Final Case Analysis.pdf - Viridiana Silva Mercado Elizabeth...

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1 Viridiana Silva Mercado Elizabeth Beaumont Natali Levin Schwartz Poli111B 12/6/18 Bible Believers v. Wayne County, MI Case Analysis Today in contemporary times, it is hard to know when you can exercise your freedom of speech without running into problems. Especially when advocating for controversial beliefs, it can be hard to express your beliefs without disturbing the peace. The case Bible Believers v. Wayne County, MI. is an example of an important concern about religion advocacy and the violence it may incite due to exasperate or hostile speech. It raises one of the many questions of whether the Bible Believers free speech and free exercise protected by the 1 st and 14 th Amendment under the equal protection clause, was violated by Wayne County. The holding was yes, it did violate their first amendment as well as other questions that this case arose such as whether or not they had qualified for immunity, which they did not qualify. This preliminary overview and legal analysis of the majority opinion should be considered relatively well- reasoned precedent due to the tests that it was subjected. To the extent that this case remains a binding precedent, its potential significance reassures that everyone’s speech, even if offensive, is protected under the 1st and 14th. In this paper, first, we will focus on the facts and circumstance of that case. We’ll consider the following: Why it lead to violence? What actions were taken to protect the Bible Believers? Why did authorities saw it fit to silence, threaten, and ticket the believers? Then, we will analyze the majority decision and its legal foundations. Next, we will consider the concurrence as well as examine the dissents. For example: Which previous cases were used to reference? Why were there dissents? Finally, we will conclude by noting the
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2 two aspects of the majority opinion that seems potentially problematic even if the ruling was clear and well-reasoned. Starting off with some background information of the case. A festival, called Arab International Festival, promoting Arab heritage, reported a disturbance of peace as hateful and offensive messages towards Muslims incited violent acts towards the Bible Believer in 2011. In 2012, The Bible believer returned once again preaching and angering the Muslims which resulted in assaulting the Bible Believers with "flying debris." This stopped when officers approached the scene but instead of reprimanding the attackers, they asked the Bible Believers to stop using a megaphone. They then were given the option to leave and when that didn't happen, they coerced the Bible Believers out and were ticketed by a large group of WCSO for removing their license plate from their van. The Bible believers initiated a suit in the Eastern District of Michigan for violation of equal protection under the 14 th amendment and freedom of speech and exercise under the 1 st Amendment. The claims were dismissed which then lead to the Bible Believers appealing to the Sixth Court.
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