Virginia criminal lawyer on Snoop Dogg's satirical video against Trump

Of Snoop Dogg’s First Amendment right to make his clown Trump video, and a crate of broccoli for George HW Bush

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Mar 18, 2017 Of Snoop Dogg’s First Amendment right to make his clown Trump video, and a crate of broccoli for George HW Bush

Back in the pre-YouTube, pre-Internet days of 1990, I pondered sending President George Bush I a crate of broccoli, in opposition to such actions as the drug war overkill (still in effect)

I played the matter through my mind, seeing the broccoli, which Bush detests, never making it past his Secret Service minders. I envisioned a brouhaha starting with two or three Secret Service agents making their way to my closeby law firm around 11:00 a.m. (finding me through Martindale Hubbell listing) — when the highest number of partners and personnel would be present — to try to interview me, of course with my taking the Fifth Amendment. I concluded that if the broccoli was not going to reach its recipient, the subsequent possibly humorless questions to me from some of the law firm’s partners was not worth it.

Instead, my year’s best missive to the Bush I administration was my letter to then-Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, opposing the chief New Orleans federal prosecutor’s subpoena of High Times‘s advertiser records, and proclaiming I had taken out a High Times subscription in protest. As a result of that subscription,  met then NORML national director Don Fiedler through a High Times article, got ideas from Don on redirecting my career to criminal defense, and became a public defender lawyer around a year after taking out that subscription.

And now Snoop Dogg — who can be hilarious paired unexpectedly with Martha Stewart — has released a sobering, satirical video about a clown president looking like Trump whose plan is to deport all “Doggs,” whereby Snoop Dogg’s character responds by aiming a toy pistol at Trump with a “bang” flag emerging. Snoop, who in real life has no love for Trump, was probably perceptive enough to know that the video would set off Trump and get the video plenty of national attention.

Snoop Dogg’s video is First Amendment protected — as First Amendment expert Floyd Abrams agrees — which does not automatically mean that it is in good taste.

Does that mean that the Secret Service will not try to interview Snoop Dogg? No. Does Snoop Dogg have the right to refuse to speak with the Secret Service? Yes. Will Snoop Dogg be sorely mistaken to speak with the Secret Service, particularly without the presence of a lawyer? Yes.

Trump’s cutting tweet against Snoop Dogg’s video — coupling it with his customary practice of claimimg his opponents are declining or failing — will lead countless people to view the video who otherwise would not have. This video has some great elements, including the clown family that includes the infant in clown face, the peanuts-in shell cooked like eggs for breakfast, the Snoop Loops cereal, the donut-eating hair-trigger finger cop, and the loose cannon Trump clown president who never met anyone he feared that he was not ready to deport. I would love to have seen a conclusion to the video that involved no firearms, but as with many things, I will take what works and leave the rest.

Whether or not Trump’s Twitter response to Snoop Dogg’s video was meant to intimidate others against First Amendment-protected protest against him, the public must not let itself be intimidated by any politician against exercising its First Amendment right of protest.

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