Desiree A. Fairooz and two "Code Pink" co-conspirators were recently sent to jail and convicted for "parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds" by dressing to be a visible symbol of dissent at Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing.
It was early in the hearing when Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said that Mr. Sessions’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Ariel Gold, the campaign director of Code Pink, said on Wednesday.
Ms. Fairooz said that, on hearing that, she let out a giggle.
“I just couldn’t hold it,” she said on Wednesday. “It was spontaneous. It was an immediate rejection of what I considered an outright lie or pure ignorance.”
She said when officers came over, she expected to be warned or told to shush and was surprised to be taken into custody...
Ms. Fairooz said the noise was not intended to disrupt the hearing, which had formally been called to order.
“None of us planned to get arrested,” said Ms. Fairooz, who attended the hearing dressed in pink as Lady Liberty and carrying a sign. “We just wanted to be a visible symbol of dissent.”
(The other two had dressed up like Klansmen in a similar expression of dissent against the nominee).
What surprised me most about this story was the codified offense they were convicted of. How do rules against demonstrations come up against the First Amendment to the US constitution?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
I'm guessing there's been a prior case validating the constitutionality of outlawing such forms of expressing grievances against the government. Can someone provide a citation or few and clarify what limits, if any, the First Amendment provides to blocks such laws from taking effect?