“Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication.”
More people have opinions about United States Supreme Court decisions than trouble to read them. For at least two reasons, that’s a shame. First, those people tend not to know what they’re talking about. Second, they miss gems of rhetoric—rhetoric used here in its academic sense—fashioned by scholars talented not only the law but in the language. Case in point: United States v. Alvarez, in which, 5-4, the court found unconstitutional a law popularly known as the Stolen Valor Act.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission didn’t please people interested in trying to reign in election campaign spending and tactics.
In that case, the court by a 5-4 vote ruled in part that the First Amendment prohibits limiting corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections.
Some 10 years ago, “Free Speech Zones” began cropping up throughout the country.
I always thought that the entire U.S. was a constitutionally protected “Free Speech Zone,” but the courts disagree. They have supported ordinances and laws that create designated areas exercising free speech — more specifically, where protests can occur.
As the U.S. Supreme Court heads toward its next session in October, it might be worth reviewing the action of “The Supremes” during its past session, particularly with regard to First Amendment issues.
The court ruled on three First Amendment cases and if you are free expression purist — and I am — you probably would be pleased. But as is often the case, a strict constructionist view of the First Amendment — a constitutionally conservative view — often equates to a “politically liberal” view.
A month ago, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on an Arizona case did not get a lot of attention.
But many believe the ruling signaled a significant shift toward a less stringent interpretation of the separation of church and state.
Last October, iCitizenForum asked “Is Free Speech too costly when it hurts others?” and wondered whether the First Amendment protected Kansas’ homophobic Westboro Baptist Church from liability for its intentionally outrageous and unwelcome demonstrations at the funerals of fallen servicemen and servicewomen. That could colorably be among the civil offenses lawyers call “torts.”
I do not agree with the heavy-handed approach used by National Public Radio that landed Juan Williams in the Fox News camp with a fat $2 million contract.
But people who believe that this dustup involves First Amendment free speech issues need to go back to Civics 101.
- If the U.S. Supreme Court believes the First Amendment guarantees election candidates the right to get unlimited campaign donations from corporations, unions and non-profits, would it support a candidate’s right to use the First Amendment to protect a likely racist statement on a ballot?
- Has the election of President Barack Obama elevated racial tension in the U.S.?
A simple metal cross placed on a remote patch of the Mohave Desert and a triangular-shaped safety devise placed on the back of a buggy might seem like unlikely partners in court.
But they reflect the growing battle surrounding the constitutional directive for separation of church and state, and both relate to cases that have made it to the bench of the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
I often question America’s education system, even though I have spent plenty of time in it.
So much energy gets directed toward things that have nothing to do with “education” and to action that affronts learning.
The latest example comes from a lawsuit making its way through the Tennessee courts, a suit against the Anderson County School Board and several county education officials. It serves as another testament to the way school administrators can find evil lurking behind every kid’s locker or in this case, every kid’s belt buckle.