Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Justice Breyer looking to overturn the First Amendment

George Stephanopoulos reports on his conversation with Justice Breyer (pictured):

Last week we saw a Florida Pastor – with 30 members in his church – threaten to burn Korans which lead to riots and killings in Afghanistan. We also saw Democrats and Republicans alike assume that Pastor Jones had a Constitutional right to burn those Korans. But Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told me on "GMA" that he's not prepared to conclude that -- in the internet age -- the First Amendment condones Koran burning.

“Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater,” Breyer told me. “Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?”

In other words, under Breyer's proposal, Americans would lose the right of free speech if the government says that there are extremists somewhere who might respond violently. both governments and extremists would find that very convenient.

Hat tip: Dr. Sanity.

PREVIOUSLY on the issues of dissent and free speech:
Obama administration: free speech does not include the right to criticize Obamacare
Obama sells out free speech
Physicians' group to sue Obama administration over suppression of dissent
Canada's liberals oppose free speech
Free speech and its enemies
University upset at free speech
The Right of Free Speech, Selectively Applied
Tolerating free speech, IV
Tolerating free speech, III
More on tolerating free speech
Those who cannot tolerate free speech

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