Freedom of Speech and of the Press

This article raises a very good question:  “Does the First Amendment protect global warming deniers?”
The answer is, unequivocally and resoundingly “YES.”
No federal, state, county, or local entity, nor any law enforcement or public business may restrict people’s expression concerning the pros freedom of speechand/or cons of various viewpoints on global warming, climate change, denying, etc. We live in the United States of America, which holds both the freedom of speech and the press in the highest regard. This is NOT Nazi Germany, which repressed the vast majority of free speech and severely punished violators.
 
Our First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
 
First, once they are properly ratified, all amendments are fully a part of the Constitution: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses rightsshall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution.” (Article V).
 
Second, although 1A specifically limits Congress from passing any such law, the Supreme Court has repeatedly expanded that through the “the supreme Law of the Land” clause (Article VI) to mean the United States Constitution supersedes all federal, state, county, and local (municipality) law. Thus, no action by any executive, legislative, judicial branch, or by law enforcement or member of the public can legal violate any provision of the Constitution, including “the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
 
Third, countless case law refers to “freedom of speech” as applying to oral utterances, regardless of source, whereas “the press” refers to the written Franklin_the_printer-by-Charles-B-Mills - Young Benjamin at his brother's Printing Pressword, regardless of form (print, offset type, electronic, billboard, etc.). Thus, my blog, as was Benjamin Franklin’s backyard printing press, is every bit as much “the press” as is the New York times. Although Nancy Pelosi would like you to believe otherwise, well, what can I say? She’s the last person I would ever consult on matters Constitutional.
 
Fourth, countless case law willfully ignores the content of free speech when determining whether or not it’s “allowable” under Constitutional law. Thus, t-shirts supporting the murderous revolutionary Che Guevara, are every bit as protected when worn by a teenager cruising the mall as is a t-shirt sporting a happy face.
 
Fifth, the U.S. Supreme Court has continuously upheld very strict scrutiny for the exceedingly few restrictions on freedom of speech. Specifically, the only exceptions involve the following:
 
1. Content: Cannot be based upon content, i.e. any restrictions must remain content-neutral, even if the content is highly objectionable. This is the reason the Westboro Baptists can continue to protest military funerals despite the fact that 99% of society finds their behavior utterly reprehensible. Thus, no municipality can allow public protests supporting one side of an issue while denying those who are protesting the opposite side of the issue.
 
2. Time, place, and manner. Municipalities can place limited restrictions on time, place, and manner. For example, driving at 3 am (time) through neighborhoods (place) while blaring one’s point of view over loudspeakers We Will Not Be Silences(manner) violate all three. Such restrictions, however, must remain content-neutral. Thus, you cannot ban one group of protesters under any particular combination of time/place/manner while allowing another. The courts have also observed “similitude,” such that one time/place/manner is considered for all practical purposes as being substantially equivalent to another even details differ. Thus, a municipality cannot ban protests in one neighborhood while allowing them in another.
 
3. Prior restraint: “If the government tries to restrain speech before it is spoken, as opposed to punishing it afterwards, it must be able to show that punishment after the fact is not a sufficient remedy, and show that allowing the speech would “surely result in direct, immediate, and irreparable damage to our Nation and its people” (New York Times Co. v. United States). U.S. courts have not permitted most prior restraints since the case of Near v. Minnesota in 1931.
 
Bottom Line: Any and all claims related to “global warming” and “climate change” must stand on their own merits. The freedom to question the validity of ANY public opinion or policy directly relates to the ability of the people of our nation helping to keep our nation free by limiting the power and authority of all entities, most notably various institutions, including local, county, state, and federal governments, from infringing on our freedom of speech and of the press.
freedom of speech - Charles Bradlaugh

Hooray for Coach Joe Kennedy!

In yet another blitheringly idiotic attempt to squash the First Amendment’s protections for the free exercise of religion, the Bremerteron School District told a coach he was not allowed to pray…

…AFTER THE END OF THE GAME.

Thankfully, a good, savvy lawyer had the presence of mind to note, “It is a violation of the First Amendment, and other federal Coach Joelaws, to prohibit Coach Joe from going out on the field and praying after the end of the game.”

ABSOLUTELY.

We need to take our country back from ignorant people like Ken Aulgur who said, “It’s a downer to my daughter who’s one of the cheerleaders here, ’cause its not about the fun of Homecoming and the dance and everything else.”

Gee, Aulgur, THINK.  Your daughter wouldn’t HAVE a Homecoming dance “and everything else” if it weren’t for the coach joeprayer of righteous men and women who fought and died to establish and preserve your freedoms.  Prayer has been a VITAL component of the religious faith upon which this country was founded and maintained.  It’s at the base of all its freedoms, which YOU and your daughter enjoy to this very day.  Yet you ignorantly sit there and say, “It’s a downer.”

Really, Aulgur?  Here’s a thought:  YOU’RE a downer, literally, when you attempt to bring down the freedoms that make our country great.

Would you rather live in a faithless society where social strata, caste systems, and slavery is the norm?  Not I.  Where the right to a free trial is a myth, and the government can bust down your doors any time it wants?  Not I.  How much more of a downer would that be for you?

No thank you, Aulgur!  You’re one of the same class of sheep Hitler lead to the slaughter in Germany, the ones who went willingly.  NO WAY I’m going to sympathize with your brain-dead position that praying after the game is “going to the extreme.”

YOU’RE the extreme – blight, that is, on American principles and values.

This veteran will keep my FAITH, and I will continue to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”  I will continue to back our First Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights.  They didn’t give us our freedoms.  God did that, which is one of the reasons WHY we pray, for Thanksgiving, not only for our freedoms, but for the fact that none of the boys were injured during the game.

The First Amendment does, however, protect our freedoms, including the free exercise of Joe’s religion right alongside your freedom of speech.  If you want to disparage Joe’s freedom to exercise his religion, I strongly suggest you start by giving up your own freedoms and SHUT THE HELL UP.  If you believe that’s not fair, well, you’re right.  It would not be fair.  Neither is it fair for you to keep blabbering your mouth on CNN while disparaging Coach Joe his own right to freely practice his religion as protected in the same amendment that protects your freedom of speech.

Federal Election Commission’s UN-CONSTITUTIONAL attempt to regulate political speech

The U.S. Constitution specifically states the Federal Election Commission has NO SUCH AUTHORITY to regulate ANY sort of speech, including political speech. In fact, the very nature of political speech specifically EXEMPTS it from the only means by which the feds can prohibit any speech whatsoever: The Communications Decency Act of 1996. That act prohibits “patently offensive” material, but ONLY if it meets ALL THREE of the tests established by the U.S. Supreme Court:
 
Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution and cannot be broadcast at any time. The Supreme Court has established that to be considered obscene, material must meet a three-pronged test:
 
1. An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.
 
2. The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law.
 
3. The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
 
With two-thirds of all Americans NOT supporting Obama or the Democratic party, and at least a third of Americans positioning themselves against the Republican party, any rules created by the FEC regulating political speech do NOT meet the first criteria. That alone is enough to vacate their intentions and render any such rules Constitutionally void. But let’s examine the other two rules:
 
Political speech has nothing to do with sexual conduct. Thus, the FEC’s intentions fail this test, as well.
 
Political speech is, by definition, “political.” Whether or not it’s “serious” may be difficult to determine, but if it’s parody or humor, then it falls into the “artistic” category. If it contains facts and figures, as do many of my posts, then it falls into the “scientific” category. Regardless, even if the political speech is so base that it meets this criteria, it doesn’t matter, as the Supreme Court requires that material meet ALL THREE requirements in order to be considered “obscene.
 
Sorry, FEC: Three strikes. YOU’RE OUT!
 
I’ll tell you what IS obscene: That a government agency funded by MY tax dollars is WASTING time in hearings to determine whether or not it should create rules which FLAGRANTLY violate the U.S. Constitution.

Exercising Our Constitutional Rights is Neither an Offense Nor Cause for Alarm

For many of us, our Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms is more than a right. It’s our duty. When we swore to “protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” we undertook an oath to perform a duty.

There are many ways to go about protecting our Constitutional rights within the law, but the most effective way to protect our rights while informing the minds of the ignorant, a large part of the “domestic enemy,” is to simply exercise them throughout the normal course of our day.

When I carry my firearm, I don’t go out of my way to be noticed. In fact, I wear conservative clothing and behave normally, the same as I always behave.

I take the same approach towards our other rights, including freedom of speech.

I exercise my rights because of what happens when we don’t exercise them.  People forget what they look like.  People forget that they even have rights.  Societies become “too polite,” which is a nice way of saying “politically correct.”  Norms shift from freedom, the objective Constitutional standard of the free exercise of one’s rights, to the subjective politically correct standard based on avoiding “making a fuss,” “rocking the boat,” or “offending someone.”

Offense is not a legitimate reason to forfeit one’s rights.  Neither is alarm.  The Supreme Court has already decided this on several fronts, including racial equality, freedom of speech, and the right to keep and bear arms.  While we may attempt to minimize offense or alarm in the exercise of our rights, it is impossible to eradicate either, and attempting to do so undermines the rights which it is our duty to protect!  Let’s face it – people are offended by all kinds of things:  The color of my skin, the length of my hair, the fact I served in the military.  Heck, some folks are problem alarmed by the length of my hair, or the fact that I drive a truck!

Are those reasons to forfeit my right to keep and bear arms?  They are not.

What about alarm?  “OMG!  He’s got a gun!”  Thankfully, that’s not a statement I’ve heard any time in the 22 years I’ve been carrying a firearm, either on or off duty, including the last 2-1/2 years during which I’ve predominantly open carried.  In fact, I’ve been thanked more than a dozen times, and have had at least that many conversations during which I’ve been asked about the local laws governing our Second Amendment rights.

I’ll close with a final thought:  Holding true to what’s right will always offend some people, and it will always alarm others.

Please join the discussion on this article, here!