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Rally Organizer Kessler Sues City Of Charlottesville

Jason Kessler has long contended that his rally was stopped by a "heckler's veto." (Photo:Hawes Spencer)
Jason Kessler has long contended that his rally was stopped by a "heckler's veto." (Photo: Hawes Spencer)

Before one woman died and 35 were injured in a car attack by a neo-Nazi, the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville two summers ago was called off by police. Now, that action is the centerpiece of a lawsuit by the rally's lead organizer. Hawes Spencer has this report on the suit's free speech claims.


Hawes Spencer:  By holding a rally for white nationalists, many spewing racist taunts, Jason Kessler may not be popular, but that bolsters his case, says legal analyst Scott Goodman:

Scott Goodman:  It is very easy to protect popular speech. Anyone can do that. What's unique about America is that even unpopular speech has the right to go forward.

Spencer:  Goodman says that Kessler's suit raises important questions under the First Amendment.

Goodman:  It is something that many people in Charlottesville apparently still don't understand, and that is that you don't have the right to shut down somebody else's speech.

Spencer:  Goodman says the claim may be complicated by the fact that several of Kessler's fellow ralliers engaged in acts of violence.

In Charlottesville, Hawes Spencer for VPM News.

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