Constitution Day and The Innocence of Muslims

Constitution Day and The Innocence of Muslims: close-up of prologue to the Constitution

(CCL Kim Davies)

Today is Constitution Day. I was planning to write today about the 225th anniversary of the signing of our nation’s foundational document. About the importance of the Constitution to you and me, now, in the 21st century.

So I will.

In an address last week commemorating 9/11, the President said that, in the 11 years since 9/11:

we’ve strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home. . . . [O]ur country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.

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Jewish boycotts: It could never happen here?

Members of the SA and the public outside a Jewish shop 01 Apr 1933

Nazi boycott of German shops 01 April 1933

 

First, let’s brush up on our history: After winning the general election in March, 1933, the Nazis’ first organized action against Jews was a one-day boycott of Jewish businesses, conducted on April 1st. The sign in the photo above reads:

Germans, Attention! This shop is owned by Jews. Jews damage the German economy and pay their German employees starvation wages. The main owner is the Jew Nathan Schmidt.

I’m so glad that could never happen here.

Oh, wait.

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SCOTUS Top Ten List, part 3

Caricature of Justice Anthony Kennedy

Justice Anthony Kennedy (CCL)

In mid-October, I began a Top Ten List of cases the U.S. Supreme Court will (or will probably) hear this term.

Why, you naturally ask.

Because 2011-2012 may be the most landscape-changing SCOTUS term in decades. After years full of corporate cases, the high court’s docket this October Term* is filling up with cases dealing with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, personal and states’ rights, and maybe even gay “marriage” and Obamacare.

*Geek Tip #1: October Term

The Court works on a yearly calendar. By statute, their year starts on the first Monday in October. So “October Term, 2011″ is the Court’s 2011-2012 season. But you can just casually refer to it as October Term and everyone will think you’re some big-shot constitutional lawyer.

Well, it’s worth a try, anyway.

You can see my first two Top Ten posts, cases ten through six, here and here.

.And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I bring you . . .

Caricature of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (CCL)

5. FCC v. Fox Television

Background:  Remember George Carlin and his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”? (No? Well, I do. But just barely, of course.) That’s what prompted the FCC, back in 1975, to prohibit “sustained” or “repeated” uses of “indecent” language on the air.

Fast forward to 2003. During a Golden Globes acceptance speech, U2’s Bono called his award “really, really fucking brilliant.”  After viewer complaints about Bono’s language (and similar language from Nicole Richie and Cher) the FCC tightened its policy, saying that even “fleeting expletives” would be subject to fines.

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SCOTUS 2012 (and why you should care)

The U. S. Supreme Court last week opened what may well prove to be its most historic term in decades. In past terms, the Court’s docket has been weighted toward corporate law cases that render most of us pretty much comatose. But the cases already on the docket this term (48 so far) and in the pipeline (the Court is expected to grant almost that many petitions again in the next three months) have SCOTUS geeks on the edges of their seats.

SCOTUS is widely expected to decide a whole series of what could be landmark cases dealing with freedom of religion, freedom of speech, states’ rights, individuals’ rights against non-statutory regulation, and possibly even gay marriage. And then, of course, there’s the Big One–the prospect of a ruling on Obamacare.

So (drum roll, please) here’s the first installment of CBC‘s Top Ten list of cases to watch this term:

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