Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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“Yes I Believe in the First Amendment, but . . .”

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | August 18, 2010

No. 496

Its very interesting to listen to the thinking processes of talk show hosts and callers as they discuss the reasons why, in their view, the proposed “Cordoba Mosque” should not be permitted to be built in the same neighborhood as Ground Zero.  The gist is that jihadist terrorists are laughing at us or having one over on us.  “Yes, I believe in the First Amendment, but …”, they begin.

Its nice to know that nobody is launching a movement to repeal the First Amendment, but it seems to be the case that a large number of Americans want to carve out an exception under THIS circumstance.

Okay, so tell me exactly how you intend to describe this exception to the First Amendment.  Explain why it would be acceptable to build a United Methodist Church or a Christian Science Reading Room there, but not a mosque.

Like most American cities, New York has a zoning ordinance and regulations that existed on the day the application was filed.  If the opponents of the Cordoba Mosque can find something in the existing ordinance and regulations that will prevent the mosque from being constructed, then maybe they might prevail.  But don’t bet on it.


CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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