Arizona: Substance, not form, at heart of petition rights

Tue, May 21 2013 — Source: East Valley Tribune

When our nation’s founders wrote the language in the First Amendment guaranteeing the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances,” there were no words describing the form of that petition.

Obviously the intent was to make sure the content of your complaints to your government would never land you in jail or to suffer some other harm.

Now, of course, common sense would say that for your petition to have any effect, your words would have to be legible and understandable to a reasonable person. Skywriting or putting a couple of thousand words on a thimble head might impede that legibility or understandability, for example.