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Block spam by any means

    In response to the Jan. 20 Perspectives column by Declan McCullagh, "Hail to the...spammer-in-chief?":

    Because we're talking about speech protected by the First Amendment, it's true that these unrepentant pols may have some right to continue flooding our in-boxes. (Though I can imagine some laws regulating candidates' spam that would pass constitutional muster.) At the same time, we have the right to block them by whatever means necessary.

    In case you are not aware of it the Supreme Court looked at a similar issue in 1949, when Trenton, N.J., banned sound trucks from residential streets (Kovacs v. Cooper). The court stated:

    "The preferred position of freedom of speech in a society that cherishes liberty for all does not require legislators to be insensible to claims by citizens to comfort and convenience. To enforce freedom of speech in disregard of the rights of others would be harsh and arbitrary in itself. That more people may be more easily and cheaply reached by sound trucks, perhaps borrowed without cost from some zealous supporter, is not enough to...call forth constitutional protection for what those charged with public welfare reasonably think is a nuisance when easy means of publicity are open."

    John Vanderlippe
    Nashville, Ind.