Saturday, January 12, 2013

No ban on solicitation for "expressive art."

Below is a segment of my report on the last  Metro Council meeting and what happened with the Metro Solicitation bill. 

SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2012-283 is the new Metro Solicitation bill that would impose new regulations on commercial door-to-door solicitors. It  passed unanimously on second reading so thought would sail on through third reading. However, it does not. Not saying what the problem with the bill is, it is stated that there are "possible constitutional ramifications" with the bill. The sponsor tries to suspend the rules so the bill can be amended on third reading to address the issue, but there are objections to the rule suspension, so the bill cannot be amended. The sponsor successfully moves to rescind the passage on second reading and move the bill back to second reading. (To see this action go to 27:54)
Now we know what the problem is with the bill. The Metro Department of law determined that to withstand a First Amendment challenge the bill must provide an exemption for "expressive art."  Read the Tennessean report at this link.

Interesting. Who is to say that aluminum siding is not an expressive art? I don't see the logic of being able to ban solicitation of people selling roofing but not being able to ban people selling symphony tickets. 

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