The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

My proposal for amending the First Amendment
Tom Smith

Amendment 1A

This amendment shall be known as the "Power to the People, Power to the People Right On!" Amendment.  Nothing in the amendment right before this one shall be construed as allowing persons to say Bad Things.  Bad Things shall be defined by Congress anytime before November, 2010.  Congress shall have the authority to establish a Special Administration for the Liberation of Speech for the People, Right On, and may promulgate regulations regarding speech by Big Corporations or anything that reminds them of such speech. Bad Things shall include any disrespectful nodding or word mouthing by Justices of the Supreme Court during Presidential addresses, especially if they touch upon freedom of speech, such as it may be.  Nothing in this amendment shall be construed as giving anybody the authority to restrict the speech of law professors about any topic whatsoever at any time whatsoever.  A law professor is anyone who has ever taught at a law school, whether or not on a tenure track.

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Tom Smith


Many years ago I used to respect Democrats and liberals for standing up for free speech in the 20th century. The libs and dems have changed. Well, tecnically not all of them. There are still lib/dem free speech supporters like Nat Hentoff and A. Dershowitz. But these days, almost all Dems support free speech only as far as it is used to further their goals, and often oppose speech by anyone but their side.

Why does society accord a respectful hearing to those partisans who consistently want to muzzle their opponents? A free and democratic society must have free speech. Hell, even the Soviet Union had glasnost before it fell. And we're supposed to be a lot freer than the USSR.

Posted by: Larry | Jan 29, 2010 8:35:00 AM

You forgot the union's exemption. It really needs a union exemption to have any chance.

Posted by: km | Jan 29, 2010 9:14:04 AM


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