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Tags: bill of rights | coulter | madison | shapiro | ucf | yiannopoulos

Kagan, NYT Forget First Amendment Not About Comfort

Kagan, NYT Forget First Amendment Not About Comfort

(Mohamed Ahmed Soliman/Dreamstime)

Michael Dorstewitz By Thursday, 05 July 2018 12:14 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A headline from The New York Times screamed over the weekend, "How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment."

The Times didn’t come up with that "weaponize" description on its own. It came directly from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s blistering dissent last week in Janus v. AFSCME, which ruled that public sector employees who refuse union membership may not be compelled to pay union dues against their will. "There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion," Kagan wrote. "[The majority opinion overturns a 40-year-old previous decision] by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy."

Columnist George Will gave his usual well-reasoned rebuttal to Kagan’s dissent, but he ignored her claim that the court’s majority was "weaponizing the First Amendment."

J.E. Dyer, however, honed right in on Kagan’s "weaponizing" claim in her own Liberty Unyielding column. She observed that the court didn’t weaponize the First Amendment; it was specifically designed to be a weapon on its own.

The first 10 Amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, were drafted to be a weapon to combat an otherwise overreaching government.

The First Amendment’s rights of free speech, press, assembly, to petition the government and worship as we see fit cannot be abridged by the government.

Similarly, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms also may not be infringed.

James Madison’s underlying fear that prompted him to introduce the Bill of Rights in 1789 was that the United States might become another England — tyrannical, despotic, dedicated only to itself.

His Bill of Rights was the people’s weapon to prevent that from happening, and in this case it worked.

The Janus decision now prevents nonmembers of public-sector unions from contributing to the union’s political activities against their will, and as Will observed, "everything public-sector unions do is political."

Kagan also referred to her brethren in the majority as "black-robed rulers overriding citizens’ choices."

Actually, the majority was enforcing the choice of a citizen — Mark Janus — to refuse to contribute financially to the political activities on a union of which he wasn’t a member, and had no desire to be.

Given the state of the freedom of speech today, the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., couldn’t help but comment on the Times’ "weaponize" headline. "Only in the alternative universe that the failing New York Times lives in, could this story not be titled: 'How the Left Gave Up on the 1st Amendment,'" he wrote. "The liberal resistance now in open warfare against the entire Bill of Rights. Terrifying. #walkaway."

The University of California at Berkeley has been in the news for years over its refusal to allow conservatives speakers liker Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, and Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus out of fear that their words may incite civil unrest.

Some have even suggested re-thinking the First Amendment — and that mindset is spreading. "The university’s first responsibility is ensuring the safety and well-being of their students," said University of Central Florida sophomore Richard Walker. "It might be just words now, but if you let that sort of thing come into the public discourse and become widely accepted, it doesn’t stay words."

Walker, 19, is member of the university’s Knights for Socialism. Surprise.

What Walker and others like him failed to learn was how to "change the channel" when they see something that upsets them.

The problem isn’t with the First Amendment — they themselves are the problem, and contrary to Kagan’s dissenting opinion they are the ones "overriding citizens’ choices."

And as a newspaper, The New York Times should know better. The First Amendment was designed as their weapon, giving them the power to publish "all the news that’s fit to print" — even if it’s not true.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.


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Some have even suggested re-thinking the First Amendment, and that mindset is spreading. The New York Times should know better. The First Amendment was designed as their weapon, giving them the power to publish
bill of rights, coulter, madison, shapiro, ucf, yiannopoulos
Thursday, 05 July 2018 12:14 PM
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