Skip to comments.The First Amendment is DEAD
Posted on 06/24/2010 2:26:56 PM PDT by Neil E. Wright
I’m dead serious about this. No hyperbole. The First Amendment is truly dead. It has been on its last leg for many decades now, but it’s officially dead today. RIP 1A, 1791-2010.
[Update: And if you think I'm being ridiculous and dramatic, read about today's ruling.]
[Update: More bayonetting.]
I’m not talking about what was discussed here on The Cliffs. The regulation of broadband is a big deal, but not the final blow. I’m not talking about the DISCLOSE Act, which is going to be up for vote again in the next 1-3 days. I’m not talking about the ‘Cyber Security’ bill, which would allow the White House to shut down any web site deemed a danger.
These are all horrible things, but here’s the enabler for it all:
On Monday, the appeals court reversed the lower court’s ruling and said there’s no problem with the First Amendment because copyright law “addresses a substantial or important governmental interest.” This is, plainly speaking, ridiculous. The argument effectively says that the government can violate the basic principles of the First Amendment any time it wants, so long as it shows a “substantial or important government interest.” But that makes no sense. The whole point of the First Amendment was to protect citizens’ interests against situations where the government’s interests went against citizens’ interests. It should never make sense to judge a First Amendment claim on whether the government has “substantial or important” interests.
On top of that, the court basically said “Congress knows best” on this issue. Again, this seems to go against the entire point of the First Amendment and the important judicial protections of the First Amendment. The whole point of court oversight of Congress is because Congress doesn’t always know best. But here, the court has no problem deferring entirely to Congress:
“This deferential standard is warranted for two important reasons. First, Congress is “far better equipped” as an institution “to amass and evaluate the vast amounts of data bearing upon the legislative questions.” … Second, we owe Congress “an additional measure of deference out of respect for its authority to exercise the legislative power.”"
“Congress shall make no law…” has been replaced with “Congress can make any damn law it wants.”
All they have to do is say that they really really really really need to curb free speech because they think it’s important. Previous requirements that a law curbing speech be narrowly tailored to fit the substantial government interest are now gone. They can do whatever they want whenever they want.
Even if this goes to SCOTUS, it’ll take years. And then the other measures for cybersecurity, broadband regulation, and DISCLOSE will also have to be challenged, which will take years. Meanwhile, the information that the public was supposed to receive is stifled.
A lot of other things can happen in a couple of years.
Don’t be surprised when this site and others like it disappear within the next few months. When it goes down, it will not be coming back. I don’t have the money to fight them in court, and it’s doubtful the other bloggers in this corner of the ‘sphere do either.
Just like the NRA, big media and their lawyers will complain until the law is modified to exclude them, but little people like us will be left in the dark.
My message to them is this:
See you at San Jacinto, worthless bastards.
Interesting that this should happen while everybody is distracted with McChrystal. I’ve already written that the first amendment is dead. But just to be sure, they have bayonetted the body of the First Amendment. No need to check her pulse, they just verified her death for us. She is indeed dead.
Go and read this.
Originally brought in 1998, the case challenges the constitutionality of laws that make it a crime to provide material support to groups the administration has designated as terrorist. CCRs clients sought to engage in speech advocating only nonviolent, lawful ends, but the government took the position that any such speech, including even filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, would be a crime if done in support of a designated terrorist group.
Under censorship, no other rights, including the right to be free from censorship, can be advocated, discussed, or queried. It is incorrect to say that after censorship comes utter subjugation. Censorship is utter subjugation. There is no greater usurpation of liberty while remaining alive. After censorship come the death camps, and they are not a prerequisite of censorship, they are merely a symptom of it. Censorship qua censorship is sufficient in itself to justify open rebellion against any government that legislates, enforces, or upholds it.
However, that is not the half of it. Censorship is alone in being the only violation of individual rights that does not require actual enforcement or challenges in court, before rebellion is justified. When the government forbids you to speak or write, or use your own or a supporters property to address willing listeners or readers, that government has openly and forcibly declared that the art of peaceful persuasion is dead and will not be tolerated. Upon that very instant, all peaceful avenues of redress have been closed and the only possible method of regaining that liberty is force. Whenever we give up that force, we are not only ruined, we deserve to be ruined. [emphasis added]
We just saw the court of last resort rule against freedom of speech. The administration is now empowered to designate any group a terrorist group and any speech advocating for that group is a crime. You can’t challenge it in court, for the highest court has already ruled against you. And if anybody tries to defend you or argue on your behalf, they are likewise screwed without benefit of lubricant.
All peaceful avenues for attempting to secure a redress of grievance have been exhausted. Freedom of speech is dead, folks. The dead state of that right was cemented and set in stone today.
The soap box, ballot box and jury box are all utterly impotent at this point. Better make sure you have enough of the fourth type of box on hand for what comes next.
[Update: Further Bayonetting.]
★ FREEDOM! ★
★ FREEDOM! ★
Coolest looking Mini-14 I’ve ever seen. . .
I’ll repeat this as often as I can:
Overreaction to a very limited ruling, reguarding interactions between US Citizens and foreign entities which are on a published list of terrorist organizations. Last time I checked, the First Amendment doesn’t take national diplomacy and put it in the hands of citizens.
It'll be over when people believe they've lost. They haven't.
And the DISCLOSE Act is up for a vote today. Don’t bother to call your congress critter, they don’t give a damn. They consider organizations like the NRA safe, but more ‘radical’ groups have to disclose who their benefactors are. And don’t think they won’t target the benefactors.
Actions speak louder than words, and these actions tell us they will no longer tolerate our words.
This will not be resolved through the soap box, ballot box or jury box. And this was their decision.
Just wanted to add one more piece of proof before our new strategy is revealed. When history looks back on us I don’t want there to be any whining about how we were too bold or had no justification for our actions.
Jennifer III Oh, and the House has passed the DISCLOSE Act. Tell me again it is an "overreaction"????
★ FREEDOM! ★
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Just in case power goes down, I can still talk to folks.
Also, for hurricane supplies, I recently purchased 18 solar lights like people put in their yard. Wife thought I was crazy until I charged 5 and put them in the living room at night.. she was like... Wow!!!!! :-)
Those kerosene lamps put out a lot of heat,, in an already hot house.
Sorry, I fail to see where the First Amendment’s body is lying. This is a case of giving full faith and credit to a work covered by a foreign copyright of another signatory country. To the extent the work has been treated as in the public domain in the second country, there is notice and a 12-month grace period.
The case revolves around commercial and educational businesses who want to make money using copyrighted works which have been treated as being in the public domain here but are under copyright elsewhere. I don’t see where the First Amendment is really that involved, even though I know these parties raised the issue. The United States grants and enforces copyrights and I think the issue of copyrights versus the First Amendment has been pretty well settled here. And since the First Amendment language is not actually central to the decision, I think any reasoning here would be treated as dicta by subsequent courts.
I am concerned about the First Amendment but I don’t see this case as much of a threat, let alone the cause of death.
It appears the author is announcing the death of the 1st amendment because a court has decided that the President has the right to sign, and the congress to approve, a treaty that takes some copyrighted material for which the copyright had expired, and retroactively extend the copyright.
But copyright is rarely about your right to say what you want, which is what the 1st amendment is about. It is about whether you can steal someone else’s works and use them as your own.
Unless you believe that copyright itself is the death of the 1st amendment, being able to drag small parts of previously copyrighted material back into copyright to satisfy foreign trade agreements hardly seems like the thing that will destroy our rights.
I fear the our conservative principles are being confused with the communistic idea that everybody owns everybody else’s stuff.
The ruling about petitions was not irrational. Petitions to put something on the ballot are public records, collected by the state. In Washington State, their sunshine laws require that all public documents be available for review. The court ruled that in most cases, publicly signed petitions for ballot initiatives are part of that public record.
On the other hand, they did actually carve out a “disproportionate harm” exception, without deciding if it applied in this case.
This is not the same as disclosing how someone voted on a ballot question. I believe that the signators of ballot access petitions for candidates are also public record, so people could find out what candidates you were willing to sign a request to get on the ballot for.
This is also different than the California question of whether organizations should be required to reveal the names of anonymous donors who are working to support or oppose an elective question.
I’m not entirely sure whether you’re objecting to the Copyright ruling, or the speech in favor of terrorist organizations ruling ... but I don’t find either particularly threatening to the first amendment.
— “Free speech” does not give people the right to steal the intellectual property of others any more than the right to bear arms gives me the right to keep and bear YOUR gun. Theft is theft, intellectual property is property.
— “Free speech” also does not grant the right to give aid and comfort to recognized foreign terrorist organizations. I’ve seen no indication that BO intends on labeling mainstream conservatism “terrorism”, or that the administration intends to target reasonable American citizens for prosecution under this law. The likelihood is that it will be used for Stateside spokespeople for Hamas, AQ, etc ... or as a reason to hold/charge people who are suspected of actual terrorist activity without discolsing intelligence about actual attacks.
We are at war. We should use the tools at our disposal to win it.
It's a petition.. Why on earth would you imagine it would be a private thing? Isn't the entire intention of a petition to sign your name to an issue?
And the DISCLOSE Act is up for a vote today. Dont bother to call your congress critter, they dont give a damn.
Federal elections laws for federal elections. It doesn't actually release any information that isn't supposed to be publicly available, and the courts will strike down the silly requirement of forcing company presidents to appear in commercials. I say this in general, as I think the exemptions given to certain organizations means that this law is not equal, and sets certain groups above others, will turn out to be the Achilles heel that kills this bill.
Feds move to control Twitter.
A agreement was reached between Twitter and the FTC, both sides agreed to certain rules, and such agreements could be dissolved at any time. The FTC's only recourse if Twitter decides this is utter foolishness is to take Twitter to court. Hardly 'control' of Twitter.
Of course, the FTC action is completely unrelated to the other commented stories, no idea why it'd be in there.
Oh, and I see you totally chose to again ignore the context and limitations of the ruling which you're claiming is killing free speech.
What was taken from the public domain and made private again? Since this case is a copyright vs free speech issue is not the ruling that congress gets to decide in such cases limited by this context?
Second, regarding the DISCLOSE Act, it REQUIRES that any organization or person who supports or opposes a bill or candidate MUST disclose its or his/her list of those donors who contributed to the cause (well, except for the dim supporters, they get a pass). In the case of an organization, like GOA, SAF, JFPO, 2A Sisters, etc, etc, all the members who join and/or make contributions must be disclosed to the Feds.
In other words, the dims are trying to stifle free speech and the 1st Amendment by heaping onerous restrictions and disclosure requirements for any organization (that they [dim pols] disagree with). That is not "killing" the 1st Amendment?
Seems to me that "Congress shall make NO LAW ..... " is pretty clear and straight forward.
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