From Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Facebook page (emphasis added):
KGW-TV reports that Wheeler justified his position by saying, “hate speech is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.” But that is not correct (see here for more legal details).
Indeed, the Supreme Court has made clear that the government cannot even impose viewpoint-based demonstration security fees, even when the demonstration has an overt white nationalist message (see Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992)). It is even clearer that the government cannot just deny permits for rallies that it views as associated with racism or hostility to certain religions. (The 7th Circuit’s Nazi Skokie march case is just the most prominent example.)
The ACLU of Oregon, I’m pleased to say, takes the same view as I do:
1. The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period. https://t.co/P9gcNPAumH— ACLU of Oregon (@ACLU_OR) May 29, 2017
The full tweets from the ACLU of Oregon (I’m merging six together here):
1. The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period.2. It may be tempting to shut down speech we disagree with, but…3. once we allow the government to decide what we can say, see, or hear, or who we can gather with4. history shows us that the most marginalized will be disproportionately censored and punished for unpopular speech.5. We are all free to reject and protest ideas we don’t agree with. That is a core, fundamental freedom of the United States.6. If we allow the government to shut down speech for some, we all will pay the price down the line.
(Note that I recently had the pleasure of representing the ACLU of Oregon in an unrelated free speech case.)