First Amendment

The Democrats Escalate Their War On Free Speech

Featured image On Thursday, Harry Reid brought SJ Res 19, to repeal the heart of the First Amendment, to the Senate floor for a vote. The result must be considered stunning by all Americans who value their freedoms. Every Senate Democrat–every one, a 54-vote majority–voted for First Amendment repeal. Here is the roll call of infamy; click to enlarge: The Democrats pretend that this was merely a vote to reverse the demonized »

Why Is Al Franken Afraid of Free Speech?

Featured image Al Franken is a former comedian and television performer. He used to have a radio show, and he contributed to an oral history in which he described his own cocaine use. So one might expect him to be an advocate for free speech. Instead, Franken appeared yesterday at a rally on Capitol Hill in support of the Udall bill to partially repeal the First Amendment. The Democrats’ proposal is sweeping: »

Democrats Are Awash In “Dark Money”

Featured image Today, Harry Reid justified the partial repeal of the First Amendment on the ground that it is necessary to keep “dark money” out of politics. This makes no sense, of course, since the Democrats’ proposed Constitutional amendment gives Congress the power to ban or limit all spending on politics, “dark” or otherwise. But, as we have pointed out repeatedly, the Democrats love “dark money,” as long as it is spent »

Democrats Move to Partially Repeal First Amendment

Featured image Tonight the Senate voted 78-18 to advance the Democrats’ proposal to amend the Constitution to give Congress the power to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. A number of Republicans voted to advance the bill, but will oppose it in debate and will vote against it. Charles Grassley said, “We should have debate on this important amendment. The majority should be made to answer why they want to silence »

Reid rage

Featured image Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s diatribes against the Koch brothers on the floor of the Senate might be evidence of certifiable insanity if anyone took them seriously. But the attitude of the mainstream media, to the extent one can be detected, is ho-hum. The fact that no moderately well informed citizen of sound mind takes Reid’s diatribes seriously should be news all by itself. Reid renders his diatribes on the »

Across the Country, the Federal Government Fights For Muslim Worship Spaces [Updated]

Featured image The government of the United States is suing the town of St. Anthony, Minnesota, a Twin Cities suburb with a population a little over 8,000, to force the town to allow development of an Islamic center in an area reserved for industrial development. It is a minor news story, but one that sheds light on broader legal and cultural trends. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: The federal government on Wednesday »

Risen rules

Featured image In an email message over the weekend, Gabriel Schoenfeld writes to raise a question close to my heart: Should journalists be free to choose which laws they are required to observe and which ones they can break at will? That, essentially, is what James Risen, Pulitzer-prize winning reporter at the New York Times, is demanding as the trial of alleged CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling draws near. Is the Justice Department »

The Democrats Try To Shut Their Opponents Up (Cont.)

Featured image We wrote here about the Democrats’ effort to clamp down on 501(c)(4) organizations–the only entities where Republicans raise more money than Democrats–by requiring such groups to disclose their donors. They have proposed the DISCLOSE Act, which would require such disclosure of 501(c)(4)s, but not of 501(c)(3)s–where the Left is strong–or unions. In the linked post, I wrote about the fact that a hearing on the DISCLOSE Act was scheduled today »

Democrats Struggle With How to Ban Free Speech

Featured image We ridiculed here an absurd constitutional amendment that the Democrats proposed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the support of 42 Democratic senators. The amendment would give Congress unfettered powers to regulate spending on political campaigns in any way that it chooses. I wrote: Many observers have noted that if the Udall amendment became law, Congress could set ridiculously low contribution and spending levels, so as to virtually guarantee the »

The Democrats Try to Repeal the First Amendment: Hear It Here

Featured image This morning, I was on the Bill Bennett show with guest host Mark Davis, talking about the Senate Democrats’ effort to pass the Udall Amendment, which would gut the First Amendment. While the Democrats’ proposal would not disturb the First Amendment’s protection for such activities as flag burning, nude dancing and marching in Nazi regalia, it would take away the constitutional right to participate in the political process by supporting »

Democrats Try to Repeal First Amendment

Featured image Today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Democrats held a hearing on Tom Udall’s proposal to gut the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. The Democrats like to say that the amendment would reverse the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, but in fact it goes much farther than that. The amendment, which is favored by Harry Reid and most Senate »

Was Greenwald justified?

Featured image The case of Edward Snowden is important in more ways than one. He has massively violated the espionage laws of the United States and done great damage to our national security. Glenn Greenwald has been one of Snowden’s most prominent journalistic conduits and in my view shares Snowden’s culpability for the violation of the espionage laws. I made this case in principle when James Risen and the New York Times »

The Democratic Party Makes War On Free Speech

Featured image Scott wrote earlier this morning about Harry Reid’s support for a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate spending on political campaigns, down to the last dollar. The amendment was proposed by Tom Udall last year; you can read the full text here. This is the key language: Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal »

To Reduce School Shootings, How About Press Control?

Featured image Whenever there is a school shooting, liberals try to capitalize by pushing for more gun control. But a recent story here in Minnesota reinforces a point that we have made before: would-be “shooters” are usually copycats who admire the fame that prior mass murderers have achieved. If we really want to cut down on school shootings, in particular, the most effective measure would be to prohibit news media from reporting »

Is Free Speech Endangered In America?

Featured image Mark Steyn believes (this is my characterization, not his) that he is engaged in an Armageddon of sorts; that free speech in America is under serious attack; and that the future of our mostly-free society hangs in the balance. Many consider such fears overblown. At the same time, there has always been some question about how committed most Americans really are to free speech. That skepticism got a boost from »

Standoff at Bundy Ranch Ends, With Photo of the Year So Far

Featured image Before I had quite figured out what to make of the Bundy Ranch standoff, it appears to have been resolved. The Bureau of Land Management has announced that in view of the risk of violence, it is withdrawing its forces, which include snipers, from the area. (How many federal agencies employ snipers, anyway? Too many, it is safe to say.) The county sheriff negotiated the terms of the federal government’s »

Speech, corruption, and the Republican form of government

Featured image Thomas Jefferson recorded a dinner conversation in which John Adams argued that if the British government could be purged of “corruption,” it would become the most perfect government ever devised. Alexander Hamilton shocked Jefferson and Adams when he replied that if purged of corruption, the British system would fall. By corruption, Hamilton apparently had in mind the Crown’s ability to influence the House of Commons. He also had in mind »