In the Elections folder, and in other places around the web, I’m seeing a lot of people claim that protesters at a political rally have every bit as much right to free speech as the person speaking up on stage. I feel pretty sure this is wrong as a legal matter. But IANAL, and trying to determine the answer via Google search seems especially difficult for some reason.
Here is what I assume to be true, but I invite those who have passed the bar to fight my ignorance as needed:
People interested in attending a candidate’s rally get a ticket to a venue the campaign has rented out. It may have something on the back in fine print saying they agree to not be disruptive. Or maybe that’s just implied. In any case, once they start trying to shout down the candidate, they are no longer welcome at this private event, and have become a trespasser and can be arrested and prosecuted as such.
Now, if this were truly the classic “soapbox on a corner” situation, in the “public square”, then sure: I suppose people could go and stand around the soapbox and jeer the speaker so others gathered couldn’t hear. But major political candidates rarely do anything like this. Maybe at a state fair or a parade? Otherwise, they have control over their events, and anyone who becomes unwelcome at any time (unless, presumably, it can be proven to be solely because they belong to a protected class like being a racial minority) can be kicked out and/or arrested for trespassing.
Right? Or not?