1789 NewsWatch- Free Speech- Even When It’s Evil

News Highlights


Supreme Court: Westboro Baptist Church Funeral Protests Are Protected Speech
In a rare 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled this week in favor of Westboro Baptist Church, upholding the constitutionality of protesting near a soldier’s funeral. Chief Justice Roberts stated in his opinion for the Court that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”  Read the decision (Snyder v. Phelps)
Heritage Foundation writes: ‘…As Roberts pointed out, speech on public matters occupies the highest rung of protection under the First Amendment, even when that speech is “particularly hurtful.” …the messages of the Westboro Church “may fall short of refined social or political commentary,” but the content of Westboro’s signs plainly related to public, rather than private, matters: the opinion of the church on “the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of our Nation, homosexuality in the military, and scandals involving the Catholic clergy.”‘
However repulsive the speech, this is a freedom worth upholding. While we may not agree with the signs Westboro uses today, realize that it may be us with different signs protesting a different issue tomorrow. The First Amendment, indeed all of the Constitution, must be upheld for all.

Obama’s Gay Marriage Retreat Outrageous— Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner declares that President Barack Obama’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court is “outrageous” and vows that Republicans will intervene in the next few days. Read the full article here.

Congressmen Send Obama Letter Demanding Drilling
According to AAA, gas prices rose an average of 23 cents per gallon last week because of the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.  Prices are forecast to continue rising this week as the unrest continues. “The unrest in the Middle East underscores the importance of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and illustrates precisely why the Obama administration must stop blocking our attempts to drill safely in the pursuit of our energy independence,” the letter from one hundred congressmen says. Read the full article here.

GAO Audit Hits Agencies for Uncoordinated, Inefficient Programs

“This report confirms what most Americans assume about their government. We are spending trillions of dollars every year and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn’t know. The Congressional branch doesn’t know. Nobody knows,” Coburn said in a statement. Read more here.

1789 Blog and Opinion: Top Picks


Ruled by Regulation
How much fuel your car burns. What type of light bulb you buy. How much energy your appliances use. What kind of health plan you have. What do they have in common? Meet your hidden master: regulations. The devil’s in the details, the saying goes. And in today’s America, those details increasingly boil down to a long list of rules governing nearly every aspect of life. Read more here.

No Defense for Marriage or Even the Law
So not only is the President’s administration not going to do his sworn duty to “faithfully execute” the laws of the land, now even a member of Congress is advocating not defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) doesn’t want Congress to spend money protecting the integrity of the law. Fortunately some people are fighting back…. Read more here.

Regulation Strangulation
With the economy struggling and uncertainty rapidly increasing in the oil rich lands of the Middle East, what could possibly possess anyone to do something to raise energy prices, let alone a man who is smart enough to be the President of the United States? Yet that is exactly what President Obama is doing with his increasing regulation of oil drilling and ignoring federal court orders to resume accepting applicants… Read more here.

More from The 1789 Project Newsfeed
For Further Research

Spotlight on Leadership


Sen. Jim DeMint’s group focuses on accountability and constitutionality. Beyond passing judgment on whether measures pass constitutional muster, DeMint’s new group wants any new spending to be offset by other funding cuts and duplicative government programs to be consolidated or eliminated.
Speaker Boehner is “determined to offer a budget this spring that curbs Social Security and Medicare, despite the political risks”
Majority Lead Eric Cantor: Republicans will continue to cut spending at a rate of $2 billion a week

The “Constitutionally Correct” Award


Silence Day Didn’t Silence Speech

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that high school students have a constitutional right to wear a T-shirt bearing the words “Be Happy, Not Gay” if the school cannot prove wearing such a shirt would cause a substantial disruption.

On the Day of Silence – promoted annually by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and sponsored by a school club called the Gay/Straight Alliance – students remained silent in class unless called upon or wore T-shirts bearing slogans such as “Be Who You Are.” Read more here.

The “Constitutionally Incorrect” Award


This week, The 1789 Project Constitutionally Incorrect Award Goes To The City of New York
Thanks to James Rosen of the Washington Bureau for calling them out for banning a pro-life billboard. This plain act of censorship was not isolated. Rather, it fit into an established New York pattern of squelching unpopular opinions. Examples over the past decade abound. 
The latest to discover this reality is a Texas group called Life Always, which bought billboard space in SoHo to deliver an anti-abortion message rooted in recent statistics from the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Read the full story here.

Stories to Watch


Judge Vinson Clarifies: Entire Health Care Law Is Unconstitutional; Obama Administration Has One Week To Request Expedited Appeal
Federal Judge Vinson said he had intended his opinion to halt implementation, but granted the administration’s request for a stay. He ordered the government to request expedited appeal within one week, saying that the issue was too important to let it drag out. Read more here.
The budget battles will continue this week on Capitol Hill, as the two-week extension began this weekend. Senate Leadership continues to insist that the $61 billion cuts in the House-passed bill that would fund the government through September are too much, even as we face a $1.6 trillion deficit. Who will give in, or will we continue with short-term “emergency” extensions until the status-quo senators are voted out of office?

I do not agree with what you have to say,
but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, summarizing Voltaire
 
We hope this sampling from the newsfeed, blog, and opinion pages from the 1789 Project website inspires you to continue fighting for the Constitutional Revival. If we could help you in this by sending you a free pocket Constitution, please let us know
David LaRock
President
The 1789 Project
  

 

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