It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: FyreByrd
The constitution is written vaguely on purpose so that it can be interpreted in different ways at different times. Furthermore, one of the basics in politics is to use broad open ended statements. Giving specifics simply isn't how the process works as much as it would be nice at times if that's how it did.
originally posted by: Xcathdra
a reply to: FyreByrd
ok - let me ask you this then -
What is a journalist?
Who is a journalist?
Can you point out in the 1st amendment where it defines free press, what / who a journalist is, and who free speech applies to?
If the government passes a law defining what a journalist is, and a person speaks out against the government who does not meet the criteria, he/she can have action taken against them.
Now, if we look at the person who is speaking out as a non journalist, then he is being punished for freely expressing his opinion about the government, which is protected speech.
Defining something allows for that something to be manipulated. As an example a person in one of the northeast states, I forget which one, went onto their own Facebook account and compared one of the politicians running for a local office as using the same style propaganda that Hitler used.
The politician got pissed, demanded the post be removed an started legal actions against the person.
The first amendment should be treated in the same manner as diplomacy - which is to say diplomacy needs all the words it can get its hands on.
We have laws that govern the release of classified information.
We have laws that allow a media outlet / private person to be sued for libel / slander.
We have restrictions on a case by case basis that deals with certain types of speech that can incite a response or cause a panic.
There is no reason to try and define the 1st amendment and what a journalist is. The ONLY reason to go down this road is to protect politicians by allowing them to be above the law by restricting an individuals rights to criticize them.
All we need to do is look at the Bush administration and the Obama administration.
8 years of one scandal after the other. If the laws they propose happen, we would most likely never hear about Benghazi, the IRs scandal, Fast and Furious, (insert more examples for Bush / Obama here).
'Government must be restricted - not the people.
To answer your question -
Nothing needs to be divined when the intent behind the action is clear. Research this topic and see what is being discussed / used as examples as to why they want to define portions of the 1st amendment.
Keep in mind Congress has special protections built into the constitution - The Speech and debate clause, which allows them to speak in a manner in Congress that would not be allowed to be spoken in public without running afoul of the law changes being proposed.
Why does a government need to define who can report on their actions?
why does a government need to define who can say what where and when?
why does the government need a law to punish a person for simply disagreeing with a politician?
While we are all thinking about those questions, I would suggest people research Joseph Goebbels and how he stage managed the Nazi rise to power by controlling what can be said and by whom.
The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution contain a due process clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice and thus the due process clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law. The Supreme Court of the United States interprets the clauses however more broadly because these clauses provide four protections: procedural due process (in civil and criminal proceedings), substantive due process, a prohibition against vague laws, and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.
Due Process Clause
originally posted by: links234
a reply to: Xcathdra
Thanks? I know what due process is. It was an example to get the reader to think. Nowhere in the constitution does it lay out a definition of due process. It's up to interpretation. You've specified what we, as a society, through our laws, have defined as due process.
We used the constitution to lay a framework for the law to establish the meaning of the term.
originally posted by: FyreByrd
Can you give me a reference for that?
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.