Recently, Houston’s Mayor, Annise Parker ordered city attorneys to issue subpoenas to several area church pastors. These subpoenas where for transcripts of the sermons given because they allegedly caused a conflict with anti-discrimination laws she helped enact. Many on the opposing side argued loudly that it crossed boundaries as a clear violation of the First Amendment.Details
So often in my work here at Tenth Amendment Center, I hear people referring to their rights by Amendment. Unfortunately, doing so creates a misconception of where your rights come from, and the power of government to take them.Details
The freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental rights we possess. This basic natural right is not contingent upon laws or social traditions. Essentially, it is nothing short of inalienable and universal between all peoples at all times. However, in practice, it seldom observed as such. From the early Tolerance Act of 1689 to current “Free Speech Zones” across American universities, men have tried to quell this freedom.Details
On August 12th, the AHA (American Humanist Association) sent a letter to Hall County, GA school superintendent demanding that Chestatee High School “terminate this (the football team praying) and any similar illegal activity immediately.” If they did not comply, the AHA threatened to sue them, “for damages, an injunction, and attorneys.”
This provides a perfect opportunity for nullification action at the local level. And it’s a simple process. Just keep praying.Details
I’m pleased to report that this past week the brilliant Justice Clarence Thomas cited my work on the Necessary and Proper Clause in his concurring opinion in Town of Greece v. Galloway, an Establishment Clause case that received wide publicity. This was the thirteenth citation in the third Supreme Court case in the past 11 months.Details
Michael Perry writes:
I share your originalist misgivings about the plurality and Thomas opinions in McCutcheon. However, a reader of your most recent post on the mattermight conclude that you have bought into the “expected applications” version of originalism, and I doubt you mean to do that! So, you might want to say something further about the version of originalism you are bringing to bear in expressing your misgivings about the McCutcheon opinions.
Trying to solve these questions by judicial reasoning rather than historical inquiry converts them from questions about what the framers wrote to questions about what the judge thinks is best.Details
When the feds tell you they want to protect your rights, watch out! In all likelihood, that means they plan to strip some of your rights away and expand their own power.
Case in point, a “shield law” for journalists currently the subject of congressional debate. The political class wants to protect journalists from requirements to reveal sources or documents. S.987 would “maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media.”
Sound good, right?
But consider this: in the process, Congress gets to define a “journalist.”Details