with the goals mentioned in the supreme court case Cox v New Hampshire itself. And within our City Ordinances, we have adopted the following rules:
The People and their Representatives have adopted rules of which we shall hold the timing of such public meetings, which are to be the first three Tuesdays of Each Month, giving to the People the means of speaking on the business of the city; and
The People and their Representatives have adopted rules of engagement of which we shall govern over all public meetings following Robert’s Rules of Order, of which establishes a set of decorum rules, and policies of the meeting; and
The People and their Representatives have adopted a “Schedule” of events of which all such public meetings will follow, which contains a Public Prayer, the Pledge, Review Old Business, Approve of Contracts and Agreements, Holding of Public Hearings, 2nd Readings of Initiatives, 1st Reading of Initiatives, Resolutions, Open Discussion, and Public Commentary giving to the People to Openly Address the Governing Board; and
The People and their Representatives adopted rules of which give to the “Citizens” the right to provide their Opinion, Assessment, Recommendations, Concerns on all 1st and 2nd Readings of Initiatives, Resolutions, giving to the “Citizens” the ability to speak on such each Agenda Items, so long as they only speak on the “topic of hand”; and
The People and their Representatives have adopted rules and codes of which that the “Citizens” may speak on each 1st and 2nd Reading of Initiatives, the Resolutions ‘after’ the Presenter has made such presentation of each “item”; and
The People and their Representatives have adopted rules that the “Citizens” may speak on 1st Readings for 3 minutes, 2nd Readings for 5 Minutes, and on Resolutions for 5 Minutes, and Open Commentary for 3 Minutes; and
The People and their Representatives have adopted rules that the “Citizens” may only speak on Agenda Items during 1st, 2nd, Readings and Resolutions, while on any topic of interest not on the agenda during Open Public Comments; and
The People and their Representatives have adopted rules that the Public Comment Period shall be 30 minutes.
All those Rules’ governing over our Public Meetings have been upheld by the Supreme Court, as lawful, and legal under the Constitution, as ‘we’ the people have the right to adopt our own rules of engagement so long as the right to free speech is not fully restricted beyond Time, Place, and Manner:
First, our Representatives given to themselves the Right to Speak during an Open Discussion Period, allowing the Mayor and City Councilors the right to Openly speak on any such topic which was not heard during the Agenda, giving them the ability to form Opinions, Assessments, Recommendations, let alone File a List of Grievances, let alone Reconsider Previous Council Decisions from Prior Meetings – this period is reserved strictly to the Mayor and City Council themselves. Less, of course any member of the City Council chooses to call upon, and bring forward any member of a Public Office, City Staff, the Business Community, a Property Holder of the City, or any such General Member of the Community.
And Second, The People are then given the opportunity, and the Right to Speak during their Open Commentary Period, allowing for the People themselves to Speak before the Mayor and City Council, the right to openly speak on any such Topic or Concern, letting them provide further, their own Opinions, Assessments, Recommendations, File their Own List of Grievances, with the goal to speak on any such Public Matter they so choose, so long as they do NOT speak on any such topic that was discussed during 1st and 2nd Readings, or Resolutions during the meeting itself. This gives to the People the direct ability to speak openly towards the Public Offices, City Staff, the Business Community, a Property Holder of the City, or any such Member of the Public, within the Community.
Anyone has the Right to Address the Mayor and City Council during their allotted times to speak, so long as they uphold, and understand that their free speech is restricted to Time, Place, and Manner, not to mention any such other Rules of which they Agreed to by Resolution, rules such as no vulgar language, personal threats, personal attacks on any Member of the City Council, let alone any Member of the Community, let alone they Agree to Maintain Decorum.
The matter of “Prior Restraint” has come up, regarding open comments during the meeting, but there is some common agreement that this does not apply to the confines of the meeting, since ‘we’ have already agreed NOT to speak on matters addressed during “Agenda Items” whether prior to, during the meeting, or after the fact.
Power Restraint refers to the issue of prior restraint often occurred when the state sought to prevent a news publication from publishing something, and typically happens in a few ways. It may be a statute or regulation that requires a speaker to acquire a permit or license before speaking. Prior restraint can also be a judicial injunction that prohibits certain speech. There is a third way–discussed below–in which the government outright prohibits a certain type of speech. Courts typically disfavor prior restraint and often find it to be unconstitutional.
Whereas the courts have ruled that “outside” any such public meeting or government building, or office, meaning outside any such confinement, the people may speak on any such topic they so wish; however, within the confines of the public meeting, the court has upheld and maintained the fact, that the laws adopted by the people governing over the meeting, are to be enforced.
During the Public Meetings, anytime a Member of the Community chooses to speak on any such “Agenda Item” they are to speak only on the topic at hand, and during Open Discussion or Commentary Period – ‘we’ have agreed to speak on any such topic, that was not already discussed on the list of “Agenda Items” prior to the Public Commentary Period.
It would be left up to the Mayor and/or City Council of whom were given discretion, the ability to determine the facts, as they relate to the rules (the law) of whether or not the public comments directly or indirectly alluded to or not to an agenda item.
While the Mayor or Council Chair has often stopped a Member of the Public speaking on agenda items during open dialogue, they have NOT chosen to stop the speaker where they are speaking on a totally separate topic, but ‘indirectly’, speak on an agenda topic, meaning, they presumed, that the main points to your comments were NOT directed towards the agenda item, but further towards another topic of interest.
You have the Right to Free Speech anywhere outside the Public Forum, while you are restricted from the Right of Free Speech where we have agreed to restrict ourselves within the confines of the Public Forum.
And in closing, that leads us to the words “Public Forum” is alluded to:
a place that has a long-standing tradition of being used for, is historically associated with, or has been dedicated by government act to the free exercise of the right to speech and public debate and assembly see also limited public forum.
That means, a Public Forum could be your City Hall, Town Hall Chambers, a County Commission Chambers, your State Legislature Chambers, Your Public Court Room, or any such Event Hall used to Conduct a Private or Public Event to held in Spirit to Discuss a Public Matter.
In spirit, even a General Outdoor Assembly, Street Corner, or Sidewalk where the “Petition Group or People General Assembly” have paid for, and have been granted permission to Stand On, Walk, or Congregate together for the Right to Openly Discuss Public Matters of the Community.
By obtaining a License, Permit, or any other Form of Pass, under the General Laws adopted by the People, and their Representatives – You hereby “Agree’ to such rules concerning Time, Place, and Manner.
Under the Public Health, Safety, and Welfare of the Community, the People and their Representatives have the right to adopt a common set of rules in order to govern over both Public and Private Properties, to Protect All Citizens Equally, in order to serve community, to maintain law and order, as it relates to every ones Natural Right to Person, Liberty, Prosperity, and Freedom.