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Kagan: Speech is free if government decides it has more value than 'societal costs -UPDATED'

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posted on May, 12 2010 @ 02:32 AM
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Regardless of political party, administration, supreme court nominees, or attorney generals, in my opinion our first amendment rights have been abridged already for quite some time.

"Free speech zones," a practice used at campaign rallies (of both parties,) official gatherings (WTO, UN, congressional, etc.) and other political and diplomatic assemblages are a prime example in my opinion of abridgment of the first amendment.

The reason I feel this way is because the first amendment does not merely give us the right to protest, but to "petition the government for redress of grievances." If one is in a box wherein he or she can exercise the former but not the latter, then in my opinion this constitutes an abridgment of the rights granted in the first amendment.

What she is saying sounds to me like it follows the same principle. Yes, "yelling 'fire' in a movie theater" constitutes a potential threat to life, which is why it's often used as an example to justify limitations on the first amendment, but the right to protest peacefully and non-disruptively, and to directly petition the government, are different, and are being abridged by "free speech zones" and other similar practices in my opinion that her position would seem, at first glance at least, to endorse.

[edit on 5/12/2010 by AceWombat04]




posted on May, 12 2010 @ 03:53 AM
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Originally posted by prionace glauca



So now our First Amendment's protection of speech are under attack. Though the decision was overturned but what happens when she is nominated to the highest court of the land?



The Sky is falling !
another day another worry, welcome to the School of Fox News!



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 04:57 AM
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This is why those of us that are aware of what has been going on ought to unite.
If you truly care about the history of the U.S.A, the freedom's and right's we all have that were given to us by our creator and brought to fruition by the shedding of the blood of our ancestors and other people's ancestor's.

I'm sure the founding father's, and as many as they were, would be very upset with how our country has been guided. I'm sure they would want heads to literally roll, but I say the best way to help our country is by living a good moral life and just learning as much as we can and offering to tell others of the facts we have learned, so they too can be able to fight against these traitor's.

Yes, traitor's is exactly what they are and traitor's in the old days got what was coming.
But I do feel that education and living peacefully as possible with all men is best. Even those that support the U.N and the new world order because they too were babies once and maybe they can be awakened and free from their ungodly beliefs and desire for a one world government.

[edit on 12-5-2010 by TruthSeeker8300]

[edit on 12-5-2010 by TruthSeeker8300]



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 05:40 AM
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This is a horrible mess. When you have to hope on the partisanship of judges like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to protect us from "New Democrat" activist judges- the US has just been turned upside down. Between Bush & Obama, this is a damn nightmare. And I'm starting to wonder if it's ever going to end.
Impeach the whole bloody bunch- all 3 branches! We need to roust them out and start. over.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 07:22 AM
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I feel like her relevance to the supreme court will come into play when the individual states appear before the Supreme Court with health-care lawsuits.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 07:25 AM
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This is possibly more important than your right to bare arms, you've got to be constantly on the look out for the thin end's of wedge's. they're often hard to see, not this one though, I hope this nominee gets scuppered.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 08:48 AM
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While I do disagree with her position in the U.S. vs. Stevens case which gives me pause, I fully agree with her position in Citizens United vs. the FEC. That case, I think is very fundamental and her position was to stop the ability of corporations, which have vast wealth far beyond any citizen's, even the wealthiest, from being able to buy elections.

I don't want Halliburton or even Coca-Cola, for that matter, purchasing more power than they already get to have over us. Her position was trying to limit what corporate entities could do in such matters - they are not humans and should not have the same rights as humans in all matters, yet increasingly this corporatist court is granting them such rights. They are virtual people - mechanisms that were originally designed to allow for certain kinds of development and use of capital resources - that's very useful to society, but there needs to be limits.

Roberts, especially, seems to want to allow corporations to have all the same rights as people, but without the ability to be punished in the same way since, well, you can't put the fear of prison into a non-living entity. They can't be punished the way humans can be, so don't have to suffer the same kinds of penalties. Very disturbing.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by poet1b
This is an important topic.

How can she be considered for the Supreme Court after having written an oppinion like that. The way she worded her opinion clearly undermines our first amendment rights.





This seems to be clear evidence of either incompetence, or an opinion on free speech that is contrary to the fundamentals of our society.




Ooops. Somebody missed sixth grade civics class. As made clear in the article but not in the OP, this was NOT an opinion. It was a brief. As Solicitor General, she is a hired lawyer, an advocate for a position desired by the client, in this case the Department of Justice. It was her job NOT to write what she believes the law is, but rather to write what her client wants the interpretation of the law to be. If she joins the Court, then her job becomes that of interpreting the constitution and applying it to fact patterns.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


No kidding. Her nomination was just raw meat for the left. This will bring the social issue to the fore and get folks talking about gays, abortion and that will bring his base together.

The republicans need to leave that bait alone and get on the core constitutional issues, like the one in this thread and stay the hell away from that stuff. Now the loons on the right will want to hammer her on gays, abortion and the rest of the Christian right agenda.

She's got extreme views, but I think he knew she would get hammered during the confirmation and has essentially tossed her under the bus on purpose.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 09:17 AM
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I've read through the pertinent sections of the actual USA vs. Stevens petition, and as I kind of suspected, the article is taking the one line largely out of context and not placing the argument in its full light.

The case involves someone who was selling videos of extreme animal cruelty for profit, most specifically pitbull fights and videos of pitbulls attacking various defenseless animals.

The activity that is depicted in the videos is currently illegal in all 50 states and is illegal under federal statues.

The case likens this activity to another form of illegal cruelty, namely child pornography, also illegal everywhere in the U.S., and the sale of such videos which is also illegal. Both activities involve particularly helpless victims being taken advantage of in an illegal manner, and for profit motive.

This portion of the petition says it well when discussing the dissenting decision in the prior case she was trying to appeal:


They [the dissenting Judges] also noted the widespread belief that “cruelty to animals is a form of antisocial behavior that erodes public mores” and “ha[s] a deleterious effect on the individual inflicting the harm.” Id. at 42a. And they determined that the depictions covered by Section 48 have “little or no social value,” both because “depictions of animals being intentionally tortured and killed” generally appeal only “to those with a morbid fascination with suffering,” and because the statute’s exceptions clause “circumscribe[s] the scope of [the] regulation to only this category’s plainly unprotected portions.” Id. at 47a-49a. The dissenting judges also analogized the depictions at issue to child pornography, because the depictions are “intrinsically related” to the underlying criminal acts, id. at 51a, and prohibiting them will dry up the “lucrative market for depictions of animal cruelty,” id. at 53a-55a.


So I ask you all:

Should child pornography be a form of protected speech in America, considering the activity itself is illegal? Currently it is not protected as free speech, and anyone who sells child pornography is committing a criminal act.

If not, then should videos of animal cruelty, also illegal activity everywhere in this country, be considered protected speech?

That's what her argument in this case comes down to. Where do you all stand on this?

After reading this petition, I have to change my position stated in my prior post, I do agree with her position in USA vs. Stevens.

[edit on 5/12/2010 by LifeInDeath]



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 11:23 AM
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Thanks again Obama...........

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT,
Could you please stop screwing up our country? I know it wasn't in the best shape when you got it. I am just saying your not helping. Time to make the adjustment and stop messing up. You know what? You could spend some more time on the basketball court you had put in and less time messing with our court system amoung other things and we might pull out of this on our own....

Thanks



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by LifeInDeath
 


Here is my issue with this post: Don't give a woman who was on the Goldman Sachs payroll the benefit of the doubt. She's a corporate stooge through and through. While I don't agree with Corporations having citizenship status, I do believe in Freedom of Speech. If Coca Cola's CEO wants to come out and say "don't vote for George Bush", he should be able to say it. If the board of the company doesn't like what he's saying, they can vote him out and he's without a job. You don't need government rules for this stuff. He can also donate as a person rather than on behalf of Coca Cola so there is that loophole right there. I don't like the corporate influence in our government but I think if a CEO wants to bitch and complain and the share holders don't mind, let them do it.

Because what you are advocating will also hurt the small business lobby as well and will keep them from petitioning the government. It's a slippery slope for sure but I don't think this issue is as black and white as people are making it out to be.

Just my two cents.

On topic: this lady is ridiculous but hey, what did you guys really expect from the Million Dollar Goldman Sachs Man?



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 11:57 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by justinsweatt
If Coca Cola's CEO wants to come out and say "don't vote for George Bush", he should be able to say it. If the board of the company doesn't like what he's saying, they can vote him out and he's without a job. You don't need government rules for this stuff. He can also donate as a person rather than on behalf of Coca Cola so there is that loophole right there. I don't like the corporate influence in our government but I think if a CEO wants to bitch and complain and the share holders don't mind, let them do it.

Not really a loophole, that's just how it is. Any private citizen can say what they want about politics or contribute to whatever candidate or however many candidates they so choose, up to the maximum legal limit. The CEO of Coke can probably afford to give the maximum amount to every single member of congress if he wants - whatever, that's his choice.

What I fear is that if corporations are allowed to make political donations, then a company like Halliburton or Exxon or Goldman will form 100,000 subsidiary shell corporations, and through each one give the $2,000+ maximum donation to however many candidates they want, however many times they want. Goldman could support a single candidate with $200 million that way, if they wanted.


Because what you are advocating will also hurt the small business lobby as well and will keep them from petitioning the government. It's a slippery slope for sure but I don't think this issue is as black and white as people are making it out to be.

The small business owner in such a case could likely only afford two such donation at best (one for themselves the other from their corporation), which really is a drop in the bucket and insignificant compared to what a Fortune 500 company could do.

These big companies already have too much political influence, as we can all see. This does nothing but allow the mega-corps to have ever more power than they already have.

[edit on 5/12/2010 by LifeInDeath]

[edit on 5/12/2010 by LifeInDeath]



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by Blaine91555
reply to post by NoHierarchy
 


You can't have it both ways. All speech comes from individuals whether they represent a Corporate point of view or and individuals thoughts. We don't need to head down that slippery slope. Every exception made to limit free speech is a nail in the coffin of free speech in general. We all understand, I think, what this was about.

How far is it from this to saying for instance free speech only applies to our elected representatives and not to us because we are a Republic. If it ever heads that direction, which is clearly what these folks want, it's a one way street to a country we won't recognize any more.

People need to understand, these people hate the Constitution. They want to parent us and make our decisions for us. They suffer from Grandiosity and deem us all unfit to make our own choices or even raise our own children. Their goal is a society where we all work for Unions which speak for us and all business is taken over under government control. They want a two class society and guess who gets all the marbles?


See you're not getting it... a corporation is made UP of people, housed within (both literally/figuratively) arbitrary man-made structures/systems. However, a corporation ITSELF is NOT a person and therefore should NOT be granted the rights of personhood itself. The people WITHIN a corporation have all the INDIVIDUAL rights of a constitutional person, but a corporation cannot die, it cannot be imprisoned, it cannot feel, sleep, regret, and so on. Also, a corporation as a single entity is FAR different than an individual person, in power, design, scope, wealth, footprint, behavior, legal responsibilities, and so on.

You say I "can't have it both ways" but there IS NO both ways... a corporate entity is simply NOT a person, just as a union is not a person, just as an army is not a person, just as a government is not a person. Did you know that in the recent ruling that granted the very rights to corporations to influence/fund elections/candidates directly and running right up to an election, it also opened up the power of UNIONS to do the same? Previously corporations and unions were unable to participate in such conflicts of politico-economic interest, now they are able to. This has nothing to do with OUR freedom and everything to do with tipping the scales of our Democracy in favor of a plutocracy where the rich and rich/powerful entities can essentially control our fragile/corruptible elections/government not ONLY in private but now legally and out in the open. If you want to talk slippery slopes, THAT is the slippery slope we're headed down and it's a terrible one which is actually one of the final nails in the much more REAL coffin of corporate personhood taking over OUR government. If you don't understand such conflicts of interest and how they can effectively ruin a sound Democracy and electoral process then I really don't know how you could understand this concept.

Please visit this link for more info on the issue:
www.reclaimdemocracy.org...

Most of your assertions I can see are coming from a well-meaning place of defending our liberties, and I absolutely believe in utmost liberty for us, however, you are also out of line with reality and the facts on what PRECISELY is going on here and simply hearing the spin ("THEY'RE TRYING TO BAN POLITICAL PAMPHLETS!!") and propaganda without looking at details. If you look closer you will see that her ruling is actually a protection of our free speech in the face of entities which can and are effectively stealing it from us via their lobbying/financial weight. Corporations DO NOT share the same interests in government as the citizenry. There is no excuse to allow corporations into the game, they already have their economic games and the stock market, ours is a Democratic/Republic government where we (ideally) ask for what we want, and if it lines up with corporations, so be it, but if it doesn't, too bad so sad for them, they are supposed to be OUR servants, not vise versa.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 02:03 PM
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"Solicitor General Elena Kagan said in the brief to the Supreme Court that her office agreed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “that the princes are immune from petitioners’ claims,” "

---> www.nytimes.com...

www.prisonplanet.com...



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by dalek

Originally posted by prionace glauca



So now our First Amendment's protection of speech are under attack. Though the decision was overturned but what happens when she is nominated to the highest court of the land?



The Sky is falling !
another day another worry, welcome to the School of Fox News!


So if CNN would have reported it we wouldn't have to worry? This matter shouldn't be about oh you are the Fox crowd. This concerns everyone who likes to speak freely without the government telling you what is acceptable.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 05:04 PM
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First off I must say that I believe completely
in the First Admendment. I feel that there
should be no restrictions, including "hate speech".

I do have to ask though, how many people
criticizing this brief were also complaining about
the ruling that this refers to. You know, the one
where corporations can donate unlimited amounts
of money to politicians; and then call that
"Free Speech".

Also, I wonder if the idiot who brought up what
these women look like was being sarcastic or is
actually that intimidated by a woman with some
authority.



posted on May, 12 2010 @ 06:40 PM
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This is bad, but nothing new. Almost every new law nowadays operates on this premise. The drug war is the biggest example. If you went back to the 1800s and told them that the government could tell people what they could and could not put into their own bodies, they would look at you like you were crazy.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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I can't help but wonder if some people involved with the laws of this country have even read the Constitution.

I also can't help but wonder if these same people are aware that the first amendment is the one that lets them get away with what they are saying.

From where I stand, without the protection of the first amendment the rest of the our freedoms are rather useless. If a person can't say what they really think and believe they would be afraid to own any type of defensive arms, they would only go to "the proper churches", they would be very careful about the personal papers and records they kept, and the list will only get longer!!

As I said before, anyone in public office should be very greatful for the freedom to speak freely because getting elected would become the easiest part of their job. It could quickly become harder to hold their tongue than to hold their job.




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