Sheehan Respectfully Gets Herself Arrested Again (UPDATED: Police Apologize for Arrest)
On his radio show tonight, Hugh Hewitt was talking about the fact that a Democrat Congresswoman from Northern California had given a pass to Cindy Sheehan to hear the State of the Union speech. He said that, despite her promises to be respectful, the White House needed to be prepared in case she decided to try to disrupt the speech.
They needn’t have worried. She got herself arrested for unfurling a banner in the gallery. [But see UPDATES below!]
UPDATE: Nope, it was for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan:
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush’s State of the Union address.
“She was asked to cover it up. She did not,” said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman, adding that Sheehan was arrested for unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, Schneider said.
Schneider said shortly after the State of the Union speech that Sheehan was still being held but should be “out sometime tonight.”
An early report from a senior House official indicated that Sheehan was arrested for unfurling an anti-war banner, but that was later found not to be the case. Schneider said she didn’t know what Sheehan’s T-shirt said.
I am looking forward to hearing more about this. Is the law under which she was arrested content-neutral? Are there First Amendment implications here? If the T-shirt said: “Bush rocks!” would she have been arrested?
UPDATE x2: This woman was ejected for wearing a T-shirt that supported the troops. Apparently the enforcement of the law is not content-based. That’s reassuring. (Link via Drudge via commenter Shoes.)
UPDATE x3 2-1-06: Police have dropped the charges against Sheehan and apologized.