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Supreme Court Rules that School Can't Censor Anti-Bush Shirt

A kid walked into school wearing an anti-Bush shirt with images of cocaine and a martini. School officials said it violated the dress code and suspended him. The kid's family sued, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The court sided with the kid:

Putting its recent ruling on student speech into practice, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected a school district's appeal of a ruling that it violated a student's rights by censoring his anti-Bush T-shirt.


A seventh-grader from Vermont was suspended for wearing a shirt that bore images of cocaine and a martini glass--but also had messages calling President Bush a lying drunk driver who abused cocaine and marijuana, and the "chicken-hawk-in-chief" who was engaged in a "world domination tour."

After his suspension, Zachary Guiles returned to school with duct tape covering the offending images.

Williamstown Middle School Principal Kathleen Morris-Kortz said the images violated the school dress code, which prohibits clothing that promotes the use of drugs or alcohol.

An appeals court said the school had no right to censor any part of the shirt.

On Monday, the court said schools could regulate student expression if it advocated illegal drug use. Justice Samuel Alito cautioned that schools could not censor political speech.


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Comments (93)

I'm gonna send Lee Ward and... (Below threshold)

I'm gonna send Lee Ward and the rest of the Blue gang into cardiac arrest.

I agree with this decision. The right to free speech includes the right to say things that I do not agree with.

But don't tell the lefties that.

C-C-G,that is very... (Below threshold)
mixti:

C-C-G,

that is very american of you C-C-G.

Now if only this gang were for free speech across the board.

Mixti, tell me where we are... (Below threshold)

Mixti, tell me where we are not for free speech, please? Give specific examples, with news stories for verification, not just vague "well, they're against X."

Anything that doesn't creat... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Anything that doesn't create a "clear and present danger" should be protected speech. That includes "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" and critical statements aimed at any politician or political position.

Protecting only popular speech is no protection at all.

Personally, I think Justice Roberts could use a few bong hits. (or at least a drink).

C-C-G,I did not ac... (Below threshold)
mixti:

C-C-G,

I did not accuse yoo, of being against free speech, I was saying you are taking the position of all good Americans on the case Kim was posting about.

The folks I was accusing of not being for free speech across the board, refers to the supreme court \"bong hits for jesus\" case. and I my comments were regarding them.

What kind of parents does t... (Below threshold)

What kind of parents does this kid have? I wouldn't let my kid wear a shirt like that even if it had Ted Kennedy on it instead of Bush. Believe me, that's sayin' a lot.

Publicus, the difference between the t-shirt and the "Bong Hits for Jesus" scenarios is that one didn't promote illegal drugs. Guess which one.

Sorry for the triple post. ... (Below threshold)
mixti:

Sorry for the triple post. I am having some weird webpage issues.

Oyster when did you become against America and free speech?

So Bong Hits 4 Jesus is bad... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So Bong Hits 4 Jesus is bad, but coke for GWB is ok. A very fine line the SCOTUS is traversing here.

Oh, for anyone interested in seeing the shirt in question, here it is.

So Bong Hits 4 Jes... (Below threshold)
So Bong Hits 4 Jesus is bad, but coke for GWB is ok. A very fine line the SCOTUS is traversing here.

I was thinking the same thing. I wonder what legal reasoning differentiates the two?

Seems to me that they punis... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Seems to me that they punished the kid for the drug references not the political references, so I would say that the school was right and the Supreme Court was wrong.

Does anyone believe that a school in Vermont would have a problem with an anti-Bush shirt (I mean were it not for the lines of coke and the martini)?

\"Does anyone believe that ... (Below threshold)
mixti:

\"Does anyone believe that a school in Vermont would have a problem with an anti-Bush shirt (I mean were it not for the lines of coke and the martini)?\"

Nor should they.

"Oyster when did you bec... (Below threshold)

"Oyster when did you become against America and free speech?"

I'm sorry, I don't know where you got that idea. Could you be a little clearer telling me what I said to give you that impression?

Oyster, Mixti is obviously ... (Below threshold)

Oyster, Mixti is obviously just blanket accusing anyone that responds of being against free speech.

Ignore him/her/it.

Guvmint skules, guvmint roo... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

Guvmint skules, guvmint rooles.

Having taught there, I believe the basis of not allowing the shirt should be disruption of others' rights to learn without distraction by some kid needy for attention. I've long been a proponent of uniforms at school. Let them be as individual as they want to be on their own time, just like in the real world. But, in the real world, teachers have to deal with what steps off the bus in the morning, and, too often, it's an already damaged human. This kid and his parents show symptoms of a common derangement syndrome, epidemic in America. The courts are obviously not where you go to find a cure.

oyster,This is wha... (Below threshold)
mixti:

oyster,

This is what gave me the idea.

"Publicus, the difference between the t-shirt and the "Bong Hits for Jesus" scenarios is that one didn't promote illegal drugs. Guess which one."

I assumed from it you are saying that that you agree that it is ok to censor free speech as long as the term bong is in it. Am I incorrect?

C-C-G, I didn't ac... (Below threshold)
mixti:

C-C-G,

I didn't accuse you of being against free speech, and just in case you were not smart enough to infer it, I posted the same mesage THREE TIMES, where I said I am not accusing you of being against free speech.

I am begining to think you are against reading though.


The fine line here is the d... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The fine line here is the difference between political speech, which the SCOTUS is saying is protected in the schools, and speech promoting drug use, which the court is saying schools can restrict. Who's to say what is or isn't political though? If the bong hits kid had argued his was political speech, would the court have ruled in his favor?

I know the difference here ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I know the difference here is subtle but bong hits for Christ is advocating drug use. The other t-shirt is accusitory. Claiming Bush uses coke and drinks. No basis in truth, but still protected speech as long as the lie told is about someone in the public sector. Too bad libel and slander laws do not apply. I wonder if those parents would act if they could be drug into court to defend their statment or face paying financial damage.

ZR, you are right. There is... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

ZR, you are right. There is a difference. ww

This ruling did seem a bit ... (Below threshold)
jim:

This ruling did seem a bit schizophrenic when compared with the "Bong hits 4 Jesus" banner, but that is a nice description of the fine line separating the two, Mantis.

One thing that mystifies me about the banner, is that it wasn't on school property, right? Guess I could research it...feeling lazy about looking it up, for once...

"I know the difference here... (Below threshold)
mixti:

"I know the difference here is subtle but bong hits for Christ is advocating drug use."

Why do you hate America? In the U.S.A. We suport free speech. Talking about drugs is to my knowledge not illegal, doing drugs is.

"Publicus, the dif... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
"Publicus, the difference between the t-shirt and the "Bong Hits for Jesus" scenarios is that one didn't promote illegal drugs. Guess which one."

Well,first of all..."Bong Hits 4 Jesus" is at best an unclear "message". (I would call it incoherent.) However, in the past promoting illegal ANYTHING wouldn't have been restricted speech...unless there was a "clear and present danger." In this case, you'd have to argue that there was an extremely strong likelihood that students would start taking illegal drugs directly as a result of this sign.

I might also note that if the student was arguing that "bong hits" should be legal, that is political speech which is, of course, protected under the first amendment.

I hold free speech to be an unalienable right, as Justice Holmes did...and only a "clear and present danger" should restrict it. Certainly NOT unpopular content.

"Claiming Bush uses coke... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Claiming Bush uses coke and drinks. No basis in truth"

Actually they don't claim he "uses" they claim he "used". And for that I believe there is a "basis in truth", at least for the drinking part, but likely for the coke part, too.

BTW - if the student and hi... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

BTW - if the student and his sign was disrupting a school event, the school could have (and possibly should have) suspended the student for disrupting the class or event. But to punish the student on the basis of the content of his poster is simply absurd. At least, in America.

I think you all (and the Su... (Below threshold)

I think you all (and the Supremes) are missing a key element. It is a school. Stupid stuff on shirts can easily be disruptive to the learning environment. Idiotic crap like this is why some areas are pushing for school uniforms. If my kid tried to go to school wearing something like that he'd be snatched up in a hurry and straightened out. The fact that this kid does not have anyone in his life willing to teach him right from wrong doesn't bode well for his future. Failure to square away your kids is a hidden type of child abuse. Basically you're setting them up to be losers.

"Personally, I think Justic... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

"Personally, I think Justice Roberts could use a few bong hits."

Indeed. And I would add the other 4, including the
chimerical Kennedy.

How is it that marijuana is not a political issue.

SCOTUS is ignorant of the fact that there are states which have legalized Medical Marijuana?

On the contrary. I think that position leaves
their constitutional cherry-picking an open venue for the DOJ (should they ever be able to find their collective arses again) and DEA to be more vigorous in their challenges to those states.

I refer to the case 'Bong H... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

I refer to the case 'Bong Hits for Jesus' in the above comment.

Let his parents support his... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Let his parents support his support of drugs, which is what he was doing. Using the accuations of the Presidents drug use as a 'pre-setup' excuse for his own. Poor democrats are getting crazier every day.
No problem, in the near future some medic will be standing over the boy with the duct tape on his shirt saying, dead of a drug overdose. I'll defend his right to die like millions of drugged out idiots do. Laying in an alley in their own vomit and feces. Ran a call last night for seizures. Seizures ma A**, druggie on methadone at age 26, who can't be helped by anyone on this earth other than herself. Will she help herself? No, a few months and there will be a DOA call to the same address.
Suicide and suicide attempts shot up last night. Did something happen to send the lefties over the edge? Would the failure of the blanket pardon of 12-20 million non-American criminals have something to do with it?

Semanticleo, I know you thi... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Semanticleo, I know you think you know more about law then the justices on the Supreme court, unfortunately your opinion doesn't mean shit, theirs does. Had you not spent your entire short life taking bong hits and then drinking the water, you too could have possibly had a career in law. Who knows, maybe so deluded communist lefty democrat President, if a fit of complete and utter stupidity, named you to some future Supreme court. Ah thats the shit dreams are made of.

Part of what school should ... (Below threshold)
Maureen:

Part of what school should be helping to teach children is appropriate behavior. There is a time and a place for everything, and school should not be the time, nor the place, for a shirt that depicts illegal drugs. Dissing the president aside, the drugs should have been the issue. The school was right.

Those parents? Trash.

Zelsdorf,If you ha... (Below threshold)
mixti:

Zelsdorf,

If you hate America for its freedom you should leave. Perhaps you should consider Saudi Arabia where where the hate freedom of speech as much as you.

I wish they had decided thi... (Below threshold)

I wish they had decided this when I was younger. The very next day I would have been in school wearing a shirt witha large pot leave and the words "legalize it." Even if I didn't think pot should be legal it would have been fun to know since I was stating political opinion and not advocating illegal drug use, there would have been nothing they could have done about it.

Mixti, you're quickly becom... (Below threshold)

Mixti, you're quickly becoming as much a walking punchline as Lee Ward is.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Do I question the court's r... (Below threshold)
LAB:

Do I question the court's ruling on free speech? No.
Do I question the parent's judgment on raising a seventh-grader? Yes, emphatically.

Mixti, you're quickly becom... (Below threshold)
mixti:

Mixti, you're quickly becoming as much a walking punchline as Lee Ward is."

Why for not hating America? For telling those that hate America as Zelsdorf clearly does, to go some place where they won't have to put up with freedom?

What are you a commie sympathizer? if you love them, then you must hate america and you are a traiter. Go create your stalinistic paradise where freedom is not tolerated somewhere else! :)

Keep on making yourself a p... (Below threshold)

Keep on making yourself a punchline, Mixti. Far be it from me to stop someone making a complete and total fool of themselves.

Here's a clue: Freedom is not absolute. I do not have the freedom to rob, to kill, or to do lots of other things. The sooner you get that through your head the smoother life will go for you.

"Here's a clue: Freedom is ... (Below threshold)
mixti:

"Here's a clue: Freedom is not absolute. I do not have the freedom to rob, to kill, or to do lots of other things."

But you do have freedom of speech. it's even in the constitution, you can go check.

Freedom to rob, kill, didn't make the final cut though. brilliant point by the way. I mean if we can't rape and rob why should we get free speech?


"The sooner you get that through your head the smoother life will go for you."

The sooner you go to Saudi Arabia where you unamerican beleifs are prevalent the happier you will be.

I posted twice to aid you w... (Below threshold)
mixti:

I posted twice to aid you with you reading comprehension problem you demonstrated earlier.

Even freedom of speech is n... (Below threshold)

Even freedom of speech is not absolute. Check the laws about libel and slander. Not to mention the classic yelling fire in a crowded movie house.

And we all know you posted twice because you simply made a mistake. Don't try to pretend you're better than the rest of us, that won't fly around here.

"Even freedom of speech is ... (Below threshold)
mixti:

"Even freedom of speech is not absolute. Check the laws about libel and slander. Not to mention the classic yelling fire in a crowded movie house."

Yelling "Fire" in a crowded house represents a clear and present danger "Bong hits for jesus" Represents no danger to anyone, unless you believe jesus is going to come and get his bong hit. Stoping hating America.

"And we all know you posted twice because you simply made a mistake. Don't try to pretend you're better than the rest of us, that won't fly around here."

I posted twice because you didn't understand one exchange after I posted three times. Clearly you need the help.

Despite your hatred of it, ... (Below threshold)
mixti:

Despite your hatred of it, read this:

"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."

Fortunately, Mixti, you don... (Below threshold)

Fortunately, Mixti, you don't make that determination. The Supreme Court does, and did.

By the way, in the Bong Hits case, the person with the banner was a minor. Minors do not have all the rights of an adult... or do you also believe that we should let minors vote?

And you can stop the arrogance bit any time. It's not winning you any friends... at least not any that you'd want.

Why do you keep tossing aro... (Below threshold)

Why do you keep tossing around the word hatred, Mixti?

I think it you that hates: you appear to hate anyone that doesn't believe precisely as you do.

And that's really sad, you know?

"Fortunately, Mixti, you do... (Below threshold)
mixti:

"Fortunately, Mixti, you don't make that determination. The Supreme Court does, and did."

C-C-G I will never cheer or call it fortunate that free speech has ben whittled away.

"By the way, in the Bong Hits case, the person with the banner was a minor. Minors do not have all the rights of an adult... or do you also believe that we should let minors vote?"

I beleive we should let them speak... Freely, when they are on their own time outside of school

"And you can stop the arrogance bit any time. It's not winning you any friends... at least not any that you'd want."

I can't say wining friends was my intention. I have read through this blog and read about liberals being called unamerican one time too many. As though restricting the bill of rights is an american activity.

However, I'm willing to be civil if you are.

I've been nothing but civil... (Below threshold)

I've been nothing but civil, haven't accused you of "hatred" until that last post. You just can't wrap your mind around the concept that someone truly disagrees with you without it being based in hatred.

That could be a sign of psychological projection. I'd seek professional help.

But if you'd rather end up a caricature of a lefty like Lee Ward, feel free to continue the way you are. I'll continue my thus far fruitless search for a lefty who can debate without throwing insults or terms like "hate" around.

As though restricting the b... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

As though restricting the bill of rights is an american activity.
------------------------------------------------
And the Dems who have been trying to shut down talk-radio should be condemned loudly by people like Mixti. Don't know why first-amendment progressives would want to vote for Hillary now since she joined the chorus to stifle free speech.

Some schools have rules aga... (Below threshold)

Some schools have rules against any text or picture on a shirt whatsoever. And they have to include little animal logos to make it fair.

The *answer* to all of this is very simple. End compulsory public schooling.

The only reason that any of this is a problem at all is that children compelled into a government institution, coerced by law, must not have their Constitutional rights to thought and speech taken away as well. Rules against advocating "bad stuff" like drugs or guns or revolution, should be held as unconstitutional infringement on speech.

The result would be schools with atmospheres even more contrary to learning than they are now. But is it okay to take away the rights of students, to raise them in an atmosphere contrary to life in a free society just because we absolutely insist on this plan of involuntary relationships, student to teacher and teacher to student?

Make it all voluntary and the problems go away. Schools can have any rules they deem necessary to effectively educate and can expel a student who is disruptive and students and parents can chose a school of the strictness or permissiveness that they feel comfortable with.

Just like adults chose where they will work and with whom they will associate.

Instead of being locked up with all your rights taken away.

If the school had disciplin... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

If the school had disciplined the kid in the "Bong Hits for Jesus" case over the message of Jesus, and the so called Separation of Church and State, there probably wouldn't be any socialists complaining about the ruling.

Don't know why fir... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
Don't know why first-amendment progressives would want to vote for Hillary now since she joined the chorus to stifle free speech.

BroomHillary not only joined the chorus, it was her think tank, CFAP, that issued the report on the imbalance in talk radio.

Not only that, it was Hillary who first espoused the idea of gatekeepers for the internet to keep viewpoints she didn't like off the screens of Americans.

Ya know, I think I might be... (Below threshold)

Ya know, I think I might be able to live with the Fairness Doctrine, but I'd want it expanded.

In addition to liberal anchors, each news broadcast would have to have conservative anchors as well.

60 Minutes, Dateline NBC, and the like would also have to air both viewpoints, not just the Democratic talking points.

NPR would have to provide conservatives with access to their airwaves, as would PBS.

Hey, conservatives might actually come out winners in that one.

Whatcha wanna bet the lefties would never go for it?

ccg, Sorry I am wit... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

ccg,
Sorry I am with mixti on this. It is unamerican for the liberal dems to stifle free speech. This is unamerican. I rather have liberals like mixti vote against Hillary than saving the fairness doctrine. I see your point though!

I see your point t... (Below threshold)
I see your point though!

I rather thought you did... and I see yours as well.

Any bets Mixti misses both points completely?

wow this Mixti person is a ... (Below threshold)

wow this Mixti person is a new breed of loon here --

I thought lee's "liar liar" mantra was fatuous, but this "you hate America" idiocy is over the top!

It's as though s/he picked up this document, "The Constitution," so it's called, read it as though nobody had seen it in a hundred years, and proceeds to hold forth on its sublime truth.

"this "you hate America" id... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

"this "you hate America" idiocy is over the top!"

Really?! I always hear it from wingnuts who apparently think that anyone who disagree with them "hate America". I've heard liberals use this phrase only ironically...throwing the stupidity back at the accuser.

It's kind of funny to hear someone tell me that, because obviously I know my own feelings about America...so, convincing me that I "hate America" is, of course, stupidly impossible...

Uh Mixti have you ever hear... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Uh Mixti have you ever heard of the word "common sense"?

What will you say when a do... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

What will you say when a dozen students show up with T Shirts that state the 'Bubba' (any name, maybe the students mothers name) is bonking your momma. Will the statement effect the students that will really think 'Bubba' is bonking their mother? Or maybe 'Bubba' is bonking the principal. Don't name the principal and every principal will be suspect. Statements have results and I hope the statement made by the student has a negative effect on the lives of his family who should have taken a board to his butt instead of the school board to court. No problem, the student has condemned himself to a miserable life. Who will ever trust him? Everyone in the neighborhood should shun them.
Where's my 'T' Shirt that says 'Half of the members of the SCOTUS are old, brain dead and/or stupid'? More truth than fiction in that.

The student with the "Bong"... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The student with the "Bong" banner was attending a school parade. If in fact he was off that day, why go to the parade? What is his intention? Where are his parents?

The lefties are accused of being unamerican because they demonstrate it so many times. Leaking classifies information to the enemy, insulting our military, playing politics with the military, stating many times that it is american's fault we are attacked, saying our government purposely caused 9/11, the list goes on. Show me one thing from the above list that is pro-american? You have your right to dissent, but you have to live with what you demostrated. "you shall know them by their fruits." ww

WildWillie - which of THESE... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

WildWillie - which of THESE is pro-American?

1. Warrantless wiretaps.
2. Secret prisons.
3. Torture.
4. Prisoners not being informed of their alleged crimes or being able to confront their accusers in a court of law.

Shall I go on?

Publicus, you are spouting ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Publicus, you are spouting the tin foil hat, everything is a conspiracy line. Besides, you proved my point. To sugget that they are a fact proves my point. Stop the self loathing and BDS. You will feel better. Be proud to be an American. I know I certainly am. ww

Assymetrical warfare is a d... (Below threshold)
kim:

Assymetrical warfare is a dirty business. Mustn't touch.

1. The NSA program is legal.

2. So secret they don't exist.

3. You've had more mileage from this vehicle than those rogue soldiers put gas in the tank.

4. Even POW's from G Convo signatories aren't informed of their crimes or allowed to confront their accusers. Uncovered terrorists are all uniformly amazed they aren't killed on capture. Why aren't you amazed at our mercy and humanity?
==================================

WildWillie -Bush a... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

WildWillie -

Bush admitted he is doing warrantless wiretaps, but insists they are legal. He did this after repeatedly saying publicly that wiretapes require a warrant and "nothing has changed".

We know about the torture because this, too, is public. There are arguments about what constitutes torture...some of you guys think things like waterboarding isn't torture, just interrogation. Whatever.

You're free to disbelieve in secret prisons. History will tell who was right.

And the Constitution says that habeas corpus cannot be denied except in cases of invasion or rebellion - neither of which currently applies. But habeas corpus is being denied to the prisoners at Gitmo, the vast majority who were essentially sold to our military by Iraqis who were financially rewarded for turning in alleged terrorists - no evidence required.

This, too, is a matter of public record.

In my opinion, torture, secret prisons, suspension of unalienable rights, etc. are not American values. Unfortunately, they are currently American practices.

Kim -The president... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Kim -

The president claims the right to put anyone away in prison with no charges and no meaningful hearings or trial based solely on his assertion that a person is "an enemy combatant."

If you this accord with American values, I respectfully disagree. And I can also disagree with court rulings. Do you agree with, say, Dred Scott?

Query re: Quirin.===... (Below threshold)
kim:

Query re: Quirin.
==========

Kim -Thanks! I kne... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Kim -

Thanks! I knew about that ruling, and I appreciate and respect your knowledge of, and interest in, Constitutional law!

My problem with Gitmo is HOW people were determined to be illegal enemy combatants with no rights. It was done on the president's say so. Yet, we know that the majority were rounded up with no evidence against them, except that their countrymen turned them into the American military for a financial reward.

It seems to me that it is very, very wrong to not have the courts require reasonable evidence that these people ARE, in fact, enemy combatants. That's my first objection. (There are others...)

Hey, Publicus... perhaps th... (Below threshold)

Hey, Publicus... perhaps they were rounded up with weapons or bombs in their hands in a war zone? Does that seem like reasonable grounds to assume that they're an enemy combatant? Or are you gonna try to spin that one?

Headline is inaccurate. Su... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Headline is inaccurate. Supreme Court did not rule. It merely denied cert.

--|PW|--

Publicus: Is there a parti... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Publicus: Is there a particular case you're relying on for your "clear and present danger" standard?

--|PW|--

What, please, is the meanin... (Below threshold)
kim:

What, please, is the meaning of the difference between ruling and certing. I'm a pretty ignorant soul.
==========================

Kim:"Cert" is shor... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Kim:

"Cert" is short for "certiorari." When a person appeals to the Supreme Court, he petitions for certiorari. When the court declines to accept the case, the court has denied cert.

"Ruling" means that the court heard the case and issued an opinion as to the law and the facts of the case.

--|PW|--

Thank you, but I guess I'm ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Thank you, but I guess I'm still an idiot. In denying cert. do the Justices comment, as they seem to have done here?
==============================

Hey, Publicus... p... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Hey, Publicus... perhaps they were rounded up with weapons or bombs in their hands in a war zone?

Perhaps. Indeed. In that case, they should have simply shown probable cause to a judge. And if probable cause was found, I'd be happy to see them locked up. And if they were innocent people simply turned in by neighbors for a monetary reward, then those people should be freed.

Let's find out!

You realize, of course, tha... (Below threshold)

You realize, of course, that showing probable cause is almost certainly gonna require bringing the soldiers that captured the person back from the war zone.

But perhaps that's what you want!

Besides, it makes no difference: THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS AND ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANY RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!

Need I make it any clearer?

Besides, it makes ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Besides, it makes no difference: THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS AND ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANY RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Don't see any reference to rights belonging only to American citizens. In fact, there was no America at that time. The American idea is that all people have unalienable rights, and the purpose of governments is to protect those rights.

pennywit -Justice ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

pennywit -

Justice Holmes first used the phrase "clear and present dangers" in Schenck v. United States, a controversial case where first amendment rights were curtailed during WWI. The standard gained strength with the high court over time.

You may agree or disagree with this standard; I happen to favor it because I believe it's in line with the concept of unalienable rights to free speech.

The Declaration of Independ... (Below threshold)

The Declaration of Independence is not legally binding on the courts. Try something from the Constitution.

The Declaration of... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
The Declaration of Independence is not legally binding on the courts. Try something from the Constitution.

True. The Declaration is not law. But it IS the American ideal. It is, in my view, MORALLY binding. And the purpose of the Constitution is to realize our ideals. Where it fails to do so, we need to amend it.

Well, fortunately for Ameri... (Below threshold)

Well, fortunately for America, your view is also not legally binding. In fact, there is no legally binding precedent at all for us giving any of the rights enumerated under the Constitution to any foreign national.

I know that irks you. And, to be honest, the fact that it irks you amuses me (may God forgive me).

Doesn't irk me. I'm aware t... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Doesn't irk me. I'm aware that the Court has made many bad decision that were binding. Dred Scott was legally binding, and protected slavery. It was still wrong...because it failed to recognize that all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights.

Of course, it's tragic when people are denied their rights, but bad things happen all the time. The best we can do is to challenge injustice. That is why dissent is patriotic.

I'm sure you are sincere, and honest and, in your own way, fair-minded. I have no gripe with you.

I simply disagree. In the case of these prisoners, you are assuming guilt without trial or charge. I can't go along with that. We need to be just, and justice is for all people, not just American citizens. In my view.

There you go, trying to ins... (Below threshold)

There you go, trying to insert a non-binding document into an argument about legally binding rules.

Until you admit that the United States Constitution does not apply to foreign nationals, further debate is useless and I'll not waste more bandwidth on it.

Good day, I say, good day, sir.

There you go, tryi... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
There you go, trying to insert a non-binding document into an argument about legally binding rules.

I am standing up for the ideals of the founding fathers, ideals with which I agree. I pointed out that the Courts have made bad decisions which are unjust and stand in opposition to those ideals. (I cited Dred Scott.)

And I asserted my opinion that denying unalienable rights to people based on citizenship is wrong.

Save your bandwidth, if you chose. I respect your position, but I stand by my own.

And I asserted my opinio... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

And I asserted my opinion that denying unalienable rights to people based on citizenship is wrong.

In what world do non-citizens have rights in a Constitution for a country that they are not a citizen of
-=Mike

In an ideal world. Good di... (Below threshold)
kim:

In an ideal world. Good discussion, both of you.
==============================

In what world do n... (Below threshold)
In what world do non-citizens have rights in a Constitution for a country that they are not a citizen of

In Publicus'.

Hey, Publicus, does that mean I have all the rights a Danish citizen gets under their constitution as well? Or does that apply only to the US Constitution?

Hey, Publicus, doe... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Hey, Publicus, does that mean I have all the rights a Danish citizen gets under their constitution as well?

Well, it means that if a Canadian tourist is in our country, you can't just shoot him to death because he's got no rights under our Constitution. He's got certain unalienable rights as a human being.

That said, a tourist isn't entitled to, say, social security; that's a taxpayer benefit. But basic rights...what have been called unalienable rights...belong to all human beings.

Kim -- Commentary ... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Kim --

Commentary when denying a cert petition is fairly rare; in fact, denying a cert petition means that the Supreme Court has not ruled on the case one way or the other, but merely allowed the case to stand as-is.

In the case of the anti-Bush t-shirt, I expect that the court felt its existing caselaw spoke sufficiently to the issues.

--|PW|--

Am I mistaken, or did Alito... (Below threshold)
kim:

Am I mistaken, or did Alito comment on this one?
===============================

By the way, P, how would yo... (Below threshold)
kim:

By the way, P, how would you address the assymetry in a conflict in which one side recognizes the possibility of inalienable rights and the other doesn't. I mean address the assymetry in a way that doesn't leave tactical advantage with those who have no ideal about human rights?
====================

Thanks, Publicus. Now answe... (Below threshold)

Thanks, Publicus. Now answer the question. Do I get all the rights of a Danish citizen under their Constitution or not?

Thanks, Publicus. ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Thanks, Publicus. Now answer the question. Do I get all the rights of a Danish citizen under their Constitution or not?

No, you don't get Danish Constitutional rights. You (should) get unalienable rights...those that are granted to us by our Creator. You see, the American idea is that WE THE PEOPLE do not get rights from a government or a Constitution.

Some people get confused about this, because our own Bill of Rights seems to be a list of rights that our government grants us. This is a false interpretation. The founders were OPPOSED to including a Bill of Rights, because they believed people would someday make this very mistake.

Within the Bill of Right, amendment 9 also tries to make this point: that the bill of rights, while enumerating some rights, does not attempt to list all of our rights.

And so, yes, under the laws of the Danish government, you may (or may not) have rights. But under the unalienable rights granted by our Creator, EVERYONE has certain rights.

By the way, P, how... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
By the way, P, how would you address the assymetry in a conflict in which one side recognizes the possibility of inalienable rights and the other doesn't. I mean address the assymetry in a way that doesn't leave tactical advantage with those who have no ideal about human rights?

Good question!

Well, you are suggesting we may have to chose between our principles and a hard pragmatic truth. I have 2 responses:

1. I believe that freedom and human rights is a winning strategy.
2. Because I believe so strongly in our principles, I would make sacrifices to protect them. ("Give me liberty, or give me death.")

I'm not sure if Alito comme... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

I'm not sure if Alito commented on the shirt case or not. I don't think so.

--|PW|--

An ideal winning strategy, ... (Below threshold)
kim:

An ideal winning strategy, tactically fatal.
===========================

"An ideal winning strategy,... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

"An ideal winning strategy, tactically fatal."

If so, then the American ideal cannot survive. I don't believe it. This would be like having to destroy the village to save it.

I really don't think that use of courts and warrants to ensure that our government is operating in our interest is "fatal". Nor do I believe that we cannot survive as a country unless we torture people.




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