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The Courts United States

SCOTUS Nominee Kagan On Free Speech Issues 664

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the she's-a-shoo-in-anyway dept.
DesScorp submitted one of a few stories I've seen about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, whose confirmation hearings are supposed to start today (despite being a formality, given that she has the votes pretty much locked up). "SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan hasn't left much of a paper trail during her legal career, which may make gauging her ideas and opinions somewhat difficult. But there are some positions she has made clear statements on, among them, pornography and 'hate speech.' In a 1993 University of Chicago seminar on the subject, Kagan argued that the government wasn't doing enough about the spread of porn or hate speech. She argued that new approaches were needed to fight their spread, as well as taking a fresh look at old approaches, such as obscenity laws. Kagan included herself among 'those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation,' and told participants that 'a great deal can be done very usefully' to crack down on such evils."
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SCOTUS Nominee Kagan On Free Speech Issues

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  • Yay, Obama (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:35AM (#32715646)

    I knew there was a reason I voted for Obama, and not the Republicans.

    Wait, what's the difference, again?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:41AM (#32715722)

    Courts have made policy decisions since time immemorial. When laws are ambiguous, somebody needs to decide what the fuck is supposed to happen, and those people are called "judges". People whining about "legislating from the bench" are invariably people without legal backgrounds (or deliberately hypocritical politicians, but then I repeat myself).

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymusing (1450747) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:44AM (#32715760)

    Well, while we're talking about Kagan... Myths and falsehoods about Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination [mediamatters.org].

    (from a left-leaning watchdog, but still)

  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:45AM (#32715792) Homepage Journal

    There's a system we have called common law, where judges actually do play an active (although very subdued) role in protecting the public good, flexibly interpreting law, and other uses of judgement. "Judicial activism" has been part of the system for longer than we've been a nation.

  • by Spazed (1013981) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:47AM (#32715814)
    She has the wrong mindset for a judge at any level. Her job is not to force her views and values down the public's throat, but to interpret the law as closely as the writers had in mind while trying to close the huge loopholes.

    Any judge who speaks out in a professional manner about any activity's moral/ethical/philosophical components is not fit to rule. Those parts are reserved for the people to decide upon.
  • Re:Porn? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrb (1083577) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:48AM (#32715822)

    Don't mess with porn, it's the only thing keeping some people sane.

    Pornography is regulated everywhere in the world; the lawmakers of various nations have mostly decided that bestiality, child porn, etc. are not to be allowed. In addition to the laws covering the actual pornographic content, there are laws regulating who you may sell pornography to, where, at what times, and under what circumstances.

    So, the question is not "regulation?" but "how much regulation?".

  • by eddy (18759) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:51AM (#32715860) Homepage Journal

    OTOH, I guess if you changed your thinking over the course of seventeen years, you're a weak-ass no-good hippie flip-flopper?

  • Freedom of speech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stanlyb (1839382) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:51AM (#32715864)
    Freedom of speech means exactly that, freedom. And freedom is above the right, the rule or stature if you want me use the formal language. Freedom is irrevocable, as the base constitution says. So, even if there is a some stature that restrains it, it is invalid and void. And it is very important that every single person is aware of that fact.
  • Just what we need! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spazntwich (208070) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:52AM (#32715876)

    Another egotistical prick who knows what's best for us and is all-too-willing to save us from ourselves.

    Maybe once she saves us from looking at naked people and hearing mean comments we can move on to tackling other such pressing social ills like power-hungry sociopaths who systematically defraud an entire population of various liberties under the guise of protecting them.

    Oh wait. Sorry, let me get back in line for my RFID chip and social reeducation. Did you guys SEE what happened on Cat the Midget Bounty Ghost Hunting Cake Survivor last night?

  • Re:Excited (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:53AM (#32715886)

    Are you a Senator? Not to be rude, but does your judgement matter in the long run with this nominee? I know mine sure as hell doesn't.

  • Definitions please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m0s3m8n (1335861) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:53AM (#32715890)
    As a conservative, you would think I would be all for this, but no. How do you define what is or is not pornography or hate speech. One could argue the pornography may be easier to define based on the physical activities involved, but what about hate speech? Does Shawn Penn's comments qualify? David Duke? Rossie O'Donnell? This is right up there with defining racially motivated crime.
  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:54AM (#32715892) Homepage Journal

    The biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is that they disagree about which of your rights should be taken away first.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:55AM (#32715906) Journal

    There is no such thing as hate speech only speech and its supposed to be free. Even advocationg violence I do not think meets the clear and presant danger test. As to hate crimes laws; its those laws that are biggoted. There is a very specific enumerated list in every state of when you are permitted to use violence against other citizens. Those are mostly when they are endangering your life or that of family member.

    The rest of the cases its boolean matter or it should be. The issue is you beat someone half to death without one of the few good reasons we have listed. Why you specifically did it does not matter, it was wrong and equally so no matter weather it was because you hate gays or the guys dog defecated in your yard. It is an in excuseable crime. I don't think as a society we should go down the path deciding when its more or less ok to hurt someone. Its ok because you had not other legitimate choice or its not ok. Its unforgivable and you should be kept away from society forever if it was premeditated, and if it was a crime of passion well made some reform and you can rejoin the rest of us at some point.

  • by MattSausage (940218) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:55AM (#32715908)
    Well, for what it's worth, it is possible for a grown adult to put their personal feelings aside and try their best to keep an open mind when you sit on the highest court in the land.

    I'm sure there are several examples of Supreme Court Justices that have mentioned in their bench-opinions that while they may disagree with an action or another, that action is still constitutionally protected. I don't think past opinions are necessarily hard and fast (or even fair, sometimes) things to judge a candidates capabilities on.
  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:55AM (#32715918) Journal

    All the Supreme Court hearings I've heard Sotomayor take part that have been broadcasted on C-SPAN have shown that she does just what someone in her position should do: stick to the law.

    Dred Scott was part of "the law" at one time. This line about respecting precedent is utter BS when the precedent was wrongly decided to begin with.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Robert Bowles (2733) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:56AM (#32715928)

    If this comment was attacking Bush a few years ago, calling him a fascist, it might very well have been modded up (it also would've been true...). If we want a truly open forum here, we really shouldn't so quickly silence those who disagree with us.

  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:56AM (#32715934) Journal

    Not every parent is capable of, nor interested in, schooling their own children, and the kids would not learn much.

    You're jumping to conclusions when you assert that learning nothing is worse than the status quo.

    If, in fact, what's learned in school is a net negative then learning nothing would be an improvement.

    What exactly [cantrip.org] do schools really teach in the first place? Would we be better off [johntaylorgatto.com] without it?

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:58AM (#32715958) Homepage

    Crushing racism and sexism are more important to most American leftists than freedom of speech today. The ACLU, which is a left-wing organization, is in the minority of American leftists today in that it actually does still take a fairly left-libertarian stance. If it weren't for the first amendment, we'd long have had an official federal censorship system aimed at finding and prosecuting "hate speech" and pornography because both sides would've come together "in the spirit of bipartisanship."

    The only people who actually give a rat's ass consistently about these things and want to leave people alone are libertarians. Right or left-wing, it's only the libertarian elements of the left and right that care about freedom today.

  • Re:Porn? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:01AM (#32715986) Journal

    If you read the article, Kagen seems to think that the Government should have the power to outlaw the production of pornography altogether. Significantly more troubling is the fact that she thinks we need to prohibit "hate speech".

    We should be looking for new approaches, devising new arguments,” Kagan declared, according to video of the event reviewed by POLITICO. She seemed to count herself among “those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation” and told participants that “a great deal can be done very usefully” to crack down on such evils.

    “Statutes may be crafted in ways that prohibit the worst of hate speech and pornography, language that goes to sexual violence. Such statutes may still be constitutional,” Kagan assured the meeting. She pressed for “new and harsher penalties against the kinds of violence against women that takes place in producing pornography, the use of pandering statutes and pimp statutes against pornographersperhaps the initiation—the enactment of new statutes prohibiting the hiring of women for commercial purposes to engage in sexual activities.”

    So, we can outlaw the production of pornography (by making it illegal to pay actresses for performing in it) and whatever the Government deems to be "hate" speech. So much for the 1st amendment. So where's the outrage from the civil libertarians in the Democratic Party? Russ Feingold, I'm looking at you.....

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:02AM (#32715998) Journal

    It will be defined as whatever best suits the agenda of the base of the political party currently in power.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:04AM (#32716010)

    Dear Kagan, I hate you.

    No, it's "Dear Ms. Kagan. Fuck you."

    We don't hate you because you hate pr0n more than we like it (although lots of us do like pr0n!) We hate you becase we hate censorship more than you do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:05AM (#32716020)

    Crushing racism and sexism are more important to most American leftists than freedom of speech today.

    You're confusing what they say with what they do. Leftism acts to bolster racism and sexism while claiming to do just the opposite.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:06AM (#32716022)

    From your link, in which it is attempting to reconcile Kagan's seemingly lax respect for the First Amendment.

    In her defense: The New York Times reported, "There are indications ... that [Kagan's] views on government regulation of speech were closer to the Supreme Court's more conservative justices, like Antonin Scalia, than to Justice John Paul Stevens."

    Is that a good thing?

    I read through your link, and it isn't just from a left-leaning watchdog, it reads as if it is from the campaign page of a politician running for office. (IE: it only 'corrects' negatives, and doesn't address any myths and falsehoods that exist which may appear to be positive for her).

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:07AM (#32716036)

    Freedom is irrevocable, as the base constitution says. So, even if there is a some stature that restrains it, it is invalid and void. And it is very important that every single person is aware of that fact.

    Your view is overly simplistic. Laws can restrain speech and still be constitutional, provided they are striking a balance between different enumerated rights. A law that says ordering your employees to commit murder restricts free speech, but is still constitutional because it simply judges the right to particular free speech versus the right of an individual to live and makes a law in favor of the latter. For more information please do a search for "yelling fire in a crowded theater".

  • Poison (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:08AM (#32716050) Homepage

    This woman is poison. Every. Single. View. That she has demonstrated has been contrary to the primary tenants of our country: free speech, peaceful assembly and security of our persons, the right to keep & bear arms, and so on. The only demographic she's appealing to is the "let's trample the rights and liberties of the populace" demographic.

    She's got no history to speak of - 2 years of actual practice - and everything she has done has been "activist". She's a SC variant of Obama.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:08AM (#32716058)

    All the Supreme Court hearings I've heard Sotomayor take part that have been broadcasted on C-SPAN have shown that she does just what someone in her position should do: stick to the law.

    I thought that they were supposed to stick to the Constitution.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:13AM (#32716112)

    They also disagree to what group of corporate interests get to bend you over first, and which one has to settle for sloppy seconds.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:14AM (#32716136) Homepage

    Isn't ruling from the heart and not from the head exactly the sort of thing people rail against when it comes to Supreme Court nominees?

    Only when their own heart disagrees with the nominee's.

  • Re:Excited (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:15AM (#32716154) Homepage

    Not to be rude, but does your judgement matter in the long run with this nominee? I know mine sure as hell doesn't.

    True...but would you rather citizens not pay attention to what their government is doing? One of the biggest problems in this country is that not enough people listen.

    I'm trying to increase that number by at least 1.

  • by gumbi west (610122) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:15AM (#32716156) Journal

    AND often when they make policy, they will layout how the legislative body can change the law if they don't like the outcome. Sometimes they decide on a constitutional ground, but even then they might say something like, "if the legislature had done this... it would have been acceptable."

  • Re:Porn? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:16AM (#32716164)
    The problem is that we've gone too far in being accommodating of hate speech. And I say that as a legitimate civil libertarian. If you've read the kind of vile, hateful, bigoted things that I've seen attached to mainstream blogs you'd see the problem. The first amendment is there to ensure that there's public discourse and an airing of issues which the government might find to be inconvenient. It's never been a completely unrestricted right, you've never had the right to libel or slander people, nor have you had the right to commit fraud. Hate speech is similar in the fact that it's not something that advances any meaningful purpose.

    A lot of it is just made up like like those bigoted Barrack Husein Obama posters. And the folks that claim that giving equal rights to the GLBT community is somehow undermining their rights. These are not people engaging in legitimate free speech, nor is there a good faith effort on their part to do so. The harm to society is great when trying to push a constitutional ban on same sex marriage is viewed as more important to the country than dealing with two wars of questionable intent and an ever rising national debt.
  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:16AM (#32716170)
    The Constitution is no longer law around here. Get with the times bro!
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:18AM (#32716188) Journal

    If we left schooling to parents only, many kids would not learn math, science, reading, history, or geography.

    This statement is demonstrably false. Prior to modern public schools kids learned all of those things and in fact 19th century children were generally more knowledgeable in these subjects than their 20th and 21st century counterparts. This is well documented in Gatto's book which I linked above.

  • Re:Porn? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by GooberToo (74388) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:19AM (#32716206)

    If you read the article, Kagen seems to think that the Government should have the power to outlaw the production of pornography altogether. Significantly more troubling is the fact that she thinks we need to prohibit "hate speech".

    And that's the really scary part. Its reasonable to conclude she doesn't understand the Constitution, doesn't understand why its protected by the Constitution, and likely considers herself to be an authority on the Constitution. Even worse, someone who has these types of views almost always believe themselves to be the absolute authority on how to interpret and apply such views to the world. Basically she considers herself Emperor. Not only is she above the law, she is the law.

    No matter how you slice it, she's unfit to live in the US, let alone interpret its laws. The mere fact its the highest and easiest to understand laws of the nation are beyond her comprehension seriously brings into question her most basic level of intelligence. And even if you believe she absolutely understands the Constitution, that paints her in an even darker light as an inescapable conclusion. As that implies she believes she's above the Constitution; which brings us full circle, back to Emperor status. There is no higher power than her as she thinks nothing of sweeping the highest laws of the land aside to bend to her final morale authority. In short, there's no point in having laws because SHE AND ONLY SHE, IS THE LAW.

    That's one scary fucking lady! And yet, scarier yet, are those who would nominate her!

  • Re:Porn? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Meneth (872868) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:20AM (#32716212)
    You don't get the idea of free speech, do you? It is the right of idiots to say stupid things. If it isn't that, then it isn't anything at all.
  • Voltaire (Score:2, Insightful)

    by southpolesammy (150094) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:21AM (#32716214) Journal


    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

  • Re:Porn? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:21AM (#32716216) Journal

    Hate speech is similar in the fact that it's not something that advances any meaningful purpose

    You'll do fine when the people who get to decide what is or is not a "meaningful purpose" are on your side but when the shoe is on the other foot it won't seem like such a good thing. Unfortunately at that point it will be too late.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:22AM (#32716230) Journal

    Isn't ruling from the heart and not from the head exactly the sort of thing people rail against when it comes to Supreme Court nominees?

    Following the text of the Constitution is not "reading from the heart". Regarding two rights that Ms. Kagen apparently takes issue with, the document plainly states that Congress shall make no law (1st amendment) and that the right shall not be infringed (2nd amendment).

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:22AM (#32716234) Journal

    The biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is that they disagree about which of your rights should be taken away first.

    Not so much anymore, evidently.

  • Re:Porn? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:23AM (#32716256) Journal

    You are no civil libertarian if you deem a particular type of speech not to be 'legitimate'

  • Free Speech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:26AM (#32716288)

    I am a major proponent of free speech and I am Jewish. If someone wants to write speeches against me or my group, fine, it is their right to do so so long as speech is all that it is. One of the most important and cherished freedoms in the United States is free speech, even if it's racist or what people deem vile and disgusting. The best way to counter racism and hatred is not through laws that regulate its associated speech and expression, but through education. Combatting racism begins with education! I hate racism as much as any educated person but I realize that regulating speech leads down a slippery slope where there is no return. I can cite Governor Lester Maddox as a result. Lester Maddox was probably a last symbol of the bastion of Jim Crowism in America. As he got older and became more educated, he realized he was wrong and publicly admitted being so.

    Finally, pornography does not need regulation beyond child pornography. Child pornography does exploit children and minors and needs to be rigorously enforced, but beyond that, the government need not further regulate/criminalize the industry. I see absolutely no harm in adult pornography. We as Americans are puritanical and hypocritical about sex and pornography - look at the Europeans and Japanese as they take a much more liberal stance. Overall, they have a healthier and less conflicted society.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:27AM (#32716296) Journal
    I'm not sure what your point is. The constitution is a part of the law. Sticking to the constitution is a subset of sticking to the law. In cases where the constitution and other laws disagree, sticking to the law means sticking to the constitution and overturning the other law. In cases where the constitution says nothing on the issue, it means sticking to what the other law says.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:27AM (#32716306)
    Those laws exist as a way of guaranteeing that some hick sheriff in a backwater precinct can't look the other way. It allows for the FBI to investigate when the local law enforcement refuses to. It's definitely not bigoted. They are really the only rational response to the all to common bigotry that infects this nation. The laws can and do protect everybody. While it isn't common for people of the majority to get beaten or threatened for being so, the hate crimes legislation does give them protections as well, when they might go into a minority community.

    But, at the end of the day, I don't expect you to buy into that, given the lack of thought that went into your post. David Duke has been advocating that line of reasoning for sometime as an excuse to not have to do the right thing.
  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jhon (241832) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:27AM (#32716308) Homepage Journal

    If we want a truly open forum here, we really shouldn't so quickly silence those who disagree with us.

    If we want a truly HONEST forum here, we really shouldn't toss out the term "facist" like it was Halloween candy.

    Seriously, if Obama is Hitler and Bush is Hitler, what does that make Hitler?

  • Re:Porn? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:29AM (#32716328) Journal

    The problem is that we've gone too far in being accommodating of hate speech. And I say that as a legitimate civil libertarian.

    No, you don't.

  • by NevarMore (248971) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:29AM (#32716336) Homepage Journal

    I think perhaps you need to reconsider what you mean when you define yourself as a conservative.

    Are you "conservative" in that you don't get into other peoples business or are you "conservative" in that you want to restrict things that you find immoral or distateful?

    The label of "conservative" and "liberal" are really misnomers, they both distort and fail to describe what people use the terms for.

  • Re:Porn? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tuan121 (1715852) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:32AM (#32716360)
    So because it's regulated everywhere means you can no longer discuss if it should be regulated?
  • Hate speech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:36AM (#32716404)
    Once the U.S. starts implementing "hate speech" laws, the concept of free speech will be dead. It already is in places like the UK and Canada. Someone will get to decide what speech is "hate." Freedom of speech is designed to protect speech we don't like. People wanting to regulate speech they don't like are, in fact, running contrary to the constitution.
  • by GooberToo (74388) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:37AM (#32716416)

    People need an outlet, and if you don't want to see it you don't have to.

    Even the Catholic church used to agree with you. Back when they and their priests ran brothels and it was widely accepted, pedophilia within the church was exceedingly rare. If anything, the church itself has become the poster child of what happens when you condemn and outlaw a species' natural, biological imperative; which is in fact, contrary to their own bible's teachings.

    In short, any religion which is actively preventing consensual sex or marriage of their leaders is actively endorsing deviant sexual behavior; regardless of however much they may cry foul as such accusations.

    Are you that anti-female that you are calling for their abuse of a massive scale?

    Yes, that's exactly what they want. That's also why prostitution is outlawed, despite the fact that globally, where its legalized and regulated women are treated much, much better, and often remains healthy, ensure they receive fair compensation, becomes a tax base, and johns bring home far, far fewer diseases, if any.

    Treating consensual sex as a crime, is in itself a crime against biology. Sociologically it has an endless list of associated crimes, deviant behaviors, and medical issues which everyone then pretends doesn't exist. This directly translates into oppression and victimization of women and children; which is extremely ironic in the end, given that its largely those who fight to stop victimization of women and children who are largely responsible for creating it.

  • just checking... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chirs (87576) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:39AM (#32716440)

    "If someone wants to write speeches against me or my group, fine, it is their right to do so so long as speech is all that it is."

    So you'd be fine if someone went around inciting other people to violence against you but never suffered any consequences himself because he never personally did anything other than talk?

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymusing (1450747) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:40AM (#32716458)

    I read through your link, and it isn't just from a left-leaning watchdog, it reads as if it is from the campaign page of a politician running for office. (IE: it only 'corrects' negatives, and doesn't address any myths and falsehoods that exist which may appear to be positive for her).

    I agree. That site, Media Matters, is pretty much only reactionary to messages from Republicans. You've got to look elsewhere for research in the other direction, e.g. Newsbusters [newsbusters.org] for a right-leaning watchdog, and Factcheck [factcheck.org] for a centrist/even-handed watchdog.

    Unfortunately, too often, it is up to citizens to read all the sources and attempt to extract the truth from the pile of bias.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:41AM (#32716464) Journal

    That makes Hitler a politician.

    Shocking to think about it that way, eh?

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:50AM (#32716554) Homepage

    That's no left-leaning watchdog, that's an Obama-leaning watchdog. There's a definite difference - the real left-wingers are generally upset with Kagan's ideas about civil liberties and keeping people prisoner in Gitmo without charges for years on end, among other things.

    Oh, and the accusation that she's too inexperienced definitely still carries weight for me. Your link attempts to argue that it's OK, because she has not much less experience than Clarence Thomas. If Clarence Thomas is your model of everything a good Supreme Court justice should be, I guess that's ok, but for the rest of us that's hardly a ringing endorsement.

  • Re:There's a few. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:51AM (#32716580) Journal

    We didn't invade Iran like McCain promised.

    We didn't invade yet. With the way things are heating up over there it's a little too soon to call.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Monday June 28, 2010 @09:59AM (#32716680)

    And when the law conflicts with the Constitution? Judicial review has been around since Madison. If the Judiciary can't "revoke" a law that directly conflicts with the Constitution, then the Constitution may as well not exist.

    Similarly, the concept of common law (precedents established by the court without direct legislation) has existed since *long* before the U.S. was founded; we inherited it from the British along with a lot of other cultural and legal constructs. Removing it now would leave gigantic gaping holes in the legal system. Switching from a common law to a civil law system is non-trivial to say the least. Just because you happen to disagree with it doesn't mean everyone should hop on your 4th grade Civics class understanding of the design of government.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:02AM (#32716708)

    The wierdest part of porn and prostitution is: It is illegal to sell what it is legal to give away.
    They are not saying they are "Experts", doctors or such, where you are selling advice as an expert.
    They are just doing a "service" that is ok when it is free, but if you give money, it becomes a crime.

  • Re:Porn? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by computational super (740265) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:04AM (#32716726)
    We have yet to learn the lesson of the Weimar republic - although I wish we could learn from Germany's (hell, anybody's) mistakes, we haven't had much luck in that area as of yet.
  • Re:There's a few. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:09AM (#32716790) Journal

    Okay you listed all the positive things about Obama. I'll grant you that, but for balance here are the negative things. Obama's broken promises:

    1 - Stop snatching people off streets. Provide a Right to fair trial. (REALITY: No longer have Miranda rights even for U.S. citizens.) (Obama's advisers say americans can be held indefinitely w/o trial)
    2 - Protect our Right to Privacy. (REALITY: They now spy on us via warrantless wiretaps and track our cellphones.) (Patriot Act renewed by Obama and the Pelosi Democrats.)
    3 - Stop interrogation. Close Guantanamo. (Revoked - Club G is still open and now they interrogate US citizens too, not just foreigners.)
    4 - End the war. (Nope. Instead it's been extended two more years and apparently involves killing children & journalists not soldiers (see wikileaks))

    Bush. Obama. Two halves of the same ass. And on another note: I just noticed that the national debt jumped from 10.5 to 13 trillion since Obama took office. That's ~$130,000 owed by each American home. Think about that. Can you afford to pay off ~$130,000 in debt? I sure as hell can't. And that doesn't include unfunded liabilities (medicare, SS, etc) which I suspect will eventually be discontinued due to lack of money.

    I paid off my debt. Now it's time for the government to do the same. When the Communist Cold War ended in 1990, that's when the government should have cut spending and paid-off the debt. It was only 3 trillion then. Now it's much bigger and harder to tackle.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:09AM (#32716796) Homepage
    No, because we're talking about the Supreme Court and Dred Scott was a Supreme Court decision. It's a relevant example of where the Supreme Court made a bad decision.
  • Re:There's a few. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:12AM (#32716820) Journal

    P.S.

    >>>We didn't invade Iran like McCain promised.

    I don't remember this. Do you have a youtube or video link so I can hear McCain say this in his own voice? If not then I'll consider it as not true.

  • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:15AM (#32716866)
    In order to be considered to be a Supreme Court judge, you must have a deep, thorough understanding and appreciation of the law, and you must hold no opinions about it whatsoever. Good luck with that one.
  • Re:Hate speech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:15AM (#32716878)

    Once the U.S. starts implementing "hate speech" laws...

    "Hate speech laws" is used to describe a wide array of laws, many of which are already on the books in much of the US. For example, laws against telling others to commit violent crimes against other people of a certain social group. Then there are "hate speech laws" that make it illegal to make discriminatory, but nonviolent comments about some social group. The fact that the phrase refers to both, makes it pretty much impossible to have a relevant argument about constitutionality without going into more detail about definitions first.

    Freedom of speech is designed to protect speech we don't like.

    True, but that does not necessarily mean all speech we don't like is protected by the first amendment.

    People wanting to regulate speech they don't like are, in fact, running contrary to the constitution.

    That depends upon the speech. For example, even the most die hard literalist would have a hard time claiming misinformation on food packaging is constitutionally protected free speech.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesScorp (410532) <.DesScorp. .at. .Gmail.com.> on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:19AM (#32716922) Homepage Journal

    So wait...you're saying you want her to inject opinion into her rulings, instead of basing her rulings solely on law? Isn't ruling from the heart and not from the head exactly the sort of thing people rail against when it comes to Supreme Court nominees?

    I think his point was more that precedent can be wrong if it was unconstitutional in the first place. This is why I hate hearing Stare Decisis... "the issue is settled". What if it was settled contrary to the Constitution? "Seperate but Equal" was almost certainly unconstitutional, as it was a blatant violation of fourteenth amendment. And yet it was precedent for many years. Until it wasn't. It seems we "respect precedent" until we decide not to respect precedent. Stare Decisis really means "It's settled until someone changes it".

    Ironically though, concerning Dred Scott, it wasn't unconstitutional. Slavery was legal in much of the US at the time, and the Missouri Compromise did not void the property status of slaves. It may have been immoral, but it was legal, and had SCOTUS declared on their own that slaves were instantly citizens, it would have been a blatant violation of their office, and led to a constitutional crisis... and probably started the Civil War earlier than happened.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:21AM (#32716942)

    Republicans want to ban pornography to protect men from temptation (by these evil women). Democrats want to ban pornography to protect women from predators (these evil men).

  • Re:Porn? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:23AM (#32716958)

    legitimate free speech

    This is a phrase that never ceases to frighten me.

  • A misnomer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:25AM (#32716986)
    John Roberts is more right than wrong when he says a SCOTUS judge should be an umpire, calling balls and strikes.

    Would that be the same John Roberts who, when given a court case about the narrow legality of a certain case involving campaign contributions, declined to give a simple balls-or-strikes vote and instead called for a new hearing to decide whether or not the entire law should be overturned? (Link. [wikipedia.org]) Whether or not you agree that the law was constitutional, you can't deny that this was an extraordinary step beyond the call of what the judges were asked to do. This is the problem that liberals have with your "umpire" analogy - that the people who call for judges to be umpires would not hesitate to advance their own ideologies if put on the court, same as everyone else.
  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:25AM (#32716992) Journal

    >>>So wait...you're saying you want her to inject opinion into her rulings, instead of basing her rulings solely on law?

    No. Are you in the habit of using Strawmen (logical fallacies) in your discussions? That's not what he said and it's rude to put words in his mouth. ----- His point was that a judge should follow the Law not the Supreme Court's opinions/precedents. Just because the nine unelected oligarchs in DC said it's okay to censor obscene photos doesn't mean I, as a judge, have to agree. The Law is clear: "The right to free speech/press shall not be infringed." "Other rights are retained by the People [such as the right of free expression, including photos]." "The powers not given to Congress are reserved.... to the Member States or the People."

    That's the law. And as a judge I would enforce it. Anybody appearing before me who had been charged with obscene photos would be instantly freed. The SCOTUS' opinion that obscene photos are a crime be damned. I swore an oath to the Supreme Law, not to a nine-person oligarchy.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fishexe (168879) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:26AM (#32717002) Homepage

    That's no left-leaning watchdog, that's an Obama-leaning watchdog. There's a definite difference - the real left-wingers are generally upset with Kagan's ideas about civil liberties and keeping people prisoner in Gitmo without charges for years on end, among other things.

    This is a very important difference. People who think Obama is synonymous with "left-wing" are missing a lot of the picture.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:38AM (#32717134) Homepage

    Commodore....seriously?

    His point was that a judge should follow the Law not the Supreme Court's opinions/precedents.

    THAT WAS MY FUCKING POINT. From my OP that he was responding to:

    All the Supreme Court hearings I've heard Sotomayor take part that have been broadcasted on C-SPAN have shown that she does just what someone in her position should do: stick to the law.

    He, however, said what if the law was "wrong"? Calling a law wrong is a matter of opinion, especially considering back when the law he mentioned was brought about, slavery was entirely constitutional and legal.

    Come on, dude. You can't accuse me of doing something, then try to tell me what his point is when what you are trying to convince me of was mentioned BY ME in my original post .

  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:42AM (#32717192)

    Why wouldn't it be ok? Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    What they are not necessarily entitled to is acting on an opinion like you mention. However, we already have laws that punish people who commit acts of violence, and they even take intent into account such that someone acting on the opinions you mention with premeditation is removed from society for far longer than someone who has an impulsive lapse in judgment.

    The first amendment doesn't mean shit if it doesn't protect unpopular speech. The whole set of arguments with regard to "hate speech" are patronizing bullshit that imply people don't possess free will and aren't responsible for their own actions. If someone goes out and kills someone because "the cleric told me to," they're obviously unwell in the first place and would find an excuse sooner or later. I would think a slashdotter would appreciate this point considering its similarity with "I killed that hooker because of GTA" type rationalizations.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Monday June 28, 2010 @10:42AM (#32717196)

    The Constitution is NOT "part of the law". The Constitution is the foundation on which our laws are supposed to be based.

    Allowing people to impose their opinions in areas that are not vague or unclear from the Constitution's wording is not in our nations best interest, and is the fastest way toward a descent into extreme conservatism.

    I don't think there's anything unclear about the freedom of speech or the press, yet this woman seems to think she has the right to impose her personal preferences instead.

    Doesn't this fly in the face of Obama's political views(or supposed views), and doesn't he have to approve her appointment?

  • Dictionary? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816) on Monday June 28, 2010 @11:29AM (#32717794) Homepage Journal

    Did you notice her use of the word "regulation"? If so, you need get a dictionary, because it does not mean the same thing as "ban".

    Not that I'm with Kagan on this issue. But then, I'm an extremist: I feel the same way about the 1st amendment that Charlton Heston felt about the 2nd. But I know I'm an extremist, and respect more nuanced opinions.

    And no, banning kiddie porn and hate speech (which I don't put in quotes: some text, such as "kill the niggers" is clearly hate speech) is not the first step down a slippery slope. People tend to see slippery slopes in every trend they don't like. They're actually pretty rare.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @11:39AM (#32717948)

    You are so right! I'm tired of Haliburton forcing me to listen to conservative talk radio. Why.. why won't Obama save us from this evil?

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday June 28, 2010 @11:46AM (#32718008)

    Unfortunately, too often, it is up to citizens to read all the sources and attempt to extract the truth from the pile of bias.

    We used to have an institution that would do that for you, present all sides, including sections that are fact only, plus separate editorial pieces, all in once convenient package. I think they used to call it "the press".

    When did the "press" ever do that? I remember when people thought that the "press" did that, but now that there are more sources of information available to the general public directly anyone who looks into it discovers that the "press" just suppressed that information that disagreed with their "narrative".

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plover (150551) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @11:54AM (#32718122) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, too often, it is up to citizens to read all the sources and attempt to extract the truth from the pile of bias.

    We used to have an institution that would do that for you, present all sides, including sections that are fact only, plus separate editorial pieces, all in once convenient package. I think they used to call it "the press".

    And that's why we need to pay to keep the press alive. If we don't support the news financially, the only news sources we'll be left with are those operated by the $(var)-wing nutjobs to push their agendas.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dave420 (699308) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:07PM (#32718372)
    It's pretty well known that the US's version of "left" is about the same as most European countries' version of "right".
  • by Yuuki Dasu (1416345) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:09PM (#32718428)

    Several sources place 18th and 19th century literacy rates above 95%.

    Well, I don't know where they get their numbers from, but the official statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/lit_history.asp) show a steadily increasing literacy rate over time that didn't break 95% until 1930. 1 in 4 blacks were illiterate until 1920, historical data showing more like 80% illiteracy among blacks around the time of emancipation (1870, the oldest figures immediately available).

    There has long been a tradition of excellent elite schooling among the upper class, but the data just doesn't support the thesis for the population as a whole. Public education was key for all those who weren't already on top of the social ladder.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grant_Watson (312705) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:12PM (#32718486)

    In other non-TV media there is a balance for both sides, but of course most Americans only watch TV News.

    Well, newspapers often reflect the preconceptions of their reporters, which are substantially liberal (in the American sense of the word). But mainstream US newspapers at least try for balance, even if they don't always succeed, which is far more than can be said for the TV networks.

  • Re:Porn? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:12PM (#32718498) Homepage Journal

    Judging from your post, you are probably NOT a civil libertarian.

    As a civil libertarian, free speech should be as unencumbered as humanly possible. Yes, where there a possiblilty of actual harm against an individual there should be a bit more vigilance, but for the most part it should completely unfettered. This means accepting people who say nasty and hateful things, which are, and should be, repugnant to the majority of Americans. This includes hate speech.

    The only hate speech that we need to be mindful of is the type that is directly inciting violence against individuals or groups. Mind, I said "mindful of", not prohibit. There is a fuzzy line that we should be aware of. This goes with civil libertarian principles: the government exists to keep us from infringing on each others rights and causing harm to one another (i.e. to protect order), when there is no direct harm to another individual the government does NOT have the right to step in.

    This is a balancing act. Yes, hate speech is harmful on a very broad level, but stepping on the freedom of speech is much MORE harmful. To reap the benefits of freedom, we often must live with lowest of human nature. Its a trade-off, and a worthy one.

    These are not people engaging in legitimate free speech...

    What is "legitimate free speech?", is it speech that you agree with? I'm not sure I know the definition of this, and it sure as hell isn't contained in the phrase.

    The problem is who defines "legitimate speech"? I don't trust government enough to really be able to say much more than "pretty much everything is covered by free speech". I especially don't trust the government (any government) to be able to dictate speech about the government. Another problem with the idea of "legitimate speech" is that it borders on enforcing thought crime laws. Is it illegal to hate a group of people, even if you never actually act on it (outside of, perhaps, words)?

    Also, to stretch this reply a bit overlong, one of the great things about American politics is the spirit raucous debate. You have the right to say outrageous things, and I have the right to mock you. The current nasty trend in politics isn't actually very current, its been with us since the start. It is pretty much an inevitable feature of democracy.

  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:31PM (#32718922) Journal

    Public education was key for all those who weren't already on top of the social ladder.

    Of course that's how the bill of goods is sold, but what were the architects of the public school system saying when they built it?

    In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

  • Re:Porn? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DWIM (547700) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:49PM (#32719286)

    If you read the article, Kagen seems to think that the Government should have the power to outlaw the production of pornography altogether.[...]

    “Statutes may be crafted in ways that prohibit the worst of hate speech and pornography, language that goes to sexual violence. Such statutes may still be constitutional,” Kagan assured the meeting. She pressed for “new and harsher penalties against the kinds of violence against women that takes place in producing pornography, the use of pandering statutes and pimp statutes against pornographersperhaps the initiation—the enactment of new statutes prohibiting the hiring of women for commercial purposes to engage in sexual activities.”

    So, we can outlaw the production of pornography (by making it illegal to pay actresses for performing in it) and whatever the Government deems to be "hate" speech. So much for the 1st amendment. So where's the outrage from the civil libertarians in the Democratic Party? Russ Feingold, I'm looking at you.....

    Why is it always just the women who are presumed to be victimized here anyhow? There is plenty of porn with men involved too. Shall we assume they also are suffering from violence against them since they are in porn? It sounds like Kagan is asserting that women are in porn only because they are being forced into it.

    Laws to prevent true violence and coercion are one thing. But it sure sounds like she is actually pushing a veiled reason to enact laws to enforce a particular moral view.

  • Re:Dictionary? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:26PM (#32719908) Homepage Journal

    So you think freedom is either absolute or nonexistent? That's a childish POV, common among people who've never had to deal with real restrictions on freedom. You might consider moving to Burma or North Korea for a while to educate yourself on this issue. Or not — I understand they're both pretty dreary.

    Personally, I'd grant you the right to say "I hate niggers" (your relatively innocuous example) or even "kill the niggers" (the much nastier example I used). But I'm not going to get bent out of shape if the law keeps you from saying it. And in any case I'd support your being penalized if somebody actually acts on your advice.

    Despite what the NRA and Libertarians think, rights are never absolute. That's not because of the strawman liberal-fascists these guys dream up, it's because rights often conflict. In this case, your right to say whatever you want conflicts with other people's right not to be killed.

  • by mhollis (727905) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:27PM (#32719918) Journal

    My good friend, John Wirenius some time ago published a book on free speech called "First Amendment, First Principles: Verbal Acts and Freedom of Speech." [paperbackswap.com] The book is kind of hard-going, so unless you're interested in carefully-researched legal argument covering the subject, you're in for a slow read.

    My point is this (and John makes it in detail): Immediately upon the adoption of our current Constitution here in the United States, the Supreme Court began hacking away at this First Amendment -- and with a really large axe, rather than an ice pick. There are current definitions for what one may present or do or say that consider speech a "verbal act" that may be Constitutionally limited. It is this tortured creation of an action from one's words that really defies any and all logic.

    Everyone is familiar with the "limitation" on "free speech" that is described thusly:

    ... crying "Fire" in a crowded movie house

    Something like this is, presently no problem for the Supreme Court, as saying that word in that situation is re-defined, not as "speech" but as a "verbal act," and thus, not protected by the First Amendment. So, I don't really see Elena Kagan as proposing anything different than what has been going on in the United States for 200 plus years. The definition of "Free Speech" versus "verbal act" is one that is entirely subject to interpretation of any Court, be it local, federal, a court of original jurisdiction or an appellate court.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:31PM (#32719976)

    The problem with the "people need an outlet" argument is that it's fundamental disrespectful to the individual on a basic level. People are not simply a collection of insatiable urges that must be controlled or managed or released. Viewing people that way objectifies them whether you think their urges should be controlled or satisfied.

    In reality it is always wrong to view people as objects. We need to accept people as willful individuals who cannot be controlled or satisfied. Until we can recognize this, all our efforts to help will be in vain.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:35PM (#32720050)
    But a Judge who's professional opinion is that the First Amendment can and should put aside obviously has no respect for the law. Such a person is a hypocrite, and is not suitable for a position interpreting laws. Perhaps she should run for public office instead.
  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:39PM (#32720112) Homepage Journal

    The electorate voted Democratic mostly 1.) to punish Bush and the Republicans

    My answer to that is: "A black man, with a muslim name."

    Even if you can explain Obama's election to "punishment" against the Republicans, that doesn't explain the huge victories in Congress, and those at every level of local governments, state legislatures, etc.

    And, "Third Position", I never want to let a reply to you go buy without a mention that your name and your sig are links to a neo-Nazi organization - a foul outfit of nativists and racists, who believe we should be saving America "for the white race". You have to scratch a link beneath the scrubbed main page to get to the real disgusting stuff, but it doesn't appear that there's been any effort to hide the agenda of "Third Position".

    You can pretend to be part of polite society, but you belong to the scum on the bottom of piles of filth.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elucido (870205) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:07PM (#32720566)

    Isn't ruling from the heart and not from the head exactly the sort of thing people rail against when it comes to Supreme Court nominees?

    Following the text of the Constitution is not "reading from the heart". Regarding two rights that Ms. Kagen apparently takes issue with, the document plainly states that Congress shall make no law (1st amendment) and that the right shall not be infringed (2nd amendment).

    Free speech is probably the most important right there is. If she doesn't respect free speech then imagine what she thinks of all our other rights?

    We aren't talking about hate crimes. We aren't talking about men beating up their wives or neo nazi's killing people. We are talking about speech. Anyone should be able to read/write/think anything. The reason we need free speech is because without it we probably would snap a lot quicker.

    It's better to be able to vent frustration than to hold it in. It's better to have movies and games to live a fantasy life than to make the real world the game.

  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:16PM (#32720736) Homepage

    OTOH, I guess if you changed your thinking over the course of seventeen years, you're a weak-ass no-good hippie flip-flopper?

    Yes, well, when you have very little data with which to paint the profile of the judicial candidate, the importance of the data you do have increases proportionately. Personally I think if you have to stretch back 17 years to find a commentary from the person on significant and contentious modern issues, they may not be suitable for a Supreme Court appointment in any case. I mean, you can't really go off anything she says now that she's a candidate for the SCOTUS position. Whatever her other virtues or faults, I'm sure she has enough political savvy to give moderate answers to questions for the duration. Once she's on the SCOTUS there is no practical removal option if she delivers a complete turnaround to what the public was expecting. For such a powerful position--which receives a life appointment--the benefit of the doubt is one thing which should be given only with the utmost rarity and caution.

  • by elucido (870205) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:31PM (#32720960)

    It's better not to make those objects angry, sad, or upset because their behavior becomes unpredictable and uncontrollable. It's also just plain wrong to abuse an object by constantly beating on it, complaining about it, punishing it in all kinds of ways, taking away it's entertainment (porn), taking away its video games, taking away it's movies, taking away it's rock and rap music, taking away, taking away, taxing, taxing, taking, prison, removing, banning, restricting.

    Then you wonder why those objects with feelings can't trust you anymore.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @03:20PM (#32721802)

    If you don't think so, you're a) not paying enough attention and b) probably getting all your information from the State Controlled Media.

    Saying "Disagreement with me means that you're brainwashed" means that you're brainwashed.

  • Re:Yay, Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Atario (673917) on Monday June 28, 2010 @07:02PM (#32724672) Homepage

    Exactly. Maybe next time Kucinich runs for President, people won't chuckle to themselves, and will instead vote for him.

  • Re:Dictionary? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday June 28, 2010 @07:23PM (#32724874) Journal

    How about "We should kill niggers who have sex with white women."? Or "We should kill Morgan Freeman because he's an uppity Nigger." Or "Hey, George, Bill and I are going to go downtown tomorrow with handguns and shoot all the niggers we see, wanna come?"

    Threats are already illegal, no need for hate speech laws.

    There is no "useful" part to hate speech

    I must have missed the part of the 1st amendment that says speech needs to be "useful" in order to be protected. Can you point it out for me?

    And the fact of the matter is we don't have free speech now in that you can't lie to harm other's reputation

    Yes you can. Libel/defamation is not illegal in the United States. It might get you sued but that's a different matter.

C for yourself.

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