Anti-Obama Tailgate Message, Over the Limit? Part II

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Each of these amendments has served a purpose over the course of history. When it comes to politics and the direction of the U.S. Government, Americans are finding new ways to be heard. For example, take retired Air Force veteran, Kris Lauritzen. He took the First Amendment by the wheel.

"I spent 26 years in the military and I swore to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” said Lauritzen, Retired USAF. I'm not a political person, I don’t know what did it, but I know there isn't a bumper sticker out there that can express my feelings.”

Instead, Lauritzen spelled out his feelings with words some people may find offensive. But those who focus on the implied language Lauritzen uses may be missing the point.

“The message he is trying to convey is that he is frustrated with the current state of events and that things need to change,” said wife, Carmen.

Former politician and former president of Florida State University, Sandy D'Alemberte said political speech is at the heart of the first amendment. “It may not be a very tasteful thing to say or do and it may offend a number of people, but because speech is offensive… is not a basis for restricting it so long as it’s serving an important public purpose; free debate, free discussion is considered to be the highest level for protection.”

“I know my rights I know what’s freedom of speech,” said Lauritzen. “I know I'm not inciting anything, or threatening anything. You know people have bumper stickers, you know mine is just over the top, and if you find it offensive...I don’t care”

While it may be over the top, is it over the limit?

“There is Supreme Court authority that deals with the word suggested in that bumper sticker,” said D'Alemberte. “And even if the whole word had been spelled out, there would still be protection because this is political speech.”

And that freedom, even when it may be offensive to some, many people say, is at the core of America's democracy.

“It’s kind of one of those foundational principles that is at the heart of our democracy,” said Paul R. McAdoo, Attorney for Thomas & LoCicero in Tampa. “Our form of government is to allow people to speak out, voice their opinion, voice their positions and as one Supreme Court justice called it, it’s the market place of ideas, the more speech the better, and let the marketplace decide which opinion will prevail.”

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