The recent Bob Parks brouhaha reminded me of an episode of Law & Order in which assistant district attorney Jack McCoy prosecutes the leader of an all-too-common domestic hate group. When confronted by McCoy about documented controversial speech espoused by the accused, the organization’s leader in his own defense insists he has the right to say what he wants. McCoy quickly replies, that, as an officer of the court, he has an obligation to make him accountable for his words.
In McCoy’s closing, he refers to a former United States judge and judicial philosopher, Billings Learned Hand, who essentially wrote that the First Amendment as originally intended was designed to protect words that persuade, not incite.
That Mr. Parks is held accountable for recent insight into his soul is for someone other than myself to judge. I would, however, hope that he and like-minded citizens would take some time to develop a better understanding of our Constitution and Bill of Rights if they want to serve as elected officials.
Mark Domarotsky, Pasco