Tag Archives: First Amendment

The Purchased Primary: Did Citizens United Work?

I think I speak for all Democrats when I say, I’m going to miss Rick Santorum. (Though odds are he’ll be back.) For all of John Stewart’s mockery, Rick really was an improbable candidate — as is Newt Gingrich, still. So improbable in fact, that… Well, how the Hell did it happen, anyways? The answer seems to be money. […]

A Quick Note on Santorum & Porn

Rick Santorum’s pledge to enforce U.S. obscenity law in a new fight against pornography — widely reported and debated on conservative sites — ought to raise questions. First; why? Second, and more importantly; what laws? As a capstone on America’s sordid history of pornography laws, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union makes clear that banning adults from viewing pornography […]

Defining a Place for the New Atheism

I’m moving to Brooklyn! With no internet. Hence delays.  Andrew Sullivan, with Bryan Appleyard, together question the value of the “new atheism,” which they define as a belief system devoted to the absolute eradication of both religion, and its influence on mankind. Appleyard: By “neo-atheism”, I mean a tripartite belief system founded on the conviction […]

Inferring from Aberration: How the Culture War Magnifies

Several point to an absurd incident out of Pennsylvania, where Judge Mark Martin recently acquitted a criminal defendant of assault because his victim, Ernie Perce, was dressed as a “zombie Mohammed,” thereby (apparently) provoking the assault. An excerpt from the trial transcript, as reported by another blog: Whenever it is very common, their language, when […]

The SOPA/PIPA Question as a Quintessentially American Debate

With apologies, again, for delays. Enjoy this picture of subzero skiing as compensation/explanation for my prolonged absence. How gratifying to see democracy work as well as it has during the SOPA debate. A cadre of lobbyists devise a plan to protect their interests inimical to both the people, and to the larger society; the people […]

After Zuccotti

Although admittedly without cracking my First Amendment book, Judge Stallman’s order upholding the eviction of Zuccotti Park seems as correct as his decision to temporarily enjoin the eviction, pending litigation, was admirable. “Reasonable time/place/manner” restrictions are the critical and necessary “but” to every claim of a First Amendment right to protest, and especially given the reports of […]

The Need for “Establishment Clause Standing”

The National Review rightly flags another absurd lawsuit filed by American Atheists, here, to pull down the wrought iron cross just north of Ground Zero (to you culture war partisans, that’s two blocks south of the “Ground Zero Mosque”). The cross, remember, was discovered on the grounds of the former World Trade Center, and immediately became a […]

The Effective Boycott and “Freedom”

Friend-of-the-site Evan at Truth Wins Out just won a fantastic victory: reacting to a successful petition, spearheaded and originated by his site, Apple pulled from the Apple Store an iPhone “app” by the extremist Christian organization “Exodus International.” The app would have provided, one imagines, a convenient way to dehumanize gay Americans “on the go.” […]

Can Legislators Properly Consider God in the Decisionmaking Process?

I’ll preview the conclusion: if it’s outcome determinative… no. Disgraced former Senator Rick Santorum grabbed headlines yesterday by saying he was “frankly appalled” by President Kennedy’s “radical” statements during the 1960 campaign, which amounted to the following, now sadly somewhat controversial but succinct statement of a basic, foundational principle: “I believe in an America where […]

The Necessity of Public Radio

In last week’s Journal, a conservative commentator makes the “free market” case for defunding NPR, not because it’s “liberal” (read: fires bigots for being bigots), but because government funding presents an insurmountable barrier to entry to other, would-be “quality,” for-profit broadcasting providers. Safe to say this guy isn’t getting Carl Kassel’s voice on his home […]