Why this constitutionalist is wrong

Guy walks into public library. Starts video recording in violation of library policy. They call the police. He argues with the police, which he’s entitled to do, citing the Constitution and 1st Amendment.

In a situation like this, here’s how our system is supposed to work. The library board has authority to adopt policies for library use. If the policy says no video recording in the library, then that’s the policy, and you either ask the board to change it or challenge its legality in court. Possibly it does violate his federal constitutional rights or a state law, but that’s for the courts to decide. He does not get to adjudicate his own case.

What he’s trying to do is overrule the library policy himself, without going through any kind of administrative or judicial process. Our society is based on freedom, but doesn’t make individuals the supreme arbitrator of society’s rules. Rather, there’s a process for that. He has to follow it.

If the policy is binding until a judge decides otherwise, and he had to either comply with it, leave, or be subject to arrest for trespassing, why did the cops leave? This isn’t explained by the video. My guess is the library staff chose not to pursue it. Unless they lodge a trespassing complaint, there’s nothing the police can do. That, too, is the way things work.

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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    The library rules are not in line with the constitution based on the first amendment and case law. [This comment has been edited.]

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    You don’t get to decide that, either.

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