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Who’s afraid of the 1st Amendment?

Who’s afraid of the 1st Amendment?

Justice Elena Kagan kicks off a firestorm about “weaponizing” Free Speech

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elena_Kagan_Official_SCOTUS_Portrait_%282013%29.jpg

In Janus vs. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees), the Supreme Court (in a 5-4 decision) ruled that government unions cannot require non-members to pay union dues.

Earlier this week, Obama-appointed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her minority dissent to the Janus ruling that the Court had “weaponized the First Amendment.”

The majority opinion dwelt on issues of compelled speech, noting that “because such compulsion so plainly violates the Constitution, most of our free speech cases have involved restrictions on what can be said, rather than laws compelling speech. But measures compelling speech are at least as threatening.”

Kagan, however, has other ideas and claimed in her dissent that

28 states are “right to work” and do not allow fair share fees, while 22 states are not “right to work” and do allow them. The Janus ruling, she wrote, essentially makes the decision for local governments by banning them, “and it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.” She went so far as to call the majority “black-robed rulers overriding citizens’ choices.”

“The First Amendment was meant for better things,” she concluded.

Kagan’s fantastical notion of “black-robed rulers overriding citizens’ choices” by “weaponizing the First Amendment” is puzzling.  Citizens in non-right-to-work states are completely free to join a union if they so wish, and in doing so, commit to paying union dues.  The only change here is that unions can no longer extort dues from non-members in any state.

Citizens’ choices have not been overridden; indeed, citizen choice is expanded under this ruling.  They can join a union or not join a union, those who do not join cannot be compelled to pay union dues, but they are also not barred from doing so if they wish.

Her point about “weaponizing the First Amendment” is equally confounding.  The Founders intended the First Amendment to be a weapon . . . against government tyranny and oppression.  They were insistent that freedom of speech was required to check government and to maintain a free and independent citizenry.

Free speech as we’ve been chronicling here at LI for ages has come under heightened attack in recent years, particularly on our nation’s college campuses.  We’ve seen poll after poll in which large swaths of young Americans (mostly, but not exclusively, leftists) believe that speech should be more restricted.

We’ve heard politicians argue that “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment, and we’ve seen Yale students organize a petition to repeal the First Amendment.  We’ve heard that words are “violent,” and we’ve heard that “offensive,” “triggering,” and “hurtful” speech—speech someone in ear-shot hears and feels offended, triggered, or hurt by—should be unceremoniously restricted or even banned.

Kagan’s dissenting opinion, however, appears to be the impetus needed for the anti-First Amendment left to reveal themselves on their disdain for Americans’ freedom of speech.

The New York Times, for example, published a bizarre piece entitled, “How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment.”  In it, they argue that freedom of speech, in general, and the First Amendment, in particular, are dangerous because speech is a (you guessed it) “weapon” wielded by conservatives against the assorted and isolated identity groups on which Democrats rely.

“When I was younger, I had more of the standard liberal view of civil liberties,” said Louis Michael Seidman, a law professor at Georgetown. “And I’ve gradually changed my mind about it. What I have come to see is that it’s a mistake to think of free speech as an effective means to accomplish a more just society.”

To the contrary, free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice, Catharine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote in “The Free Speech Century,” a collection of essays to be published this year.

“Once a defense of the powerless, the First Amendment over the last hundred years has mainly become a weapon of the powerful,” she wrote. “Legally, what was, toward the beginning of the 20th century, a shield for radicals, artists and activists, socialists and pacifists, the excluded and the dispossessed, has become a sword for authoritarians, racists and misogynists, Nazis and Klansmen, pornographers and corporations buying elections.”

Two things stand out: the left’s focus on a “just society,” and the pretense that the First Amendment wasn’t put in place to protect unpopular speech.  We don’t need a Constitutional  amendment to protect popular, politically- and socioculturally-correct viewpoints, and justice is only justice when it’s not co-opted and redefined in a narrow and therefore unavoidably unjust way.

The NYT, however, in a display of quite startling deliberate obtuseness suggests that protecting unpopular, even vile and reprehensible speech, is no longer desirable.  The extension of this viewpoint is clear and laughably illogical:  only approved and acceptable speech needs First Amendment protection.

The undermining of our First Amendment protections doesn’t stop with a Supreme Court justice and the formerly most-respected newspaper in the country.

The ACLU has recently announced that it will become overtly active in politics, including in elections, and as an apparent extension of the ACLU’s politicization, they are also wavering on free speech.

Apparently, they will be “weighing” their interest in protecting First Amendment rights against their commitment to “social justice.”  The ACLU, who should be defending individual rights and liberties, have instead committed not to actual justice under the law but to “social justice.”  Social justice, of course, has nothing at all to do with justice.

Reason reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union will weigh its interest in protecting the First Amendment against its other commitments to social justice, racial equality, and women’s rights, given the possibility that offensive speech might undermine ACLU goals.

“Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed,” wrote ACLU staffers in a confidential memo obtained by former board member Wendy Kaminer.

. . . .  It’s hard to see this as anything other than a cowardly retreat from a full-throated defense of the First Amendment. Moving forward, when deciding whether to take a free speech case, the organization will consider “factors such as the (present and historical) context of the proposed speech; the potential effect on marginalized communities; the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values; and the structural and power inequalities in the community in which the speech will occur.”

The memo also makes clear that the ACLU has zero interest in defending First Amendment rights in conjunction with Second Amendment rights. If controversial speakers intend to carry weapons, the ACLU “will generally not represent them.”

It’s become somewhat trite and pat to state that the left engages in projection, that the left is always the one guilty of the wrongs it attributes to others, but sometimes trite and pat make the most sense.

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Comments

and the cowards in the House and Senate will Not impeach for anti Constitution rulings.. Kagan’s got the First Amendment Right to say and write anything including defamation of the Constitution.. however her ruling statements are still a high crime against the Constitution.

    Milhouse in reply to mathewsjw. | July 2, 2018 at 1:39 am

    Impeaching judges for their rulings is a very dangerous road to tread. The prevailing view for 200 years has been that judges have the same immunity on the bench that congressmen have on the floor, and that they can be held accountable only for what they do off the bench.

      redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 5:30 am

      here’s a concept you will undoubtedly have issues with: whilst legislators can be voted out after making choices their representatives disagree with, judges can be, unless you recall them, as happened with Rose Bird, et al, here in #Failifornia, back when this was still a semi-sane sate.

      so yeah, under-performing judges should have to face removal from cause, if only to encourage rational behavior.

        tom_swift in reply to redc1c4. | July 2, 2018 at 6:56 am

        so yeah, under-performing judges should have to face removal from cause

        The obvious problem is that, starting in 1804, to the Democrats, “cause” means being something other than a Democrat. They tried to remove Samuel Chase, a Federalist, from SCOTUS so that President Jefferson could replace him with a more cooperative judge from his own party. The actual charge had to do with habitual drunkenness, but that was known to be a sham—the judge did indeed positively swill whiskey, but in those days everyone did; water was considered unhealthy, and too often, it was. In any event, the plan failed when the judge was acquitted, and a good thing too, or every judge since then who wasn’t a Democrat would have been impeached as a matter of routine whenever the Democrats thought they had the votes to remove him.

          Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | July 2, 2018 at 10:13 am

          Partisan politics wasn’t the main factor. If you look at the senate record there were several serious factors involved, and his behavior on the bench does seem to have been erratic. There was not just drunkenness but bizarre outbursts, partiality, etc. But in the end the senate’s decisions boiled down to whether it was proper to remove a judge for his behavior while on the bench, and on each charge (sometimes by very narrow margins) more than 1/3 of senators said it was not. This set a precedent that hasn’t been challenged from that day to this.

          Which doesn’t mean it can’t be challenged tomorrow. This standard is not in the constitution, it’s just the view of a minority of senators 200 years ago. It’s just like the long-standing congressional view that it’s not proper to expel a member for behavior that occurred before his election; the Supreme Court has taken official note that this has been the view of congress for centuries, but has not endorsed it in any way.

          DaveGinOly in reply to tom_swift. | July 2, 2018 at 10:17 am

          Justices swear to support and defend the Constitution. Any justice who publicly admits, either personally or officially,to an inclination to ignore the Constitution or to make decisions adverse to common and well-established understanding of the plain meaning of the Constitution, is guilty of false swearing, and therefore has committed an impeachable offense. They can contort their “reasoning” as much as they need to distort their view of the Constitution, but when remarks indicate a desire or effort to rule in the teeth of the Constitution, that oversteps a line.

          Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | July 2, 2018 at 3:41 pm

          Few if any judges ever publicly admit, either personally or officially, to such an inclination. Perhaps because the ones who actually have one, and act on it, tend heavily to be dishonest, so they pretend, albeit not very hard, to genuinely believe their interpretation of the constitution is the correct one.

    I stood 10 ft from Mario “Free Speech” Savio and listened to him speak.

    I haven’t changed my opinion. Those lefties are still correct. Gone are the days.

    MAGA

The leftwing lunatics are losing the arguments, thus they must rely on silencing the opposition. They use hate speech lies as the their tactic to shut down any dissent.

    Matt_SE in reply to azervin. | July 1, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    As they do to speech, so they also do to the body. When socialist utopian schemes start inevitably failing, the first recourse of the left is to violence.

I’m old enough to remember the SCOTUS free speech cases in the 70s, specifically Falwell v Flynt. Over the course of the last 40 years the roles in this landmark case have reversed: the left are now arguing from the position of Jerry Falwell and the right, Larry Flynt. The ruling in that case determined that the more offensive speech is protected, the freer it is. The left has completely retreated from this stance, trapped by it’s implications for what they would like to label “hate speech”.

    c0cac0la in reply to Guein. | July 1, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    The Left was never interested in taking any principled stances. Those stances were only used as a weapon to gain more power. Once that weapon is turned against them, they will try to blunt it or destroy it. Their only agenda is increase their own power by any means necessary.

      Matt_SE in reply to c0cac0la. | July 1, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      This is why it’s always a mistake to try and “trap” progressives with their own logic. Their arguments were shams meant to fool you, nothing else. They also cannot be embarrassed.

Wow, what an idiot. Affirmative action is truly destructive.

Colonel Travis | July 1, 2018 at 8:46 pm

To the contrary, free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice, Catharine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote in “The Free Speech Century,” a collection of essays to be published this year.

Pure idiocy. What does “amplify injustice” even mean? Reinforce injustice? Does the freedom of speech of a racist mean everyone else has to sit there and take it? Should we model ourselves after South Africa, which ended one form of racism by replacing it with another?

MacKinnon inexplicably assumes that free speech is one-sided, i.e., not free. Her premise cannot even exist because it is a paradox. If free speech is “a sword for authoritarians, racists and misogynists, Nazis and Klansmen, pornographers and corporations buying elections” one would think that the entire nation would have become enslaved to authoritarians, racists, misogynists, Nazis and Klansmen, pornographers and corporations long ago. But everyone in America is free to push back against all these groups – and this push back is independent of the government. Where does “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech….” come into play with the citizenry in the above instances? It doesn’t.

All this is another way of saying: I want the power to force you to shut up – fines, jail, property confiscation, death, whatever it takes. It’s pure tyranny but she and others are too chicken to ever say it up front.

Ah, the cowardly authoritarian.

    Milhouse in reply to Colonel Travis. | July 2, 2018 at 1:56 am

    MacKinnon is a known quantity; she has always been famous as an enemy of the first amendment. Quoting her in an article on changing views was stupid, because hers hasn’t changed at all. She was railing against free speech in the ’70s, when the left were for it.

Four of our Supremes are ignorant progs that desire to overthrow the constitution entirely. They gleefully support communist rule.

Kagan’s not intelligent enough to write a minority position that sounds reasonable.

    Milhouse in reply to Barry. | July 2, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Kagan is very intelligent, and perfectly capable of making reasoned arguments where there are any to be made. But when neither the law nor the facts are on your side, all you can do is pound on the table.

      redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 5:32 am

      Objection!

      cites facts not in evidence.

        Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | July 2, 2018 at 10:18 am

        The facts in evidence are her accumulated opinions, plus the cases she argued before she came to the bench. There can be no doubting her keen intelligence. But sometimes you have no material to work with.

      Edward in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 7:07 am

      She may well be intelligent yet is totally blind, as one of our Black Robed Masters, to using the term Black Robed Masters as if it doesn’t apply to herself.

      moonmoth in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 7:47 am

      But when neither the law nor the facts are on your side, all you can do is pound on the table.

      Irrelevant. Kagan was a judge in this case. She’s not supposed to have a “side”, So if neither the facts nor the law supported her, then she should have either voted the other way, or had the integrity to vote the other way.

        moonmoth in reply to moonmoth. | July 2, 2018 at 7:50 am

        Sorry: “then she should either have had the integrity to vote the other way, or simply shut up when her side lost.”

        Milhouse in reply to moonmoth. | July 2, 2018 at 10:17 am

        She’s not supposed to have a side. And yet she does. This doesn’t impugn her intelligence, merely her integrity.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 1:27 pm

          Her writing impugns her intelligence.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 3:42 pm

          No, it doesn’t. On the contrary, it demonstrates that she’s a lot smarter than you. Perhaps even more honest, though that’s not saying much.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 7:15 pm

          Kagan had/has a thin to nonexistent court experience resume to begin with.

          Her educational resume might look good, Princeton/Harvard, but her record, such that it is, and writing, all portend a lack of awareness of her inability. It’s important to know what you don’t know. It keeps you from writing opinions that are BS, as she did here.

          I’ll match her and your intellect any day. You consistently show a propensity to bow down before the progs on the court.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2018 at 3:14 am

          You have no idea what you’re talking about. She had plenty of court experience. What you’re dimly remembering and misreporting is that she had no experience on the bench, which is irrelevant.

          You have a propensity to lie through your teeth.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2018 at 3:17 pm

          I’m not dimly remembering anything. I know exactly what her experience is. She has thin experience that relates to her current position.

          I notice once again your term, lie. It’s the liars that consistently use it.

          You’re simply a bullshitter.

Oh dear. I didn’t realize that fatuous “weaponize” statement was made by Kagan in a written dissent. You know, work. What she’s paid to do. I’d assumed it was some throwaway drivel from a talk show plucked out of context and superheated for our entertainment. The usual American political entertainment.

So …

She could be unbelievably stupid, stupid enough to believe that hot is cold, dry is wet, and the First only protects a small and useless subset of speech.

She could be deeply and malevolently weird, weird enough to realize that although protected speech is just that, still hates the idea, and figures it’s up to her to go all Ginsburg and inflict her version on us if she can, especially now that Ginsburg is older’n hell and running low on bile.

Or she could be planting a meme which the socialists will find useful in the near future.

All appealing postulates, but I’d consider the third the most dangerous.

Kagan the liar who claimed she never heard of the term “progressive” when asked if she were one in her confirmation hearing. A dolt from the Obama (horrible) years.

Sotomayor at least has the Bell Curve to fall back on.

Kagan is just dumb as a rock with no fall back position.

LOL

Its’ always the most incompetent affirmative action hires who are the most arrogant.

Kagan and sotomayer: perfect examples.

    On a more local level and back from the 90’s.

    Those were the type of dimbulbs who were made chairpersons of the Diversity Committee and hauled all of us innocent victims into the conference room where they babbled on incoherently about how America was not a Melting Pot but a Salad Bowl – or something equally stupid.

    And it still goes on.

    Remarkable.

    LOL

The past week had immense SUNSHINE !
Both sotomayor and kagan PROVED that neither one should have never been confirmed.
They qualify as PARTICIPATION TROPHY lawyers, at best !

“Freedom of speech, in general, and the First Amendment, in particular, are dangerous because speech is a (you guessed it) “weapon” wielded by conservatives against the assorted and isolated identity groups on which Democrats rely.”

And, of course, they want to be put in charge of what is protected speech, and what isn’t. Power grab.

    CaptTee in reply to rdmdawg. | July 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Arguing that the First Amendment is weapon only one side can use to shut the other side up has some logical fallacies based on obvious misunderstandings of what the First Amendment means.

    I used to work for a school board and there was a union that I did not join that supposedly represented me that had a contract with the school board that prevented me from negotiating my own pay raises. The decision to select the union to represent us was made at least a decade before most of the employees eligible to join the union worked there. We need a law that says when less than 50% of those eligible to join a union actually join it, that should either be considered a decertification vote or it should trigger a decertification election.

Kagan’s fantastical notion of “black-robed rulers overriding citizens’ choices” by “weaponizing the First Amendment” is puzzling. Citizens in non-right-to-work states are completely free to join a union if they so wish, and in doing so, commit to paying union dues. The only change here is that unions can no longer extort dues from non-members in any state.

Citizens’ choices have not been overridden; indeed, citizen choice is expanded under this ruling. They can join a union or not join a union, those who do not join cannot be compelled to pay union dues, but they are also not barred from doing so if they wish.

You’re ignoring her carefully chosen word: “citizens”. Citizens don’t join or not join unions; people do. Whenever individuals make choices for themselves they are not acting as citizens. Civic choices are those made by voting and legislating, and the Court has indeed restricted those choices. People can choose whether to join a union, but citizens can no longer choose to make everyone join. People can choose whether and how much to support a political campaign but citizens can no longer choose to make laws limiting such support. People can choose what weapons, if any, they wish to own, but citizens can no longer choose to make laws banning those weapons they wish to. Which is exactly as it should be, but she’s correct in identifying what’s happened.

Her words are entirely of a piece with one of the Supreme Court’s worst decisions ever, Romer v Evans, which seems to say that citizens have a US-constitutional right to have whatever laws they like enacted, if they have the support for it, and therefore all state constitutional restrictions on what laws may be made are themselves unconstitutional. It doesn’t put it as blatantly as that, but that’s what it seems to boil down to.

    Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    “Citizens don’t join or not join unions; people do.”

    A distinction without a difference. Citizens are people.

    Anyone that is an inhabitant of a city, state, or country is typically a “citizen”, usually with privilege defined by the laws of the political entity.

    Kagan is not less ignorant as a result of her “carefully chosen word”.

      Milhouse in reply to Barry. | July 2, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      And once again we have your favorite dishonest tactic, stating an irrelevant truism as if it were an argument. Yes, of course citizens are people. So ****ing what? How does that make any point whatsoever? It doesn’t, and you know it. The fact remains that the choice whether to join a union, support a campaign, own a weapon, or go for a d**n walk, is not a civic choice, it’s an individual choice. People make those choices, not citizens. Citizens’ choices are what laws to make, and the whole point of the Bill of Rights is to restrict those choices.

        Barry in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 7:19 pm

        And once again we have your favorite ignorant tactic, creating a strawman with no validity.

        It makes no difference which term she used, citizen or person. The result, and her argument, is the same.

        Dishonesty, as a term, seems to be used by the dishonest.

          Milhouse in reply to Barry. | July 3, 2018 at 3:19 am

          Of course it makes a huge difference which term she used, because they are very different terms. The result, and thus her argument, would be completely different had she used the term “people”. She didn’t, because that is not what she meant, and unlike you she knows the difference and she knows that words matter. If you can’t see that you’re an idiot, but more likely you do see it but are dishonestly denying it because that’s who you are.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | July 3, 2018 at 3:23 pm

          The case was about a persons right to not join a union, to not pay union dues, their first amendment right not to do either or to do so, as they choose.

          That Kagan chose to use the term citizen doesn’t change her pathetically weak argument one iota. It doesn’t fit your pathetic attempt to claim she is highly intelligent as a result of using the word citizen in place of person.

          Your dishonesty or ignorance is on display. Everyone but you recognizes it.

          Milhouse in reply to Barry. | July 4, 2018 at 3:58 am

          The case was equally about the citizens’ right (or lack thereof) to legislate that people must join a union. The majority found for people and against the citizens, which from our point of view is a good thing. Kagan correctly identified what they did, and thinks it bad.

we’ve seen Yale students organize a petition to repeal the First Amendment.

No, we haven’t, at least not yet. You have mischaracterized the story to which you link. No Yale student organized such a petition. Some Yale students were stupid and gullible enough to sign a fake “petition” to that effect, which is a very very different proposition.

Proving yet again, Kagan should never have been ‘given’ the position of ‘judging’ ANYTHING…

The New York Times, for example, published a bizarre piece entitled, “How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment.” In it, they argue […]
The NYT, however, in a display of quite startling deliberate obtuseness suggests

The NYT doesn’t argue or suggest anything in this piece. The author, one Adam Liptak does. This is not an editorial, and it’s wrong of you to pretend it is. It’s an opinion piece, which by definition represents the views of the writer alone. The NYT may be blamed for seeing it as worthy of publication, but it is dishonest to attribute the author’s views to the paper.

    Edward in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 7:17 am

    When I was young (a goodly number of decades ago) this was a valid argument regarding the opinion pieces vs. editorials published in the many, many newspapers in the country. In the far fewer newspapers available today it often is a distinction without a difference. If a Leftist oriented opinion piece is published in the NYT, can anyone honestly claim that it doesn’t also represent the opinion of the editors (and most employees) of the NYT?

      Milhouse in reply to Edward. | July 2, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Yes, not only can this be so, if often is so. The NYT deliberately makes it a practice to publish opinion pieces that it doesn’t agree with, which is why there are often right-wing pieces in the mix. Not many, just enough so they can satisfy themselves that they’re being fair.

      But these pieces, whether left, right, or just out there, are solicited from people who don’t work for the paper, and have nothing to do with it, so they give no indication of the views of the people at the paper, except that those people didn’t consider the piece so bizarre as to not be publishable. They would never publish an openly racist piece, for instance, or one openly calling for a communist dictatorship, so the fact that they published this means they think it’s within the broad bounds of acceptable discourse.

    Petrushka in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 8:47 am

    When the NYT opinion pieces displaying balanced opinions, then the will not be the opinions of the Times.

      Milhouse in reply to Petrushka. | July 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Wrong. There’s no reason to expect balance, merely a mix. That the mix tilts left is no surprise, but it is a huge mistake to suppose that all leftists agree with everything written by another leftist, or specifically that the NYT editorial board agrees with any opinion piece the paper publishes.

Eastwood Ravine | July 2, 2018 at 1:33 am

“She went so far as to call the majority “black-robed rulers overriding citizens’ choices.”

I think Associate Justice Kagan projects is too much.

    Milhouse in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | July 2, 2018 at 2:06 am

    No, her words are carefully chosen and perfectly true. She’s speaking from a perspective that defends the citizens’ right to make those laws they see fit, and therefore resists any attempt to limit that right by constitutional provisions. To us on the right, this supposed right of citizens is of little value, and we have no objection to restricting it.

      Eastwood Ravine in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 2:59 am

      I’m not going to even try to unpack that gobbledygook you wrote.

        Milhouse in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | July 2, 2018 at 5:02 am

        Excuse me? That’s rich, coming from someone who wrote “Kagan projects is too much”, a phrase that has no meaning whatsoever. My comment is perfectly comprehensible, and perfectly sensible. If you have trouble parsing it you must be illiterate.

Why is it that when conservatives dare to speak about anything they are accused of promoting hate speech and microaggressions, but when Leftists come out with some of the most vile accusations and such against Republicans and members of the Trump administration, then suddenly these vile insults and baseless accusations from the Left are justified as fee speech with no hint of micro- or any other kind of aggression. The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming.
>
Then again it is no different when Republicans are accused for being misogynists for just about any comment they make, but, when the Left condemns one female Republican after another again using reprehensible hate speech, it is all perfectly just.
>
And to think that there are many, especially those on the Left, who cannot fathom the reason behind the “#walkaway” movement.

buckeyeminuteman | July 2, 2018 at 6:45 am

“Black-robed rulers overriding citizens choices” sounds a lot to me like the homosexual marriage Obergefell case of 2015. How many states had a constitutional amendment voted on by the majority of the residents that was simply nullified by Kagan?

    Milhouse in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | July 2, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Ah, but that’s different, because those states were the ones where the citizens are ignorant and have deplorable opinions and need guidance from their more educated and enlightened citizens in the civilized states.

I worked for government and was forced to pay union dues. If they were low and just used to pay a negotiating team I would have been fine with it, but the Union Heads made exorbitant salaries. Had expense accounts that exceeded their salaries. Went on Union retreats to places like Hawaii and Las Vegas several times a year. Worst of all gave my money to the democrats.

I worked my way through college on a US Post Office Department night shift. In addition to no negotiations for pay and benefits*, Federal unions could/can not charge “agency fees” for those employees who do not join the union.

* I understand the replacement USPS “independent corporation” is different, but still no agency fees.

Jonathan Cohen | July 2, 2018 at 7:50 am

It is always worth remembering the words of Eric Hoffer.

“All great causes begin as movements, become businesses and end up as rackets.”

My guess is that he was thinking mostly about the labor movement but it applies to the current “social justice” movements as well.

The rationale for requiring union dues is that they are collected for the purpose of bargaining for higher wages and better working conditions. That argument is no longer relevant when unions collect dues to support a top heavy staff of bureaucrats with high salaries who use their positions to support the Democratic Party and a variety of boutique liberal causes including the destruction of the state of Israel.

Public sector unions are particularly problematic because their employer is the public. In many states they have managed to essentially bankrupt the governments with overly generous guaranteed pensions which are heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

At universities, I can see the need for collective bargaining as much of the teaching is done by low paid adjuncts and underpaid full-time non-tenured positions. If the union dues simply went to provide a small team that could stop this trend it would seem fair. But it is not fair to extort money from all faculty to support a national union bureaucracy that pours money into the Democratic Party, supports causes the individual members do not support, and pays for high salaried national office bureaucrats.

More material for a sequel to the Republican’s “The Left is Unhinged” video. Remember the days when we were called paranoids for warning that if the Second Amendment were thrown in the trash, then the First would soon follow?

This is why democrats cannot be trusted with power.

They put low quality people in to positions of power NOT because that is what is best for the country BUT exactly because that is whats best for Democrats and go fuck the country.

The sooner SCOTUS is 6/3 or even 7/2 in favour of Conservatives the better for the country, and by extension the better for the world.

“Once a defense of the powerless, the First Amendment over the last hundred years has mainly become a weapon of the powerful,” she wrote.

In “Democracy in America”, written some 180 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville observed that under the principle of equality the common man is not silenced, but because of equality he is not heard.

This is not a new phenomenon.

From page 2 of Kagan’s dissent – “Public employee unions will lose a secure source of financial support.”

Kagans concern is that public sector unions will lose funding – If that was her concern, then why bar public sector unions from political activities.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 2, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Unions predicate cases like this upon two false unstated premises:

    First, that because unions have a right to exist that their funding must be assured by persons other than just those wiling to pay for their services.

    Second, that government has a role in assuring unions’ continuing existence.

Nope. Sorry Elena. Sotomayor is STILL the stupidest and most incompetent member of SCOTUS. Nice try though.

From sotomayor’s one paragraph dissent – “Having seen the troubling development in First Amendment jurisprudence over the years, both in this Court and in lower courts, I agree fully with JUSTICE KAGAN that Sorrell—in the way it has been read by this Court—has allowed courts to “wiel[d] the First Amendment in . . . an aggressive way” just as the majority doestoday. Post, at 27.”

quessing that putting the brakes on compelled speech for progressive causes in Janus and NIFLA is aggressive.

next up make the unions responsible for collecting dues and stop forcing businesses to handle the union payroll.

Albigensian | July 2, 2018 at 10:35 am

If a “weapon” is anything your political opposition can use effectively to argue its case, then the First Amendment is a mighty “weapon” indeed.

Perhaps what Kagan is trying to say is, “Weapons for me, but no weapons for thee”?

The current motto of the left: “Your speech is violence; our violence is speech.”

OleDirtyBarrister | July 2, 2018 at 12:23 pm

It is ironic that the prototype of the oligarch in a black robe is remarking about weaponizing any part of the US constitution to overrule federalism and the exercise of police powers by the state.

What they hell does she think the leftists have been doing with the 9th and the 14th all these years? Roe, Casey, Lawrence, Hodges, etc. are all prime examples.

Antifundamentalist | July 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Free Speech is Supposed to be a weapon! That’s the point of the First Amendment.

So, if I’m a state employee forced to pay for a union membership, and some of my dues are paid by the Union to support White Supremacists, then Kagan is O.K. with that.

Wow, what a RACCCIISSSSSSSSSSSSS.!!!!!!

Arguing that free speech is dangerous and should therefore be restricted is like arguing that “assault rifles” are dangerous and therefore should be restricted. These arguments ignore the fact that both speech and arms are protected in order to reserve the use of either, when necessary and appropriate, to the citizenry precisely because their utility is manifest in the dangers they pose; the former in its ability to persuade and the latter in its ability to force.

Only leftists think of our First Anendnent freedoms as a weapon.

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