here. Rappaport is a leading scholar of late 1700s constitutional thinking -- much more expert in the field than I am.
Not saying cartoons directed at govt affairs or officials could be criminalized since these can be just as powerful as the written word.
If they (cartoons) are of publication directed at government affairs they would be protected.
The basic problem with symbolic speech (better to call it "expressive conduct") is that it simply cannot have the same full-throated protection that actual speech enjoys.
This isn't meant as an attack on formalism per se, but these categories (expressive conduct, symbolic speech, etc)seem a bit formalistic. This may be a little too simplistic of an approach, but what about just "reading between the lines" to determine whether what is being suppressed or infringed is really someones speech/idea/opinion - cut to the heart of the matter.
Reading between the lines has its own problems. There is no reason not to treat pointing at something as just like speaking or writing, regardless of the motive behind the act. But suppose expression takes the form of throwing a brick, and it is proved that the brick was thrown to express an opinion. Should that determination mean that the act should be protected, regardless of the consequences of the throw? I think not.
If the brick were merely symbolic, and thus incapable of injuring someone or destroying things, and if it were not thrown at someone with any attempt to assault, then I would think that there would no grounds for prosecution.
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