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Religious Liberty now allows some to be Above the Law

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posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:10 AM
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originally posted by: dismanrc
1st Atheism is in fact a religion from every definition of the word. Which I have no issue with at all.


No it's not. Atheism has no rituals, worship of any kind, God or Gods, anything supernatural, etc. In fact it is at it's most simple just the Non-Belief in God or Supernatural Beings. The "Atheism is a Religion" argument is false. Two Atheists could have completely different sets of beliefs and principles and still be Atheists just by not having Faith in God or the Supernatural. Atheism is not a Religion but instead is the opposite of any form of Religion ever.


2nd This country was established upon the assumption that religion was essential to good government. (look at the Northwest Ordinance 1787)


How about we try James Madison instead. He lays out exactly why "the total separation between Civil Gov. and Religion is needed for both Religion and Gov. The less they influence each other the better it is for BOTH.



James Madison (1751-1836) is popularly known as the "Father of the Constitution." More than any other framer he is responsible for the content and form of the First Amendment. His understanding of federalism is the theoretical basis of our Constitution. He served as President of the United States between 1809-1817.

Madison's summary of the First Amendment:

Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform (Annals of Congress, Sat Aug 15th, 1789 pages 730 - 731).

Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).

James Madison on Separation of Church and State



3rd No where in the Constitution does it state separation of church and state


Read what is above. Remember that the Gov. needs to be completely apart from Religion to work properly without influence. Letting any Religion influence Gov. is not good as it put the Gov. under the authority of which ever Religion currently has that influence. The idea that Religion is and was always included in the Gov. is the opposite or the Truth and is just the propaganda of many Religious Orders and their attempt to gain control of Gov. It's a lie and if you just think about it for a second you'll realize that too. Any mixing of the two is bad for both of them. Don't you see that??


Lastly I have no issue with any religion.


Fine. Nobody is telling you should have an issue with it. If someone has a problem let them worry about it. Most people who aren't Religious don't have an issue either and could care less about someone praying as long as they aren't being told they have join. Goes back to the whole Separation concept again. Everyone get's to do their own thing.


You see porn and graffiti and trash on the streets with no problem, but the cross make you shake with fear?


Hardly. Lay off the Religious Brainwashing and you'll realize the only one's in fear of the cross are those who Believe in it.


(You can change the cross to: star of David, crescent moon, the @ sign or any other one you care to use)


What about for those who don't care to use any of them???

Again, what happens if you start mixing Religion and Gov. with your example of "Symbolic Choice"???
What do you start hanging in the Court house or on Capital Hill??? The Cross, Moon, Pentagram, Star of David, etc.???
Are you starting to understand why a Total Separation of Church and State is Best for Both????
edit on 26-9-2014 by mOjOm because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:37 AM
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originally posted by: dismanrc
Like many things now-days people don't at meanings and where something comes from.

1st Atheism is in fact a religion from every definition of the word. Which I have no issue with at all.


No it isn't. Atheism is just a belief (that there is no god), but that doesn't mean it is a religion. Religion is an organized set of beliefs. Atheism (and you might as well throw agnosticism in there as well) aren't organized as beliefs in any way whatsoever. There aren't official tenants telling atheists or agnostics what to believe or how to believe it. There isn't any official hierarchy of priests telling others what to believe. Atheism is the exact OPPOSITE of a religion.


2nd This country was established upon the assumption that religion was essential to good government. (look at the Northwest Ordinance 1787)


This is what the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 says about religion:


religious tolerance was proclaimed, and it was enunciated that since "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."


That doesn't mean that government should be coupled with religion. It means that people should be tolerant of other people's religions and government should respect all religion. But that is all a moot point, since this document was written by the Continental Congress and was replaced by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which says that no religion should be honored above any others.


3rd No where in the Constitution does it state separation of church and state (It is in the constitution of the USSR. That make you think?)It also does not say freedom FROM religion; it says freedom OF religion. The statement of separation of church and state come from a letter written by Jefferson. But again the phrase is taken out of context with what he was saying. In fact in the original draft of this letter; He proposed a federal day of feasting and pray. This was taken out of the finial version because he thought it might upset a couple of "eastern" politicians. (How do you get more eastern from where is was?)


Here is the text of the 1st Amendment with the part about religion in bold.


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.[1]


That means that Congress isn't allowed to make ANY legislation that establishes an official religion of the government while at the same time saying that Congress isn't allowed to inhibit anyone from practicing a religion no matter what it is. In other words, separation of church and state. Just because it isn't spelled out in the Constitution doesn't mean that wasn't the intention.


Our current problems come from activism of the courts. Afte the 1920's some courts began to reinterpret the 1st Amendment. They started the move from the word OF to the word FROM. The original idea was to stop the growth of a religious group; like the Anglican Church from having a hold over the government as it had in England. It was also to allow people of different faiths to be able to practice their religion without fear. In the truest sense the government should have pushed back against this. The courts do not have the power to change the Constitution only to enforce it. The idea that they can reinterpret what it means is ludicrous. Yes it is a "living" document; but I believe that it is living by the fact that they built in ways to change it. These changes are hard, but they didn't want people tampering with the document without deep though and I sure they didn't want the thought of a mere 5 people to change the meaning. (5 being the # of votes in the Supreme Court currently needed). Look at what happen with the 19th Amendment when it was passed so quickly without the proper time to reflect.


No our problems began when religion tried to worm its way into government. If religion would keep out of government, there wouldn't be a problem.


Lastly I have no issue with any religion. Does it really hurt you so much to watch a person pray? We walk by people on the street dying and starving without a second glace, but walking by a person praying stops you in your tracks?


Prayer? Who cares about that? This thread is about the government giving CORPORATIONS special exemption because they are trying to pretend they are a religious corporation (whatever that is) and their rights are being violated by government mandates.


You see porn and graffiti and trash on the streets with no problem, but the cross make you shake with fear?

(You can change the cross to: star of David, crescent moon, the @ sign or any other one you care to use)


You totally missed the point of the thread. You need to drop the persecution complex. It is the Christians who are trying to overstep and inhibit others' rights through the exercise of their own. This is a violation of the Constitution and there is MUCH legal precedent that if a right of someone starts to unduly inhibit someone else's right then the first right CAN be suppressed in order to honor the other right (example: a judge issuing a gag order on a court case to prevent the participants from talking about it to the press).



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: mOjOm



A photo of the horror. Picking pecans.


Even if parents don't own the land, they fall under operators, which under federal law already exempts them from age restrictions.


Parental exemptions- Minors of any age may be employed by their parents at any time in any occupation on a farm owned or operated by his or her parent(s).All exemptions- to agricultural employment rules are statutory in nature and the Department's regulations reflect laws enacted by the U.S. Congress.


US Department of Labor

I posted this not to address the Hobby Lobby issues just yet, but to debunk any ideas about some sort of hard labor going on.


edit on 26-9-2014 by Logarock because: n



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 08:27 AM
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Would like to remind that we don't have a clear picture of what it was that these church members were being asked. Could have been something unrelated really that prompted the request for exemption.


federal judge in Utah ruled last week that a member of a Mormon offshoot known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) was exempted from testifying in a federal child labor investigation, claiming that sharing information on the inter-workings of the church violated his religious vows.


We really need to know what the questions were before we jump on this like a bunch of tools! In fact there are other precedents here other legal answers.


MSNBC



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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originally posted by: LDragonFire
This is what happens when the court is dominated by political ideology and not the constitution, like Roberts supreme court is, there rulings will be the end of America.

Religion thinks if they can't rule you, discriminate against you then they have lost there freedoms, when there action do in fact lead to others losing there real freedoms.



You are blind as a bat if you don't think government wouldn't intrude on its own....into all things. They need to be kept out of religion to maintain the "No laws respecting the establishment of religion"......which is at least written down unlike the church and state separation which is valid only in as much as the court used Jefferson.


"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.'" 330 U.S. 1, 15-16.


This is Emerson vs Board of Education......a much bigger case that than Hobby Lobby. In fact Emerson vs Board is probably the most often used, quoted, extrapolated decision ever in US history.

Now you read this and see HobLob isnt sh*t compared to whats said here.

Emerson vs Board



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:40 PM
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originally posted by: Logarock
A photo of the horror. Picking pecans.


Lol. Yah that does look pretty bad.

Understand I'm not trying to speculate on what the case is or if what happened was illegal or not. I don't know the details of what happened. My concern is with the argument that is being used in allowing this guy to not have to testify in court. Whenever you're called to court to testify you are then required to testify or else you can be fined or jailed for not doing so.

As long as you're not being asked to testify against yourself you're required by law to testify. However, allowing "Religious Beliefs" to excuse someone without penalty, especially since what is allowed as "Religious Beliefs" is so open ended, seems like a damaging thing to allow in the pursuit of Justice.

Now, I realize our Justice system is already in poor condition already and I'm not someone who is Pro-Law Enforcement either, but that doesn't matter. Adding one more loophole certainly isn't going to help it any.

Also, again, the Hobby Lobby isn't being argued as pertains to that case.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:58 PM
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originally posted by: Logarock
You are blind as a bat if you don't think government wouldn't intrude on its own....into all things. They need to be kept out of religion to maintain the "No laws respecting the establishment of religion"......


I agree. I also agree that Gov. will, as it always has, try and intrude on everything in every possible way. After all that is the function of Gov. It was created to maintain Limits, establish order, protect boundaries, etc. That is it's entire function. To do those things it also must be given the Power to do those things that is larger than any other group or individual. That is what makes it dangerous as well, which is why it must be under control as well, else you face having to deal with an out of control monster of your own creation.

Now, when it comes to Religion and Gov. those limits do go both ways. You don't want Gov. influencing Religion nor Religion Influencing Gov. If Religion is Influencing Gov. with Religious Rules, Laws or Policies it becomes a Gov. which is Theocratic and no longer represents everyone and can no longer be expected to Protect all Religious Orders Equally either. That is the reason for the separation and why Religion as far as Policy making is concerned must stay out of Gov. You can't let the Rules of Religion set the Policies of the Gov. or the other way around. Do you see what I'm saying???



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 01:57 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
Your argument is that due to the fact there is no immediate harm or threat and there are possibly alternate avenues to obtain the same information without infringing on his Rights (I'm coming back to this in a minute.), the government cannot justify compelling someone to testify when it conflicts with their beliefs.


In the strictest sense, yes. All burden of evidence is the responsibility of the State. While we are speaking of a religious belief in this matter, it really doesn't have an affect on compulsion in regards to the State compelling a free citizen to incriminate themselves or even deny themselves their freedom of conscious.


Now, as for the Rights and the Beliefs. Do you consider an conscientious objection not grounded in Religion but just as strongly held to also be a valid and comparable argument?? All things being equal??


Answered above. Yes. Regardless if it is rooted in a religious belief or one held on principle, compulsion via the State can only lead down a path that is wholly un-Constitutional in my opinion.


If they fail to obtain the info from alternate sources, is it then allowed for the court to compel the party to testify???


Here is the rub so to speak. If one is true to their convictions regarding the matter, they will endure any punishment that the State imposes and still not testify or speak. In turn, that person could turn against the State and show cause against the State on how such punishment for not speaking violates their Rights.

In the end, it is the State's burden to provide the evidence; similar to when you get pulled over for a moving violation and the officer's first words are "do you know why I pulled you over?" Most don't want to deal with it and they give the State (the officer in this scenario) the evidence they need, rather than explaining that you do not need to answer that question or even better yet -- tell them that is their job to explain why you were pulled over.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 02:25 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
My concern is with the argument that is being used in allowing this guy to not have to testify in court. Whenever you're called to court to testify you are then required to testify or else you can be fined or jailed for not doing so.


The State itself has to make that argument and they failed miserably I might add. That is why this case went the way it did. Go to page 3 of this post and read the slip opinion on the matter that I linked.


As long as you're not being asked to testify against yourself you're required by law to testify. However, allowing "Religious Beliefs" to excuse someone without penalty, especially since what is allowed as "Religious Beliefs" is so open ended, seems like a damaging thing to allow in the pursuit of Justice.


It is a matter of Freedom of conscience I believe we are truly arguing here. While we have an inherent Right to not incriminate ourselves in the Court of Law, we also have our own consciousness to abide by. While the State can make a compelling argument, they cannot however force one to speak; even if under the treat of punishment.


Adding one more loophole certainly isn't going to help it any.


What loop-hole though?



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 02:54 AM
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a reply to: ownbestenemy

Ok, I think I understand your argument better now and I do recognize and agree with what you're saying. Especially since you are applying it equally from the position of Constitutional Rights being in place for the People themselves.

My problem I think has more to do with Religion being the basis for how it's being used currently. To me it seems to be granting Religious Privilege rather than Religious Freedom. Since those who are not Religious do not get the same consideration regardless of how deeply held their convictions may be solely because the are not based in some Faith or Religion.

I have another question for you now too. The way I see it is that we established Gov. to ensure and protect our liberty. However, we also established it to enforce the law. To properly enforce these laws and protections it must be given the power to do so, which in some cases would include compelling people to do things they may not want to comply with. So while I agree an individuals rights must come first, if their right to silence for whatever reason is not valid if their silence may cause additional harm to another.

For example, in this case there is no immediate danger to anyone and the information may be gained elsewhere. However, if that wasn't the case and the information is vital to the state in it's pursuit to carry out it's duties it would then be necessary for the state to compel them to testify, correct?? As long as they can prove it to be the only option, would you agree??

Also, as a side note, I don't understand why they include the Hobby Lobby Ruling since it seems like the only thing needed to site in this case would be the RFRA. The Hobby Lobby ruling was for Corporations only from my understanding and doesn't seem like it fits with this particular case. Why do they include it here and site it when it seems to me only the RFRA pertains to this case since it's just this one individual??



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 03:13 AM
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originally posted by: ownbestenemy

What loop-hole though?


By loop-hole I mean a way for someone to get around having to follow the law. In this case being allowed to withhold testimony without penalty even though the testimony being asked for doesn't infringe on the Right of Self Incrimination. For example, let's say you were asking someone within a criminal organization, or even non criminal organization for information about the activities of either the organization itself or some of it's members which are illegal. Let's say a low level guy working for the mob or something.

Now, if the state has no power to compel him to testify about these activities, even if the state can prove the need for that information, just by him saying doing so burdens his Religious Beliefs, then nobody would ever be in a position to provide testimony about an alleged crime. It seems to me there are some situations where the State might have to compel someone to speak against their will, as long as the state can prove the information is vital in their duty to do what we created it for. Does that make sense???



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 03:21 AM
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a reply to: mOjOm

In the very situation you bring here, the one with the information would need to show "The State" a religious background for his standings on that belief..

In other words I, as a Christian, could not claim that as there is nothing in Christianity to support such an action..




posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 03:31 AM
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a reply to: mOjOm

The State has the power to compel if and only if, they can provide grounds for such compulsion. In this matter, there was none.

Merely demanding compulsion because they want evidence is not enough. The burden is on the State to prove that such compulsion is valid and Just. Thwy failed at that in this matter.

ETA: The Hobby Lobby case was cited as precedent. All case law is built on such. It will be until it is overturned ot found invalid. If no such precendent is found, they are to rely upon the Constitution in the matter.
edit on 29-9-2014 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 03:44 AM
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originally posted by: semperfortis
a reply to: mOjOm

In the very situation you bring here, the one with the information would need to show "The State" a religious background for his standings on that belief..

In other words I, as a Christian, could not claim that as there is nothing in Christianity to support such an action..



Not true actually. If you read the ruling it's very specific about what the court looks at when applying this ruling. It doesn't judge the merit or validity of the belief itself. It even says that whatever the deeply held belief is, be it unreasonable, inconsistent, etc. to anyone else other than the person who holds it doesn't matter as the court is not there to judge if it pertains to some official Religious doctrine. It only verifies that the individual does in fact show evidence of that belief being deeply held, or important to them.

That's one of the major problems with it IMO. It's very open ended.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 03:50 AM
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originally posted by: ownbestenemy
a reply to: mOjOm

The State has the power to compel if and only if, they can provide grounds for such compulsion. In this matter, there was none.

Merely demanding compulsion because they want evidence is not enough. The burden is on the State to prove that such compulsion is valid and Just. Thwy failed at that in this matter.


Right. Ok. I agree and I will admit I must change my stance on this matter from where it was when I started this thread. Because in this case there was no reason for Burdening this guy and making him speak, they had no grounds to do so. You have changed my position. Well, you and my wife helped a little too since she helped explain your position, or what she though your position was, days ago when we stated this discussion.

BTW, thanks for responding too. We've been waiting to hear back from you ever since you joined the discussion.


ETA: The Hobby Lobby case was cited as precedent. All case law is built on such. It will be until it is overturned ot found invalid. If no such precendent is found, they are to rely upon the Constitution in the matter.


I still have a problem with the HL and RFRA Ruling because of the Religious nature of it since it doesn't include Non-Religious people's beliefs too. That and the very broad way it can be applied. But that is more of an argument for a different topic.
edit on 29-9-2014 by mOjOm because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 04:54 AM
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a reply to: mOjOm


Not true actually. If you read the ruling it's very specific about what the court looks at when applying this ruling


After 28 years in the system, I can assure you it is true..

My personal experience in this is very extensive..






posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 05:33 AM
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originally posted by: semperfortis
After 28 years in the system, I can assure you it is true..

My personal experience in this is very extensive..



So you're a lawyer or attorney or something???

Well, this is what I'm talking about and it's from this ruling. So read it and explain to me where I'm wrong then because it sure seems clear enough.

Sorry for the formatting of it, that is just how it copies over for some reason.


It is not for the Court to “inquire into the theological merit of the belief in question”.
Hobby Lobby, 723 F.3d at 1137. “The determination of what is a ‘religious’ belief or
practice is more often than not a difficult and delicate task ....However, the resolution of
that question is not to turn upon a judicial perception of the particular belief or practice in
question; religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible
to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.
” Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indiana
Employment Security Div., 450 U.S. 707, 714 (1981). The Court’s “only task is to
determine whether the claimant’s belief is sincere, and if so, whether the government has applied substantial pressure on the claimant to violate that belief.”
Hobby Lobby, 723 F.3d
at 1137.
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH CENTRAL DIVISION


edit on 29-9-2014 by mOjOm because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 05:41 AM
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originally posted by: mOjOm

originally posted by: xuenchen
a reply to: windword


How do you see a subpoena, asking the witness to tell the truth, as being a violation of his religious expression? Do you think that churches should be exempt from child labor laws?


How did this case address all that?

Did this guy have a lawyer present a case?

The whole point is how the courts and the lawyers "see" it.




Why not just admit it's a problem instead of continuing to ask a bunch of questions which you could easily have answered yourself in the first place. It's almost like you're trying to misdirect attention away from the whole problem with some lazy, directionless, pointless questions dealing with either easily answered questions or questions about minor details.

It's been shown repeatedly that this is probably just the start of a bad trend which is sure to continue. Each little step just slightly more than the last until we live in a Nation ruled by Religious Interpretive Law. I mean can you honestly imagine anything more repressive than a nation controlled by Fundementalists, regardless of which Religion it is???

The whole point behind our Forefathers stealing this land and creating our Republic in the first place was to have a system Ruled by Reason and Our Best Ideas, Open to all who want to join and Yet Still free enough for People to do and believe as they choose. The only way to Protect Religious Liberty is to stop any one Religion from having authority.


This is exactly the underlying principle that is being promoted
as government interprets religious liberty: because in the last
two hundred years, government has become the new universal
religion. It occurred as a belief system was constructed around
legal fiction and it was called real.
As the laws of man further and more extensively dictate right
and wrong, the more the will of men as "law" become dogma.
When ideas good or bad become law, man's law usurps God's.
Why do you think they kicked (Him) out of the government?
edit on 29-9-2014 by derfreebie because: Because apostasy is so trendy now



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 05:48 AM
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a reply to: mOjOm

It is very clear when you read the entire thing and not focus on what you want to believe, or more accurately what you have bolded..

The courts have to consider the totality and NO they can not question your beliefs.. But they can and will compel testimony when the fundamentals of the particular religion show no substantive reasoning for withholding..

Also you do know you are quoting a district court decision and NOT a SCOTUS?

SCOTUS has the final say

State will differ

Louisiana Supreme Court orders priest to testify about confession

Privilege applies to clergy

Case law is the end all be all and one should NEVER make sweeping generalizations when only armed with one case in one state






posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 05:50 AM
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And to answer your question, among other things I have taught Constitutional Law for a number of years




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