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Brevard County Commission: Theater, Circus, Or Both?

You can’t make this up.

You really can’t. No one would believe you.

[Brevard County] Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a ceremonial resolution, sponsored by District 5 Commissioner Kristine Isnardi, that affirms that they are committed to “uphold and adhere to the principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Right off the top, why is Isnardi seeking to pass a resolution, which by definition has no legal weight of the law behind it, saying “we want to protect the Constitution” when in fact upon taking the office of Commissioner, she and the other Commissioners take an oath to follow the laws of the State of Florida, the Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution?

Why the need for the resolution?

Isn’t the oath of Commissioners good enough?

We guess not and that is both sad and troubling.

Isnardi said “[not following the Constitution] would not likely happen with this commission, of course, but may occur with future commissions.”

She contends that she has “no doubt” that “if certain lawmakers had their way, they would rewrite the whole” Constitution.

“By approving this resolution and allowing the Constitution to stand on its own in its entirety, the commission is acknowledging the Constitution is the sole most important document in our country,” Isnardi said.

[….]

Isnardi told the other commissioners that she [is] not worried “about you guys following the laws of the Constitution,” but indicated that the framed resolutions would be a good reminder for future commissioners.

Talk about a lack of self-awareness.

We have severe concerns with this Commission following the Constitution.

After all, it was this Commission that put forth “rules” for meetings that limited the viewpoint of what people could say.

That’s a direct violation of the Constitution specifically the First Amendment.

The Commission doesn’t allow “negative” comments about people, while at the same time allowing “positive” comments. In other words, the Commission allows statements and even passes resolutions that praise a person, but woe be to citizen that disagrees what that. Woe be to the citizen that says a person is horrible, or ineffective, or a louse.

They will be silenced and if the speaker refuses to be silenced, removed from the meeting by officers from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

In a rather recent Supreme Court decision (Matel v. Tam), the Court stated again:

We have said time and again that “the public expression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers.” Street v. New York, 394 U. S. 576, 592 (1969). See also Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 414 (1989) (“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable”); Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U. S. 46, 55–56 (1988); Coates v. Cincinnati, 402 U.S. 611, 615 (1971); Bachellar v. Maryland, 397 U.S. 564, 567 (1970); Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U. S. 503, 509–514 (1969); Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U. S. 536, 551 (1965); Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U. S. 229, 237–238 (1963); Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U. S. 1, 4–5 (1949); Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U. S. 296, 311 (1940); Schneider v. State (Town of Irvington), 308 U. S. 147, 161 (1939); DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 365 (1937).

Yet the Brevard County Commission does just that. It prohibits people from making some negative comments because they, the Commissioners, are offended by them.

We can’t decide whether this was political theater of some sort, a continuation of the “circus” Isnardi claimed when a Constitution official disagreed with the Commission, or perhaps both.

After all, what elected official is going to vote against a resolution in support of the Constitution?

Pure political theater.

There’s an old saying that “actions speak louder than words.”

While Isnardi and the other Commissioners pay lip service to the Constitution, we’d prefer their actions support the Constitution and the rights of the people.

Isnardi says she is going to pay for the resolution to be framed so each Commissioner’s office could have one. She is paying out of her own pocket for the framing at $22.56 each.

While we appreciate the gesture that taxpayers aren’t going to pay for this theater, we would have preferred that Isnardi bought copies of the Constitution itself to hand out.

At a buck a piece (with volume discounts available) the National Center for Constitutional Studies offers a pocket sized printing of the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. With first class postal shipping, the total is $12.00 or a savings of 48% for just one of the Isnardi framed resolutions.

One hundred of the booklets is a mere $40 and that includes shipping!

(For the money Isnardi is paying, she could get 282 of the booklets delivered and be able to hand them out and keep a set on the dais.)

Bottom line is we would rather have Commissioners and government that actually adheres to the Constitution than pays mere lip service to it.



5 Responses to “Brevard County Commission: Theater, Circus, Or Both?”

  1. Carla says:

    Good points! Isnardi’s resolution is totally unnecessary. Like you said, they should adhere to the oath they took rather than pretend that this resolution will change anything.

    • Carla says:

      I just read the article about this in the Florida Today. Commissioner Isnardi got Sheriff Ivey to come in for the circus, along with his bloodhound/mascot, Junny. Sounds like the only reason Junny was there was the same reason Ivey was there – for public relations. After all, Isnardi and Ivey are both up for reelection. Isnardi had invited Ivey to “accept the resolution and make a few remarks.” I think his remarks were a campaign speech. Nice getting the free air time! Wonder if he had a 3-minute limit!

      • AAfterwit says:

        Carla,

        Yeah, this is one of those things where the collusion and quid pro quo is obvious.

        It’s theater.

        The thing that has always struck us was that Ivey makes a big deal out of arresting a people that are charged with cruelty to animals and always make sure that he is in the picture as the accused make the “perp walk.”

        When Isnardi’s husband David Isnardi was arrested as part of the largest charges of corruption in the County that People can remember, Ivey was nowhere to be found.

        Please understand that while we think that animal abusers are scum, the arrest of Isnardi was on that same level.

        Yet Ivey didn’t appear in the picture, the BCSO statements, or anything.

        Wonder why?

        AAfterwit.

  2. Thomas Gaume says:

    Someday they may actually require you to submit what you plan to present before you actually say anything so that they can screen it in order to make sure you’re not going to be “profane or offend anyone”.

    Oh wait, they already do that.

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