Category Archives: 1st Amendment
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.
In 44bce, following the death of Julius Cæsar, Mark Anthony wasn’t really impressing people in Rome with his leadership and management. Despite his inspiring speech at Cæsars funeral pyre, he was basically making a pigs breakfast of things.
Opposing him was Cicero. Here was a Constitutionalist, a leader and a man of words. And it was to words which Cicero turned in his very public condemnation and criticism of Anthony. He delivered a series of fourteen speeches, known as the Phillipics, in which he rips Anthony for everything from his management to his dalliances with women (even one beneath his station) and even implies that Anthony might be, just possibly, at least once or maybe twice, homosexual. Read the rest of this entry
On Monday, Judge Leonie Brinckema, a Federal Appeals Judge in Virginia, issued an injunction against President Trumps Immigration Executive Orders on the basis that they are in fact, a Muslim Ban.
The Government has argued that the doctrine of Plenary Powers over National Security and Immigration should make the Orders unreviewable. But can such power be given under the Constitution? If the answer is no, then can statements made outside of the Orders by the President and his advisers be taken into account as to the intent of the orders?
If the answer is yes, are we prepared to accept a country where he sitting President has unchecked power which neither the Courts nor Congress can counterbalance?
It’s a Valentines day Tuesday episode of Constitution Thursday!
The Espionage act of 1917
On this day, Yom Hashoah, we recall the millions who died as a result of a legal process and we ask the question, could such things ever happen here in the United States?
The Espionage Act of 1917 was used to silence opposition to the Governments policy of War with Germany. In 1799 the Alien and Sedition Act was used to silence critics of the Government in the United States. But by the 1960’s attitudes about dissent to Government war efforts had changed significantly.
But what would it take to change them back and restore a scenario where “dissent is [not] patriotism?”