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State’s unjust prosecution

By Paul Greenberg Published: January 7, 2009
If convicted, they would face 10 years in prison for the heinous crime of taking part in American politics. This indictment should be quashed; it should never have been filed in the first place. As the 10th Circuit now has indicated.

But no right is safe unless citizens are willing to exercise and defend it. For there will always be Drew Edmondsons around to challenge rights they don’t care for, and not even the Constitution of the United States, for all its virtues, is self-enforcing.

Only citizens willing to fight for their rights, like Jacob, and courts that respect those rights, like the 10th Circuit, can keep the spirit of the Constitution alive.

The bad news is that Edmondson may pursue his prosecution/persecution of Jacob even after this ruling. His official spokesman says Oklahoma’s attorney general will appeal the 10th Circuit’s decision. But now he’ll have the First Amendment to contend with.

Jacob, who once again has stood up for the rights of all Americans, deserves congratulations. Also, thanks and respect. Edmondson, a bully with considerable power, a high state office and more ambition than respect for the rights of others, deserves something else. The word is he’s planning to run for governor in Oklahoma. Which means the best rebuke for his misdirected zeal may yet be delivered by its voters.

The threats to the First Amendment are many. It may be in the nature of man to seek to suppress opinion we do not approve of; it’s so much more direct then answering it and trusting public opinion to decide the issue. The best way to assure freedom of expression, no matter where it may be threatened, would be to have an army of utterly determined Paul Jacobs fighting for it.



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