Archive for free speech

Citizens United Decision Makes Prostitution Legal According To Expert Testifying To Senate


Prostitute Customer

Citizens United. Ah, what a slippery slope the Supreme Court hath delivered. The 5-4 decision upheld that unlimited business money donations are merely expressions of first amendment rights, commonly known as our freedom of speech. As such, they cannot be regulated. So, that's the way you SCOTUS jurists want to play the game.

What hell hath you wrought, you nine black-robed crusaders?

A constitutional law professor, Jamie Raskin was called by the Senate to come in and speak about his field of expertise and how the first amendment might/should/could be interpreted. Though the senators thought they were going to hear how the Citizens United decision would affect money in political campaigns, they also got some news which was surprising -- and in a great way for Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)

Raw Story:

An American law professor told senators on Tuesday that outlawing prostitution was a violation of the First Amendment if spending money was a form of free speech.

“Your other point though about money not equaling speech is a critical point for people to understand,” American University professor Jamie Raskin said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “There are lots of forms of purchase and exchange that we criminalize, for example, buying sex. We don’t say if someone wants to purchase the services of a prostitute, well that is just an expression of their speech.”

Hear the short testimony for yourself. It's very interesting  and maybe has some valid points that those justices, voting for the majority in the Citizens United, case should have thought about BEFORE they issued their politically-motivated decision.


Justice Alito said what again? "New, unwise turn" in law relies on "private professional associations"


justice alito shakes head at SOTU smallerJustice Alito Shakes Head When Obama Criticizes Campaign Finance Decision

Wait, what? Isn't this the Supreme Court that has a corporation fetish? Isn't Justice Alito one of the conservative members who believes in privatization, corporate personhood, and equating money with free speech? As in Citizens United and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission?

Think Progress: And he’s a strong supporter of “forced arbitration,” a practice which allows employers to shunt discrimination lawsuits into a secretive and privatized arbitration system rather than allowing those cases to be heard by a real court. For Alito, and the rest of the Court’s right-wing majority, the severity of Bartlett’s injury proved inconsequential when measured against Big Pharma’s bottom line and their interest in selling generic drugs, which account for 75% of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S. Justice Samuel Alito was forced to recuse himself from nearly six dozen cases brought to the Supreme Court in the last 10 months because the Alito family owns stock in many of the corporations involved in litigation.

In light of the above examples, I found the following passages ironically amusing. Via the Los Angeles Times article, Supreme Court says IQ cannot determine mental fitness in capital cases:

In dissent, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. faulted the majority for a "new and unwise turn" in the law by relying on "private professional associations" to establish constitutional values.

In the past, he said, the court had looked to states and to public opinion to judge American values. "Now the court strikes down a state law based on the evolving standards of professional societies, most notably the American Psychiatric Assn.," he said. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

Whatsa matter, Judge A. and company, don't you love "private professional associations" as much as you used to? Should they feel jilted? Doesn't the NRA "unwisely" influence (read: pressure) the "constitutional values" of Congress members so heavily that they shun common sense gun laws that public opinion supports by a landslide? What do you have to say now?


Oh, but I kid Justice Alito.


Alabama Chief Justice Moore Interprets Constitution According To Pharrell Williams' 'Happy'


Pharrell Williams Happy

If Alabama didn't already have enough problems with poverty, racism, storms, oil spills and other disasters, they now face one on the bench of their highest court, the Supreme Court of Alabama. And the problem is with the leader of this highest court in the state, Chief Justice Roy Moore.

This week Justice Moore made known his interpretations of the US Constitution while speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by his neighboring Pro-Life Mississippi Organization. And the Chief Justice had some eye-opening remarks which might explain some pretty screwed up thinking about the South. It seems justice, like a fish, stinks from the top. And is this the kind of judge you'd like to see adjudicating any case you were part of?

Raw Story:

...declared that the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn't create us, Mohammed didn't create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us.

Holy Scriptures? Doesn't that include the Old Testament? That's the book the Jews and Gentiles both believe in, so why aren't Jews part of this first amendment coverage?

It  looks like Chief Justice Moore feels that the Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, who's beliefs predate the New Testament, were all wrong and therefore their beliefs aren't protected under our US Constitution, especially the bill of rights. Wow.

When looking for his answers, Moore relies on an obscure interpretation of law, from an Englishman who died in 1780.

Chief Justice Moore later defined “life” via Blackstone’s Law — a book that American lawyers have “sadly forgotten” — as beginning when “the baby kicks.” “Today,” he said, “our courts say it’s not alive ’til the head comes out.

But Justice Moore's ignorance doesn't stop there.

He later said that “you can’t be happy unless you follow God’s law, and if you follow God’s law, you can’t help but be happy.”

Now's it's all becoming clear to me. The Chief Justice is channeling Pharrell Williams and his "Happy" song for his rulings. After all, we know that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the only thing the Declaration of Independence (which led us to ultimately draw up our Constitution) is really about. Those lyrics appear to be the judicial tenets from the Moore bench in which laws are weighed and interpreted in Alabama. So let's all clap our hands and get happy.

I think the people of that southern state are in for a whole mess of troubles with a guy like Chief Justice Moore leading the way. But at least with him in the lead seat on the bench, we're all gonna be "happy."


Bill Maher Gushes to Pussy Riot: 'You Guys Are Gangsta'


Image: Wikipedia

Congratulations to Bill Maher for having Pussy Riot on his show!

The service is no longer available so we have removed that code from The Political Carnival.

Here is the original post on RawStory