This isn’t the first time Todd Epp has taken a swipe at the First Amendment

Back in 2001 Todd was willing to defend the Brookings Arts Council as a board member of the SD Arts Council. Joy Crane ultimately got Todd to resign on the board because of the extreme conflict of interest that would have existed defending the BAC against someone he is supposed to be representing, a member of the Arts Council, Crane herself. That, and his blatant disregard for the First Amendment. Joy won her battle, I guess the BAC got a little nervous when they started getting letters from anti-censorship lawyers in New York and the ACLU.

As we insisted in our letter to Ms. Knutzen (jointly signed by NCAC, David Green of the First Amendment Project and Jennifer Ring of the ACLU of the Dakotas), randomly applying the vague and subjective standard of appropriateness to work that clearly constitutes protected speech raises serious constitutional concerns. The viewpoint expressed in “Chastity Belt” might well be unpopular and potentially controversial for Brookings, SD. But it is precisely to protect speech that is controversial or even offensive that the First Amendment exists. And, as the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed: “If there is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” (Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 414, 1989)



1 comment so far ↓

#1 John2 on 02.23.10 at 11:06 am

Mr. Epp made it abundantly clear that he either did not take a First Amendment course or learned nothing from one. Ditto for Turbak-Berry.