May 9, 2011

Justice Stevens, still voting...

... says he would have joined Justice Alito's "powerful dissent" in Snyder v. Phelps.

12 comments:

Ken said...

What a shocker: Stevens against free speech.

Carol_Herman said...

You mean he didn't write enough while he was on the court?

Oh, by the way, knowing how Ruth Ginsberg keeps falling asleep ... who adds the "zzz's" to her opinions?

Too bad Orin Hatch is such a clown. And, one who chooses between resumes. The bamster is not alone in having picked such nitwits to sit "on the bench."

Up ahead, how long before Obama regrets his picks? What's Sotomayor gonna do to make him looked qualified?

And, next up? Hoh. Ho. Ho.

We've got stinkers on both sides of the aisle in da' senate.

Richard Dolan said...

Now that he's retired, no reason why he has to keep these views to himself. I was at the FBC event where he gave this speech. His talk had some good parts about his reminiscences of his career in private practice. Stevens had some trouble delivering the speech; it wasn't his best effort by far, and not what he'll want to be remembered for.

Matt said...

Ken
What a shocker: Stevens against free speech.

Wait, so if Stevens is wrong then how do you justify Alito's view?

Stevens also opposed flag burning. I guess you are okay with flag burning? That's not a typical conservative view.

I think the WBC action is similar to taunt speech - like KKK cross burning on a lawn - and should not be protected. Good for Alito.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Not a bit surprising; Stevens has always been against free speech that he found offensive (which means against truly free speech). See: Flag Burning, George Carlin's Seven Words.

Matt, I know that you were responding to Ken, but, in my experience, conservatives are a lot more likely to be pro-free speech than libs, including, at this time, flag burning (which, as a conservative, I am absolutely in support of the freedom to do- and in support of my own freedom to say that the person doing it, like the WBC folks, is an asshole).

The First Amendment does not contain an exception for "taunt speech", whatever that means, or any speech that you or anyone else finds offensive. Absurd.

(And, absolutely, Alito was wrong.)

- Lyssa

lyssalovelyredhead said...

(to clarify, I meant conservatives today are more likely to be pro free speech even when it comes to flag burning; I realize that flag burning was at one time a conservative issue (which they were wrong about), it's just that that time has passed.)

Matt said...

lyssalovelyredhead

Three interesting cases:
Whitney v. California
Dennis v. United States
Brandenburg v. Ohio

All dealt with First Amendment and hate or dangerous speech.

Some speech - like yelling "fire" is a crowded theatre is illegal. So is speech that threatens to harm someone. The WBC is on the fence. For the record while I admire Stevens and Alitos view on this I would not take away the WBC right to speech. I'd just find a way to keep them far, far away from funerals.

Also the idea that liberals are more anti-free speech is sort of a curious one. I live in a liberal part of the country and while we may dislike a lot of speech we don't think it should be illegal. Or, no more than conservatives - some of whom do think burning a flag should be punishable by law. Some of whom also think anti-war protectors should be arrested.

Anyway there is nothing in American ‘liberal’ or 'conservative’ ideals that makes one more apt to embrace free speech or ignore it. I think most of us are open to speech but have a tough time with some speech. But the courts [and yes the Liberal ones] almost always come down on the side of the First Amendment.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Some speech - like yelling "fire" is a crowded theatre is illegal. So is speech that threatens to harm someone. The WBC is on the fence.

No, it's not. The WBC is nothing at all like those 2 examples. It's just really offensive, asshole-ish expression of a (reprehensible) opinion.

ken in sc said...

Matt, what about college speech codes? Those are proposed and supported by progressive/liberals. They are essentially anti-free speech.

Ken said...

@Matt: I don't. Why other than rabid conclusion-jumping would you think otherwise?

Ken said...

Matt writes: "I guess you are okay with flag burning? That's not a typical conservative view."

1. Yes flag burning is protected speech.
2. No it's a stereotypical conservative view.

His conclusions are interesting : Matt disagrees with what Ken said so Ken must be a conservative, but what Ken said is not a "typical" conservative opinion (in Matt's mind) so Ken must be inconsistent!

Sigivald said...

Matt said: Stevens also opposed flag burning. I guess you are okay with flag burning? That's not a typical conservative view.

Are you sure? Which conservatives are typical?

Plenty of them seem to actually believe the Constitution says what it says and means it.

(Note that in this context "opposed" and "okay with" can only refer to laws against or permitting it, rather than personal feelings, right?

If we allow that to be confused with a personal opinion as to the wisdom or goodness of doing so, we're going to be actively misled.)