I was surprised when I was skimming Rep. Reed’s Facebook page and saw a comment that referenced New NY 23rd.
The Headline read:
“Horror: 41% of Americans Want Free Speech Restrictions”
And among the Democrats polled?
51% favored restrictions on Free Speech!
On his web site, frequent partisan anti GOP poster, NY23, says ” It’s the 1st amendment for a reason!”!
Looks like you have some work cut out for you among your fellow Democrats, NY23! 😉
I had to bite…I clicked on the link, read the article, then responded:
The New NY 23rd Tom, thanks for promoting the New NY23rd. Since we are not ‘Facebook friends’ I can not Share this on my face book page. Would you do that for me? The first amendment has been limited probably from day one. The often used example is that you can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded theater (unless there is a fire, of course). We can’t publish lies about a person (libel) or tells lies (slander). We can’t own, print, promote child porn. In a reaction to protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers municipalities can limit where and when we can protest. I believe the making “make public comments intended to stir up hatred” that your article refers to might be considered to fit in with those restrictions.
Nice try NY 23rd, but no cigar. I am well aware of the classic examples you cite of accepted limitations on free speech. That doesn’t change the fact that the current push to limit MORE free speech is coming from the Left and the rationalization for those limitations is based upon fighting “hate”. One problem with that is …WHO gets to define what constitutes “hate speech”? You guys on the Left have been pushing that to the point of being ludicrous, trying to define anyone who disagrees with you as a “hater”! You know what? To me, anyone who promotes class warfare and envy with talk about income inequality is a “hater”! How about we prohibit THAT kind of speech and lock up anyone who promotes socialism? When you start labeling opinions you disagree with as “hate speech”, you are starting down a slippery slope that could end up biting you back. As someone who supposedly supports the 1st Amendment on your Facebook page you should know that! I expect better from a supposed supporter of Free Speech than rationalizations for MORE limitations upon it!
Tom’s friend Joseph added…
Very well stated Tom. NY 23rd seems to forget that more than a few of the Left leaning individuals who comment on this page do so with vitriolic rhetoric that would be banned as “hate speech”.
And then their friend Dave gave a comment:
Lets start limmiting speech that is untrue. Lets start with the current administration. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theather if there is no fire, but you can hollar “you tube vidieo” when a embassy is attacked overseas to midigate the politcal negative effects on an upcomming election? Is that speech OK with you 23rd?
I have never met Tom, John or Dave, but I know people who are a lot like them.
Tom’s concern is that “hate speech law” limits our rights of free speech, and asked, “WHO gets to define what constitutes “hate speech”. Joseph told that there have been some left leaning comments on Rep. Reed’s Facebook page which
should* would be banned as “Hate Speech”. Dave suggests limiting speech that is untrue.
(Joseph contacted me and pointed out that there is a difference between “should be banned” and “would be banned”. I agree, my mistake)
(Please note that Rep. Reed’s Facebook page states: “Comments that attack or are intended to harass an individual, group, or organization are unacceptable and will be promptly removed.” and “Content that is explicit, racial, or vulgar in any form as well as campaign references will be removed.”)
Do they really want a constitution to be inflexible? Those who do want to believe that the 18th Century Second Amendment is suitable with the weapons of the 21st Century. Those who do believe that only those adult males who own land can vote, and those who do feel that there is no need to have laws/regulations on automobiles since they were not mentioned in the Constitution.
The brilliant Framers of the Constitution knew their documents had to have flexible built into it to allow the government to adapt with the changing needs of society.
How is our Constitutional flexible?
The Amendment Procedure–To change the Constitution directly, it needs to be approved by 2/3 of the members of both chambers and 3/4 of all states.
The Elastic Clause in the Constitution—”Congress shall make all laws necessary.”
Unwritten Constitution—refers to the ideas and processes that are accepted as a needed part of American government, regardless of the fact that they are not actually in the Constitution. These ideas and processes came about through the custom and precedent.
Judicial Review—When there is a law that may contradict parts of the constitution, the Court would review it and approved it in person.
Those governmental concepts are taught in New York State’s High Schools. The following video is a teacher reviewing these topics for his students.
Today (June 18, 2015) the Supreme Court decided that a state (Texas) does not have to offer a speciality license plate with a Confederate Flag. That was presented as a First Amendment issue.
New situations will arise and Judges will compare them to the Constitution. Our Constitution will evolve.
The Constitution of the United States is a carefully balanced document. It is designed to provide for a national government sufficiently strong and flexible to meet the needs of the republic, yet sufficiently limited and just to protect the guaranteed rights of citizens; it permits a balance between society’s need for order and the individual’s right to freedom. To assure these ends, the Framers of the Constitution created three independent and coequal branches of government. That this Constitution has provided continuous democratic government through the periodic stresses of more than two centuries illustrates the genius of the American system of government.– The Court and Constitution from The Supreme Court of the United States of America website.