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Not free speech issue

Our right to free speech is acknowledged by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which begins, “Congress shall make no law …” It is therefore not a free-speech issue when the boards of farmers’ markets choose to exclude those who wish to express their opinions from booths.

One may find it repugnant when an organization changes its mind in such a matter, but it limits free speech no more than if a theater owner elects to not allow his theater to be used in this way. Congress has not prohibited those wishing to express their opinions from starting their own markets (or theaters) at which they may make their statements any way they see fit.

I find that calling the recent decision of the board of the Nevada County Certified Growers Market Inc. an attack on the right to free speech to itself be an attack on free speech. Our rights are sacred, and I believe that watering them down in this way serves only to continue their erosion.



Finally, I commend Nevada County Fairgrounds CEO Ed Scofield for declaring that he “won’t touch this.” His response was, in my opinion, perfectly appropriate for a person in his position.

Michael Kesti




Nevada City


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