Tag Archives: First Amendment

Citizens United: How Justice Kennedy has paved the way for the return of soft money – Slate Magazine

Citizens United: How Justice Kennedy has paved the way for the return of soft money – Slate Magazine.

Super-Soft Money

How Justice Kennedy paved the way for “SuperPACS” and the return of soft money.

Leave a comment

Filed under campaign contributions, elections, ethics (in politics), issues, Supreme Court, USA

Sex, Violence and the Supreme Court – NYTimes.com

Sex, Violence and the Supreme Court – NYTimes.com.

July 7, 2011, 8:30 pm

Sex and the Supremes

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

– The Washington Post

Scalia and Thomas disagree about children and free speech

The Washington Post

The First Amendmentdoes not convey a free-speech right when minors are involved.
[…]
“The Framers could not possibly have understood ‘the freedom of speech’ to include an unqualified right to speak to minors,” Thomas wrote. “Specifically, I am sure that the founding generation would not have understood ‘the freedom of speech’ to include a right to speak to children without going through their parents.”

Thomas’s argument was the logical extension of his “originalist” position that the Constitution’s provisions be discerned by the most likely public understanding at the
time it was adopted.

[…]

Read the full story here: The Washington Post

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, USA

Supreme Court video game ruling: Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence? – By Brian Palmer – Slate Magazine

Supreme Court video game ruling:�Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence? – By Brian Palmer – Slate Magazine.

Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence?

The Supreme Court struck down a California law regulating the sale of violent video games to children on Monday. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia noted that, unlike sexual content, which can be regulated, violence has been part of children’s entertainment for centuries. History aside, do we know whether exposure to sex or violence is worse for children?

Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

A Supreme Court win for political speech and political money – The Washington Post

A Supreme Court win for political speech and political money – The Washington Post.

By , Published: June 28

The fate of Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, which the Supreme Court on Monday declared unconstitutional, was foreshadowed March 28, during oral arguments. Lawyers defending the law insisted its purpose was to combat corruption or the appearance thereof. The court has repeatedly said this is the only constitutionally permissible reason for restricting the quantity of political speech. The law’s defenders insisted its purpose was not to “level the playing field” by equalizing candidates’ resources, which the court has declared an unconstitutional reason for regulating speech. But Chief Justice John Roberts replied: “Well, I checked the Citizens Clean Elections Commission Web site this morning, and it says that this act was passed to ‘level the playing field’ when it comes to running for office.” Game over.

Given the clarity and frequency with which the court has stressed the unconstitutionality of laws empowering government to equalize candidates’ speech by equalizing their resources, Monday’s ruling was predictable, but gratifying. Also predictable, but depressing, were four justices (Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor) finding no constitutional flaw in a law that did this:

[…]

Read the full story here: Washington Post

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

The First Amendment, Upside Down – NYTimes.com

The First Amendment, Upside Down – NYTimes.com.

The Supreme Court decision striking down public matching funds in Arizona’s campaign finance system is a serious setback for American democracy. The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in Monday’s 5-to-4 decision shows again the conservative majority’s contempt for campaign finance laws that aim to provide some balance to the unlimited amounts of money flooding the political system.

Read the full story here: New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

Supreme Court strikes Arizona’s ‘matching funds’ to publicly financed candidates – The Washington Post

Supreme Court strikes Arizona’s ‘matching funds’ to publicly financed candidates – The Washington Post.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of Arizona’s public campaign financelaw, the court’s latest decision that the right of political speech trumps government’s attempts to restrain the power of money in elections.The court rejected Arizona’s system of providing “matching funds” to candidates who face big-spending opponents or opposition groups. The system has been used in every statewide and legislative election since voters approved it in 1998, after a period in which the state told the court a “seamless interplay between fundraising and lawmaking cast a web of perceived corruption over the Arizona capitol.”

Read the full story here: Washington Post

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

Violent Video Game ban: Supreme Court strikes down California law that bans sale of Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, Duke Nukem to minors.

Violent Video Game ban: Supreme Court strikes down California law that bans sale of Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, Duke Nukem to minors..

Justices say California ban would violate children’s First Amendment rights.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a California law that regulates the sale or rental of violent video games to children.

In a 7-2 decision, the court found that governments don’t have the power to “restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.”

The ruling upheld an earlier federal appeals court decision that the state’s ban violated minors’ rights under the First Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that the California law was “unprecedented and mistaken” and argued that there is a difference between protecting children from depictions of sex, and placing restrictions on depictions of violence.

“Certainly the books we give children to read – or read to them when they are younger – contain no shortage of gore,” Scalia wrote, citing Grimm Fairy Tales like Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and Snow White.

Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

1 Comment

Filed under notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

Can You Explain the War Powers Act? – NYTimes.com

Can You Explain the War Powers Act?

Published: May 8, 2011

The Department of Education’s latest assessment of what young Americans know about civics shows that the light of democracy burns steadily in schools, if too dimly.

The test was given last year to 27,000 children in the 4th, 8th and 12th grades. “Basic” knowledge for an eighth grader meant being able to identify a right protected by the First Amendment. A “proficient” 12th grader could define “melting pot” and argue whether or not the United States is one. An “advanced” fourth grader could “explain two ways countries can deal with shared problems.”

The results show the needle stuck on mediocre.

Read the full article here:� Can You Explain the War Powers Act? – NYTimes.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under education, USA