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Judge Napolitano defends Sheehan's free speech but slights Democrats

Reported by Chrish - February 1, 2006

Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on The Big Story today 2/1/06 and defended Cindy Sheehan's right to wear a tee-shirt with ANY message on it in the House chambers, from which she was roughly led last night before Bush's State of the Union speech.

Host John Gibson introduced the segment by saying that Sheehan was the "guest of somebody or other..." Geez, Gibson, great reporting. That person was a US Congresswoman, Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California. Is she being dissed because she's a woman. or because she's a Democrat?

Napolitano said that as long as Sheehan was silently wearing the tee she was not violating any law and she should not have been removed from "the People's house."

Viewers were told that a Republican Congressman's wife (Mrs. Bill Young, R-FL) was also removed from the floor for wearing a tee-shirt that said "Support our troops". Napolitano called it a "Republican tee-shirt", clearly meaning to insinuate that Democrats don't support the troops. This smear was reiterated in an article at FOXNews.com:

"Sheehan's T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: '2245 Dead. How many more?' ... Young's shirt had just the opposite message: 'Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom.'"

The story being perpetuated by the mass media equating the removals of Beverly Young and Cindy Sheehan is refuted at Bradblog.com. The main differences were that Sheehan was removed by force, cuffed, detained, and eventually arrested. Young, on the other hand, was politely asked to leave, which she did, and was not arrested.

Comment: This is not an isolated incident, though perhaps the most public yet. There's a double standard playing out here where people of the "minority" party are being treated as second-class citizens. This is not the America I grew up in and I truly fear it's only going to get worse. The Huffington Post reports that

Fox News says a new provision slipped into the Patriot Act by Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican, would give the Secret Service virtually unchecked authority to make felony arrests of demonstrators inside a security perimeter at any "special event of national significance,'' even when the star of the show -- like Bush or Cheney -- isn't present. This would apply at any designated ``National Security Special Events,'' even when the president is dead [Ronald Reagan's funeral procession] or not there [the Super Bowl.] What as once ranked as misdemeanor trespassing would be elevated to a federal felony.

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