Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Constitution

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On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts

mrpooscratch replied to your post: Dear Conservatives who think they grasp this Jesus thing:

Um, it’s about free speech and people not trying to destroy your business because they disagree with you, NOT homosexuality. Sorry you missed the point.

Nope, sorry. You’re missing the point here. Just as the CEO has his freedom of speech, we have the freedom of speech to boycott his establishments and spread the word about his business practices. In fact, a boycott is a form of free speech. 

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right to boycott in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. et al. 458 U.S. 886 (1982). The court held that the States have broad power to regulate general economic activities, but cannot prohibit peaceful political activity and organizing. This includes boycotts, which are protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments in regards to freedom of speech and association. Also, within the right to freely associate is the right to demonstrate and align one’s self with the ideals of the association or business — or not.

Also, individuals are not responsible for business losses due a non-violent boycott — even if a business fails. The First Amendment freedoms in a boycott trump the business owner’s success. Claiborne bears striking similarities to issues at the heart of the boycott of Chick-Fil-A. As the Court said in this case, petitioners, “through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution… sought to change a social order that had consistently treated them as second-class citizens.”

Justice John Paul Stevens, who delivered the majority opinion, wrote:

"The boycott of white merchants at issue in this case took many forms. The boycott was launched at a meeting of a local branch of the NAACP attended by several hundred persons. Its acknowledged purpose was to secure compliance by both civic and business leaders with a lengthy list of demands for equality and racial justice. The boycott was supported by speeches and nonviolent picketing. Participants repeatedly encouraged others to join in its cause. Each of these elements of the boycott is a form of speech or conduct that is ordinarily entitled to protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments."

Also, in Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415 (1971), Chief Justice Warren Burger stated: 

"The claim that the expressions were intended to exercise a coercive impact on respondent does not remove them from the reach of the First Amendment. Petitioners plainly intended to influence respondent’s conduct by their activities; this is not fundamentally different from the function of a newspaper. Petitioners were engaged openly and vigorously in making the public aware of respondent’s real estate practices. Those practices were offensive to them, as the views and practices of petitioners are no doubt offensive to others. But so long as the means are peaceful, the communication need not meet standards of acceptability." [citations omitted]

In other words, even if the goal of the boycott is coercive action against a business entity, the boycott is protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments as long as it remains non-violent.

Now, beyond the constitutionality of the boycott, isn’t this how the free market is supposed to work? For example, I don’t like the business practices or views of Shop X, and they refuse to change their practices — say, puppy punching for the lulz. I hate puppy punching because it’s hurtful and unnecessary for the business to function. So I organize a boycott. Shop X refuses to quit punching puppies, and eventually closes because others decided of their own volition to stop patronizing the shop. 

Diner Y’s owner holds racist beliefs which he voices on community radio. So I organize a boycott. Diner Y closes because people refuse to eat at a place that endorses bigotry.

Chick-Fil-A’s owner actively supports discrimination against GLBTQ people via his free speech (his words and money). So I organize a boycott. The free market has yet to decide on Chick-Fil-A’s fate. 

The U.S. Constitution is a beautiful thing.

Get it?

Cheers,

Meg

Filed under reply mrpooscratch Free Speech Chick-Fil-A politics protest SCOTUS U.S. Supreme Court Boycott Tastes like crow Constitution U.S. Constitution First Amendment Freedom of speech Fourteenth Amendment

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What "original intent" would look like

With reverence and awe, Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party pay homage to the original Constitution and framers who drafted the document in 1787. The House of Representatives, in a nod to them, began its session this year by reading it. Bachmann even brought Antonin Scalia to a seminar on the Constitution for members of Congress, where the Supreme Court justice instructed members to read the Federalist Papers and follow the framers’ original intent. Moreover, many of the Tea Party’s political positions, such as opposition to President Obama’s healthcare reform program, are rooted in their adherence to the original document.

But what if they actually got their way? If a Tea Party constitutional reading suddenly took sway and we returned to the original document as conceived, what would the American republic look like? Much to the surprise of Bachmann and others, there wouldn’t be that much freedom and democracy.

Oh, snap!

Filed under constitution original intent Michele Bachmann Seriously fuckery Conservative conservatives Tea Party

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We're Headed for a Major Battle with the Tea Party Crowd over the Constitution Itself

Indeed, the Tea Party crowd so loves the Constitution that the new Republican House majority will take the apparently unprecedented step of reading the document aloud at the start of the new congressional session, presumably including the part about enslaved African-Americans being counted as three-fifths of a white person for purposes of congressional representation.

One also has to wonder if these “constitutionalists” will mumble over the preamble’s assertion that a key purpose of the Constitution is to “promote the general Welfare.” And what to do with Section Eight of Article One, which gives Congress the power to levy taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce among the states, and “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”?

Also, see Slate Magazine’s take on this. The Tea Party’s view of the Constitution is almost fetishistic - except when it comes to protecting the rights of those “less than” your average Tea Partier. Progressives can be excited about the renewed interest in the Constitution and Civil Liberties, but, as both articles point out, we cannot let the Tea Party redefine the Founding Father’s as right-wing ideologues.

Filed under Ideology Ideologues Founding Fathers Constitution Tea Party Teabaggery rewriting history

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An apparent member of the birther movement seated in the gallery of the House of Representatives on Thursday interrupted a reading of the Constitution. The woman yelled out “Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!” as Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) read the “natural born citizen” clause of the Constitution.

The woman screamed out from the House Gallery as Pallone read Section 1 of Article Two of the United States Constitution, which reads that “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

This is what Fox News hath unleashed upon us. For fuck’s sake…

(Source: tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com)

Filed under birther goddammit the stupid burns Fox News Faux News Obama was born in Hawaii Obama politics Constitution US House

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Repealing Common Sense: The conservative mission to destroy the Constitution in order to save it.

A shot heard ‘round the legal world it wasn’t. It started quietly enough: In April 2009, constitutional scholar Randy Barnett published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal offering proposals by which the Tea Party might amend the Constitution to “resist the growth of federal power.” The most radical among them was an amendment permitting two-thirds of the states to band together and overturn any federal law they collectively dislike. Very few people noticed. When tea-infused Republican candidates hit the hustings this year, pledging to topple a tyrannical federal government, they did not avail themselves of Barnett’s talking points. As of September, the most prominent elected leader espousing the idea of a “Repeal Amendment” was Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell.

I hear from people who want to get rid of the 14th Amendment, the 17th Amendment, and even the 1st Amendment (!). This is a great analysis of the movement to destroy the Constitution in order to save it.

Filed under Constitution Conservative conservatives STFU Tea Party Teabagger teabaggery One ring to rule them all...

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The political pressure on the Obama administration to take action is immense – pressure being applied, in part, by Capitol Hill. “WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States, and Julian Assange, an enemy of the US, should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act,” Mr King said as he unveiled his draft Shield Bill. “This legislation will give the Attorney General additional tools to do just that.”

US may pass new law to prosecute Assange (via fuckyeahwikileaks)

I don’t like this, not one bit. Creating a law to make it possible to prosecute someone after the fact is very disturbing. What kind of precedent would this set? Talk about a slippery slope.

(via savagemike)

Ex post facto anyone?

Latin for “from a thing done afterward.” Ex post facto is most typically used to refer to a criminal law that applies retroactively, thereby criminalizing conduct that was legal when originally performed. Two clauses in the US Constitution prohibit ex post facto laws: Art 1, § 9 and Art. 1 § 10. see, e.g. Collins v. Youngblood, 497 US 37 (1990) and California Dep’t of Corrections v. Morales, 514 US 499 (1995).

See Constitutional law

 

(Source: progressivefriends, via savagemike)

Filed under Ex post facto Constitution Julian Assange Wikileaks