Archive for July, 2009

The Internet Free Speech Ruling Prudes Want Overturned

Monday, July 27th, 2009

On 06/26/1997 The Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) ruled in Reno_v._ACLU, Case No. 96-511, that cyberspace will be free - the ACLU and free speech prevailed. A coalition of dogmatic authoritarian prudes have been trying to get the ruling overturned or its effects nullified ever since. For more information about that ruling see:


The Danger of Calling Rights Privileges

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

There is no right that some person could not claim is a privilege. Whether they claim it’s a privilege to drive, a privilege to speak, a privilege to see or be seen, a privilege to live, a privilege to have privacy or a privilege to publish a blog. A privilege by definition is a right granted only to a particular person or group of people. Starting down the road of deciding who may have what right or privilege one invites tyranny. This should be abundantly clear from the vigorous and often successful attempts to chill free expression and freedom of the press which occurred during the Presidential Administration of George W. Bush. While it is true that legislatures and courts have from time to time attempted to curtail, disparage or abridge these rights, one should not throw aside the principals of due and proper process or our fundamental and inalienable rights, the existance of which pre-dated our own federal constitution. There are problems with trying to draw a distinction between moral, legal, and Constitutional rights. Our Declaration of Independence, which did have flaws in failing to recognize the rights of women, slaves, and First Nation (”Indian”) Peoples, nonetheless pronounced clear common law and moral principals: That we were all endowed with certain UNALIENABLE rights. That AMONG THESE are LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Some of these, like the right to be free from ex post facto laws and the right of habeas-corpus (Article 1, Sections 9 and 10)  were considered important enough to put in the main body of the Constitution and be beyond the power of the Congress or the States to modify, whereas most of the remainder of the Constitution was subject to Amendment. Just because there are some right-wing wackos on the Court like Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice Roberts who seems to me to have been only unfamiliar with the Constitutional Oath of Office, but dismissive of the Bill of Rights in general, that doesn’t mean we should ignore these fundamental principals. No one, including police officers or the President, is above the Constitution. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of our Land and the framework and foundation for all government in this Country. Government and laws derive validity only with and from the consent of the the people and only to the extent that they do not usurp anyone’s inalienable rights, whether enumerated or not.
Although the Constitution of the United States is a relatively short document few people take the time to read it much less study it. Please read it. It is the framework and context that all laws and government must be in compliance with.
I highly recommend starting with the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments first for context. The full text of The_Constitution_of_the_United_States along with the initial Amendments and comments are posted here on this site at:


ACLU Challenges Unconstitutional Spying Law

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The ACLU was scheduled to be to be in court today, Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009, challenging the unconstitutional FISA Amendments Act which George W. Bush signed into law a year ago. There are more details at:
The name of the case is Amnesty_v._McConnell. See

One of the plaintiffs is Naomi Klein of The Nation. A statement by her is at:

The ACLU has been involved in a great variety of cases. Most people don’t understand that it is the constitutional principals that the ACLU defends. The people whose rights need defending are often in the minority or unpopular, but if one group loses their rights, so do we all. We can not allow our rights be construed as privileges, because when that occurs tyranny inevitably follows.
These are just a few of the ‘ACLU 100 Greatest Hits’ Supreme Court Cases mentioned at:  

1952  Rochin v. California: Reversed a conviction and held that the police having a man’s stomach pumped for drugs “shocks the conscience”                       
1954  Brown v. Board of Education:  Separate is not equal                                  
1963 Gideon v. Wainwright:  The right to a lawyer                                                  
1964  New York Times v. Sullivan:  Free Press and the right to be wrong.           
1965 Griswold v. Connecticut:  Marital Privacy, contraception                               
1966  Miranda v. Arizona:  4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment rights                
1967 In Re Gault: Young persons have constitutional rights
1967 Loving v. Virginia: Court refers to the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause and the “freedom to marry” and invalidates bans on interracial marriage          
1973  Frontiero v. Richardson:  Gender equality under the law