Democrat Attempts to Gut First Amendment

a jealous faith



The contemporary left gives lip service to freedom of speech, but where they are in power they actively seek to ban the speech of those who disagree with them.  We see this clearly on campuses where speech codes, anathema to any concept of freedom of speech, are the order of the day.  It is no accident, as Marxists used to say, that representatives of the Democrat party are busily seeking to jettison the concept of free speech when it comes to elections.  Kevin Williamson gives us the details at National Review Online:



Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent is the lowest form of crime. If you are a drone in the hive of the Left, it is possible — easy, in fact — to believe both of those things at the same time.

Free speech just won an important victory in a federal courtroom, though it is shameful that the case ever even had to go to court. Ohio had enacted a plainly unconstitutional law that empowered a government panel to determine whether criticisms offered in political advertisements were sufficiently true to be permitted in the public discourse. Those who have followed the IRS scandal, the Travis County, Texas, prosecutorial scandals, or Harry Reid’s recent effort to repeal the First Amendment will not be surprised that this measure was used as a political weapon against a conservative group, in this case the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. SBA List criticized a Democratic House member for having voted for the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA), noting that the law will implicate American taxpayers in the funding of abortions, an entanglement previously minimized through measures such as the Hyde Amendment. Despite the fact that the ACA regime would, among other things, permit federal subsidies for abortion-funding insurance plans, the Ohio Inquisition ruled the ad impermissible, and banned it.

So much for free speech.

Fortunately, an Obama appointee whose ability to read the letter of the law had not been utterly drummed out of him ruled that the Ohio Inquisition obviously violated longstanding free-speech protections, the First Amendment notable among them. Last week, a similar case in Minnesota came to a similar conclusion.

Which is why Harry Reid wants to repeal the First Amendment.

Democrats pushing the measure to repeal free speech pretend that it is a campaign-finance measure, but the only criteria it establishes for Congress to ban an advertisement — or a book, or a film, or a television show, or a magazine — is that money is expended in an attempt to influence a political outcome. Under those rules, the Ohio Inquisition’s successful move to ban billboards critical of an embattled Democratic congressman would have been totally acceptable under the provisions of a gutted First Amendment.

The Ohio Inquisition, and the Minnesota Inquisition, and Harry Reid’s war on the First Amendment are hardly isolated episodes. Consider that the same Texas prosecutor that has indicted Governor Rick Perry on two felony counts for the so-called crime of exercising his constitutional authority to veto a bill — a bill providing funds to that prosecutor’s office — is now preparing to indict University of Texas regent and whistleblower Wallace Hall, on charges of . . . hmm.

The charges against Mr. Hall are odd even by the standards of Rosemary Lehmberg, the vodka-pickled Texas prosecutor whose videotaped tirade after a DUI arrest — she threatened to have sheriff’s deputies jailed if she was not given special treatment — led to Governor Perry’s veto of funds for her office, on the theory that he could not in good conscience sign off on funding for an agency under such non-credible leadership. Mr. Hall is accused of leaking private information regarding academic records; short of that, prosecutors want to charge Mr. Hall with the crime of leading people to “speculate” about certain information protected by privacy rules. For the record, I should note that, though I never have spoken to the man, the party to whom Mr. Hall is accused of leaking information and whose speculation he is accused of encouraging is me.

Go here to read the rest.  Contemporary liberals will defend to the death your right to agree with them.  Otherwise they will do their worst to shut you up.  Oh, and if you want to start the work week on a howlingly funny note, go here to read the amicus brief filed by the Cato Institute and PJ O’Rourke that gives the Ohio law in the SBA case a beating to be remembered.

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  1. They are remarkable like Islam – whining about their rights when out of power, crushing everyone else’s when they are in.

  2. “…the smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes.”
    – Twain, Letter fragment, 1891

  3. c matt: They are remarkable like Islam – whining about their rights when out of power, crushing everyone else’s when they are in.”
    “My sentiments exactly. How often I have thought these thoughts, but I am forbidden by the thought police to think these thoughts, much less express them out loud. You have given words to my thoughts.

  4. What amazes me is that it never occurs to liberals that the pendulum might someday swing back and all the anti-dissent machinery they have built will be in the hands of their opponents.
    If they are truly haunted by nightmares of a “Republic of Gilead” it could arise much more easily once the Bill of Rights was repealed.

  5. Liberalism, aka. progressivism is so full of itself it cannot conceive the possibility of being in error. Utopian zeal embodies an insatiable appetite for control. This is the fundamental basis for the totalitarian state. To the liberal progressive, free speech is a means to an end. When that end is achieved, free speech is banned.

  6. Café Hayek quote of the day: “is from page 82 of Alain de Botton’s delightful 1993 volume, On Love (original emphasis):

    “’Amorous politics begins its infamous history in the course of the French Revolution, when it was first proposed (with all the choice of a rape) that the state would not just govern but love its citizens, who would presumably respond likewise or face the guillotine.’

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