Nancy Pelosi has recently said that the National Park Service should deny a permit to a group she opposes rather than let them “spew forth their venom.” She says that the Constitution doesn’t allow one to “yell wolf in a crowded theater.” David French has a piece over at NRO that looks at how her misquoting Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., shows her ignorance of constitutional law and our country’s history. (The fire in a crowded theater comment is dicta found in Schenck v. U.S. which is no longer good law. Brandenburg v. Ohio is now the proper standard.)
Mrs. Pelosi has also called for Speaker Ryan to remove statues of Confederates from the Capitol, something she failed to do when she was Speaker of the House. (She did order the statue of Robert E. Lee moved to a less prominent spot and his old spot given to a statue of Rosa Parks.) OTOH, at least she didn’t dedicate any such statues—as her father did when he was Mayor of Baltimore. AFAIK, she’s failed to make any public comments concerning her family’s history related to Confederate monuments.
One more thing … Because it will come up, here’s my opinion on Confederate monuments:
I grew up in the South. One of my great-great-grandfathers served as an officer in the Confederate Army. Another great-great-grandfather was a slaveholder. What both of them did was wrong, and I like to believe that I would have been among the substantial minority of Tennesseans who opposed secession and supported the Union.
The monuments that were built by people with a living memory of the war should probably be left alone as historical artifacts. However, later monuments erected as pushback to the 20th-century civil rights movement should have no such protection. If, for example, Baltimore decides to remove the Lee-Jackson monument Nancy Pelosi’s father dedicated in 1948, I would be inclined to believe that city was making a wise choice.