Friday, October 8, 2010

Freedom of Expression: A Basic Right

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Two very different and important freedom of expression cases have been in the press this week.  The first involved the odious spawn of Fred Phelps who went before the Supreme Court on Wednesday to press their claim that screaming and yelling at funerals of our nation's fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines is a Constitutionally protected right - First Amendment Freedom of Speech (or Expression - because they also like to walk on our national flag).  As disgusting as these crazy bastards are, they will undoubtedly prevail.  When the courts start deciding who has rights guaranteed by the Constitution and who doesn't, it's only a matter of time until we are all afraid to speak.

The Phelps, like gonorrhea and cockroaches, will always be with us.  They will be forever pulling hateful stunts to garner attention, like the schoolhouse bullies that they are, so the best offense is just to tune them out and know that they will be screaming even louder on the day that they are marched through the gates of hell.

The other case involving freedom of expression  concerns Danny Lampley, a lawyer in Tupelo, Mississippi, (the hometown of Elvis) who was arrested for remaining silent.  Mr. Lampley spent about five hours behind bars for refusing to participate in a group Pledge of Allegiance in the courtroom of cracker judge Talmadge Littlejohn.  The judge was playing up to the teabagger yokels who all rose to the bait with comments questioning Mr. Lampley's patriotism.

The Supreme Court ruled more than seventy years ago that school children could not be forced to say the pledge of allegiance, but Mississippi either hasn't gotten the memo, or believes that lawyers have less in the way of Constitutional rights than school children.  Danny Lampley has every right to express himself through silence, and if this case becomes a court issue, that will be quickly confirmed.  Even our current Supreme Court is smarter than that.

And as for Judge Littlejohn, he needs to turn off Fox News and crack open a law book or two - preferably ones  printed since the 1950's.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

While I don't know anything for sure, I am fairly certain that learned counsel for the hate group also known as Westboro Baptist Church have mixed their applesauce with some chicken manure.

There are no absolute unfettered Constitutional rights in America. Westboro claims an absolute right to hyper hyperbole under the First Amendment.

Seems a fellow named Flynt said some real bad things about a fellow named Falwell in a magazine called Hustler.

It apparently was pure rant of the prurient persuasion.

This Falwell fellow was kindly known around most parts as being a preacher and was fairly well known for his opinions on this and that.

The Court said as long as he was in the public arena then folks like Flynt could take pot shots, which everyone knew to be exaggeration.

Hence arose the hyper hyperbole concept that learned counsel thinks is now a right unfettered.

The Snyder family was burying their dead son, a U.S. Marine killed in combat.

The infamous Topeka hate group traveled to Maryland to harass and harangue the private religious exercise of a church service and cemetery interment. The Topeka hate group then posted ugly, false, and defamatory remarks on the internet, further causing the Snyder family emotional pain.

You don't have to go to law school to figure this one out. The notion that my rights end where your nose begins is common sense and understood by all Americans.

That poor fellow in Mississippi will have the last laugh. The only way the Judge could jail him would be for contempt. Well, state judicial commissions and bar associations take a real dim view of a dim witted jurist abusing the equitable power of contempt.

The lawyer will laugh loudly when he laughs last.