First Amendment Rights

We are in California now, visiting my father and Chris. Unlike in past years, everything is green around here. All those atmospheric rivers that had descended upon this state, earlier this year, have had a telling effect. The first part of our journey west involved a couple of flights west. We started ungodly early but landed here at noon. While still in Saint Louis, headed towards security, we came upon this little oddity, tucked away in a quiet part of the airport. I had never noticed this place, even though it has been at the airport for as long as I have flown to and fro from Saint Louis. Back in the eighties, the Hara Krishna had fought and won in court the ability to be able to solicit donations at Lambert. Part of their arguments involved freedom off religion and part of them were based in free speech rights. All they wanted was to be able to ask people for money at the airport. The city fought them though and it went to the Supreme Court before the Hara Krishna won. Their victory was somewhat pyrrhic though, because before the court case they could stand at the airport’s main entrance and accost everyone. After their Supreme Court victory, they were sequestered to three similar booths, all placed in out of the way locations around the airport, where only a few people would ever see or hear them speak. Talk about winning the battle but losing the war. That is Saint Louis. Also, bring your own chairs.

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