Free Speech

AUDIO: Kagan challenged by Supreme Court conservatives over anti-free speech positions

The clip below is a recording from oral argument before the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, which pitted the government's campaign finance laws vs. the free speech of unions and corporations in political campaigns.  The case was ultimately decided in favor of free speech by a 5 to 4 margin.  Which tells you all you need to know about how tenuous our free speech rights really are.

The audio of Kagan's argument in favor of restricting free speech rights, (including defending the government's right to ban pamphlets if it so chose), should tell you all you need to know about Kagan.

But if you do need more, feel free to view our Kagan Fact Sheet.  And pass it on!

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TAKE ACTION: Join our campaign to say NO to Kagan today.

Christians arrested for giving out the Gospel in Michigan

As hard as it may be to believe, it's true.  Four Christians were arrested in Detroit this week for distributing copies of the Gospel outside of an Arab International Festival.  In addition to being arrested, the camera (with any video of what they were doing, as well as how event security and police reacted) was confiscated.

In many ways you expect to see this sort of thing in some third world countries. But this is America.  And now it's here.

(Via the Christian Examiner)

Democrats attempting to regulate free speech and bailout old media

The reformers are at it again with yet another attempt to criminalize political speech and campaign activity.

From the government’s Department of Perverse Acronyms comes the “DISCLOSE Act”, which stands for “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections”.  How clever.  And how disingenuous.

It’s being championed by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer in an attempt to get around this year’s Supreme Court decision which threw out restrictions on freedom of speech for unions and corporations in political campaigns.

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Democrats to try to bring the DISCLOSE Act up again

There they go again...  According to Roll Call, the Democrat House Leadership is planning to move the free-speech restricting "DISCLOSE" Act again.  The latest information indicates that they will be moving for a vote tomorrow (Thursday).

The story quotes a Democrat aide saying that "Leadership is confident we'll have the votes".

They ran into some trouble last week after complaints from the Black Caucus over a special deal that the leadership cut with the NRA to get their support, but now it seems they're back on board.

The bottom line is this bill is BAD for free speech.  It's BAD for anyone who believes individuals and groups of Americans should be able to speak out on the issues they care about and exercise our 1st Amendment rights.

It was written by Democrats looking to RE-restrict corporations (including non-profit, issue advocacy groups) from spending their own money to speak out in the political arena - after the Supreme Court struck down a previous law that did the same exact thing.  What's worse is their new version doesn't RE-restrict the same behavior by unions, which is no coincidence.

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South Dakota pastor to test freedom of speech for churches

A pastor in South Dakota is moving to challenge the ability of the federal government (via the IRS) to prevent churches from endorsing candidates (or pastors from doing so in the pulpit).

Reverend Wayne Williams of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City, South Dakota endorsed Republican state Senator Gordon Howie's bid for governor last month, specifically hoping to draw a challenge from the IRS so he could begin a legal challenge on the issue in federal court and produce a constitutional test case.

(Via the Washington Times):

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Students sent home for wearing stars and stripes on Cinco de Mayo

Believe it or not, in the United States of America, students have been forced to go home from school for wearing patriotic shirts with the colors or design of the American flag.

Why you might ask?  Because it was Cinco de Mayo and deemed to be inappropriate by school administrators. 

Yes, really...  (Via KTUV in Morgan Hill, California):

Five students at a South Bay high school stirred up some controversy Wednesday for wearing t-shirts depicting red, white and blue American flags on Cinco de Mayo.

School officials at Live Oak High in Morgan Hill told the students they had to go home if they wouldn’t turn the shirts inside out.

One of the students said it appeared school administrators were worried the patriotic shirts could trigger fights. ...

Four of the five students who wore American flags or patriotic colors on campus walked into a meeting with the superintendent of the Morgan Hill unified school district Wednesday night.

They were facing unexcused absences because they chose to go home early rather than take off what they were wearing. ...

Student Anthony Caravalho was also sent home for not turning his shirt inside out.

“They said we had to wear our t-shirts inside out and then we could go back to class and we said no,” said Caravalho. “It would be disrespectful to the flag by hiding it.” ...

No God in the classroom?

In what seems like a more and more familiar tale, a high school teacher in San Diego was told by his school board that he could no longer hang signs or banners in his classroom with phrases like "One Nation Under God", "In God We Trust", or "God Bless America". In fact, even a direct quote from the Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal and they are endowed by their Creator", was put on the school district's naughty list.

And it's not as though this was a new thing.  It turns out that the teacher in question, Bradley Johnson, had been putting up such signs in his classroom for over twenty-five years without complaint.  San Diego's Ponway Unified School District leadership complained that the signs "over-emphasized" God, "conveyed a Judeo-Christian viewpoint", and that they might "offend" others.  At the same time, teachers in the district were allowed to display signage celebrating or promoting other things, such as gay rights.

We fail to see why anyone (least of all Americans) should be "offended" by things like our national motto or Declaration of Independence.  And, believe it or not, a federal judge in the liberal 9th Circuit agreed.

Beverly Hills Doesn't Care for (Conservative) Free Speech

In what's starting to look like a case of history repeating itself, a contestant in the upcoming Miss California pageant has let it slip that she's opposed to gay marriage. And liberals are having fits.

In this case, the city council of Beverly Hills - the very city which Lauren Ashley will represent - has condemned her views and is demanding that the pageant not allow her to use the moniker "Miss Beverly Hills" in the competition.

Via Fox News:

Former Miss California Carrie Prejean isn't the only beauty queen open to expressing her objection to same-sex marriage. Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley is also speaking out in support of traditional nuptials.

Miss Beverly Hills and upcoming Miss California contender Lauren Ashley spoke out to Pop Tarts earlier this week against gay marriage -- and as a result she has been publicly condemned by the City of Beverly Hills.

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Woman not allowed to wear pro-life pin in National Art Gallery

This is a story that's both hard to believe and not hard to believe at the same time.

It seems that this past Saturday, a woman who had participated in the March for Life in Washington was told by security guards that she had to remove her pro-life pin that she had on from the march before she entered the building.  She was told that you can't wear religious or political items in a federal building.  (??) Via Lifenews:

...after searching her bag, two guards at the Gallery told her, "You're good to go in, but first you need to remove that pro-life pin.”

"He was indicating the small lime green pin with the message 'impact73.org' and the silhouette of a small hand inside that of a larger hand that I had attached to the lapel of my coat," Duke writes today.

"The pin, they informed me, was a 'religious symbol' and a symbol of a particular political cause and it could not be worn inside a federal building," Duke continues.

"Why, I asked, can I not wear a religious or political symbol inside a federal building? Bringing to bear the full weight of the supreme law of the land, the guards informed that it was a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution: The combination of me, wearing a pro-life pin, in a federal building was a violation of the separation of church and state," she explained.

Chuck Schumer Has a Problem with Free Speech

Chuck Schumer's upset.

He's upset that the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that corporations (and unions) have First Amendment rights...as in that government can't tell them that they can't spend their own money to communicate their own message when it comes to elections.  And he's going to hold hearings!  (Oh no!)

Seems he has a problem with that whole "if the First Amendment protects ANY speech at all, it must first protect POLITICAL speech" thing...  Which isn't much of a surprise, as incumbent politicians always seem to be the ones who have the biggest problems with "too much" freedom of speech.

But Tim Carney has another ideas as to why Chuckie might be upset.  He took a look at the biggest recipients of contributions from corporate America and guess who's right up at the top of the list?  (three guesses and the last two don't count)

You see, if those evil corporations are free to spend their own money on campaigns, they won't have as much reason to give it to politicians like Schumer.

 

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