Nancy Pelosi: Constitution doesn’t let people yell ‘wolf’ in crowded theater — Video

During an interview on San Francisco TV station KRON, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed confused about what speech the Constitution actually allows, claiming that one is not allowed to yell “wolf” in a crowded theater.

“How could the Park Service justify denying that organization their free speech rights?” the interviewer asked.

“The Constitution does not say that a person can shout…yell ‘wolf’ in a crowded theater. If you are endangering people, then you don’t have a constitutional right to do that,” Pelosi said.

“The analogy, of course, is yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” Kyle Olson said at the American Mirror.

Here’s video of her comment:

Of course, Pelosi is wrong, as a post at Townhall explains:

While yelling “wolf” in a crowded theater would be pretty strange and I’m not entirely sure when it’d even be a thing someone would do (unless the theater is located in the middle of the woods, maybe?), it’s definitely protected by the Constitution. If there actually were a wolf in a theater, it would be 100 percent legal to let people know about said wolf, just as it’s 100 percent legal to yell “fire” in a crowded theater if there’s actually a fire.

Of course, the things she was going for was either “the boy who cried wolf” (which is a person who fakes a claim for so long that people don’t actually believe him when it happens–not at all dissimilar to how the Democrats smeared Mitt Romney as the worst person in the world when he was the nominee.) or “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” The decision in Schenck v. United States found that a person could do “dangerous speech” if it’s actually true. Further, in this scenario–where the parks service denied people free speech for a rally–the “fire in a crowded theater” example doesn’t actually apply unless the people were literally advocating violence.

The Daily Caller said that Pelosi probably intended to paraphrase an opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in the landmark free speech case, Schenck v. United States (1919). 

“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic,” Holmes wrote.

The key word here, of course, is “falsely.”

The Daily Caller added:

Pelosi offered up the mixed metaphor after being asked about a request she made with the National Park Service to deny a permit to Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group that has plans to hold a rally at San Francisco’s Crissy Field this weekend.

The National Park Service initially withheld the permit until Patriot Prayer’s organizers agreed to certain conditions aimed at limiting the risk of violence at the event.

As we reported earlier, Antifa showed up and wreaked all kinds of havoc.  Meanwhile, police stood down and let the violence take place.

We can’t help but wonder: Does Pelosi support that level of violence?

“Wolves generally are not known to be threats to movie theaters,” Olson added.  But it’s clear Pelosi is a danger to the Constitution…


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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