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First Amendment Intelwars Judicial supremacism religious liberty Supreme Court Supreme court philadelphia decision Supreme court religious liberty

Horowitz: ‘Religious liberty’ in the Supreme Court: If this is a victory, what would a loss look like?

Three years ago, conservatives celebrated the 7-2 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop as a victory for religious liberty. Yet, as I predicted at the time, its extremely narrow ruling mixed with implicit anti-liberty inuendo on behalf of protected groups paved the way for Jack Phillips to continue to be targeted, as he is to this very day. Well, history has repeated itself again in the Philadelphia adoption case, except this time it’s after the appointment of two supposedly more conservative justices.

In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court’s opinion allowing the city of Philadelphia to discriminate against Catholic Social Services by denying the organization contracts for foster care placement based on their refusal to place kids into homes without a mother and father. A 9-0 victory in favor of religious liberty might sound too good to be true. And in fact, it actually is too good to be true, because this is not much of a victory as it relates to most other cases or likely even for the party in this case. It should have been a much broader 5-4 ruling with all the non-Roberts GOP appointees joining the concurrence written by Justice Alito.

This case presented an opportunity for a supposed originalist majority to overturn a bad ruling from 1990 and finally subject any government burden on religious practice to the strict scrutiny that the court applies to abortion and other contrived rights, but not so much to unambiguous enumerated rights. In a case called Employment Division v. Smith (1990), two members of the Native American Church in Oregon were fired from their jobs for ingesting peyote as part of a traditional religious ceremony. The problem in that case was that the state treated them unequally by denying them unemployment benefits, asserting that their own “misconduct” led to the terminations.

The central flaw in the ruling that sided with the state in that case is that it established a principle in the court system that a religious expression or practice is not protected from a state rule, even if the rule serves no vital state interest, so long as that practice is banned for all people. As Justice Alito points out, this bad precedent potentially allows a state to make a rule against the sacramental wine used in Catholic Mass everywhere. The same applies to a state law banning kosher slaughtering of animals or circumcision.

The case of Fulton set up a perfect challenge to Smith, because we have a city policy that directly targets a long-standing religious practice/belief without providing any evidence that it furthers a vital state interest. After all, anyone who wants a kid placed in the hands of a same-sex couple can go elsewhere and indeed is unlikely to seek out Catholic Social Services in the first place. This would have been the perfect time to affirm that governments cannot ban or discriminate against long-standing religious beliefs and practices – you know, the bedrock of our settlement on this continent.

Instead, the majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett as well as the four Democrat appointees, focuses on an extremely narrow point: namely, that Philadelphia didn’t abide by the rule prescribed under Smith. The Smith opinion states that a government can interfere with religious practice so long as it’s done categorically and without exception. In this case, they claim that the city of Philadelphia officially offers individual exceptions to its rules. The problem is that no such exception was ever granted, and the city can now officially erase that provision from the books and then fully operate within the confines of the Constitution based on six justices unwilling to overturn Smith.

As Alito warned, “This decision might as well be written on the dissolving paper sold in magic shops. The City has been adamant about pressuring CSS to give in, and if the City wants to get around today’s decision, it can simply eliminate the never-used exemption power.”

Given that Alito’s concurrence, which is basically a dissent, is 77 pages long, Mike Sacks, a lawyer who covers the courts for WNYW-TV, speculates that Alito originally wrote the majority opinion, which likely included Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. However, the theory is that Roberts once again worked with Justice Breyer to peel off Barrett and Kavanaugh. In a rare outcome, Barrett wrote a concurrence, joined by Kavanaugh, to explain why she opposed overturning Smith. Bizarrely, it was joined by Breyer — and only Breyer — from among the liberals.

What is so disturbing about this ruling on religious liberty is that it follows the trend of what we are seeing in the courts with all constitutional liberties – that governments can violate sacred rights so long as they do so equally. We’ve certainly witnessed this during COVID fascism with many courts ruling that restricting one’s breathing or shutting down churches and businesses was OK so long as it was applied equally. Obviously, in the context of the war on religious liberty by the “Rainbow Jihad,” governments most certainly will apply their agenda across the board, essentially banning our founding Judeo-Christian values, which according to the Court somehow does not run afoul of the First Amendment.

In reality, the First Amendment was never about equality; it was about protecting one’s ability to worship in whatever manner you so choose, so long as it doesn’t disturb the peace. In the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, written just before the First Amendment of the Constitution, the Continental Congress provided that “no person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship, or religious sentiments, in the said territory.”

Sec. 3 of the Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights states emphatically, “No human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.” The notion that Philadelphia can essentially bar adoption licenses to those who believe in the clear definition of marriage and pass constitutional muster – no matter how it’s applied – is insane.

In fact, most of the state constitutions at the time of the formation of the nation would likely have forbidden the very homosexual agenda that is being used as a cudgel against religious institutions. For example, the South Carolina constitution permits all religious practice “provided that the liberty of conscience thereby declared shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state.” Thus, they almost assuredly would have banned today’s paganism, which is a religion in all but name, from promoting gay marriage, not those who refuse to provide services. If one feels that times have changed, that is fine, but orienting the law in that direction would require changes to the state and federal constitutions.

Barrett’s concurrence, joined by Kavanaugh and Breyer, painstakingly explains how overruling Smith would create problems with other bad prior court decisions and would engender a new rule of judicial construct to replace it. Sadly, this is the excuse the justices will likely give to perpetuate terrible rulings on other issues that are moored in faulty constitutional interpretation in the future. The proper rule is to apply strict scrutiny to any religious liberty challenge, as we do in abortion cases. This is really quite simple.

The specific application of not overruling Smith is right in front of our noses. Under the current ruling, were the case of Jack Phillips to come back before the Supreme Court, the justices would say that Colorado has the right to force him to bake a transgender celebration cake because they apply that rule strictly to everyone. Following the Constitution would net a different result.

This case is also an ominous sign for the growing assault on religious exemptions from coerced vaccination. States could easily point to a categorical rule without any exceptions as solid footing for ignoring religious exemptions.

If this is what a victory looks like, I’d hate to see what a loss would be at the Supreme Court. If this is a conservative Supreme Court, we can only imagine a liberal one.

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Censorship Christianity First Amendment Intelwars Legal challenge Michigan Public high school religious freedom Valedictorian

Yet another HS tries to censor ‘very Christianized’ speech by valedictorian — and reverses course when called out by law firm

On the heels of a Michigan high school valedictorian being told faith references in her graduation speech are “not appropriate” — and then the principal reversing her position after getting a complaint letter from a law firm — yet another high school in the state decided against carrying out the same move toward censorship after the same law firm complained.

What are the details?

First Liberty Institute sent a Tuesday letter to Michael Wegher — principal of John Glenn High School in Westland — over his attempt to censor the “very Christianized” portion of Savannah Lefler’s speech set to be part of senior honors night, which is scheduled next week.

Lefler’s original speech notes that philosophies espoused by the likes of Plato and Charles Darwin are “wrong” — and then she declares that, “The purpose of life is to live a life devoted to Christ. Westminster Catechism Number One, ‘The Chief Purpose for Which Man is Made is to Glorify God, and to Enjoy Him Forever,'” the letter says.

Wegher told Lefler that her speech needed a “revision” since “we have students and staff who would identify as Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindi, Sikh, Jehovah’s Witnesses, atheist, etc. We must be inclusive and respectful of their beliefs as well,” the letter adds.

Pushback

First Liberty’s letter informed the principal that “student graduation speeches constitute private speech, not government speech, and private speech is not subject to the Establishment Clause. Contrary to your assertion, Ms. Lefler’s statements do not transform into government speech simply because they are delivered in a public school setting or channel.”

The law firm told Wegher that his actions constitute “violating students’ rights under the Free Speech Clause” and requested that he “allow Ms. Lefler to express her private religious beliefs in her Honors Night speech” by Wednesday.

That was fast

Well, First Liberty said in a news release Wednesday the school’s decision was “reversed” and that Lefler would be allowed to deliver she speech in the way she wanted.

The law firm said while the school district’s response didn’t concede “a legal requirement,” it allows a “one-time non-negotiable relinquishment of control” that lets her give her remarks with a disclaimer stating that the speech is not endorsed by the school.

“May God be glorified in the situation,” Lefler said in reaction to the decision, First Liberty said. “I’m thankful I will be able to share my faith in Christ with my classmates and pray that this never happens to another student in the future.”

But the district doesn’t seem too pleased

According to the Christian Post, the letter from the school district’s attorney told First Liberty that its legal position was “without any merit whatsoever.”

“Nearly half of Ms. Lefler’s draft speech was unmoored from any sort of academic or pedagogical interest related to the School District’s Honors Convocation. Rather, it was an attempt to proselytize at a school-sponsored event, with the School District’s imprimatur,” attorney Kevin T. Sutton wrote, according to the outlet.

Sutton’s letter added, “Indeed, it is not a speech — it is a sermon,” the Christian Post noted.

The outlet added that the draft of Lefler’s speech also said, “Seeing that man is completely unable to achieve perfection, God made a way for us to be reconciled to Him through the perfect life of Jesus Christ, who is God in flesh.”

It also said, “He not only lived perfectly, but he was killed on a cross and took the punishment that humans deserve. Then he rose from the dead three days later, thus vindicating His holiness and divinity. This allows us to fulfill our purpose in glorifying God because we can now stand before Him blameless if we repent and trust in Christ and His finished work. May His name be praised forever!” the Christian Post said.

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America Constitution First Amendment free speech Intelwars Outrage Prince Harry royal family UK

Prince Harry rips 1st Amendment as ‘bonkers’ — and more than a few Americans get plenty annoyed: ‘Show some utter respect’

Fresh on the heels of boldly commanding top podcaster — and MMA fighter — Joe Rogan to “just stay out of it” in regard to Rogan suggesting that young people should not get the COVID-19 vaccine, Prince Harry’s outspoken mouth is getting him in trouble again.

What did he say this time?

The Duke of Sussex — who recently left his royal family behind in England for the sunnier environs of southern California, since which he’s nabbed a considerable windfall through deals with American companies like Netflix and Spotify, the Daily Mail reported — was conversing on Dax Shepard’s podcast Thursday when the subject of paparazzi taking photos of celebrities’ children came up.

“I don’t want to start, sort of, going down the First Amendment route because that’s a huge subject and one in which I don’t understand because I’ve only been here for a short period of time, but you can find a loophole in anything,” Harry said, adding that “laws were created to protect people.”

The prince added, “I believe we live in an age now where you’ve got certain elements of the media redefining to us what privacy means. There’s a massive conflict of interest. And then you’ve got social media platforms, trying to redefine what free speech means. … And we’re living in this world where we’ve almost, like, the laws have been completely flipped by the very people that need them flipped so they can make more money, and they can capitalize off our pain, grief, and this sort of general self-destructive mode that is happening in the moment.”

And soon Harry delivered the shot heard ’round the world: “I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment. I still don’t understand it, but it is bonkers.” (In fairness, Shepard agreed: “It is bonkers.”)

The prince’s comments can be heard in context after the 39-minute mark of the podcast.

How did folks react?

To put it mildly, a number of Americans didn’t much care for Harry’s commentary on the Constitution’s First Amendment, which guarantees citizens the right to freely express themselves, practice whatever religions they choose — or none at all — and to assemble and petition the government.

To say nothing of the fact that the prince is a guest here, making a load of cash here, and enjoying a lifestyle here protected by U.S. laws — and on top of that admitting that “I still don’t understand” the First Amendment, yet summoning the arrogance to dismiss it as “bonkers” — a number of notable U.S. citizens fired back hard.

“We fought a war in 1776 so we don’t have to care what you say or think,” Meghan McCain of “The View” said in reaction to Harry’s comments. “That being said, you have chosen to seek refuge from your homeland here and thrive because all of what our country has to offer and one of the biggest things is the 1st Amendment — show some utter respect.”

Others shared McCain’s sentiments:

  • Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas quipped in rather understated fashion that it’s “nice” that Harry “can say that.”
  • GOP U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, also of the Lone Star State, noted that Harry “just doubled the size of my Independence Day party.”
  • Megyn Kelly reminded him that it’s “‘better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.’ (Lincoln or Twain or someone smarter than Prince Harry.)”
  • “Don’t let the door knob hit you, Windsor,” Fox News’ host Laura Ingraham tweeted.

Author Nick Adams — who’s from Australia and says in his Twitter bio that he’s “American by choice” — declared that “Prince Harry should go back to the UK!”

Even fellow Brits got into the act. Former Brexit leader Nigel Farage observed that “for Prince Harry to condemn the USA’s First Amendment shows he has lost the plot. Soon he will not be wanted on either side of the pond.”

Dan Wootton of the UK’s GBNews tweeted that “the First Amendment is one of the biggest reasons why the USA is a bastion of free speech and freedom of expression. The fact Prince Harry doesn’t like it because he thinks rich privileged folk deserve more rights than everyone else says a lot!”

Speaking of, Harry and Meghan just added more to their already considerable coffers with a new partnership with Proctor and Gamble, Yahoo Finance reported Sunday.

Anything else?

According to the Daily Mail, Harry also criticized Prince Charles, Prince Philip, and the queen during the podcast and complained he had suffered “genetic pain,” which led to royal aides demanding that give up his royal titles.

During the 2020 election cycle, Harry and Meghan issued a video widely interpreted as a campaign ad for then-candidate Joe Biden.

When asked for his reaction to the couple weighing in on the race at the time, then-President Donald Trump said, “I’m not a fan of hers, and I would say this — and she probably has heard that — but I wish a lot of luck to Harry, ’cause he’s gonna need it.”

Harry and Meghan also were famously interviewed by Oprah Winfrey recently, during which they alleged racism within the Royal Family.

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California Covid restrictions First Amendment Gavin Newsom Intelwars religious freedom Supreme Court

Supreme Court once again rules for religious freedom in California, but Roberts sides with liberal justices

The Supreme Court has once again ruled against pandemic-related restrictions enacted by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) that impacted in-home religious gatherings, like prayer meetings and Bible studies.

What are the details?

In a split 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said a California restriction prohibiting more than three households from gathering indoors is likely unconstitutional because the state seemingly favors secular activities with fewer restrictions.

“California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts, and indoor restaurants to bring together more than three households at a time,” the majority opinion stated.

The opinion explained, “Applicants are likely to succeed on the merits of their free exercise claim; they are irreparably harmed by the loss of free exercise rights ‘for even minimal periods of time’; and the State has not shown that ‘public health would be imperiled’ by employing less restrictive measures.”

In fact, the majority opinion declared that public health measures demand scrutiny “whenever they treat any comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise.”

“[G]overnment regulations are not neutral and generally applicable, and therefore trigger strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause,” the opinion said. “It is no answer that a State treats some comparable secular businesses or other activities as poorly as or even less favorably than the religious exercise at issue.”

What did the minority say?

Justice Elena Kagan, who wrote the minority opinion, explained she disagreed with the majority because, in her estimation, California is treating at-home activities, religious and secular, the same.

California limits religious gatherings in homes to three households. If the State also limits all secular gatherings in homes to three households, it has complied with the First Amendment. And the State does exactly that: It has adopted a blanket restriction on at home gatherings of all kinds, religious and secular alike. California need not, as the per curiam insists, treat at-home religious gatherings the same as hardware stores and hair salons—and thus unlike at-home secular gatherings, the obvious comparator here. As the per curiam’s reliance on separate opinions and unreasoned orders signals, the law does not require that the State equally treat apples and watermelons.

Notably, Chief Justice John Roberts did not sign the minority opinion, but joined his liberal colleagues by saying he would have allowed the lower court’s ruling to stand.

What is the background?

The ruling overturned a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the restriction on grounds that California was treating at-home religious and secular activities the same, NPR noted.

As the majority opinion noted, Friday’s ruling “is the fifth time the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California’s COVID restrictions on religious exercise.”

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First Amendment free speech FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Intelwars Libel and defamation Libel laws Us district court

In incredible dissent, federal judge launches broadside attack on SCOTUS precedent protecting left-wing press

A federal judge called for a landmark Supreme Court decision on freedom of the press and libel laws to be overturned in a fiery dissent decrying “bias against the Republican Party,” blasting the near “one-party control” of legacy news media, slamming Silicon Valley’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story, and warning that the current state of American media is “a threat to a viable democracy.”

U.S. Circuit Judge Laurence H. Silberman, a Reagan appointee, launched a broad attack on the Supreme Court’s unwillingness to revisit precedent and the news media in a dissent in Tah v. Global Witnessa defamation case. After arguing against the court majority’s ruling on the merits of the case, Silberman was “prompted to urge the overruling of New York Times v. Sullivan” — a landmark ruling that established what a plaintiff must show to prove a claim of defamation or libel made against a publisher.

Silberman described that ruling, which has made it extraordinarily difficult for an individual to successfully sue the press for false reporting, as a “policy-driven decision masquerading as constitutional law” that “badly constitutionalized an area of law refined over centuries of common law adjudication.”

Acknowledging that the Supreme Court is unlikely to reverse its opinion, he nevertheless said “new considerations have arisen over the last 50 years that make the New York Times decision a threat to American Democracy. It must go.”

New York Times v. Sullivan is a Civil Rights-era decision that established additional First Amendment protections for the press against lawsuits for defamation or libel.

In the 1960s, the New York Times published a full-page advertisement soliciting donations for the legal defense of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who had been charged with perjury. The ad contained several factual inaccuracies and claims that police in Montgomery, Alabama, had locked civil rights demonstrators in a college campus dining room “in an attempt to starve [the students] into submission,” among other threats of violence. Montgomery Public Safety Commissioner L.B. Sullivan — who was not named in the advertisement but was in charge of the police force — sued the Times for defamation in a case that was litigated up to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously for the New York Times in a decision that was influenced in part by the practice of southern officials threatening northern newspapers reporting on civil rights abuses with lawsuits to silence them.

The court established a test for defamation or libel claims, ruling that the First Amendment requires a plaintiff to show that the defendant had acted with “actual malice,” that he knew that a published statement was false or was reckless in deciding to publish that information without investigating whether it was accurate.

“One can understand, if not approve, the Supreme Court’s policy-driven decision. There can be no doubt that the New York Times case has increased the power of the media,” Silberman wrote. “Although the institutional press, it could be argued, needed that protection to cover the civil rights movement, that power is now abused.”

“As the case has subsequently been interpreted, it allows the press to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity. It would be one thing if this were a two-sided phenomenon,” the judge continued, observing that the press “more often manufactures scandals involving political conservatives.”

“The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions,” he warned.

Silberman goes on to state that “bias against the Republican Party” is long-standing, blasting the New York Times and the Washington Post as “virtually Democratic Party broadsheets.” He calls other news outlets including the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe, along with “nearly all television — network and cable” “a Democratic Party trumpet.”

He further decried the “enormous influence” that Silicon Valley exerts over the distribution of the news, saying “it similarly filters news delivery in ways favorable to the Democratic Party.” He cited Facebook and Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story as proof of “viewpoint discrimination.”

“Ideological homogeneity in the media — or in the channels of information distribution — risks repressing certain ideas from the public consciousness just as surely as if access were restricted by the government,” Silberman wrote.

He concluded: “It should be borne in mind that the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news. It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy. It may even give rise to countervailing extremism. The First Amendment guarantees a free press to foster a vibrant trade in ideas. But a biased press can distort the marketplace. And when the media has proven its willingness—if not eagerness—to so distort, it is a profound mistake to stand by unjustified legal rules that serve only to enhance the press’ power.”

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Cable providers First Amendment Fox News FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Intelwars Letter NewsMax Oann

Democrats’ ‘chilling’ letter demands cable providers account for ‘misinformation’ and ‘lies’ from ‘right-wing media outlets’ they carry

Two Democratic members of Congress penned letters Monday to a dozen cable providers demanding they account for “misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies” from “right-wing media outlets” they carry — and the networks specifically named were Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network.

What are the details?

The letters from U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California, were addressed to AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Alphabet, and Hulu. The letters leveled numerous accusations against the aforementioned news networks, including that their coverage helped the “radicalization of seditious individuals who committed acts of insurrection on January 6” at the U.S. Capitol.

“Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm,” the letters said. “Misinformation on TV has led to our current polluted information environment that radicalizes individuals to commit seditious acts and rejects public health best practices, among other issues in our public discourse.”

Citing “experts” who claim “the right-wing media ecosystem is ‘much more susceptible…to disinformation, lies, and half-truths,'” the letters said “right-wing media outlets” like Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN “all aired misinformation about the November 2020 elections.” The letters also accused the networks of “spreading misinformation related to the pandemic.”

What do the Democrats want?

Eshoo and McNerney demanded in their letters that cable providers explain “what moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity, violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?”

The letters also asked the cable providers to detail what steps they’ve taken to “monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation” from news networks they carry, as well as any punitive measures they’ve taken against such channels — and if they plan to carry networks like Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN once contracts expire.

The letters were penned ahead of a hearing set Wednesday — “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media” — to be hosted by a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on which Eshoo and McNerney sit, CNBC reported.

What was the reaction?

Fox News told CNBC in a statement that “as the most watched cable news channel throughout 2020, FOX News Media provided millions of Americans with in-depth reporting, breaking news coverage and clear opinion. For individual members of Congress to highlight political speech they do not like and demand cable distributors engage in viewpoint discrimination sets a terrible precedent.”

CNBC said Comcast declined to comment, and representatives for the other cable providers to which letters were addressed didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr called the letters a “chilling transgression of the free speech rights that every media outlet in this country enjoys,” CBNC said, adding that Carr’s fellow Republican Commissioner Nathan Simington reacted similarly.

“The Majority is flirting with violating the First Amendment,” a GOP aide for the House Energy and Commerce Committee told CNBC in a statement. “Should the government be pressuring private industries to censor legally protected content and suppress the freedom of the press? No. If a free and independent press is still valued and mainstream in America, this censorship campaign should alarm every single journalist and member of the media.”

Haven’t we seen this movie before?

The Democrats’ letters mirror CNN’s assertion last month that cable providers should “face questions for lending their platforms to dishonest companies that profit off of disinformation and conspiracy theories” — and again the three named were Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN.

CNN’s Brian Stelter has been on the aforementioned warpath of late, specifically saying a few weeks back that “liar” Fox News’ influence must be reduced through a “harm reduction model” — which he said isn’t censorship. Later Stelter interviewed a Democratic congresswoman who called for a “truth commission” to root out “extremist ideology” so Americans can mouth a “common narrative.”

In his chat with freshman U.S. Rep. Sara Jacobs of California, Stelter decried the “impact of cellphones and this constant connectivity, social networks and far-right television networks” — all of which he said are “fueling a fire” of extremism.

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First Amendment free speech Idaho Intelwars protest

Idaho lawmaker pushes bill to outlaw protesting outside officials’ homes, so protesters gather outside his home to tell him what they think

Idaho state Rep. Greg Chaney really does not like it when he sees protesters gathering outside the homes of state officials. No matter the cause, the Republican lawmaker feels that such protests are nothing but “intimidation.”

So he has introduced a bill, along with Democratic state Rep. Brooke Green, that would outlaw any picketing on the street or sidewalk in front of a person’s residence that is intended to “harass, annoy or alarm” and would make such protests a misdemeanor, the Idaho Statesman
reported.

In response, a group of Idahoans carrying torches and pitchforks gathered outside Chaney’s home Wednesday night to protest his anti-protest legislation.

What’s going on?

Chaney’s and Greene’s bill came as a response to a year that saw protests at the homes of an Ada County commissioner, a Meridian city police officer, Boise City Council members, the Boise mayor, and others, the lawmakers explained in an
op-ed for the Statesman.

“This is not protest; it is intimidation,” they wrote.

The protest at Cheney’s home followed a hearing on the bill earlier Wednesday at the Statehouse that was interrupted by a crowd of protesters,
according to the Idaho Press.

Chaney was none too pleased about the gathering at his house and took to Twitter to document the efforts of the 12 to 15 picketers.

“They say they do this because they aren’t heard — but we’d just spent hours hearing them in committee and they still showed up where my wife and kids were,” he
wrote with a photo of the crowd gathered on the sidewalk outside his home.

“They say they do this because have nowhere else to protest. I was at the Statehouse all day allowing them to insult and slander me in my own committee and they still showed up where my wife and kids were,” Chaney
continued.

Chaney also
posted a photo of a stuffed animal in a Chaney T-shirt “hung in effigy” that was reportedly carried by one of the protesters. The lawmaker said that one of his daughters asked, “[W]hy do they want to kill dad?”

“I’m more frustrated for my family than anything,” he told the Statesman.

“I was angry for my family’s sake,” he
told KTVB-TV. “I saw the stress on my wife’s face. I saw the teary eyes of my daughters.”

“Intimidation is not a democratic principle,” he added. “Argumentation, protest even, is absolutely appropriate to shape public policy. Making somebody feel unsafe and their family feel unsafe is not an appropriate way to set policy or to react to civil servants.”

Critics of the bill say it’s unconstitutional and tramples their First Amendment rights, KTVB said. Protesting at homes, they said, is the only way they feel they can be heard.

KBOI-TV
reported that police said the protesters were “peaceful and respectful” and that the group was “just a bunch of people exercising their 1st Amendment rights.” No arrests were made.

KTVB reported that law enforcement have made it clear that they are in full support of Chaney’s bill.

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California covid Covid restrictions First Amendment Intelwars Religion Supreme Court

Supreme Court gives churches huge victory over California’s COVID-related ban targeting worship gatherings

The Supreme Court ruled late Friday that California cannot prohibit churches and other religious organizations from conducting services indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was a massive victory for First Amendment rights.

However, the high court did not roll back all COVID-related restrictions enacted on religious gatherings in California.

What are the details?

Voting along ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that California cannot totally bar indoor worship gatherings.

However, the court’s majority of conservative-leaning justices were unable to agree on other restrictions enacted on religious gatherings, such as capacity limits and a ban on singing, which California argued are necessary for the public health.

From the Associated Press:

The justices said the state can cap indoor services at 25% of a building’s capacity. The justices also declined to stop California from enforcing a ban put in place last summer on indoor singing and chanting. California had put the restrictions in place because the virus is more easily transmitted indoors and singing releases tiny droplets that can carry the disease.

The justices were acting on emergency requests to halt the restrictions from South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista and Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which has more than 160 churches across the state.

What did the justices say?

In his opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts reaffirmed that “federal courts owe significant deference to politically accountable officials with the ‘background, competence, and expertise to assess public health.'”

“The State has concluded, for example, that singing indoors poses a heightened risk of transmitting COVID–19. I see no basis in this record for overriding that aspect of the state public health framework,” Roberts added. “At the same time, the State’s present determination—that the maximum number of adherents who can safely worship in the most cavernous cathedral is zero—appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake.”

Meanwhile, Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, blasted California for having “openly imposed more stringent regulations on religious institutions than on many businesses.”

Gorsuch wrote that “California singles out religion for worse treatment than many secular activities” despite the fact that the Supreme Court recently made “it abundantly clear that edicts like California’s fail strict scrutiny and violate the Constitution.”

Gorsuch further accused California officials of “playing favorites during a pandemic, expending considerable effort to protect lucrative industries … while denying similar largesse to its faithful.”

Gorsuch concluded, “As this crisis enters its second year— and hovers over a second Lent, a second Passover, and a second Ramadan—it is too late for the State to defend extreme measures with claims of temporary exigency, if it ever could. Drafting narrowly tailored regulations can be difficult. But if Hollywood may host a studio audience or film a singing competition while not a single soul may enter California’s churches, synagogues, and mosques, something has gone seriously awry.”

The court’s three liberal justices — Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer — sided with California in full.

Writing the dissenting opinion, Kagan claimed the court’s decision “orders California to weaken its restrictions on public gatherings by making a special exception for worship services.”

“Justices of this Court are not scientists. Nor do we know much about public health policy. Yet today the Court displaces the judgments of experts about how to respond to a raging pandemic,” Kagan wrote. “Under the Court’s injunction, the State must instead treat worship services like secular activities that pose a much lesser danger. That mandate defies our caselaw, exceeds our judicial role, and risks worsening the pandemic.”

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First Amendment Intelwars

‘Bone-chillingly scary’: Crowder reacts to MSNBC panel discussion on the First Amendment

Steven Crowder described having watched a “bone-chillingly scary” segment on Brian Williams’ MSNBC show Tuesday on the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

In this clip, Steven makes the case that based on the Williams segment, he believes the Left’s entire game plan is to use the event that unfolded on Jan. 6, to entirely shut down the First Amendment in the name of “safety.”

Watch the clip for more from Steven. Can’t watch? Download the podcast here.

Use promo code LWC to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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To enjoy more of Steven’s uncensored late-night comedy that’s actually funny, join Mug Club — the only place for all of Crowder uncensored and on demand.

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First Amendment Intelwars

‘Bone-chillingly scary’: Crowder reacts to MSNBC panel discussion on the First Amendment

Steven Crowder described having watched a “bone-chillingly scary” segment on Brian Williams’ MSNBC show Tuesday on the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

In this clip, Steven makes the case that based on the Williams segment, he believes the Left’s entire game plan is to use the event that unfolded on Jan. 6, to entirely shut down the First Amendment in the name of “safety.”

Watch the clip for more from Steven. Can’t watch? Download the podcast here.

Use promo code LWC to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Steven Crowder?

To enjoy more of Steven’s uncensored late-night comedy that’s actually funny, join Mug Club — the only place for all of Crowder uncensored and on demand.

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Blazetv Crowder classics First Amendment Intelwars Louder with crowder parody Steven Crowder

WATCH: Steven Crowder’s take on the First Amendment if James Madison were a leftist (Parody)

The First Amendment has been under attack for years. In 2015, Crowder released a parody called, “The First Amendment: Liberal Edition.” In this parody, Crowder illustrated how the first draft of the Bill of Rights would have read if written by a liberal James Madison.

In the video, Crowder’s interpretation of a liberal Madison wrote, “The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. Unless, like, people say something you really disagree with.”

Watch the video for more.

“Louder with Crowder” returns with all new shows on Feb. 1. Stay tuned…

Can’t watch? Download the podcast here.

Use promo code LWC to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Steven Crowder?

To enjoy more of Steven’s uncensored late-night comedy that’s actually funny, join Mug Club — the only place for all of Crowder uncensored and on demand.

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ban Blacklists Donald Trump First Amendment free expression Free speech threat Intelwars Publishing industry Trump administration

‘Monsters among us’: Trump WH alumni must be blacklisted from book deals, American publishing industry professionals say

When Simon & Schuster canceled its book deal with U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley earlier this month, citing the Missouri Republican’s “role” in events that led to rioting at the U.S. Capitol, it may soon prove to be one of many moves to silence conservative voices if other publishing professionals get their way.

What are the details?

More than 500 American publishing industry professionals — editors, authors, agents, and others — have signed on to a “letter of intent” demanding that publishing houses blacklist members of former President Donald Trump’s administration.

“As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States, we affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals,” the letter — which Reason said was originally titled “No Book Deals for Traitors” — states.

More from the letter:

Consequently, we believe: No participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus should be enriched by the almost rote largesse of a big book deal. And no one who incited, suborned, instigated, or otherwise supported the January 6, 2021 coup attempt should have their philosophies remunerated and disseminated through our beloved publishing houses.

“Son of Sam” laws exist to prevent criminals from benefiting financially from writing about their crimes. In that spirit, those who enabled, promulgated, and covered up crimes against the American people should not be enriched through the coffers of publishing.

The letter concludes: “We believe in the power of words, and we are tired of the industry we love enriching the monsters among us, and we will do whatever is in our power to stop it.”

Um, what?

Considering the degree to which leftist cancel culture banned, de-platformed, and purged conservatives from the public square — including Trump himself — one might say the aforementioned letter calling for Trump administration officials to be blacklisted from book deals is almost expected.

But Reason noted that it’s a slippery slope: “If Anthony Fauci wanted to write a book about his experiences inside the White House, would the letter’s signatories really agree that he should be blacklisted from publishing?”

Hawley pretty soon got a new publisher — Regnery — for his book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech.” But the senator’s response to Simon & Schuster for canceling him in “Orwellian” fashion could easily apply to the hundreds of publishing industry professionals who want Trump administration officials blacklisted from book deals: “It’s a direct assault on the First Amendment. Only approved speech can now be published. This is the Left looking to cancel everyone they don’t approve of.”

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constitutional republic First Amendment free speech Free speech threat FREEDOM OF SPEECH Intelwars

Horowitz: For the first time in our lives, free speech is about to be criminalized

Our First Amendment freedoms give us the right to think what we like and say what we please. And if we the people are to govern ourselves, we must have these rights, even if they are misused by a minority.” ~James Madison

We never thought this day would arrive in America. Last year, we learned that they can shout “COVID” as an emergency, and our life, liberty, and property disappear. They can shout “racism,” and our inalienable right to self-defense disappears. The last thing we had was the freedom to criticize what is happening, even if there was nothing we can do about it. Now they can shout “right-wing terrorism” or “right-wing conspiracy” and say that freedom of speech no longer applies.

Leftists in this country claim that their violence is speech and our speech is violence. That is why they glorified riots last year that burned down numerous cities, caused thousands of injuries, cost billions of dollars, and elevated their cause as the most urgent grievance in need of redress. At the same time, they are pushing to criminalize not just the violent acts and actors at the Capitol on January 6, but any view or speech or assembly predicated on views that are held by those people. This is why they seem to be taking direct shots at the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech for Americans, even as they plan to grant amnesty to those whose entire presence in this country is illegal.

As everyone focuses on the corporate world violating the spirit of the First Amendment by excommunicating anyone with conservative views, watch carefully how the governmental actors are coming very close to violating the letter of the First Amendment with the force of the “law” behind it. Big tech might have a monopoly on the internet and communications, but government has a monopoly on violence, law, and the ability to restrain our liberty. If we don’t wake up immediately, our speech and freedom to assemble will be not only censored, but criminalized.

It started on January 6, when Tom Edsall published a column in the New York Times noting, “A debate has broken out over whether the once-sacrosanct constitutional protection of the First Amendment has become a threat to democracy.” This is a tried and tested tactic of the Left – to have their columnists float a radical idea as a “debate,” while their governmental actors begin working on it in earnest.

Just take stock of what we are seeing out in the open. They are now arresting people all over the country for merely being in the Capitol, even if they didn’t engage in violence, vandalism, or theft. Had this standard been applied to Black Lives Matter, there would literally have been millions of arrests. So no, this is not just about punishing those who acted violently. The FBI is placing signs all over the country asking people to report those who were at the Capitol, something that never happened even in the most deadly BLM/Antifa riots last year, or at Trump’s inauguration four years ago in D.C.

They are militarizing D.C. with 20,000 troops, when the threat of violence against Trump’s inaugural guests four years ago was exponentially greater. They are declaring emergencies in states as remote as New Mexico with no evidence of violence present. Garrett Soldano, a leader in the anti-lockdown movement in Michigan, claims the FBI paid him a two-hour visit because a local called the FBI and claimed he is a violent extremist.

If the FBI had done this when hundreds of cities were on fire for days on end with no control among local police departments, I would just feel they are being overly cautious. Given that BLM was promoted as the leader of our civic discourse and we are all being treated like terrorists, however, we should be very scared they are coming for the First Amendment, not for national security. Remember, the Justice Department seems to believe this was a planned attack. So the hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters who just came there to express their views had no idea that a few bad actors were planning this. The fact that they are hunting down anyone and everyone should scare us all.

Last week, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said emphatically that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to sentiments he disagrees with. “This idea that saying that Pennsylvania was ‘rigged’ or that we were ‘trying to steal the election’ — that’s a lie. And you do not have the right, that is not protected speech.”

Thus, from now on, Democrats can unilaterally change election law in middle of an election – up until and including abolishing Election Day in favor of mail-in ballots – and anyone who criticizes it or organizes a rally against it is subject to prosecution? These comments would be comical if they didn’t coincide with actions taken by his party coming into power in Washington that look a lot like martial law.

In other words, if you watch the language the Left is using about our speech and the actions the Biden administration and the governors are taking, it’s quite evident that Big Tech is not the only thing we have to worry about. If nothing changes, I predict that even if Parler is able to become completely independent in the private market, the government, which has the ultimate monopoly on power, will shut it down.

Last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the same man who is prosecuting business owners and threatening them with labor camps for earning a living, said on a conference call with prosecutors that he is investigating those from his state who merely attended the rally.

Already in 2019, Richard Stengel, the Biden transition “team lead” for the U.S. Agency for Global Media, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the First Amendment needs curtailment. “All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting ‘thought that we hate,’ but not speech that incites hate,” wrote Stengal.

This is pretty bizarre coming from a side of politics that already controls 99% of all speech and big business that controls speech. What exactly are they afraid of? If anything, we are the ones who should be scared of their speech, given the monopoly they hold.

Well, George Washington already warned us about the motivations of those who clamp down on speech. “For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter,” said Washington in an address to the Continental Army on March 15, 1783.

The question facing patriots in the coming days is quite simply this: Will we allow that final domino to fall?

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1st Amendment BILL OF RIGHTS Constitution First Amendment Freedom Of Religion Incorporation Doctrine Intelwars Thomas Jefferson Wall of Separation

The First Amendment’s Wall of Separation

In an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

Jefferson was, of course, referring to the First Amendment. He perhaps overstated his case.

The amendment was intended to prohibit the federal government from establishing a national church and to prevent Congress from legislating on religious matters. Of course, Congress had no such authority to begin with. The Constitution didn’t delegate any authority to Congress to establish a church or to regulate religious matters at all. The First Amendment simply made explicit an implicit truth built into the Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

The establishment clause of the First Amendment is probably the provision in the Bill of Rights most twisted from its original purpose. People have taken Jefferson’s words and used them as a basis to exile any religious expression from the public sphere at the federal, state and local levels. Whether not you think the absolutism of Jefferson’s wall is positive or negative, it was never the intention of the First Amendment. Jefferson’s wall was only meant to wrap around the federal government.

Through the bastardization of the 14th Amendment, federal judges transformed it into a massive federal billy club used to control religious expression at the state and even the local level. What was intended to limit the reach of the general government was transformed into a massive expansion of federal authority.

During the ratification debates, many skeptics expressed concern that the Constitution did not include a provision prohibiting the establishment of a national religion. New York ratifying convention delegate Thomas Tredwell said he considered the possibility of a national religion a dreadful tyranny.

“I could have wished that sufficient caution had been used to secure to us our religious liberties, and to have prevented the general government from tyrannizing over our consciences by a religious establishment – tyranny of all others most dreadful, and which will assuredly be exercised whenever it shall be thought necessary for the promotion and support of their political measures.” 

Supporters of ratification dismissed these concerns, arguing that since the Constitution did not delegate any authority over religion to the new government, it could not possibly interfere with religious freedom.

Rep. Roger Sherman of Connecticut expressed this line of thought during a debate on the amendment in the U.S. House, saying, “It appears to me best that this article should be omitted entirely. Congress has no power to make any religious establishments, it is therefore unnecessary.”

James Madison acknowledged the validity of this argument when he initially proposed amendments but echoed the fears of many that without express prohibition, Congress might invade the rights of the people.

“It has been said that in the federal government they are unnecessary, because the powers are enumerated, and it follows that all that are not granted by the Constitution are retained: that the Constitution is a bill of powers, the great residuum being the rights of the people; and therefore a bill of rights cannot be so necessary as if the residuum was thrown into the hands of the government. I admit that these arguments are not entirely without foundation; but they are not conclusive to the extent which has been supposed. It is true the powers of the general government are circumscribed; they are directed to particular objects; but even if government keeps within those limits, it has certain discretionary powers with respect to the means, which may admit of abuse to a certain extent.”

The “necessary and proper” clause, along with treaty powers, were both brought up as possible vessels that the federal government could use to establish a religion or infringe on free exercise thereof.

During a debate on amendments, on Aug. 15, 1789, Madison explained the meaning of the religious clause as recorded in the congressional record.

“Mr. Madison said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience; whether the words are necessary or not, he did not mean to say, but they had been required by some of the state conventions, who seemed to entertain an opinion that under the clause of the Constitution, which gave power to Congress to make all laws necessary and proper to carry into execution the Constitution, and the laws made under it, enabled them to make laws of such a nature as might infringe on the rights of conscience, or establish a national religion, to prevent these effects he presumed the amendment was intended, and he thought it well expressed as the nature of the language would admit.”

Notice there was no mention of protecting religious freedom in the states. This was not even contemplated. That was considered a role left to the states.

In fact, several states did involve their governments in religion. For instance, the Massachusetts state constitution asserted that “the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend on piety, religion and morality,” and provided for the collection of a tax with funds distributed for support of religious organizations of the taxpayer’s choice. By prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion, it was understood that it prohibited any law that would interfere with state religions where they still existed.

The original amendment language proposed by Madison included the words, “nor shall any national religion be established.”

“Mr. Madison thought if the word national was inserted before religion, it would satisfy the minds of honorable gentlemen. He believed that the people feared one sect might obtain a preeminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform; he thought if the word national was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent.”

Madison ultimately withdrew the word “national” because of concerns that it could be misconstrued to imply that the Constitution created a consolidated national government as opposed to a federation of states.

During ratification debates in North Carolina, state convention delegate James Iredell addressed the question as to why the Constitution didn’t guarantee religious freedom to the states.

“Had Congress undertaken to gauranty religious freedom, or any particular species of it, they would have had a pretense to interfere in a subject they have nothing to do with. Each state, so far as the clause in question [gauranty of a republican government], must be left to the operation of its own principles.”

The federal government’s use of the First Amendment to prohibit religious displays in local parks, to force the removal of the Ten Commandments from public schools, or to ban prayers in public assemblies would horrify the founding generation. While some may have recoiled at public religious expression, they never contemplated the federal government policing state and local governments. They viewed the centralization of power as a greater danger than potential abuse by state governments, and they considered it the responsibility of the people of the states to police their own state governments.

Modern legal scholars justify this massive expansion of federal power in the domain of states and localities through the Incorporation Doctrine.

Religious freedom was based on an even more basic right – liberty of conscience. In the Aeropagitica (1644) John Milton called for “the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties”

In its simplest form, liberty of conscience means that every person possesses an unalienable right not only to hold their own religious, moral and ethical views, but to act on them free from the coercion of others. William Penn put it this way.

“By Liberty of Conscience, we understand not only a mere Liberty of the Mind, in believing or disbelieving this or that principle or doctrine; but ‘the exercise of ourselves in a visible way of worship, upon our believing it to be indispensably required…”

Religious liberty primarily grew out of a theological idea. John Locke developed the principle in A Letter Concerning Toleration, first published in 1689. At the time, obedience to the state religion dominated political thought. While Locke wasn’t the first to call for tolerance, and he certainly didn’t weave what we would consider a comprehensive philosophy of the principle (he excluded atheists and to some degree Catholics), his thinking was still quite radical for its time, and it had a profound impact on the founding generation in America. Locke held that since God does not force a person to submit to him, it follows that nobody possesses any right to force another to submit to a religious doctrine, including civil magistrates.

“The care of souls is not committed to the civil magistrate, any more than to other men. It is not committed unto him, I say, by God; because it appears not that God has ever given any such authority to one man over another, as to compel anyone to his religion…All the life and power of true religion consists in the inward and full persuasion of the mind…The care of souls cannot belong to the civil magistrate, because his power consists only in outward force; but true saving religion consists in the inward persuasion of the mind, without which nothing can be acceptable to God.”

Even before the publication of A Letter Concerning Toleration, there was a push for religious freedom in the colonies. Rhode Island founder Roger Williams and his companions bound themselves by a compact “to be obedient to the majority only in civil things.” And in 1649 Maryland passed the Maryland Toleration Act, mandating religious tolerance for Trinitarian Christians.

In the years leading up to ratification, legislatures in several states engaged in heated debates about the extent of religious liberty, and the idea of toleration was rapidly taking hold. The establishment and free expression clauses reflect this evolution in thought and were meant to prevent the new government from establishing a religion for the United States, or from favoring one sect over another, and to prohibit Congress from passing laws that would punish or politically exile Americans for worshiping as their conscience dictates.

—-

This article was adapted from Michael Maharrey’s book “Constitution Owner’s Manual: The Real Constitution the Politicians Don’t Want You to Know About.” You can get more information about the book at ConstitutionOwenersManual.com.

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Antifa First Amendment FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Intelwars journalist Physical attack Protests Sacramento watch

Five Antifa scumbags gang up on man, beat him silly — and their ‘comrades’ demand reporter not record attack

Washington, D.C., and
Washington state weren’t the only flash points of Antifa thuggery over the weekend.

The black-clad leftists — who gaslight us with their self-described “anti-fascist” credo while engaging in blatantly fascist violence, bullying, and intimidation against anyone who gets in their way with few consequences — decided they would flex their muscles in Sacramento, California.

What happened?

The Proud Boys were protesting there Saturday, and Scott Rodd — the state government reporter for CapRadio News — was there to
document the violence when Antifa decided to join the fray.

Rodd noted in a Twitter
thread that “today was the most violent of any protest in downtown Sacramento since the election. Mace, batons, fisticuffs. A guy even pulled out a katana.” A katana is a Japanese sword with a curved, single-edged blade used for slashing and stabbing — and yes, turns out an Antifa militant was brandishing the Samurai weapon, although Rodd referred to him as a “man on [the] counter-protest side.”

One of the most draw-dropping of Rodd’s clips
showed what he said was a “man with a baton” who was “verbally antagonizing the group of counter protesters” — i.e., Antifa.

And how did the Antifa militants handle the verbal slights? “A number of them rushed him in an alley and beat him,” Rodd wrote. It appears to be a five-against-one gang-up — Antifa aren’t known for fighting one on one:


Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @SRodd_CPR

They seem nice.

But that wasn’t all. “Multiple counter-protesters blocked me and demanded I not film,” Rodd added in his tweet. “I said (through a gas mask) I’m press and just doing my job.”


Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @SRodd_CPR

“Do not film! Do not film! Do not film this!” one leftist is heard hollering at Rodd while black umbrellas attempt to block him from recording.

When the beating ends, Rodd captures the image of the victim sprawled on the concrete and struggling to stand:


Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @SRodd_CPR


Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @SRodd_CPR

Here’s the clip:

One might assume if our anti-fascist friends weren’t up to anything violent or illegal — you know, like if they were sitting down over beers and coming together as one with conservatives in their post-election euphoria so we can build back better or something — they wouldn’t be demanding that journalists refrain from documenting their actions.

This blatant prevention of First Amendment-protected reporting is an ongoing MO with Antifa and other violent leftist groups such as Black Lives Matter. We saw it in broad daylight in Portland, Oregon, last week when a
gang of militant leftists bullied and physically attacked a Portland TV news reporter and videographer who dared enter their “autonomous zone” — and then kicked them out.

Still, there are plenty of folks still demanding cover for Antifa lawlessness, like one guy who warned Rodd that “there can be legal consequences for their comrades if you get too close [with a video camera]. It’s a thin line. I have no respect for snitches disguised as journalists. Respect earns respect and trust earns trust.”

But another Twitter user wasn’t having any of it and shot back, “If your comrades aren’t violating LAWS, then there wouldn’t be LEGAL consequences! Freedom of the press is a fundamental right, protected by the constitution. If their actions put them in legal jeopardy, thats 100% on them!”

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Coronavirus Court Cases CURRENT EVENTS First Amendment Incorporation Doctrine Intelwars New York Supreme Court

Federalism Gets the Bird for Thanksgiving

In what many consider a Thanksgiving gift for religious liberty, the United States Supreme Court struck down occupancy limits for church gatherings in New York. The restrictions were implemented by Governor Andrew Cuomo in an attempt to thwart the spread of the coronavirus.

The Justices held that restrictions on the size of congregations violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The decision was a 5-4 split. Amy Coney Barrett sided with the majority, while John Roberts joined Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan in the dissent.

Governor Cuomo issued an executive order in October initiating a three-color risk system as part of his draconian response to the virus. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and the Agudath Israel of America filed complaints as the order severely restricted the size of congregations for religious worship. No more than 10 people are allowed to gather in “red” zones, 25 in “orange” zones; the restrictions are harsher for religious gatherings than for secular purposes, raising concerns of “First Amendment ‘Rights’” violations.

Conservatives are hailing this decision as a victory for religious liberty due to the purposeful aim taken at religious gatherings. But should they be?

The answer is the same as it was last year when the High Court held that a cross could remain on public land. The Court gets it wrong even while getting it right.

In both cases, there was no federal government action at issue. In the present case, the restrictions came from the State of New York but the Constitutional issue claimed is the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

The next inquiries which MUST be made by Constitutional Conservatives are, “is this what the Founders intended?” and “is this something to which the States consented?”

The answer to both is an unequivocal “NO!”

As James Madison explained in Federalist #45:
 

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite…The powers reserved to the several states will…concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the state.”

Throughout the Philadelphia Convention, Madison pushed for a federal “negative” (veto power) over state laws. This idea was rejected on each attempt. When a number of states insisted on adding a Bill of Rights as a condition of ratification, he argued against it saying, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Wilson, among others, that it would be redundant since the “general” government had only the powers specifically enumerated.

The legislative powers of Congress are set forth in Article I, with the enumerated powers listed therein under Section 8. The Tenth Amendment asserts the following:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Accordingly, whether these restrictions are to be upheld is a matter to be resolved within the state of New York.

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights states, in relevant part, the following:

“The Conventions of a number of the States…expressed a desire in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

When he introduced the proposal for a Bill of Rights to Congress, Madison wanted some of the provisions to be made applicable against the states. He argued that was where liberty would be most likely threatened. Again, he was defeated.

The Bill of Rights was never understood to be applicable against the states. There is absolutely no historical evidence of the Bill of Rights being made enforceable against the states. Even nationalist John Marshall, in the 1833 case Barron v. Baltimore, was forced to admit this when he said that the first ten “amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the state governments. This court cannot so apply them.”

In the New York case, the Court  acknowledged that the goal of fighting the spread of the virus is a compelling state interest, but that the Governor’s decree was more restrictive to places of worship than other places. Justice Gorsuch wrote, “It is time — past time — to make plain that while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that re-open liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues and mosques.”

The Court also held that “less restrictive measures could be enforced on the religious services to stop virus transmission, such as limiting services based on available capacity and not a hard cap.”

If it appears that the Supreme Court is issuing a negative on the affairs of the State of New York in contravention to the Constitution as ratified by the states, that is because it is. Even if you agree with the results, the bigger issue is the preservation of decentralized power — the purpose of the Constitution.

Recall the Tenth Amendment quoted above as well as the original intention of the Bill of Rights. How did the Free Exercise clause and other restrictions upon the General Government become enforceable against the States? As I explained here, this came about from the deliberate misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment and the malfeasance of the legal education industry.

What Congress was prohibited from doing at Philadelphia and the Ratification Conventions (the latter being our source for understanding what was agreed, or consented to), the Federal Judiciary now does on a regular basis – effectively veto (overturn) state legislation and state court holdings it finds disagreeable. But this was not always the case, as mentioned above.

It was not until 1925, in Gitlow v. New York 268 U. S. 652 that the Supreme Court magically “found” the authority to apply the Bill of Rights against the states supposedly hidden away in the 14th Amendment.  This interpretation is both problematic and not supported by history. The 39th Congress, which proposed the amendment, did not intend to “incorporate” the Bill of Rights against the states, and no such premise had been adhered to in the preceding years.

By 1925, however, the Progressive Era was in full swing and the Supreme Court was well on its way to imposing a complete rewrite of the Constitution upon the states and the American people, thus diminishing the separation of powers between the states and the general government. 

Clearly, the outcome of this case is one to be celebrated, but not from a Constitutional perspective. Delegating such authority to nine politically-connected lawyers is an affront to Republicanism and representative government, principles intended to be safeguarded by the Tenth Amendment, the cornerstone of the Constitution, according to Thomas Jefferson.

Had the Court ruled the other way, religious freedom, as well as freedoms too numerous to list would be subject to judicial approval across the entire “nation,” a principle the Framers would have deemed repugnant.

As I have previously stated, the War for American Independence was fought to secure the natural right to be governed by a system to which the people have consented. Thanks to years of indoctrination, the people and the states continue to defer to a system in which our fundamental, God-given, natural rights (not “Constitutional rights”) are determined, qualified, and restricted by a national government which no longer cares about the consent of the governed. We have come full circle, back to a system of Parliamentary Sovereignty; we have surrendered our revolutionary legacy.

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anti-Trump Donald Trump Federal judge First Amendment Intelwars Louisiana parking space public schools student

School district paints over student’s Trump-themed parking spot. But federal judge says that violates free speech.

Ned Thomas finally got to paint his assigned parking space at Pine Junior-Senior High School in Franklinton, Louisiana, this year — a privilege granted to seniors for a $25 fee, NOLA.com reported.

Thomas’ visual theme? A commissioned portrait of President Donald Trump wearing a stars-and-stripes headband and sunglasses.

But while the principal gave the painting his stamp of approval, Washington Parish School System officials deemed the image too political — and promptly blotted it out with gray paint, NOLA said.

However, that isn’t the end of the story.

A federal judge on Friday ordered school district Superintendent Frances Varnado and the school board to let the Trump portrait be repainted in the parking space, saying that blotting it out was a violation of Thomas’ free-speech rights, the outlet noted.

What are the details?

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon — an appointee of former President Bill Clinton — ruled the Trump portrait is “pure political speech” and cannot be censored by the district, NOLA reported.

“The painting of President Trump cannot reasonably be described as obscene or plainly offensive on its face, nor can it be construed as school-sponsored speech,” Fallon wrote, according to the outlet.

The judge also ruled that the district — in order to remove the image — would have to demonstrate that the Trump portrait is “materially disruptive,” NOLA noted.

But Fallon said Trump’s face doesn’t qualify.

“This is not a case involving a symbol such as a Confederate flag, which has an established meaning as a ‘symbol of racism and intolerance, regardless of whatever other meanings may be associated with it,'” Fallon said, according to the outlet, adding that “ultimately, it is clear that school officials in this case acted based upon ‘an urgent wish to avoid controversy which might result from the expression.'”

What was the school district’s position?

Varnado cited the campaign season’s divisive politics as the reason for painting over the Trump portrait, NOLA said, adding that the superintendent was “concerned that the painting would cause further division and disruption among students — similar to that experienced within the school, parish, community and on social media.”

More from the outlet:

A risk of vandalism, property damage and fights came up. “Defendants also referenced a number of conflicts on social media over the summer, in which students who were typically friends were fighting against one another about race and politics,” Fallon wrote. And they cited the murder of “a Black student perpetrated by a White individual during the previous school year that caused significant controversy in the community.”

Varnado said her decision was meant to avoid controversy, not stir it up. But a barrage of livid e-mails followed, along with a federal lawsuit last month from Thomas’s parents seeking an injunction. Their attorney, Yigal Bander of Baton Rouge, asserted the policy-required school approval came in late July, and that the senior paid a friend $200 to lay Trump’s face down in paint.

The portrait was ready for public viewing on Aug. 6. Eight days later, the principal told him the School Board had ordered it painted over.

But Fallon ruled that “the burden on plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to free speech and expression outweighs the school’s burden of dealing with controversy related to the painting,” NOLA reported.

Now what?

Thomas told the outlet the college student friend he hired to paint the Trump portrait will be back to repaint it.

It isn’t clear from the NOLA report whether the district is paying for the repainting job.

(H/T: The College Fix)

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Censorship First Amendment free speech Free speech on campus Free speech online Intelwars online speech

Majority of Americans — including 60% of Democrats — say feeling ‘welcome and safe’ is more important than being able to speak freely online

What’s more important, protecting Americans’ feelings or protecting Americans’ ability to speak freely?

The ability to speak one’s mind has come under attack in everyday life — from social media companies’ attempts to keep controversial content off their sites to college campuses’ efforts to create safe spaces and squash offensive speech.

Apparently most Americans are OK with that, at least according to a
new survey from the Pew Research Center.

What’s that now?

Americans have grown more intolerant when it comes to speech — particularly speech they say hurts their feelings.

For example, there has been a concerning movement on college campuses to stifle speech that some students find offensive. Some students, Campus Reform revealed, say they’re willing to
give up free speech so others can “feel comfortable.” And a FIRE survey shared this month showed that nearly one-fifth of college students say its OK to use violent means to shut down speech they deem offensive.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have long been criticized for reportedly censoring conservative voices that some people find offensive. For example, just last week, Blaze Media’s Mark Levin
went after Facebook for throttling the reach of his media page, accusing the company of trying to influence the election.

With current attitudes of some Americans and the actions of social media and online video companies in mind, it probably will not surprise most readers to hear that a majority of Americans believe people’s feelings are more important than being able to speak one’s mind online.

According to
Pew, 53% of U.S. adults say “being able to feel welcome and safe online” is more important than “people being able to speak their minds freely online.”

Democrats were more likely than Republicans to feel that way — but many free speech advocates are likely not thrilled with the share of GOPers who also backed feelings over free expression: 60% of Democrats and 45% of Republicans said feeling safe is more important than free expression.

These results are a six-point jump for Democrats and a six-point drop for Republicans since 2017.

Broken down by party and gender, it’s clear that within parties, women are more likely than men to put concern over feelings ahead of freedom of expression.

A majority of GOP women (54%), Democratic women (64%), and Democratic men (55%) ranking feelings ahead of freedom in this survey. Only among GOP men does a minority (36%) believe feeling safe is more important than speaking freely.

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Best colleges free speech College free speech First Amendment free speech Free speech on campus Intelwars Worst colleges free speech

Worrying percentage of college students support violence to stop campus speech; worst colleges for free speech named

A new poll revealed that a disturbing percentage of college students are in favor of using violence to stop a campus speech. The survey, by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Real Clear Education, and College Pulse polled 20,000 students from 55 different colleges, found that nearly one-fifth of college students believe it is acceptable to use violent means to shut down speech that they may agree with or deem offensive.

The poll found that 18% of college students approve using violence in certain situations to stifle campus speech. That number rises to 21% at Ivy League schools, and drops to 15% at colleges in the Southeastern Conference.

“Liberal students expressed a higher acceptance of violence,” FIRE explained. “Students identifying as extremely liberal said violence to stop a speech or event from occurring on campus was ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ acceptable at a rate double than students identifying as extremely conservative: 13% to 6%. More than a quarter of extremely liberal respondents said it is ‘rarely’ acceptable, compared to 8% of extremely conservative respondents.”

“One quarter of atheist students and black students expressed some level of acceptance for violence, as did 27% of LGBT students,” the poll revealed.

Over 60% of extreme liberals proclaim that it is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to shout down a speaker, compared to only 15% for extreme conservatives.

The hostile atmosphere against speech deemed as offensive or inflammatory has caused conservative college students to self-censor to avoid conflict. While 55% of liberal students self-censor, 72% of conservative students feel the need to self-censor.

More than 40% of college students said the topic of race is a difficult topic to have an open and honest discussion about. There were 45% of students who said abortion would be a problematic topic to broach.

When it comes to guest speakers appearing at colleges and universities, there is a bias against conservative orators. The FIRE poll found that an overwhelming 87% of students would welcome former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to speak, but only 69% would allow President Donald Trump to speak on campus.

Conservative students were much more tolerant in hearing speakers who they disagree with politically, and 71% of strong Republicans support Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden coming to speak at their campus. Meanwhile, only 49% of strong Democrats would allow President Trump to speak at their college.

The research also provided metrics for FIRE to name the best and worst colleges for free speech.

The best colleges for free speech:

  1. The University of Chicago
  2. Kansas State University
  3. Texas A&M University
  4. University of California, Los Angeles
  5. Arizona State University

The worst colleges for free speech:

  1. Syracuse University
  2. Dartmouth College
  3. Louisiana State University
  4. University of Texas
  5. DePauw University

FIRE ranked the worst free speech higher learning institutions by “rating for colleges that explicitly prioritize other values above free speech.”

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California Catholic high school Conservative students Don't tread on me First Amendment Gadsden flag Intelwars Racism accusation Young america's foundation

‘Don’t Tread on Me’ image considered ‘racial harassment’? Catholic school allegedly orders conservative students to nix Gadsden flag

Conservative students at a Catholic high school in California said the administration ordered them to remove the image of the Gadsden flag from a promotional video as the flag could be considered “racial harassment,” Young America’s Foundation reported.

What are the details?

The organization said it obtained an email from Chris Walter — Loyola High School’s director of student activities — to a conservative student that said “you will have to remove the Don’t Tread on Me image” and cited an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case.

YAF said Walter claimed the EEOC ruled that displaying the Gadsden flag in the workplace “could be considered racial harassment, depending on the circumstances” — and the organization said such a claim is “blatantly false.”

More from Young America’s Foundation:

The EEOC case he is citing clearly states that “it would have been premature and inappropriate for EEOC to determine, one way or the other, the merits of the U.S. Postal Service’s argument that the Gadsden Flag and its slogan do not have any racial connotations whatsoever,” and that “EEOC’s decision simply ordered the agency – the U.S. Postal Service – to investigate the allegations. EEOC’s decision made no factual or legal determination on whether discrimination actually occurred.”

YAF said it reached out to Loyola High School but did not receive a response in time for publication.

History teachers there ought to know that the symbol on the flag was created by Christopher Gadsden — a general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War — and gained favor among colonists who wanted independence from Great Britain.

What did the student in question have to say?

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the student who reported the alleged incident to YAF’s Campus Bias Tip Line told the organization that the “Don’t Tread on Me” crackdown is frustrating.

“This is just a small example of the different struggles conservative students go through while in school,” the student told YAF. “Students should have the freedom to express their beliefs and values in a school environment without having to fear the repercussion that can arise.”

YAF went further and characterized the mandate to the conservative students as “bullying” in an effort to “silence speech” that isn’t in line with what the school says is acceptable.

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First Amendment FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Intelwars Left-wing protesters Minneapolis Newspaper photographer Star-tribune Threat

Photographer for major paper says protesters ordered him ‘no more pictures,’ threatened to destroy his equipment — and it appears he obeyed

Antifa and other violent left-wing protesters and rioters say they’re against fascists. But we’ve seen time and time again through their behavior that they’re truly the fascists. One look at what went down in Minneapolis on Thursday night is a prime example.

What happened?

A staff photographer with the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper wrote that protesters in ordered him to take “no more pictures” and threatened to steal and destroy his equipment if he didn’t fall in line:

“Protesters chanting ‘no more pictures’ as they march along S. 4th Street along US Bank Stadium,” Aaron Lavinsky wrote. “An organizer just came up to me demanding I turn my cameras off. She threatened to snatch my camera [from] me if I didn’t comply.”

And in the end it appears Lavinsky did just that.

“Folks, I’m backing off,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “Multiple people threatening to take and break my cameras. Been berated most of the night by a small group of organizers and anarchists.”

Lavinsky send subsequent messages noting that while some protesters were fine with him being there it’s “unfortunate that not all value the free press.”

Here’s one of the videos Lavinsky recorded for the Star Tribune’s story:

The paper’s piece — for which Lavinsky shares a byline — noted that Minneapolis police faced off with about 100 people who “gathered … to protest local and national issues.”

Besides “no more pictures,” the Star Tribune said other chants included, “No justice, no peace, kill all the police” and “Die, Donald Trump.”

Lavinsky’s run-in with the mob was documented in the story as well: “Some protesters shouted at a Star Tribune photographer, telling him to stop taking photos and threatening to take cameras away. They chanted, ‘No more pictures,’ as they walked.”

How did folks respond to the photographer’s tweets?

A couple of commenters seemed sympathetic to the protesters:

  • “This is for their own safety,” one commenter wrote. “You can actually endanger them by creating video/photo evidence.”
  • “Yeah dude you need to make sure you don’t accidentally photograph someone in an identifiable way,” another commenter said, soon adding that “you could cause a lot of problems for them including death.”

But it seems most responders weren’t happy with the fascist threats:

  • “Be safe,” one commenter implored. “Is the @StarTribune still going to call this a peaceful protest? Or are they going to call a spade a spade for once?”
  • “Fascist liberal bastards,” another commenter wrote. “What is happening in Louisville, Portland, Seattle, New York, and Washington DC is Joe Biden’s America. This is what will happen nationwide if Biden is elected.”
  • “What more proof is needed that these are not protests,” another commenter added. “In a real protest the protestors want video to spread their message. Only people that plan on criminal activity demand videos be shut off. #MAGA2020.”
  • “We can’t back down. This is what Communism looks like,” another commenter said. “What next? We will be told what books we can read and which ones we can’t? Checkpoints? Guard tower’s?? We fought to hard against the Soviets to have it end up in our own country. We need to wake up!!!
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Back the blue Back the blue rally Blue Lives Matter Campus Reform First Amendment Intelwars Mount holyoke

College students outraged when school refuses to stop pro-Trump, ‘Back the Blue’ rally — that was taking place off-campus

Students at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, are furious after the school refused to stop an off-campus rally in support of President Donald Trump, police officers, and law enforcement officials.

What are the details?

According to a Thursday report from Campus Reform, students became enraged after finding out about the rally and attempted to pressure the school’s administration to stop the offending event.

Students were made aware of the rally through a posting on the Instagram page “BIPOC at Mount Holyoke.”

A portion of the post read, “I know that most students aren’t on campus, but there’s a ‘Back the Blue’ (pro-police) and pro-Trump standout at the village commons in South Hadley this weekend. It’s right across the street from campus. I’m only reaching out because I hope student pressure on admin can create a response from the college.”

According to the outlet, “multiple organizations” created a petition against the event in support of safety for “LGBTQ+ and POC members.”

The petition received more than 1,600 signatures, Campus Reform reported.

A portion of the petition said, “This is outrageous and we demand a response from the administration of Mount Holyoke. By maintaining silence about the upcoming events, the school is encouraging a gathering of people who could threaten our community’s safety.”

“Although Mount Holyoke is a space that encourages the opinions of all students to be shared, they should not tolerate the sharing of harmful rhetoric,” the petition continued. “The implication of the stance held by the ‘Back the Blue’ rally is in direct opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement and the safety of all POC groups and LGBTQ+ community.”

“This,” the petition added, “goes against the inclusive and progressive message of Mount Holyoke as an institution and a community.”

The rally ended up taking place across the street from the school’s main campus and was hosted by local correctional officers and Pioneer Valley Massachusetts for Trump 2020 on Sept. 7.

What did the school say?

The school, however, refused to cave to student activist pressure and, instead of stopping the rally, cited the First Amendment.

“The College cannot … prevent an assembly from being held on town property in proximity to the campus,” the school said in a Sept. 5 statement to its students.

Mount Holyoke College President Sonya Stephens’ statement read, “Participants will gather on the public area around the gazebo, which is not owned by the College.”

“The right to peaceful assembly, and indeed to free speech, are protected in the First Amendment, and together with the freedoms of association, petition and the press are what we understand more broadly as freedom of expression,” Stephens continued. “To defend free speech is to defend the most fundamental and most important of human freedoms, even when, as the ACLU article makes explicit, some views expressed ‘are antithetical to the very freedom the First Amendment stands for,’ otherwise ‘no one’s liberty will be secure. In that sense, all First Amendment rights are ‘indivisible.'”

Anything else?

Activist group Black at Mount Holyoke College issued a statement in response to Stephens’ announcement, which said, “This response from the institution negates the Anti-Racism plan, which was released only days ago, because rather than taking the next step to ensure that the students who are staying on campus are safe, they simply say that nothing can be done about the rally.”

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First Amendment George floyd riots Greeting cards guns Intelwars Mccloskeys protester St. Louis watch

McCloskeys make greeting cards from photo of them guarding home with guns — and hilariously give one to foul-mouthed protester

Mark and Patricia McCloskey appear to have a knack for one-upping leftists.

First, they stand in front of their St. Louis home holding guns, making a left-wing mob think twice about pulling any funny stuff after it broke into their gated neighborhood amid the George Floyd rioting in June.

A month later, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed charges against the McCloskeys for unlawful use of a weapon/flourishing, saying the couple waved their weapons in a “threatening manner” at “peaceful, unarmed protesters.”

Despite the charges hanging over their heads, the enterprising couple apparently had greeting cards made from one of the many images of them warding off the mob — and then Mark McCloskey graciously stuck it to a foul-mouthed protester who confronted the couple on video after they emerged from a print shop with the cards.

What are the details?

“Abolish the suburbs! You are terrorists!” the leftist woman hollers at the McCloskeys as they walk to their vehicle.

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @314khalea

“Do you think pointing guns at protesters is nice?” the woman continues to yell. “It’s fun? You think you’re cool?”

“F*** you and your guns!” she adds as they enter their SUV. “F** you!”

With that, Mark McCloskey exits the vehicle and approaches the camera — and he’s not holding a gun; he’s holding one of the cards they created and hands it over: “Here, have a souvenir.”

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @314khalea

The woman speaking on video isn’t impressed: “F*** both y’all!” The McCloskeys begin to back out of their parking space, and that’s where the clip ends.

Content warning: Language:

How are folks reacting?

As you might expect, more than a few Twitter commenters are backing up the McCloskeys all the way and enjoyed their greeting card idea:

  • “GOOD. They have absolutely EVERY RIGHT to defend their home and property against violent rioters,” one person wrote. “Because that’s what they WERE.”
  • “Love it. F*** you marxists,” another commenter said. “You’re not going to win.”
  • “Do you know if they have a website where I can buy one of their cards?” another person asked.
  • “And to think they used to be Democrats, until a bunch of worthless, terrorist traitors decided to take up space on their property,” another commenter wrote. “You idiots are destroying your own party, because you are too ignorant to know any better. Thanks for the extra @realDonaldTrump votes. #Trump2020.”

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Cancel culture Chinese virus COVID-19 First Amendment free speech Intelwars Left-wing college students professor University of Cincinnati

College instructor outed by student for calling COVID-19 ‘the Chinese virus’ is placed on leave

A University of Cincinnati adjunct instructor who was outed by one of his students for referring to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus” has been placed on administrative leave with pay, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, citing documents.

What’s the background?

A school investigation was launched after third-year engineering student Evan Sotzing, 20, posted on Twitter an email he received from adjunct instructor John Ucker, the paper said. The email came after Sotzing had to miss a lab session due to being quarantined for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus, the Enquirer noted.

For students testing positive for the chinese [sic] virus, I will give no grade,” the email says, according to the paper. “You can read the info I sent to the class re: the torsion test.”

Sotzing’s post has gone viral:

“I think that the school should take disciplinary actions against the professor because [his] actions completely violate the school’s values,” Sotzing told the Enquirer last week, adding that he’s offended by Ucker’s “racist language” and that he’s concerned his instructor might punish students for adhering to national, state, and local health guidelines.

What happened next?

The paper reported that UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean John Weidner sent an email to Ucker Friday morning saying his courses will be handled by another faculty member for the time being.

“As you are aware, a student in one of your courses has raised a concern regarding one of your emails. This matter has been referred to UC’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (“OEOA”) for review,” the email reads, according to the Enquirer. “As such, effective immediately you are being placed on an administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of that review.”

Ucker’s “full cooperation” with the OEOA review is “both expected and appreciated,” Weidner added in the email, the paper noted.

The Enquirer noted that the following morning, Weidner confirmed the matter was referred for review to the OEOA, which handles matters concerning discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on disability, race, color, religion, national origin, and other identities.

“These types of xenophobic comments and stigmatizations around location or ethnicity are more than troubling,” Weidner wrote to the Enquirer. “We can better protect and care for all when we speak about COVID-19 with both accuracy and empathy — something we should all strive for.”

Anything else?

Ucker’s personnel file indicates he’s taught at the university since 1996, the paper reported, and that an August letter states he was offered an adjunct position in the College of Engineering and Applied Science effective Aug. 24 through Dec. 12 for $3,600.

“Your appointment is contingent upon student enrollment, program need and student evaluation, and the University reserves the right to change or withdraw course offerings, instructors or schedules as these factors are evaluated and assessed,” the letter reads, according to the Enquirer.

The letter also states three requirements expected of Ucker, the paper said: To hold two office hours per week; to not miss any classes; and to “do a good job teaching and taking care of the students.”

Ucker as of Tuesday did not reply to an email from the Enquirer sent last week.


UC student: Adjunct professor gave student 0 on lab because he was in quarantine

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