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Westboro baptist church

 
 
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 01:32 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Linkat wrote:
There is someone always that is so anal they have to point out any little mistake - ruling vs. dissent -

You're kidding, right?


Maybe an 8-to-1 decision isn't clear enough for Linkat. Other first Amendment cases were decided by 9-to-zero, e.g. SAV v. St Paul, where someone burned a wooden cross in the yard of a black family and was prosecuted under some St Paul hate-crime ordinance found unconstitutional by the USSC:
Quote:
The ordinance... is facially unconstitutional because it imposes special prohibitions on those speakers who express views on the disfavored subjects of "race, color, creed, religion or gender." At the same time, it permits displays containing abusive invective if they are not addressed to those topics. Moreover, in its practical operation the ordinance goes beyond mere content, to actual viewpoint, discrimination. Displays containing "fighting words" that do not invoke the disfavored subjects would seemingly be useable ad libitum by those arguing in favor of racial, color, etc. tolerance and equality, but not by their opponents.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-7675.ZS.html
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 02:15 pm
@High Seas,
Alito calls attention to the fact that the 1st AMendment IS NOT a blanket license to say anything anyone wishes. Incitement to violence, if the violence is imminent, Is one of the areas. What are some others?
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 07:54 pm
@farmerman,
You know I read Alito's dissent so I don't have to repeat I find it erroneous in both facts and law. You may know the RAV v St Paul ruling (9 to 0), op. cit.:
Quote:
"Let there be no mistake about our belief that burning a cross in someone's front yard is reprehensible. But St. Paul has sufficient means at its disposal to prevent such behavior without adding the First Amendment to the fire."

Scalia's wording. I believe the 9-to-0 majority then, as the 8-to-1 now, is absolutely correct. All, all "hate-crime" statutes are unconstitutional. And Alito's other concern, since you asked, about "privacy" is wholly misplaced and irrelevant: by its very nature, political speech isn't private, it's public!
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 06:36 am
@High Seas,
Not the point HS, Alito compared it to yelling fire in a theater, or obscenity, defammation, and inciting to riot, all of which ARE NOT protected.
The decision is what the decision is. Like "Citizens United" I dont agree with it (I rarely agree with ALito, I never liked him while he was in Philly, however, his record on sensitivity to civil rights issues makes him an ok guy to dissent in this decision).
Alito has the rigor of legal scholarship behind him, he makes sense in this.

8 to 1 is merely a bandwagon. I dont think the USSC is fully thinking **** out these days.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 06:40 am
@High Seas,
Quote:
Alito's other concern, since you asked, about "privacy" is wholly misplaced and irrelevant: by its very nature, political speech isn't private, it's public!
why? defamation and inciting are ALL public violations of the First amendment. When Westboro has made a decent living from such events as these , my belief is that we shouldnt be giving them a free ride on a Constitutional right.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 06:58 am
@farmerman,
But you'd be hard pressed to say how WBC is inciting violence. They are not directly calling for violence against service members or gays (although I believe their hateful speech certainly contributes to anti-gay violence) nor are they defaming the dead by saying they are going to hell. That is clearly an opinion and pastors have been telling people they are going to hell for centuries. Their message is noxious, but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of incitement or defamation.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 07:13 am
@engineer,
Quote:
but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of incitement or defamation.


I could be wrong but I dont think you have to be alive to suffer defamation.
AS far as inciting, the WBC has had several major settlements from people who, while being the target of the picket have perhaps overreacted. I dont think that the burden of this reaction should just be placed on the backs of the grieving, especially since it was the WBC's MO to force a court settlement .

Its quite easy to be "for free speech". Its often more difficult to sort out the exceptions to the rules of order.

I am ceratin that the deceased are being defamed, Impretty sure that there was incitement intent.

High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 07:16 am
@farmerman,
Alito claims all of this, but the point here is that Snyder didn't - knowing that none of these applied. Snyder claimed (a) emotional distress tort, (b) invasion of privacy, (c) civil conspiracy. 8 of the 9 justices concurred with Roberts that none - none! - of a,b,c, applied in the case. Alito's claims are an emotional rant - ergo he's wrong on the facts of the case as well as on applicable law. 3rd time I repeat this - to see it, just read through the decision and the dissent:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-751.pdf
The Westboro crew may consist of obnoxious buffoons, and it's highly probable all of our sympathies are with Snyder, but the Constitution must be upheld; it was, and I'm proud of the ruling and the court. Btw, the only decision to which I took violent exception in recent years was Kelo, not Citizens United.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 07:18 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

I could be wrong but I dont think you have to be alive to suffer defamation.

That's definitely wrong: nobody can defame the dead. Libel and defamation apply only to the living: true in all jurisdictions, US and overseas.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 07:21 am
@High Seas,
I think you get my point. Funerals are for the living.
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 08:21 am
@farmerman,
And legal decisions are for the legal profession. This case is not the end of the matter. The decision has the potential to test the "free speech" rubbish to destruction as it will empower others on a rising curve of disgust until a stop is put to it. Free speech was a relatively innocuous matter when the constitution was written but it is not now. The testing to destruction will necessarily involve a very great deal of protracted deliberations by members of the legal profession and the regular drawing of the public attention to their importance and the public having to knuckle under to it.

Many people innocently support "free speech" because they can't imagine people saying anything their own respectable and genteel upbringing has not approved. I cannot give examples very far out of that range, of course, because my free speech is restricted.

The protesters could not have been protesting at the homosexual kid because when they were protesting he was not a homosexual kid. He was a corpse that had lost life in the service of the nation as defined by those we have elected to define it. And whatever sins a Christian might say he had committed it would be allowed that he had been forgiven and he only had to do 0.ooooo1 milli-micro seconds penance in Purgatory for every 50 homosexual acts he had partaken of or thought of when Taliban lead was passing close.

I'm with Alito and farmerman.

Here, I think, the cops would let it be known that they were withdrawing to 3000 yards from the church and leave the silly fuckers to the mercy of the mourners and any passers by who are sympathetic to their point of view. Which is to be allowed to bury ones hero son with dignity, discretion and decorum.

The USSC gets its privilegies by pretending that the law of a civilisation can be written in flame-gouged slabs of slate. Every ammendment is proof they are pretending. I'd abolish the racket after this decision. They are either completely out of touch or are taking the piss.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 08:36 am
@farmerman,
What do you think is the defamation in this case? That the deceased is going to hell? Christian theology is pretty clear that unless you do what they prescribe, you are going to hell, so this is nothing new. Was there something else that you found defaming? As for incitement, I didn't think that meant inciting people to beat on you. The Wikipedia article says incitement is "the act of persuading, encouraging, instigating, pressuring, or threatening so as to cause another to commit a crime." I can't see where the WBC folks are doing any of that.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 08:45 am
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

Here, I think, the cops would let it be known that they were withdrawing to 3000 yards from the church and leave the silly fuckers to the mercy of the mourners and any passers by who are sympathetic to their point of view. Which is to be allowed to bury ones hero son with dignity, discretion and decorum.

How about the same for other political speech? If Obama is in Alabama with an unpopular message, should the police will just announce that they are staying home and the mob can do as it sees fit? The idea that unpopular free speech should be regulated by mob violence is more noxious than anything WBC has ever posted. Talk radio does more violence to our national conversation than WBC. If anything, talk radio gave birth to WBC by showing that absurd, extreme behavior reaps rewards.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 09:24 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

.. The idea that unpopular free speech should be regulated by mob violence is more noxious than anything WBC has ever posted.

That's true - though your extension to talk radio as somehow more reprehensible than the WBC is dubious at best. But there's a much more profound truth, and vastly greater force, to the 1st Amendment, and Paul Johnson (a Brit, and arguably the greatest living historian) captures it perfectly:
Quote:
"Of course I worry about America," he says. "The whole world depends on America ultimately, particularly Britain. And also, I love America—a marvelous country. But in a sense I don't worry about America because I think America has such huge strengths—particularly its freedom of thought and expression—that it's going to survive as a top nation for the foreseeable future."


8 justices of the USSC grasp this; I don't know why Justice Alito (or Farmerman) allowed himself to be swayed by emotional considerations.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 09:30 am
@engineer,
Quote:
Was there something else that you found defaming?


There was for me. They defamed the tradition that a family might mourn and bury a soldier son in peace. Why don't they protest a Mafia funeral? That is supposed to have done a lot worse things than this kid did. Where's their moral priorities? Where it's safest I suppose. A griefstricken, blameless family and its friends being fucked over for entertainment just because they are civilised. All legal and above board and enthusiastically supported by 8 USSC judges and those of like mind, and more than being permitted, encouraged, given the known attraction of the species media-dramatis to exciting incidents, having been known to set some up when not many were happening, which is not dissimilar to wasps being attracted to a jar of jam that somebody left the top off.

I don't suppose I would object as much in the case of a fundie miscegnationist faction protesting a mixed race wedding but a family burying a soldier son is far more important than that. Weddings not being taken as seriously as they used to be after a stop was put to jumping over the brush. I wouldn't approve of it mind you. I wouldn't get my knickers in a twist over it.




0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 09:51 am
@engineer,
Quote:
How about the same for other political speech?


I don't consider this case involves political speech. This is not an "unpopular message". This is a deliberate and planned attempt to undermine our culture's, and many others, attitude to the disposal of the dead. A very most foundation rock of our world. And the sanctity of the precincts in which that attitude is expressed. Who knows if the Unknown Soldier was a sinner or not? Don't we do contortions to not speak ill of the dead? And a hero soldier is tops of the hierarchy. The warrior class is always "up there" to use Mr Warhol's words.

Maybe they should find a suspected homosexual buried in Arlington and go dance on his grave. Picking on an ordinary family is bullying. They are calling all the shots. And the USSC approves--based on some "free-speech" claptrap dreamed up by lawyers who only had their own free speech in mind.

Excepting Judge Alito.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 10:08 am
@High Seas,
Well HS--anybody who grasps Paul Johnson's ideas is either used to handling greasy bears or slippery eels or is a sucker for fatuous assertions however crude or fancifully dressed. That the US is going to survive as a top nation for the foreseeable future is completely meaningless. It is foam from the mouth. Mr Johnson has a formidable reputation at that skill. I have a bad-tempered letter in my files somewhere, I know not where, from the geezer in response to a letter of mine to The Spectator concerning an article he foamed. He's a figure of fun in certain circles here and we all quite like him because he can do the pop-eyed, temple vein-throbbing in print better than most of us.

I suspect his statement was made as he was embarking upon a speaking tour of America's institutions of The Higher Learning which Mr Veblen tried to show, from first hand experience, are not quite what they seem.

0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 10:20 am
@High Seas,
Quote:
8 justices of the USSC grasp this; I don't know why Justice Alito (or Farmerman) allowed himself to be swayed by emotional considerations.


All our laws, customs and manners are based upon emotional considerations.

And in some medical circles the emotional affects of anger, bitterness and frustration which the kin of the dead soldier will suffer for a long time to come are considered to be deleterious to physical well-being and economic usefulness. An attack, however indirect, on their bodies and on the economy. How many indignant victims does the USSC wish to create?
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 10:24 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
I think you get my point. Funerals are for the living.


damn, i wasn't planning on having one until i died
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  3  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 10:27 am
@spendius,
Quote:
All our laws, customs and manners are based upon emotional considerations.
ordinary silliness, all our laws, customs and manners from Hammurabi to this date are based on the preservation of wealth.
 

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