"To anyone concerned about free speech, the failure of the Supreme Court to rule on a case brought by Nike Inc. is more than disappointing. It's a disaster. Just about the last people you'd want to put in charge of the First Amendment are trial lawyers, whose business is suing large companies on any available pretext," writes columnist Robert Samuelson in a brilliant analysis in today's Washington Post.
The case was brought by an activist who wants to muzzle Nike's defense of its business practices and is supported by trial lawyers who hope to get rich by opening up a new bountiful vein of litigation dollars.
The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Period, full stop, no exceptions. What part of "NO" does the Supreme Court not get? Pornography gets more protection than companies do. There is simply no reasonable constitutional basis for the Court to try to distinguish between "commercial speech" and all other types of speech. The Court has been accused of judicial activism of late–the Justices should get active here and toss out the commercial speech exception.
Samuelson adds, "Free speech, to be free, has to cover everyone, not just the politically fashionable." Amen, brother Samuelson. Amen.