Tag Archive: First Amendment


Harvard Grad Chuck Schumer Fails History, Credits Jefferson For Bill Of Rights

 

 

 

 

 

” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, stumbled Tuesday over basic American history, crediting Thomas Jefferson for authorship of the Bill of Rights during a debate over the First Amendment and campaign finance.

“ I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute,” Mr. Schumer said.”

 

 

 

    Of course the First Amendment is absolute , just as all the rest of The Bill Of Rights are . What kind of idiots do our “elite universities” produce that our “leaders” , the ones responsible for writing new laws , are not even familiar with the intent of our Founders ?

The entire intent of the establishment of the Bill Of Rights was to codify certain “inalienable” rights and thus put them beyond the reach of future “Statist” politicians such as the “Honorable” Chuck Schumer and his ilk . Even a lowly non-Harvard grad such as myself knows that .

 

 

 

” While Jefferson is deemed the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, he was not intimately involved in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to that founding document.

  Indeed, Jefferson was out of the country, serving as minister to France at the time of both the Constitution convention and the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights. His fellow Virginians, James Madison and George Mason, are usually credited with being more influential in the process — Mason for being among the most forceful in demanding the protections of such a Bill of Rights, and Madison for being the political muscle that got them approved.

“ Madison’s support of the bill of rights was of critical significance,” the National Archives writes on its web page. “One of the new representatives from Virginia to the First Federal Congress, as established by the new Constitution, he worked tirelessly to persuade the House to enact amendments.”

  The Archives goes on to recount Madison’s efforts to shepherd a package of 17 amendments through the House in 1789 — a number that was later trimmed to 12 in the Senate, before being submitted to the states.

  Of those, 10 were ratified fairly quickly. An 11th was ratified two centuries later, becoming the 27th Amendment.”

 

 

 

    This story highlights the ignorance of Chuck Schumer not only in regards to the authorship of the Bill Of Rights but also vividly illustrates his woeful knowledge of the Framer’s original intent which is spelled out in terms that even a moron of Schumer’s caliber should never be able to misconstrue :

 

 

 

” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

 

 

  What part of “unalienable” does Schumer fail to grasp ? For his enlightenment here is the definition from no less an authority than Merriam-Webster :

 

 

” un·alien·able

 adjective \ˌən-ˈāl-yə-nə-bəl, -ˈā-lē-ə-\

: impossible to take away or give up

 

 

    So Mr Schumer , as you can see , our basic rights are endowed by God and not by you and your fellow politicians whether put forth in the Declaration of Independence or the Bill Of Rights were , are and have always be intended to be inviolate regardless of whether you and other elected representatives approve of what they stand for or not . 

   That was the genius of our founders , a trait that has been all but lost in our present ruling class . The Founders actually foresaw the day when people of your sort would attempt to deny the people’s rights with your talk of a “living Constitution” and so fashioned our governing charter as they did . 

Read more at Washington Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Federal Appeals Court Reaffirms Right To Videorecord, Including At Traffic Stops

 

 

 

 

 

 

” From the First Circuit’s decision Friday in Gericke v. Begin (1st Cir. May 24, 2014):

  This case raises an important question about an individual’s First Amendment right to film a traffic stop by a police officer. Carla Gericke attempted to film Sergeant Joseph Kelley as he was conducting a late-night traffic stop. Shortly thereafter, she was arrested and charged with several crimes, including a violation of New Hampshire’s wiretapping statute. Gericke was not brought to trial. She subsequently sued the Town of Weare, its police department, and the officers who arrested and charged her, alleging in pertinent part that the wiretapping charge constituted retaliatory prosecution in violation of her First Amendment rights….

  Based on Gericke’s version of the facts, we conclude that she was exercising a clearly established First Amendment right when she attempted to film the traffic stop in the absence of a police order to stop filming or leave the area…. “

 

Read more from Eugene Volokh at the Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEC Chair Warns That Conservative Media Like Drudge Report And Sean Hannity Face Regulation — Like PACs

 

 

 

 

” Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media’s exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.

“ I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers,” warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.

“ The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” he added.

  Noting the success of sites like the Drudge Report, Goodman said that protecting conservative media, especially those on the internet, “matters to me because I see the future going to the democratization of media largely through the internet. They can compete with the big boys now, and I have seen storm clouds that the second you start to regulate them, there is at least the possibility or indeed proclivity for selective enforcement, so we need to keep the media free and the internet free.” “

 

 

     The Obama administration plans to arbitrarily designate “conservative” alternate media sources as “political organizations” and thus subject them to increased regulation not forced upon those “unbiased , apolitical news sources” such as MSNBC , NY Times , et al .

   Oh , the power of the State … They are quaking in their boots and must do something , anything , to maintain their stranglehold on the dissemination of the “truth” . Sounds like the USSR to us .

 

Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calif. Bill Banning State Sale Of Confederate Flag Passes

 

CONFEDERATEFLAG

 

 

” California state government departments will be prohibited from selling or displaying items with an image of the Confederate flag under a bill that passed the Assembly on Monday.

  AB2444 by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, is headed to the Senate after passing on a 72-1 vote. Hall introduced the bill after his mother saw replica Confederate money being sold at the state Capitol gift shop.
He called the image a symbol of racism meant to intimidate.

“ Its symbolism in history is directly linked to the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of Americans,” Hall said of the Confederate flag. “The state of California should not be in the business of promoting hate toward others.”

  The only lawmaker to vote against the bill was Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, the leading Republican candidate for governor.

“ We shouldn’t be here picking the kind of speech we like,” he said. “I am not standing here defending the symbol. I am standing here defending the principle that the First Amendment principles should apply in all state buildings, of all places.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taped Confrontation Between Teens, Police Leads To Arrest, Questions About First Amendment Rights

 

 

Airsoft Teens Arrested

 

 

” A video taped confrontation between teenagers and police led to an arrest and questions about a person’s first amendment rights.

  It all started when a group of teenagers were on a field in Radcliff playing a military style game of airsoft.

  A neighbor called the Radcliff Police Department, “I didn’t hear no weapons fire or anything like that,” the caller is heard telling the operator. “They may have been paintball rifles, I don’t know but it seemed odd,” she said.

” The officers they came out of the trees with their assault rifles and I was right over there,” Anderson recalled.

  A GoPro camera was recording, when an officer noticed it he asked them to shut it off.

  Seaman, who was next to the camera, told Anderson, “You don’t have to.”

  The officer is then heard in the video saying to Seaman, “You want to go to jail friend?”

  When Seaman did not give the officer his name, he was arrested.

” It sounds like a possible retaliation by police, retaliation is a strong word, but that’s what it is,” First Amendment expert Attorney Jon Fleischaker said.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman Criticizes Honolulu’s Government, Has Her Protest Signs Bulldozed

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Choon James is a successful real estate broker with over two decades of experience in Hawaii.  But the city of Honolulu is seeking to seize property she’s owned for almost a decade to build what she calls a “super-sized” fire station in rural Hauula.

  Since January 2010, she has put up signs to protest Honolulu’s use of eminent domain.  These signs declare “Eminent Domain Abuse: Who’s Next?” and “YouTube Eminent Domain Abuse—Hawaii.”  For more than three years these signs have been up without any incident.

  But now the city is showing a callous disregard for Choon’s freedom of speech.  Back in May, Honolulu seized two of her eminent domain protest signs.  Without her consent, city employees went onto the property and seized and impounded her signs before damaging them. Even worse, the city slapped her with a notice for trespassing, for property she is trying to defend in court.

  After these signs were torn down, Choon placed three more signs there.  These lasted just a few months before the city once again seized the signs.  This time, Honolulu was much more dramatic.  On October 18, city workers, backed by police officers, squad cars and a bulldozer, came by and literally bulldozed those protest signs.”

 

More here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Judge Rules Drivers Allowed To Flash Headlights To Warn Of Speed Traps

 

 

 

 

” A federal judge in Missouri ruled this week held that drivers have a First Amendment right to flash their headlights to warn other motorists of nearby police and speed traps. 

  The order by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey in St. Louis on Monday stems from a lawsuit filed by Ellisville resident Michael Elli. In 2012, Elli flashed his headlights to warn oncoming vehicles of a radar set up by police in the town of Ellisville.

  A flash of headlights is a common way motorists communicate to oncoming drivers of either a dangerous situation or the presence of police — in essence, a warning to slow down. 

  An officer saw the flash and pulled over Elli, who could have faced a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted. Elli, was accused of “[f]lashing lights on certain vehicles . . . warning of RADAR ahead,” according to court papers obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

  At a hearing on the lawsuit last year, Ellisville officials made the case that flashing headlights could interfere with a police investigation. But Autrey said in his ruling that the flashing of headlights “sends a message to bring one’s driving in conformity with the law — whether it be by slowing down, turning on one’s own headlamps at dusk or in the rain, or proceeding with caution.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger’s Incarceration Raises First Amendment Questions

 

 

 

” For over six years, Roger Shuler has hounded figures of the state legal and political establishment on his blog, Legal Schnauzer, a hothouse of furious but often fuzzily sourced allegations of deep corruption and wide-ranging conspiracy. Some of these allegations he has tested in court, having sued his neighbor, his neighbor’s lawyer, his former employer, the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the Alabama State Bar and two county circuit judges, among others. Mostly, he has lost.

  But even those who longed for his muzzling, and there are many, did not see it coming like this: with Mr. Shuler sitting in jail indefinitely, and now on the list of imprisoned journalists worldwide kept by the Committee to Protect Journalists. There, in the company of jailed reporters in China, Iran and Egypt, is Mr. Shuler, the only person on the list in the Western Hemisphere.”

Read more at the NY Times

Armed Agents Seize Records Of Reporter, Washington Times Prepares Legal Action

 

 

” Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.

Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland’s Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.

The documents, some which chronicled her sources and her work at the Times about problems inside the Homeland Security Department, were seized under a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato gun” suspected of belonging to her husband, Paul Flanagan, a Coast Guard employee. Mr. Flanagan has not been charged with any wrongdoing since the raid.

The warrant, obtained by the Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files.

The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.”

    We posted about this blatant , illegal fishing expedition yesterday . This piece offers considerably more detail than was available yesterday , including the fact the Mr Flanagan has been arrested on “gun charges” more than once  , but more importantly , that Ms Hudson has been the cause of numerous governmental investigations and much embarrassment over the course of her career in DC . She is certainly an enemy of the State .

 

 

” Mrs. Hudson has been a reporter in Washington, D.C. for nearly 15 years, and covered Homeland Security for the Times after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks through December 2009.

Her investigations have sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She has won numerous journalism awards for her investigations, including the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi bronze medal for public service, the Society of Professional Journalists Dateline Award in Investigative Reporting, and was nominated twice by The Times for the Pulitzer Prize.”

 

 

Another battle in the war on whistleblowers/journalists is enjoined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Precisely How Much Academic Freedom Should (Does) The First Amendment Afford To Professors And Teachers At Public Schools?

 

 

” In the space below, we analyze an important and interesting decision, Demers v. Austin, involving the First Amendment academic-freedom rights of public school and university faculty members that was handed down last week by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  We are quite sympathetic to the thrust of the Ninth Circuit ruling, but we think that a more concrete and categorical framework for resolving academic freedom disputes needs to be fashioned, lest public schools and their faculties be embroiled in a great deal of time- and money-consuming litigation that will generate inconsistent and unpredictable results.

 

Some Background on the Demers Case

 

As is relevant here, the facts of the Demers case are pretty straightforward.  David Demers is a tenured member of the faculty at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, a large, public, research-oriented university located in Pullman, Washington.  While serving on a university committee charged with exploring possible changes to the way in which the Murrow College was organized and the way it should relate to other units of the University, Demers wrote and distributed a document called “The Plan.”  The Plan was Demers’s two-page blueprint for dealing with some of these issues of organizational structure and funding (and some other matters too).  Demers did not distribute The Plan to other members of the committee on which he served, but he did send The Plan to high-level administrators at Washington State, as well as to members of the media and others.  After suffering what he claimed were adverse employment actions, Demers brought suit against various members of the Washington State administrative hierarchy alleging that they had retaliated against him, in violation of his First Amendment rights, for distributing The Plan and the ideas contained in it. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Defeat For The Muslim Brotherhood, A Model For Winning

 

 

” The Muslim Brotherhood was handed a tactical defeat on June 4, 2013 in Manchester, TN. The FBI and DOJ (Department of Justice) appeared at a meeting called by AMAC (American Muslim Advisory Council — Muslim Brotherhood) in Manchester, TN. It was to include a talk by a US Assistant Attorney General and an FBI agent in charge. The meeting was due to a joke posted by a Coffee County Commissioner on Face Book. The DOJ Assistant Attorney General Killian said in a newspaper interview that the joke might be in the category of a hate crime.

Over 1200 people came from all over the US to a meeting in a town of 10,000. The web had buzzed about free speech in Manchester and talk radio chimed in .

In the course of the presentation by Killian, several in the audience began to shout our retorts to him. At first some in audience tried to shush them, but the momentum began to build and the shouted challenges increased in numbers and volume. It should be noted that the shouts were factual and knowledgeable. An example: when it was mentioned how hard it was to be a Muslim refugee: “Free medical care, welfare and scholarships tough to take?” When Killian said that DOJ protected voter rights, the shouts were to the tune of: “You mean like protecting the Panthers in Philadelphia?”

There were also knowledgeable shouts about Islam: “We don’t care about the religion, it’s the politics. No Sharia.”

When Killian mentioned Eric Holder, the room erupted with thunderous boos. People were angry about the Feds. The FBI agent presented a better face, but he got blow back as well. Chants of “Ruby Ridge” and “Waco” rang out. This was a “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” attitude.”

 

 

    The people were quite boisterous and there are differing views as to the behavior of the crowd . We provide you with video of the entire event so that you can decide for yourselves . 

 

 

Read the whole thing .

    As a bonus here are a couple of post-meeting interviews from attendees .

 

 

Pamela Geller

Victoria Jackson

All videos courtesy of TinShipProductions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America’s Self-Inflicted Death Of A Thousand Cuts

 

 

” It is clear that the Muslim community will try to implement Sharia Law in America incrementally, starting with the suppression of free speech.  They will do this by using intimidation and scare tactics.  The Muslims are inching ahead in the war on free speech using the tool of “political correctness” as their weapon of choice. What is most shocking is the following statement made by U.S. Attorney Killian in that same article: “Killian said Internet postings that violate civil rights are subject to federal jurisdiction. “That’s what everybody needs to understand,” he (Killian) said.”

This is clearly intimidation of our own free speech, supposedly protected under our First Amendment.  It is saying that Muslims will be protected unlike any other group and must be handled with kid gloves.  It is stifling the rights of American citizens to exercise their God given right to free speech.  Further, one wonders why this is being held in a small town in Tennessee.

With the recent opening of the Murfreesboro mosque and the massive influx of Muslim Somalian refugees to Tennessee, Shelbyville seems to be the model for the next Dearborn.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8th Grade Student Suspended, Arrested Over Gun T-Shirt

 

NRA_Tshirt_Suspension

 

” When 8th grade Jared Marcum got dressed for school this morning he says he had no idea that his pro-Second Amendment shirt would initiate what he calls a fight over his First Amendment rights.
 
“I never thought it would go this far because honestly I don’t see a problem with this, there shouldn’t be a problem with this,” Jared said.
 
It was the image of a gun printed on Jared’s t-shirt that sparked a dispute between a Logan Middle School teacher and Jared, that ended with Jared suspended, arrested and facing two charges, obstruction and disturbing the education process, on his otherwise spotless record.” 

Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest

 

 

 

 

“A Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area won a trial Friday in his lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages for being detained on a disorderly conduct charge.

In sending the case to trial, unless there’s a settlement, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 and reversed a lower court judge and invoked Benjamin Franklin in the process. According to the opinion by Judge Roger Gregory:

” Here, Mr. Tobey engaged in a silent, peaceful protest using the text of our Constitution—he was well within the ambit of First Amendment protections. And while it is tempting to hold that First Amendment rights should acquiesce to national security in this instance, our Forefather Benjamin Franklin warned against such a temptation by opining that those ‘who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ We take heed of his warning and are therefore unwilling to relinquish our First Amendment protections—even in an airport.”

 

 

We Can and Will Force Christians to Act Against Their Faith

 

 

 

” “Because Hobby Lobby is a secular employer, it is not entitled to the protections of the Free Exercise Clause or RFRA [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act],” Delery told the court on behalf of the administration. “This is because, although the First Amendment freedoms of speech and association are ‘right[s] enjoyed by religious and secular groups alike,’ the Free Exercise Clause ‘gives special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations.’”

In keeping with Delery’s argument, the Washington Post, as a corporation, can use its First Amendment-protected freedom of speech to write editorials in support of the Obama administration imposing its contraception mandate on businesses like Hobby Lobby. But the members of the family that created and owns Hobby Lobby, because they formed Hobby Lobby as a corporation, have no First Amendment freedom of religion that protects them from being forced by the government to act against their religious beliefs in providing abortion-inducing drugs.

The second argument the administration makes to justify forcing Christians to act against their faith is more sweeping. Here the administration argues it can force a person to act against his religion so long as the coercion is done under the authority of a law that is neutral and generally applicable—in other words, as long as the law was not written specifically to persecute Christians as Christians, the government can use that law to persecute Christians. “

 

 

 

NY Times Is The Enemy Of Your Free Speech

 

 

 ” James Taranto has a great column about how all the left-wing vitriol over the Citizens United case really is just an attempt to maintain the once monopoly power of left-wing corporations over political speech.

News flash — The New York Times is a corporation which protects its electioneering for liberal causes under the banner of press freedom, while seeking to deny other corporations similar rights.

The Privilege to Speak (via Instapundit):

A corporate division has once again exercised its First Amendment rights to argue that corporations don’t have First Amendment rights. This time, however, the New York Times Co. claims to have discovered a loophole that protects its First Amendment rights. “

Pastors Pledge To Defy IRS,

 Preach Politics From Pulpit Ahead Of Election

 

 

 

 

  ” More than 1,000 pastors are planning to challenge the IRS next month by deliberately preaching politics ahead of the presidential election despite a federal ban on endorsements from the pulpit.

The defiant move, they hope, will prompt the IRS to enforce a 1954 tax code amendment that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, such as churches, from making political endorsements. Alliance Defending Freedom, which is holding the October summit, said it wants the IRS to press the matter so it can be decided in court. The group believes the law violates the First Amendment by “muzzling” preachers.

 

“The purpose is to make sure that the pastor — and not the IRS — decides what is said from the pulpit.”

- Erik Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom

 

“The purpose is to make sure that the pastor — and not the IRS — decides what is said from the pulpit,” Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group, told FoxNews.com. “It is a head-on constitutional challenge.”

…. More Than They Can Chew

   More support in the works for Aaron Walker and all opposed to Brett Kimberlin , his tactics and SWATting . Michelle Malkin brings news that the American Center for Law and Justice has joined the case in support of the National Bloggers Club and Ali Akbar . 

” I’ve been telling you about First Amendment lawyers working behind the scenes to help the targets of Brett Kimberlin and his online cabal.

Kudos to the ACLJ for stepping up to the plate in the face of ongoing threats and smears. Just released:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2012
MEDIA CONTACTS:
For Print: Gene Kapp (757) 575-9520
For Broadcast: Christy Lynn Wilson or Alison Geist (770) 813-0000

ACLJ DEFENDS FREE SPEECH IN BLOGOSPHERE – REPRESENTING TOP CONSERVATIVE BLOGGERS TARGETED FOR HARASSMENT”

  The harder the progressives try the worse they seem to end up these days . There can be no doubt that Brett Kimberlin was laboring under the serious misapprehension that he could continue indefinitely to play by rules of his choosing . But such is not to be . God bless Al Gore and his internet . 

    For the past 18 months in Wisconsin we have observed the same phenomena unfolding wherein after each repudiation of their spendthrift ways they refuse to except defeat and try an attack from a different angle . Obamacare came about in the same kind of sneaky , underhanded backdoor way and although it represents the one solid victory the Left can claim these days , it  is also the one they surely regret most of all due to its toxicity .

That toxicity is exactly the reason that perhaps we have reached that point referred to by Glenn Reynolds as a ” preference cascade

  “Pelosi told a Democratic forum held Wednesday that the Supreme Court had “unleashed a predator that was oozing slime into the political system.” “

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