Monday, March 30, 2015

The "Living" First Amendment

Althouse, the blog of University of Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse is the most consistently entertaining of the blogs THC regularly checks in with.  You never know what she may choose to write about it (want to know why men should never wear shorts?  she'll tell you - often) and you can't predict the her viewpoint on anything in advances - in fact, THC suspects she delights in confounding her readers expectations; she'd probably find a way to take issue with the way THC wrote this post if she ever read it but it's that wide ranging interest in lots of subjects and how she comes at things from a different angle that make her so interesting; particularly because when it comes to politics she can't (and won't) be categorized in conventional Democrat/Republican or liberal/conservative terms.

A few days ago she wrote  "Liberals Used To Love The First Amendment" commenting on a column by Adam Liptak of the New York Times and using the first sentence from his piece as her title.  Now, for you Times readers THC has some advice.  Relying on Liptak for an accurate assessment of the best arguments of all parties in Supreme Court matters is like, well, it's like relying on Linda Greenhouse, when she was the legal correspondent for the New York Times to do the same.  And since Ms Greenhouse apparently monitors all mentions of her on the interwebs, THC gives her a shout-out! and reminds her that, as always, we will correct any mistakes in a post and do so promptly, as we have done in the past and in telling contrast to the practices of the obstinate and, dare he say, obtuse New York Times.

With that here is Althouse's piece:
"But that was in an era when courts used it mostly to protect powerless people like civil rights activists and war protesters," writes Adam Liptak in The New York Times.

“Corporations have begun to displace individuals as the direct beneficiaries of the First Amendment,” Professor Coates wrote. The trend, he added, is “recent but accelerating.”
Hmm. I don't know. In conlaw class, I was just teaching the great 1964 landmark case — that loved-by-liberals case — New York Times v. Sullivan. But, fortunately, I've got The New York Times to set me straight. Corporations are not people.

Okay. Thanks to Adam Liptak, a man I'm noticing only because the corporate platform of The New York Times elevates him high above all the poor and puny anonymities....

And I'm fascinated by this notion that the Constitution ought to mean what would make liberals love it. Hey, Supreme Court, why don't you make the Constitution lovable again? We used to love you, First Amendment, but you changed.
Ironically, back when Liptak's liberals loved the First Amendment, a big deal was always made about how it protects the speech you hate. That was the challenge, to love the freedom itself. Seems like you changed. 
By the way, in light of the phony larger narrative linking big companies and non-progressives (THC prefers this nomenclature since it covers conservatives (both social and economic), libertarians, classical liberals, Tea Partiers, the mainline GOPers, those who adhere much of the progressive line but demur at times (see, for instance, the notorious Koch Brothers) and just plain cranky people since we all look the same to progressives) peddled by the Times and its acolytes, note that according to David Plouffe, one of President Obama's senior strategists, that Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google (market cap $376 billion), played a key role in the President's 2012 campaign and that "on election night he was in our boiler room in Chicago".  THC is sure that the 230 times since then that Google lobbyists have met with White House officials, not to mention the 15 pages deleted at Google's request, at the last minute by the FCC from its recently published document asserting its regulatory authority over the internet have nothing to do with Schmidt's role as an enabler for the President.

No comments:

Post a Comment