Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Good bills, bad bills

Committee endorses funeral picketing bill, sending it on to the full state Senate. Protesting within 300 feet of a funeral will only be permitted on public rights of way, and only if it doesn't interfere with the intended use of a public space, blocking a street or a sidewalk, for instance.

I'm down with this bill because I think funerals are special, and I think that such a distinction can be justified.

I'm not down with another bill in committee which would restrict advertising for certain kinds of businesses within one mile of a public highway. Provided the content of the advertisement is acceptable, there's no reason to single out advertising for one class of businesses. Apparently a judge in Missouri upheld a similar law, and commercial speech is less protected than individual speech, so the law may pass constitutional muster. I don't think it meshes well with the principles of a free market or free speech.

That's how I assign the good and bad. Am I being inconsistent?