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Justice Breyer Clarifies Earlier Remarks, Koran-Burning Is Constitutionally Protected After All
The Volokh Conspiracy ^
| Eugene Volokh
Posted on 09/17/2010 11:34:13 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Josh Gerstein (Politico) has transcripts of Breyers Good Morning America remarks, which seemed to suggest that Koran-burning might be constitutionally unprotected, but also his more recent Larry King Live remarks, which pretty strongly suggest that Koran-burning is indeed constitutionally protected.
To recap, the earlier remarks were ambiguous. Stephanopoulos asked whether globalization and the Internet, and the greater risk that expression in the U.S. may lead to killings overseas, should change the nature .. of what we can allow and protect. Breyer responded: Well in a sense, yes. In a sense, no.... [Y]ou can say, with the internet, you can say this. Holmes said, it doesnt mean you can shout fire in a crowded theater. Well what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is being trampled to death? ... Well perhaps that will be answered by, if its answered by our court. It will be answered over time, in a series of cases, which force people to think carefully. Thats the virtue of cases. That might mean that hes suggesting Koran-burning might be unprotected (in a sense, yes, the Internet should change what we protect, and that remains to be answered over time, in a series of cases). Or these might be, as Ann Althouse thought, just the usual platitudes about how judges interpret law and decide cases in the context of ever-changing real world facts and lets have a fine day in the classroom cogitating about the elaborateness of all that.
In any case, the new remarks seem to pretty strongly come out in favor of the constitutional protection of Koran-burning:
CNNs Larry King: Theres no doubt that Pastor Jones, little church in Florida, had the right, he has the right to burn the Quran, doesnt he?
Breyer: Yeah, I said it depends on what analogy you use, but the most one analogous case is that there was you have the right to burn an American flag as a symbol....
King: ... Does [the flagburning decision] make us a great country?
Breyer: It helps. It helps.... [W]hat were saying is we protect expression that we hate. And protecting expression that we hate is not the only good thing in the world, but it is one good thing in the world. And when you have a country of 300 million different people who think different things, it is helpful. It is helpful to tell everyone, you can think what you want.
King: Hard for other people to comprehend why Nazis can march
Breyer: There they are. You know, its so often I hear people say and particularly this is a college students, sir. Well, thats just so terrible what hes saying. I say, oh, you think that free speech is only for people who dont say things that are terrible....
Im glad to hear Justice Breyer say that.
TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: justicebreyer; koranbruning; stephenbreyer
I daresay I’m relieved that a member of our Guardian Council has clarified his position.
It just goes to show that the more radical they are, the more cowardly and easily swayed by public outrage.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:37:51 AM PDT
Card laid is a card played. You, sir—have identified yourself as a traitor.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:39:00 AM PDT
We have some in here who think the Quran should be protected so we do not hurt our enemies feelings.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:39:35 AM PDT
(Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
A quick about face by a justice who apparently realized he looks really stupid when even people like me can cite cases showing how absolutely against modern jurisprudence his statement was.
Nice to see Breyer sobered up.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:41:44 AM PDT
In public they have to defend their words, when writting as a supreme court judge, they answer to no one....Thats why this jackass said what he said. He actually revealed his true opinion in the first answer..
He didn't do a 180° turn as fast as the NRSC did (about 10 hours from shunning O'Donnell's primary win to delivery of the check for the maximum amount allowed to support her), but Breyer still did a pretty impressive spin.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:44:45 AM PDT
(Gun control was originally to protect Klansmen from their victims. The basic reason hasn't changed.)
posted on 09/17/2010 11:45:42 AM PDT
(For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
I endured a few minutes of Breyer and King. Breyer definitely identified fimself as an elitist, a Marxist, and a traitor to the Constitution.
I endured a few minutes of Breyer and King. Breyer definitely identified himself as an elitist, a Marxist, and a traitor to the Constitution.
Breyer has always been a traitor. Do you recall his desire to decide US cases using the law of socialist EU nations?
posted on 09/17/2010 11:49:26 AM PDT
("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
I do not believe he changed his mind at all.
One can yell fire in a crowded theater, it is a polite thing to do, when there is a fire.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:49:43 AM PDT
by Mark was here
(It's either Obama or America. There cannot be both.)
I’d love to see what would happen if we took a leaf from the Alinsky playbook and started picketing their residences.
These blackrobes seem to be far more sensitive to public pressure than politicians, must be their cloistered existence.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:51:19 AM PDT
Some good comments on the article at link.
One point that I don’t think anyone has made is that that if burning the Koran can be prohibited as an incitement to violence, or crying “fire,” then the Koran and much Islamic instruction should also be prohibited; as it contains many incitements to violence against non-Moslems.
posted on 09/17/2010 11:54:59 AM PDT
by Inappropriate Laughter
(Obama: Another illegal alien living in public housing)
¨I´m an idiot. I´m sacred.¨
¨Oh, so you´re saying I´m an idiot too?¨
¨Well, if you think you´re an idiot I´m not going to argue with you.¨
—Road To Morocco
posted on 09/17/2010 12:07:07 PM PDT
Better inform new Jersey transit and Christie about this !!
posted on 09/17/2010 1:10:13 PM PDT
I wonder who put the horse head in his bed?
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