The recent term of the United States Supreme Court resulted in numerous 1st Amendment victories for the right to free speech. Workers are now no longer required to subsidize the speech of labor unions and pay the so-called fair share, for example. More importantly, they also defended the right to the free exercise of religion by declaring that religious groups who run crisis pregnancy centers to shill for abortion and supporting the Colorado baker who was punished by unselected bureaucrats who openly were hostile to the Baker’s religious beliefs.
Who would object to letting people say what they want or refuse to say what they don’t want?
Freedom is an obstacle to the Left, who seek compulsion and domination in order to force their Agenda on us. Sadly, one of those who believe in a “right” to compel others is Justice Elena Kagan who whined about how conservatives were “weaponizing the First Amendment”.
Yes, the 1st Amendment is a weapon—it is a defensive weapon that protects us from the likes of people such as Justice Kagan. The New York Times (i.e. the “Old Gray Crone”) joins in on the whining about how the state can’t throttle free speech when it comes to politics by limiting the means and ability to organize and effectively have their voices heard, and how free speech in general is a threat:
“Many on the left have traded an absolutist commitment to free speech for one sensitive to the harms it can inflict.
“Take pornography and street protests. Liberals were once largely united in fighting to protect sexually explicit materials from government censorship. Now many on the left see pornography as an assault on women’s rights.
“In 1977, many liberals supported the right of the American Nazi Party to march among Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Ill. Far fewer supported the free-speech rights of the white nationalists who marched last year in Charlottesville, Va.
“There was a certain naïveté in how liberals used to approach free speech, said Frederick Schauer, a law professor at the University of Virginia.
“‘Because so many free-speech claims of the 1950s and 1960s involved anti-obscenity claims, or civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protests, it was easy for the left to sympathize with the speakers or believe that speech in general was harmless,’ he said. ‘But the claim that speech was harmless or causally inert was never true, even if it has taken recent events to convince the left of that. The question, then, is why the left ever believed otherwise.’
“Some liberals now say that free speech disproportionately protects the powerful and the status quo.”
In other words, the Left never supported the principle of free speech, but simply used it as a tool when useful when they were trying to gain power, and abandoned it when they acquired that power and found the principle dangerous to their power.
The 1st Amendment protects everyone regardless of what their opinion is or what influence their voice might have. To say that it is a tool of evil because it ends up protecting the “oppressors” just as much as it protects the “oppressed”, as the Progressive Left sees it.
“Instead of providing a shield for the powerless, the First Amendment became a sword used by people at the apex of the American hierarchy of power. Among its victims: proponents of campaign finance reform, opponents of cigarette addiction, the L.B.G.T.Q. community, labor unions, animal rights advocates, environmentalists, targets of hate speech and abortion providers.”
Except none of these people or groups are “victims”. Victimhood is not attained by failure to restrain the freedom of others. It is the 1st Amendment—acting as a shield not as a sword—that prevented the targets of the faux victims from becoming actual victims.
Another Justice, Stephen Breyer, summed up the view of the Progressive faction on the Supreme Court that freedom of speech is an assault on… freedom of speech.
“‘Using the First Amendment to strike down economic and social laws that legislatures long would have thought themselves free to enact will, for the American public, obscure, not clarify, the true value of protecting freedom of speech,’ Justice Breyer wrote.”
In other words, to the Progressive Left, war is slavery, and up is down.
How very doubleplusgood of them.