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    a fundamentally center-right, fiscally conservative country that is obsessed with deficits..., 2011-11-25 15:09:58 | Main | systematic mass murder is highly correlated with modernity..., 2011-12-01 17:14:42

    "free", as in free near beer for all my friends:

    I thought Robert Reich's formulation of last week's exercise in national irony isn't quite succinct enough, so with further abbreviation:

    Americans have been assaulted, clubbed, dragged, pepper-sprayed for exercising their right to free speech and assembly to protest the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court says money is speech and corporations are people.

    But Monica Youn's post at the American Constitution Society, "The Roberts Courtís Free Speech Double Standard", hits the specific ball out of the general park:

    Simply looking at the numbers, the Roberts Court has supported a free speech claim in 33.33 percent of argued cases ... from 1953 to 2004, the Supreme Court supported claims of deprivation of First Amendment liberties in 53.95 percent of argued cases. Thus, at the most basic quantitative level, the Roberts Court seems to be not especially protective of free speech rights.

    Disaggregated, these numbers become more dramatic. Out of the nine cases where the Roberts Court has supported a free speech claim, five of those are cases in which the Court struck down campaign finance reform laws. These numbers bear out Chemerinskyís argument that "what really animates [the Roberts Courtís ] decisions is a hostility to campaign finance laws much more than a commitment to expanding speech."

    ....

    At the same time, the conservative majority has shown itself willing to disregard free speech claims by ... government employee whistleblowers, humanitarian aid organizations, and, most pertinently for todayís purposes, unions. Thus, it seems that the most that can be said of the conservative majorityís free speech record is that "The Roberts court strongly protects speech that it likes, while allowing regulation of speech it disfavors," as Adam Winkler has put it.

    Read the rest. It's quite mind boggling.


:: posted by buermann @ 2011-11-30 00:08:56 CST | link





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