Supreme Court

Citizens United and the Future of the Roberts Court

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USA Today's Joan Biskupic reports on what the Supreme Court's widely-debated ruling in Citizens United v. F.E.C. might mean for the other politically-charged cases up for review this term:

"Is this a turning point?" asks Pamela Harris, director of Georgetown Law's Supreme Court Institute. Harris notes that Chief Justice John Roberts' concurring opinion in the campaign-finance case defended reversing past rulings that have been, as Roberts wrote, "so hotly contested that (they) cannot reliably function as a basis for decision in future cases."

"That is an incredibly muscular vision of when you would overrule precedent," which usually guides justices in new cases, Harris says. "That makes it look like this is a court that's ready to go."

Several pending cases — some that already have been argued, some that will be argued in upcoming weeks — are likely to show the reach of the Roberts Court and its boldness….

Among the most closely watched disputes: whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms covers regulation by states and cities; whether people who signed petitions for a ballot referendum against gay marriage have a First Amendment right to keep their names private; and whether a board set up to regulate public accounting firms after the Enron and Worldcom scandals violates the separation of powers and infringes on the executive branch.

Read the whole story here. Last month I discussed what Roberts' Citizens United concurrence might mean for the Chicago gun case.

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  1. whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms covers regulation by states and cities;

    Obviously.

    whether people who signed petitions for a ballot referendum against gay marriage have a First Amendment right to keep their names private;

    Obviously not.

    and whether a board set up to regulate public accounting firms after the Enron and Worldcom scandals violates the separation of powers and infringes on the executive branch.

    Huh?

    1. Since the people who wrote the Bill of Rights obviously intended them to apply only to the federal government I don’t think it’s “obvious” that the 2nd applies to the States. Or is original intent/meaning bunk? It’s interesting to see the right embrace incorporation all of a sudden…

      1. Since the people who wrote the Bill of Rights obviously intended them to apply only to the federal government I don’t think it’s “obvious” that the 2nd applies to the States. Or is original intent/meaning bunk? It’s interesting to see the right embrace incorporation all of a sudden…

        Originally , the Second Amendment did not apply to the states.

        But that was changed with the Fourteenth Amendment.

        1. Like I said, conservatives are accepting incorporation now? What’s next, animal rights conservatism?

          1. you are such a homer. do you not see the same tension on the part of progressives? in the opposite direction.

          2. Like I said, conservatives are accepting incorporation now?

            I accept incorporation.

            Who were these conservatives that denied that the 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th Amendments were incorporated?

            1. Conservatives oppose incorporation?

              1. I believe Justice Thomas has questioned the doctrine of incorporation. Of course, that doesn’t mean I do, but such nuances are lost on MNG.

                1. Along with Thomas: Robert Bork, Walter Berns, Matthew Franck, to name just a few major conservative constitutional scholars/jurists…

          3. MNG, GO FUCKING BACK TO CUBA.

            Rahm Emanuel was talking about you the other day. It made the news.

        2. If you look at the words of the 14th amendment (basically the use of the word “liberty”), it seems some facets of “incorporation” of the federal bill of rights are reasonably called for as to the states, and others not. It doesn’t seem to me that all laws respecting (i.e. on the subject of) an establishment of religion would be deprivations of liberty, so it doesn’t seem as if that provision of the 1st amendment can simply be lifted and applied in toto to the states by the 14th amendment. And what would it mean for the 10th amendment to be incorporated against the states?

      2. Will you be consistent and say that about the other 9 amendments in the BoR? Probably not.

        Odd how it’s the 2nd that says “shall not be infringed” and the first simply says “Congress shall make no law”.

        Speaking of incorporation, any comment on the fact that one of the things the South did to its ex-slaves was try to keep them disarmed? Was that a violation of their rights?

        1. I hope they do incorporate the 2nd, but then again I’m a liberal. We invented incorporation braniac.

      3. How’s that global warming “The science is settled” shit working out for you, bitch?

        1. Working out fine, I still agree with all those people who know what they are talking about…

      4. Of the first 8 Amendments in the Bill of Rights, only the First (Congress) and Fifth (land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger) name a government to be restricted or empowered.

        So, the others should be construed as not limited by any government, even local, within the United States. The only reason anyone suggests otherwise is because they have an agenda, such as “teh guns are sooo scary” or “lock up the brown people with funny accents.”

        The 14th isn’t required for incorporation of anything but the First and Fifth.

      5. Re: MNG,

        Since the people who wrote the Bill of Rights obviously intended them to apply only to the federal government I don’t think it’s “obvious” that the 2nd applies to the States.

        The Second Amendment applied to the States as well even before the 14th Amendment.

        1. Especially if you look at state constitutions. They incorporated it themselves and the post-origonals were almost required to.

  2. whether a board set up to regulate public accounting firms after the Enron and Worldcom scandals violates the separation of powers and infringes on the executive branch.

    Something this boring can only be adequately decided by single combat. Or possibly by ordeal, if we’re lowering our standards.

    1. It matters to me. Although the PCAOB already exists, so what is this new entity for? To have a public-public oversight board, as opposed to a private-public oversight board?

      1. Watch the watchers with another watcher.

    2. Oh ohohhh Warty…
      we love youuuuuuu

      Oh ohohhh Warty…..
      we love you true…….

      When your’re not with us…
      we’re blue…..

      Oh ohohhhh Warty…..
      we love you!!!!!!!

  3. Can anyone tell me why disclosure laws are OK but limits on expenditures are not? It strikes me that the same compelling interest is asserted (fighting corruption and the appearance of corrpution) and that in both cases speech can be curtailed. I realize that it’s less directly curtailed in disclosure laws, is that the only difference?

    1. Can anyone tell me why disclosure laws are OK but limits on expenditures are not? It strikes me that the same compelling interest is asserted (fighting corruption and the appearance of corrpution) and that in both cases speech can be curtailed. I realize that it’s less directly curtailed in disclosure laws, is that the only difference?

      Citizens United was not related to campaign contributions.

      1. You’re pitching a no-hitter against MNG here. Keep it up.

      2. “Citizens United was not related to campaign contributions.”

        Er, yeah, so I guess it was a good thing that I said “limits on expenditures” (which it was about) then, huh?

        1. You have to love how stupid Warty is. Erjecto misspeaks and Warty praises it as a no hitter.

          That’s like retarded squared!

          1. What a gleefully ignorant asshole.

            1. You know, “gobble gobble” is actually the sound the Gobbler’s mother makes when I bang her doggy-style. He really is a chip of the ol’block…

              1. Your insights enthrall.

        2. It wasn’t about limits on expenditures either.

          1. It was primarily about the political content of the movie and the timing of its release, not the funding aspect of it. Which is why the law got mostly struck down.

          2. “the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002(BCRA), federal law prohibits corporations and unions from usingtheir general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech that is an “electioneering communication””

            From the first freaking line of the syllabus smartypants…

            1. You really should read the opinion.

              1. What are you saying, that the law that was challenged wasn’t a law that restricted expenditures? It’s because I’ve read the opinion that I say that was what the case was about PL…

                1. Ye gods, man, the opinion is clear about why the law was (mostly) unconstitutional! It’s the content! Not the money!

                  1. Though I see where you might get confused, as they did strike down the expenditures part of the law. But that’s only because of the content restrictions that the limits of expenditures created.

                    In any event, the case wasn’t in any way related to contributions. Someone totally unconnected to a campaign would be muffled by this law.

                  2. Yes, I understand that the reasoning of the Court was that the limit on expenditures for “electioneering communications” is invalid because such communications are speech, and political speech at that. But the law that was challenged was a law limiting expenditures from the general treasury funds of a corporation on such communications during a certain time period. It was a law about limiting expenditures, the Court reasoned that it had the effect of suppressing speech (and political speech at that). See?

                    1. I’m not sure why you asked the question you did if you understand that the focus was on the chilling effect and prior restraints created by the law. Disclosures can have some chilling effect, but to a much lesser degree. And there’s not much question of a prior restraint with disclosure requirements.

                    2. Well I said in my post that I understand that speech is less directly curtailed by disclosure laws than the expenditure limits at issue in Citizens, but I was curious if there was any other good reason to be for the former and not the latter. It’s just a matter of degree then?

                    3. As far as restrictions on speech go, yes. Frankly, I think the disclosure laws can be problematic, too, but there’s an arguable point that they are also protecting a competing right.

                    4. Thanks for the answer PL. I was actually just curious…

                2. What are you saying, that the law that was challenged wasn’t a law that restricted expenditures?

                  That was not the portion of the law that was challenged.

            2. A prohibition is not a limit, dumbass.

              1. What an amazing statement!

                1. Piltdown Man! Piltdown Man! Piltdown Man!

                  HURRR HURR DURR HURR

                  1. Ah Gobbler, our resident constitutional scholar…

          3. Exactly. It was limits on speech, free, paid for or any other method.

        3. If by “limits on expenditures” you mean actual dollar amounts, then it was not. If by “limits on expenditures” you mean when the money could be spent, you’re partially correct (an ad can be produce and paid for long before the time in which it would have been prohibited from airing), but that’s a strange definition.

          The law in question, especially as it pertains to Citizens United, placed limits on the speech of certain disfavored groups only at certain periods of time (close to an election or primary). So, “expenditure” is an ancillary topic, but certainly not the primary debate in this case.

          1. Dude, the whole thing was that it was expenditures from the corporation’s general treasury funds…

            1. For a specific purpose: “electioneering communications”. That remains the heart of the legislation, regardless of from where the funds originate.

              Since an expenditure is always required to fund anything it is irrelevant that it specifies the general treasury since it does not change the purpose and function of the law in question, nor the reason it was rightfully opposed.

              Disclosure laws are functionally different and serve a different purpose that McCain-Feingold. Disclosure does not necessarily require expenditure of any kind nor necessarily infringe upon free speech (though it is still quite possible that such laws can do both), whereas McCain-Feingold quite obviously did violate the First Amendment.

              In the end, the opposition to McCain-Feingold had nothing to do with the actual or perceived “limits on expenditure” as you seem to think, based on your original post, but rather the limit on free speech it imposed.

    2. how is speech curtailed by disclosure? speech was curtailed when politicians were required to say “i am a lying sack of shit and i approved this message”?

      1. If I want to support a cause or politician that my boss really hates, you can bet the likelyhood of me making a contribution to it is stifled if I have to disclose it. That means my speech was stifled.

        1. that is a pretty broad and arbitrary standard. a politician has to disclose but a voter does not? that makes politicians a separate class of people, no?

          1. I don’t believe politicians should have to disclose either.

          2. I think elevating most of them to the status of “people” is being fairly generous.

        2. It wasn’t stifled by the government, though. Big difference.

          If we’re going to say that employers are bound by the Bill of Rights in their relationships with their employees, then we may as well give up the pretense of being libertarians.

          1. Unless I was a government worker.

            1. I don’t think the BoR should apply to government’s employment relationship with its employees, either. It should only apply to the government’s coercive relationships.

              1. This reminds me of the example of a Dekalb county jail employee who thinks Derwin Brown would be a better Sheriff. A contribution to his campaign could do the public good, but only a reckless fool would cross Sidney Dorsey with disclosure laws in effect.

                1. In a private workplace, you could get in trouble for opining that your boss needs to be replaced too.

                  If he doesn’t like his boss, he should quit his job. This is of course the policy that libertarians espouse in every other labor relationship, but some of us seem to forget about it when we talk about government employees.

          2. It’s not saying the employer is bound by the bill of rights, its saying the government is bound, that it cannot force disclosure. And one of the reasons is because of what James mentions, because it will have a chilling effect on speech. That’s Thomas’ point in his dissent.

            1. I disagree with that. “Chilling effects” occur when a would-be speaker holds back for fear he or she will be coerced by government in retribution for the speech. Fear of non-coercive retaliation by purely private actors does not constitute a “chilling effect” that triggers 1st amendment protection.

              1. Well, that was Thomas’ argument. It’s related to the protection the Court gives under freedom of association concerning disclosure of membership lists…

    3. Disclosure laws aren’t OK (IMHO).

    4. Well, that compelling interest is fairly compromised when you consider how corrupt Congress is and appears despite those laws.

      More to the point, fighting corruption is more of a compelling interest of those outside government than the government itself, who have more of a compelling interest in continuing to be corrupt without accountability.

      It seems as though political speech would be more useful in fighting corruption than in aiding it — maybe all of these restrictions should only apply to incumbents, as they’re more likely to be corrupt.

  4. I think there is a difference between speech and anonymous speech.

    Perhaps the court will attempt to keep trolls out of the public square?

  5. I don’t know. The Supreme Court enforcing the plain meaning of the Constitution and Bill of Rights ? If they did that, how would we know that words like “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech” ACTUALLY means Congress can make all the laws it wants abridging freedom of speech.

  6. Certainly the original intent and expectations of the writers of the First Amendment was NOT to prevent the making of any law impacting speech, their writings and actions are pretty clear about that.

    Thank God liberal jurists have given us a better theory of constitutional interpertation than what the right embraces…

    1. Certainly the original intent and expectations of the writers of the First Amendment was NOT to prevent the making of any law impacting speech, their writings and actions are pretty clear about that.

      Correct.

      Perjury is not protected.

      Neither is telling someone that you will give him a hundred dollars to commit murder.

    2. it says it right there in their writings in the constitution in unequivocal language that the congress should be able to make laws regarding speech:

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      1. Yes, they can make laws about speech, as long as those laws don’t abridge the freedom of speech. That’s where the exceptions for compelling state interests come from, and why laws can be made against perjury, fraud, threats, disclosure of classified information, and libel — speech that directly causes, or has the potential to cause, specific harms to individuals.

        1. That wasn’t me your responding too Tulpa.

          My point is that I don’t think any historian of the Founders thinks that they thought “make no law” was to be taken as an absolute. Hell, I can point people to conservative scholars like Walter Berns stuff on the 1st on that note.

          1. Look, CockBite, the founders were pretty smart. Smart enough to write “”Congress shall make no law very few laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” if that’s what they really meant.

            1. So you’re against original intent/understanding? Me too my brother 🙂

            2. That assumes that the founders were of one mind on the subject, which they clearly were not.

              1. Sure, that’s one of many reasons to reject original intent/understanding theories.

                My point is that the right can’t have their cake (original intent/understanding) and eat it too (apply the 2nd to the States without incorporation theory). The 2nd clearly was not intended to apply to the states.

                1. There is no “right” here. It’s a Libertarian site. I guess that’s why I find you so annoying; your writing has that whole Left/Right felchfest thing going on.

                  1. Oh, I know libertarians don’t have a problem with incorporation theory. In fact the guys at Cato love it.

                    But there is plenty of rightism here on H&R, conservatives wearing libertarian dresses if you will: it’s them I was teasing. And you can see it clearly hit a sore spot with many.

                2. dude, are you going to recognize the cognitive dissonance “your side” has on this? it is fighting incorporation of the 2nd as much as the right is fighting for it. you wouldn’t be such an insufferable prick if you took off the rose colored glasses and took a long hard look at your peers.

                  1. Is my side doing that? The liberals on the Court resisted the individual right interpretation of the 2nd but we don’t know yet how they will fall on incorporation.

                    Many of the liberal legal scholars I’ve read, such as Jack Balkin, Laurence Tribe, Sandy Levinson, etc., are all for both the individual right and incorporation. In fact there’s an amicus by the Constitutional Accountability Center in the McDonald case.

                    So I’m not sure how much “dissonance” there is on “my side.”

                3. MNG,

                  You keep ignoring the 14th amendment. Nobody thinks the constitution can’t be amended, obviously it can be and it was by the 14th.

              2. why does it matter what their outside opinions were? the constitution contains what was agreed upon.

    3. Re: MNG,

      Thank God liberal jurists have given us a better theory of constitutional interpertation than what the right embraces…

      I guess you need someone to intrepret a document that’s written in plain English . . . I heard there is therapy for your malady.

      1. I guess you need someone to intrepret a document that’s written in plain English

        Dammit man why did I spend all those years in college sometimes spending days interpreting a 10 line poem written in plain English… I should have just asked you.

        1. Well, Tony, who said college was meant to be a place to learn how to read?

          1. It’s a place where you learn to interpret texts. The constitution, like anything written in a human language, is not 100% clear and cannot simply and clearly address every possible dispute. We wouldn’t need courts if that were the case.

  7. Yes, they can make laws about speech, as long as those laws don’t abridge the freedom of speech

    And they can make laws ‘about’ guns in the sense that it’s illegal for me to use one to commit murder.

  8. Since the people who wrote the Bill of Rights obviously intended them…

    Yay!! MNG now supports original intent. Welcome to the club, now help us dismantle the Welfare State.

    1. Yay!! MNG now supports original intent. Welcome to the club, now help us dismantle the Welfare State.

      The Bill of Rights does not keep the states themselves from forming their own welfare states.

    2. With his usual comperhensiveness and attention to important details John-boy quotes this part of my post above

      “Since the people who wrote the Bill of Rights obviously intended them…”

      while ignoring this part which is in the SAME POST:

      “Thank God liberal jurists have given us a better theory of constitutional interpertation than what the right embraces…”

      1. “It’s Constitutional if we like it, because we are the end result of thousands of years of human moral and intellectual Progress and the cattle aren’t” doesn’t rise to the level of ‘theory’, MNG.

        1. Ah, so you’re against incorporation of the 2nd then?

          Wait, you’re not? You’re for incorporation you say? The same incorporation theory that liberals invented? So you see you actually are rooting for the very theory you mock. You’re a deconstructionist of yourself and don’t know it…

          How delightful!

          1. I favor applying the 2nd to the states, because the amendment doesn’t specify Congress. You choose to call that ‘incorporation’, not me.

            1. Oh Lord that is a terrible argument. Are you really arguing that the Bill of Rights was not originally meant to apply to the feds only?

              1. I don’t feel like trying to unravel that enough to determine if it is a double or triple negative.

                The bit about states having to have a ‘republican’ form of govt, and the 2nd (since it wasn’t limited to Congress) apply to the states. Everything else, grants of powers or limits of powers, apply only to the Feds.

                Are member countries allowed to do things within their own borders the UN lacks the power to do?

                1. You’re argument is that the 2nd applies to the states because it doesn’t refer to the federal government like the 1st? My God, have you read this thing called the “Bill of Rights?” Most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights don’t refer to the federal government. Read it sometime dude.

                  1. I imagine John-boy’s brief absense involves him googling “Bill of Rights,” reading Amendments 3, 4, 8, etc., and going “oh shit” after reading each one…

                    1. Google these two sometime:

                      Amendment IX

                      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                      Amendment X

                      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.

                    2. Nice try John-boy, you know the 3rd, 4th, etc. don’t mention the federal government exclusively either. You’re busted dude, give it up…

                  2. The BoR was necessary to get the Constitution ratified because people thought the new FedGov would be too powerful. It was to address that concern that we have the BoR.

                    If you want to treat the amendments that don’t specifically mention Congress as applying to the states, go ahead. Spare us your ‘penumbras’.

                    1. “The BoR was necessary to get the Constitution ratified because people thought the new FedGov would be too powerful. It was to address that concern that we have the BoR.”

                      Right, like I said, the BoR was intended to apply to the federal government. See, you continue to deconstruct your own arguments. You literally have no idea why you have the opinions you do on this matter, as you alternate between espousing them and undercutting them within the space of a few posts…

                    2. Nothing in the BoR gives you what you really want (your conservative opponents aren’t really pushing to have the states quarter troops in houses) – nothing there is your “the Constitution means what Progressives like me say it means, including the states” doctrine.

                    3. Look John-boy, before you go through your talk-radio talking points re:”liberal jurisprudence” let me explain: liberals invented incorporation of the BoR, the very incorporation you are rooting for with the 2nd. You’re trying to have your cake (deny “liberal constitutionalist” incorporation theory) and eat it too (have the 2nd applied to the States). You can’t sensibly apply the 2nd to the states without incorporating it through the 14th, the very idea liberals introduced on the Court and conservatives have railed against for decades.

                      Your “the 2nd doesn’t mention the federal government exclusively” theory was pretty pathetic buddy, genuinely sad.

                    4. “Right, like I said, the BoR was intended to apply to the federal government.”

                      So why can’t cities pass laws permitting manger scenes at city hall? They’re not the federal govenment so certainly a city should be permitted to do this. Or to outlaw Islam within their jurisdiction.

                    5. Er, I’m the liberal dude. As I said we INVENTED incorporation theory and think original intent theories are poppycock, so I DO think the 1st should be applied to prohibit manger scenes and bans on Islam by state and local governments.

                      Please try to keep up.

                    6. Dude, when you point to the text of the amendments other than the 1st (which is what you’re doing), you are arguing from the original text (i.e. original intent). Where you go wrong is to try to extend that to “if you think the 2nd applies to the states, then you MUST allow the court an unlimited ability to take decisions away from the states and concentrate that power in the hands of those I find agreeable”.

                      I’ll happily treat every other amendment that doesn’t limit itself to Congress as applying to the states, based on the text of those amendments, just like you do, because that’s based on the text and not what is in your supposedly superior skull.

                    7. What a goof. The BoR is not applied to the states by the text of its amendments (noone makes that argument because everyone knows they were not meant to apply to the states), its applied via the 14th goofball. That’s what incorporation theory is. And it was a liberal theory. And you are rooting for it while denouncing it.

                      And its delicious to watch you deconstruct yourself.

                    8. The only reason any sensible person might think the 2nd (or 4th or 5th etc) applies to the states is that the 14th incorporates it. It certainly doesn’t apply as is, I’ve never heard a sensible person make that argument, I’m guessing b/c it would be backed by an argument as weak as your “well the text doesn’t mention Congress exclusively…” argument.

                    9. Liberals didnt pass the 14th, incorporation isnt liberal thoery no matter how many times you claim invention of it, its created by the 14th amendment, not liberals.

                    10. Hugo Black. Not a liberal?

                    11. Hugo Black. Not a liberal?

                      He wasnt even BORN until 1886. I doubt his pre-fetus had much to do with the 14th amendment.

                    12. The jurists who fought to drag the Court kicking and screaming into incorporation were certainly liberals.

                      As to the ratifiers of the 14th…
                      We do know a few things about the people who passed the 14th.

                      They were not “states righters” (the Reconstruction Amendments were meant to allow the feds to spank bad states) and they did not mind big federal programs (the same Congress created the Freedman’s Programs).

                    13. They also werent 21st century progressives. You dont get to claim that you are one of them.

                      My point is that amendments are passed by the people as a whole. It takes 2/3rds of the states. But, even so, they are passed by all of us, even those who oppose them. Hasnt every state ratified the 14th (I know a few were slow on the 13th)?

                    14. I certainly get to claim the jurists who established the incorporation jurisprudence of the SCOTUS.

                      As to the ratifying Congress, again, they were all for creating massive government programs and vigorous federal oversight of the states. Now, among liberals, conservatives and libertarians in the 21st Century, which does that sound most like eh?

                    15. I certainly get to claim the jurists who established the incorporation jurisprudence of the SCOTUS.

                      No you dont, they were 19th century liberals with 19th century ideas.

                      You, on the other, are an idiot and a fucking slaver. They opposed slavery, you know, except the ones who supported it. You can claim the Dred Scott majority if you would like.

                    16. Are you insane? Incorporation was first recognized in Gitlow v. NY in 1920 genius, and then only towards “fundamental rights.” Selective incorporation was established by the Warren Court. Now you wanna argue the Warren Court was not liberal bright-boy?

                      And I’ll thank you not to lecture me on being a slaver when you have such monstrous anti-human views of morality that you would prefer a world with all humans destroyed than to place even iota of restriction on your precious property rights.

                    17. Incorpation is an 1860s concept, not 1920.

                      And I quote:

                      “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

                      So what is liberty? Amongst other things, it is freedom of speech, press, religion, the right to bear arms, etc, etc etc.

                      1920s my ass.

                    18. Oh really? Care to quote me any of those 1860’s opinions or dissents which suggest that the 14th Amendment applied the BoR to the states?

                      You were better off pedaling mister.

                    19. I just quoted the fucking text, I dont need an opinion or dissent to prove my point, I have the fucking constitution.

                    20. The idea that the “liberty” in the 14th referred to the rights in the BoR was not mentioned until Gitlow goofball.

                      Now you show up, decades after incorporation has been well accepted, and declare “it was there all along” that acceptance was unnecessary.

                      What a goof.

                    21. Free exercise of religion is part of liberty. However, it’s hard to square other edicts regarding religion but do not impair its free exercise, as deprivations of liberty. For example, making Jainism the official religion of Ohio would not impair the free exercise of Jainism or other religions.

                    22. And I’ll thank you not to lecture me on being a slaver when you have such monstrous anti-human views of morality that you would prefer a world with all humans destroyed than to place even iota of restriction on your precious property rights.

                      IIRC, it was your precious right to life I was willing to allow the world destoryed for.

                      Fuck off Slaver.

                    23. Oh no, your mad, monstrous anti-human deontology said that acts are wrong apart from the consequences. Thus if you had to choose between you imposing a restriction on someone’s property right or the world would be destroyed you’d choose not to do the former. Monstrous.

                    24. You support executing and jailing the innocent.

                      I support acting morally at all times.

                      Him, which is monstrous.

                      Will the squirrel please make this blog incif compliant again so I stop replying to this fucktard?

                    25. You support acting according to your idea of morality totally apart from the consequences to actual human beings. You’re an anti-human monster, a Pharisee-like creature who thinks man was made for Sabbath and not the Sabbath for man if you will.

                    26. As to the ratifying Congress

                      Congress didnt ratify, the states did. And they were made up of all kinds of people.

                    27. Congress introduced the Amendments and then they were ratified. And you understand what a tight leash that Congress had on the state legislatures during Reconstruction don’t you? Perhaps not.

                      Besides, the state legislatures may ratify but they don’t write the text of the Amendment, so when one wants to interpret that text you look to the Congress who wrote it.

                    28. They only had a tight leash on a few southern states.

                    29. Ah, backpedaling. Delightful!

                    30. I backpedaled none at all. I was just correcting one idiotic statement of yours:

                      what a tight leash that Congress had on the state legislatures

                      That is a false statement as I just proved.

                    31. I’m afraid an assertion from you doesn’t disprove anything. All of the rebel states had tight leashes on them.

                    32. Not to mention states like Maryland and Missouri…

                    33. You claimed all states, only the southern states like I claimed had leashes on them. And even with that leash, Mississippi didnt ratify the 13th amendment until recently.

        2. How the likes of MNG see themselves:

          It is because we liberal-arts professors have a personal stake in our relative economic status; we have carefully studied the actual dynamics of history and culture; and we have trained ourselves to think in complex, nuanced, and productive ways about the human condition that so many of us are liberals. Most of us agree with President Obama that there is a “right side of history,” and we feel morally bound to be on it. Although we’d like to see some parity in compensation with our colleagues, we chose our fields with full awareness of the tradeoff. Part of our compensation lies in knowing that our studies can complement our standing on the “right side,” rather than having our basic commitments dictated to us by the limitations of other, narrower professions.

          http://chronicle.com/article/W…..ral/63870/

          1. Look Gobby, we all understand you don’t know much about this topic and don’t have any points to contribute. It’s OK. I should think that you’d know better how to deal with this considering the frequency with which it occurs…

            1. Like a dagger to the heart!

            2. does that not fairly characterize your views on the academy?

              1. Ergo the ad hominem…

      2. BTW, welcome back. Just come to after a multi-week “everything I thought I knew about climate has been shown to be a lie” tequila bender?

        1. Huh? Did the consensus on global warming get denied on the Bizarro planet you live on? On my planet it’s still good AFAIK.

          1. I saw consensus during the State of the Union address. You know, the part where Obama spoke as if global warming were real and the audience all started nervously laughing.

            1. Good thing that audience was made up legislators and not scientists, you know, people who know wtf they are talking about, or you might be on to something. But as usual it’s more like you are on something (Angel Dust I’m guessing from the clarity of your arguments) than on to something.

              1. Or maybe graduate students who make up crap that the IPCC uses to scare the shit out of us?

                1. Or the WWF, that is funded by govt to put out ‘studies’ to be used by govt to justify power grabs?

                  1. You mean like John Cena and Triple H? Is that where you get your wacky science ideas from? Well, that does clear up quite a bit…

                    1. Pajamasmedia, the most trusted name in science.

          2. The planet where Glaciergate, Amazongate, and Phil Jones’ near suicide took place?

            1. Assuming, of course, that Jones wasn’t lying to try to look sympathetic. Given the quality of those MNG attaches his massive left-wing ego to, I can’t be sure Jones was telling the truth.

            2. I actually haven’t heard about Jones trying to committ suicide. But I guess I can see how in Bizarro Right Wing planet that would = AGW being disproven. I hear you guys say “good-bye” when you meet people too…

              1. It would have been his first honest action in years.

              2. I’m reminded of Baghdad Bob.

                1. Baghdad Bob at least had Saddam’s gun to his head. MNG lies for The State out of ideology.

                  1. I don’t agree with the AGW consensus because if it is true it might warrant increased government action, I agree with it because more people who know WTF they are talking about say it is true than say it is false.

                    I oppose every cap and trade legislation I’ve ever seen. They are going to hit the traditional unions I support very hard. They are going to harm working people and the poor. And I don’t want to be restricted by them.

                    But all that is irrelevant as to whether the empirical claims involved in AGW are true or not. Or at least irrelevant to non-addled minds.

                    1. Is your majority (and, of course, “knowing WTF they’re talking about” has nothing to do w/ agreeing w/ you) that enough to justify trillions of dollars of govt actions, even if you oppose the specific laws you’ve seen proposed?

                    2. “that enough” should be “enough”

                    3. You’ve got it in reverse. They don’t agree with me, I agree with them.

                      As to what, if any, we should spend to counter AGW I can only say that I would support an amount that would do more good (prevent damage to property and life from the effects of global warming) than harm (stifle economic freedom and productivity). It’d have to be shown to me that a program does that for me to support it.

                    4. The only reason any sensible person might think the 2nd (or 4th or 5th etc) applies to the states is that the 14th incorporates it. It certainly doesn’t apply as is, I’ve never heard a sensible person make that argument, I’m guessing b/c it would be backed by an argument as weak as your “well the text doesn’t mention Congress exclusively…” argument.

                    5. Actually, there is a strong argument that the 10th applies a lot of things to the states, as rights are left to the people. What rights? It doesnt say, so maybe gun ownership is in the group. We know the Feds cant restrict the right to bear arms directly, but the 10th might grant it to the people, as it isnt a “power” but a “right”.

                    6. At this point I’m only for education on this issue and maybe some tax incentives to persuade people to change consumption patterns in ways that will benefit the environment. All the restrictive ideas I’ve seen for dealing with global warming currently fail my test: the benefits they seem to promise strike me as tenuous and are outweighed by the harm they will do.

          3. The science is definitely still in favor of AGW, and I say that as a near-anarchist.

            1. You sure?

              I have rejected any science using any of the data that was also used by East Anglia. Or any papers that reference any of those papers. Or that reference those that reference those, etc.

              Maybe Im using too broad a brush, but I like my science to be corruption free. Better safe than sorry.

              Ditto glacier studies.

              At this point, about all I trust is satellite data, so get back to me in about 270 years and we can talk.

              1. Oh you’ve rejected them have you. How convenient for your preconceived beliefs.

                You really are no different from a creationist rube on this subject since you reject the overwhelming consensus of scientists. That’s really the end of the story.

  9. I might point out that signing a petition for a ballot referendum isn’t really a speech act, and so any First Amendment rights to privacy wouldn’t apply.

    1. I don’t see how freedom of speech and the right to privacy can possibly get along. If you’re speaking publicly, you’ve ipso facto forfeited any right to privacy.

    2. What is it if it isn’t speech?

    3. What about your 9th amendment right to privacy?

      1. [Throws ink into robc’s eyes.]

  10. I might point out that signing a petition for a ballot referendum isn’t really a speech act

    That’s closer to being a vote, which we keep secret (unless it’s a vote for a union or something).

    1. Who you voted for is kept secret. Whether or not you voted is not kept secret.

    2. With voting, your eligibility to cast a vote is determined before your vote.

      With petitions, your eligibility to sign the petition is determined after you sign.

      Hard to imagine how the validity of the petition signing process is going to be maintained if the signers are kept secret.

  11. I might point out that signing a petition for a ballot referendum isn’t really a speech act

    Why wouldn’t it be? A petition states “I (the undersigned), hereby support/hate/am indifferent to blah blah cause…”

    That seems like speech to me.

    1. Probably better to say that it isn’t just a speech act, in that it also has legal effect.

      And its the legal effect that makes it open to confirmation, disclosure, regulation, etc.

      1. I think this is the best argument. Someone has to verify signatures, so by default, it isnt a private act, like voting is. There is no intent to keep it private, you put your name on a sheet of paper being passed around in public.

        1. This goes to “expectation of privacy” arguments.

        2. But there’s nothing in the US Constitution that says any jurisdiction has to have secret ballots. A state or its constitution could just as well say that all votes have to be disclosed publicly, so that the voters themselves be accountable for their choices to other voters and non-voters.

  12. Perjury is not protected.

    Neither is telling someone that you will give him a hundred dollars to commit murder.

    If the govt had kept to its original role, all those would have been state issues and not the Feds’ business.

    1. The constitution does authorize the federal government to establish courts, so they would have to make laws against perjury in those courts.

      Also, the federal government is given jurisdiction over DC, so they would be responsible for some ordinary criminal laws there too.

  13. Hard to imagine how the validity of the petition signing process is going to be maintained if the signers are kept secret.

    The govt doesn’t have to make that info readily available to validate signatures.

    1. Why should the government have exclusive authority to validate the signatures?

      “Its not who votes signs petitions that counts, its who counts the votes signatures.”

      The voting process isn’t validated exclusively by the government; the political parties play a pretty significant role at the precinct level, for better or worse.

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