You Cannot Shout Wolf in a Crowded Theater, Says Noted Constitutional Scholar
The former (and aspiring applicant to regain the title) Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, granted an interview to a local public television station and discussed the upcoming alleged “alt-right” demonstration, the Patriot Prayer.
She repeated her demand that the National Park Service deny a permit to the groups behind the Patriot Prayer demonstration.
The interviewer pressed Pelosi and asked her to clarify why she would deny granting the permit to those wanting to protest, who she has termed “Nazis” or national socialists before, if she was a National Parks Service employee.
Nancy Pelosi responds with: “You can’t shout wolf in a crowded Theater.”
Watch the video:
She is completely wrong here on multiple levels. And this is not the first time she’s made an embarrassingly stupid statement like this.
1st, the National Parks Service can’t deny people’s right to protest because they might have icky speech. Even if it is the dreaded “hate speech” that the left uses to silence debate against anyone they disagree with politically. The Supreme Court recently handed down an opinion, that was near unanimous, which reaffirmed the rights of the American citizen under the first amendment to the Constitution.
The first amendment grants citizens the right to peaceably assemble, protest, and the right to freedom of speech, amongst other things. It does not protect us from politically incorrect speech, or hate speech, and any law that attempts to make it so is unconstitutional.
Secondly, the phrase that Nancy Pelosi is referring to is from a 1919 Supreme Court opinion, in the case Schenck v. United Stateson, where they clarified the limitations of free speech.
The phrase paraphrases Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. who’s opinion stated that speech creating a clear and present danger to the public could be restricted. A person yelling FIRE in a crowded theater would not be free speech in this instance. A person yelling WOLF would look like an idiot, much like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (who is likely suffering from mental health issues) did in this interview.