Monday, January 25, 2010

Get this amendment process started!

Eugene Volokh finds a gem in Rhode Island district court:
... plaintiffs proclaim that “[s]tudents should have the right to congregate and socialize whether for political or social reasons.” (Pls.' Resp. Mem. 16.) In fact, nothing in the record suggests that the gatherings serve anything other than “social purposes,” an objective that falls flat. Anyone who has college-aged children knows that “hanging out” is an important, even vital social experience. But just as the Constitution does not “recognize[ ] a generalized right of ‘social association’ “ of the type that includes “chance encounters in dance halls,” City of Dallas v. Stanglin, 490 U.S. 19, 25 (1989), it does not protect college house parties, no matter how many problems of the world may be solved at them. Under Stanglin, Plaintiffs cannot claim constitutional protection for get-togethers that do not serve political or expressive ends.FN4

FN4. In other words, while the Beastie Boys might disagree, the First Amendment does not imply a “right to party” dissociated from expression.
"Dude! Keep looking! I know it's in the amendments somewhere!"

... Not the first mention of the Beastie Boys in American jurisprudence, but the first quasi-citation to their work, that I can find.

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