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Posts Tagged ‘Censorship’
May 2nd, 2017 at 9:30 am
1st Amendment Nightmare: Overturning Citizens United “Would Permit the Banning of Political Pamphlets by the Federal Government”
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In one of our latest Liberty Update commentaries, we note how leftists believe in 1st Amendment free speech rights for powerful mainstream media organizations, but not for everyday citizens like the plaintiffs in Citizens United, who need protection most of all.  A timely new book entitled “The Soul of the First Amendment” by eminent constitutional lawyer (he worked on both the Pentagon Papers case and Citizens United) Floyd Abrams surveys the history of 1st Amendment disputes, and dismantles government attempts to limit free speech.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal book review praises Mr. Abrams’s effort, and highlights one moment from oral argument over Citizens United before the Supreme Court, when then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan openly admitted that a ruling against the plaintiffs in that case would’ve allowed the federal government to prohibit political pamphlets:

His legal defense of the New York Times over its decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971 made him a hero to the left.  Four decades later, he earned enmity from former comrades by appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010’s Citizens United case, which urged the court to affirm the right of corporations to spend money on political campaigns.  In the end, the court did – and Mr. Abrams found himself aligned with the political right.  He was particularly chilled by a statement made by Elena Kagan, then President Obama’s solicitor general and now one of the Supreme Court’s more liberal justices who, during oral argument, acknowledged that her constitutional theory would permit the banning of political pamphlets by the federal government.  Indeed, the more you may revile Citizens United (or think you do), the more essential it is to read Mr. Abrams’s principled defense of that decision and how to learn how he was persuaded to change his mind about the fundamental liberty inherent in campaign spending.”

In other words, opponents of the Citizens United decision would accept restrictions that could’ve banned The Federalist Papers or Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.  The implications of that should terrify and motivate Americans who believe in the freedom of speech for everyday citizens.

March 13th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
Feminist Trio Trying to Use FCC to Shut Down Limbaugh
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Oh, those champions of free expression on the left. From the Daily Caller:

Three stalwarts of the feminist movement — Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan — have added their voices to the calls to take radio giant Rush Limbaugh off the air.

The co-founders of The Women’s Media Center put pen to paper over the weekend to request that the public complain and urge the Federal Communications Commission to revoke the licenses of stations that carry “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”

“This isn’t political. While we disagree with Limbaugh’s politics, what’s at stake is the fallout of a society tolerating toxic, hate-inciting speech,” they wrote. “For 20 years, Limbaugh has hidden behind the First Amendment, or else claimed he’s really ‘doing humor’ or ‘entertainment.’ He is indeed constitutionally entitled to his opinions, but he is not constitutionally entitled to the people’s airways. It’s time for the public to take back our broadcast resources.”

It’s amazing, isn’t it? The left — which see McCarythism around every corner — instinctively turns to government force to squelch the opinions of those they despise. And as for “toxic, hate-inciting speech” … well, Limbaugh wasn’t the one cheering on the Viet Cong, Ms. Fonda.

November 16th, 2009 at 4:43 pm
Obama: More Free Speech in China, But Not America?
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This is rich.  Barack Obama told Chinese students yesterday that an uncensored society is healthiest.

“I’m a big supporter of non-censorship,” Obama said with an apparent straight face, because “it forces me to hear opinions that I don’t want to hear.”  He added, “I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger society becomes,” and “they can begin to think for themselves.”

This is the same Barack Obama who admonished anyone who opposes his policy agenda to “get out of the way,” expresses support for the “Fairness Doctrine” and whose White House hit men orchestrated a campaign to silence and marginalize Fox News, the Chamber of Commerce and health insurers who had the audacity to actually communicate critical information to their members.  One can only infer that Obama stands more willing to advocate freedom of speech for the Chinese than his own citizens.