« Rand Paul In 2009: Cheney Only Decided Invading Iraq Was A Good Idea Because He Made Millions Working For Halliburton | Main | Afgans Vote in Large Numbers Despite Taliban Threats and Attacks; Hamid Karzai's Chosen Successor Unlikely to Make it to the Runoff »
April 07, 2014

ACLU Liberal Floyd Abrams: "Liberal" Justices' Embrace of "Collective" Right to Free Expression is "Disturbing"

Apparently Breyer has been pushing to make Free Expression a "collective" right, subject to a veto from the majority, for some time.

But it was only in the McCutcheon case that he found three other "liberals" willing to endorse his bizarre theory.

In his book Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution (2006), Justice Breyer offered an overview of the First Amendment which posited that its primary purpose was not to protect speech from government control or limitation but “to encourage the exchange of information and ideas necessary for citizens themselves to shape that ‘public opinion which is the final source of government in a democratic state.’” A statute limiting independent spending on political speech is thus defensible against a First Amendment challenge and indeed serves First Amendment interests since it “facilitate[s] a conversation among ordinary citizens that will encourage their informed participation.”

In his dissenting opinion in McCutcheon, Breyer takes that a step further, concluding that “the First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters.” (emphasis in original). The First Amendment, he maintains, must be understood as promoting “a government where the laws reflect the very thoughts, views, ideas and sentiments, the expression of which the First Amendment protects.”

Worth reading in full, as is Abrams' full piece. (The first link has excerpts and additional quotes from other writers.)

It is difficult to read the McCutcheon dissent without recalling two of the Court’s landmark First Amendment rulings of the past. Both were unanimous. Both would be at risk if the First Amendment were somehow viewed as anything but a limitation on the government’s power to limit speech, even in the supposed service of “preserving democratic order,” vindicating “collective speech,” or the like.

They really like government power, and they really don't like individual liberty.


digg this
posted by Ace at 12:32 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Yudhishthira's Dice: " That is the sane, human response. But some are s ..."

Boulder t'hobo: "Rehnquist was consevative. ..."

kraken: "Sounds like the woman is undergoing popup cancer.. ..."

shibumi, future Ohio dental floss tycoon: ""Wasn't sure it if it would paste or not, because ..."

DamnedYankee: "Well, I wish her the same as her rulings and polit ..."

artisanal 'ette: "[i]"guess is that they never got rid of it all, ju ..."

Anonosaurus Wrecks, Tyrannosaur Wrangler: "zombie Yuri Andropov says Ruth looks good to him ..."

joncelli, because somebody had to: "My youngest stepson's father died six months after ..."

Nick in Tallahassee: "289. Even if successful, nothing would drive cons ..."

JackStraw: "Ha. Trump just tweeted that the stock market took ..."

[/i][/b]Christopher R Taylor: "[i]Rehnquist did the same thing. Hid his thyroid c ..."

Rush N. Bott: "I saw Pancreatic Cancer open for The Grateful Dead ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64