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Opening Arguments

Quiet on the bus

Transpo, the South Bend public bus line, didn't have a policy about what ads it wouldn't take, except that it would deny space for ads deemed "controversial," which was thought to be constitutionally challengeable on grounds of vagueness. So it felt compelled to let atheists put up a bunch of ads, which upset everybody.  So now it has a new advertising policy:

Reportedly, they will deny ad space for the promotion of "cigarettes, churches, politicians, guns or porn."

Well, you certainly can't say that's not specific. Some people might object to politicians and churches being lumped in with cigarettes, guns and porn, but, hey, you can't be too careful if you want to avoid controversy. But what happens if somebody like PETA wants to put one of its very graphic posters, which don't have anything to do with cigarettes, churches, politicians, guns or porn? What if somebody wants to put up a poster promoting the use of medical marijuana? What about animals' right to use marijuana, huh? Well, you can see the problem with being too specific.