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Surpreme Court Justice Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:30 pm

This makes me :-o

I mean, I get where he's going, but the difference - to me - is that one has immediate, obvious consequences.
The other has long-term, potential consequences that may not even be directly tied to the act.

You can't go around prohibiting any speech that might someday possibly maybe get someone hurt even if the act is purposely inflammatory.

Stephen Breyer Questions Right to Burn Quran

During an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America this morning, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer addressed the recent controversy over a Florida Pastor's plan to hold a Quran-burning rally on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, saying he wasn't convinced the First Amendment would protect such an action if the case were brought to the court in the future.

"Holmes said it doesn't mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater,"
Breyer told George Stephanopoulos during the GMA interview, referring to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who wrote the opinion in a 1919 Supreme Court decision that addressed Freedom of Speech. "Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?"

Breyer, who was on the show to promote his new book, "Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View" (Knopf), said that questions about the changing definition of free speech in the internet age will "be answered over time in a series of cases which force people to think carefully."

"That's the virtue of cases," he said. "And not just cases. Cases produce briefs, briefs produce thought. Arguments are made. The judges sit back and think. And most importantly, when they decide, they have to write an opinion, and that opinion has to be based on reason. It isn't a fake."

"It's a 'rickety system' Breyer added, but it has functioned "fairly well" so far.

Breyer also took the opportunity during his appearance to advise incoming Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan as to handling the pressures of her new job. "Of course, you're nervous. I mean, for quite awhile, your cases now -- they're going to be final. There's no one to appeal to," he said. "She will be nervous. But don't worry about it."
Last edited by StlSluggers on Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby knapplc » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:35 pm

This is dumb. You can burn a flag but not the Quran? I presume that would also cover the Torah, the Bible, and any other religious text? And his argument is that doing so would constitute shouting fire in a theater?


This seems more like a ploy to sell his book than a realistic opinion. I have no doubt if this went to the Supremes that the right to burn a religious text would be upheld.
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:47 pm

knapplc wrote:This seems more like a ploy to sell his book than a realistic opinion.

See, I was sort of hoping that a Supreme Court justice wouldn't stoop to those levels. :-/
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby Dan Lambskin » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:10 pm

StlSluggers wrote:
knapplc wrote:This seems more like a ploy to sell his book than a realistic opinion.

See, I was sort of hoping that a Supreme Court justice wouldn't stoop to those levels. :-/


are you new to politics
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:22 pm

Dan Lambskin wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:
knapplc wrote:This seems more like a ploy to sell his book than a realistic opinion.

See, I was sort of hoping that a Supreme Court justice wouldn't stoop to those levels. :-/


are you new to politics

See, I was sort of hoping that a Supreme Court justice wasn't a politician.

Wait... Trying to sell a book by any means isn't a "political" maneuver. :-?
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby AquaMan2342 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:11 pm

Eh....tough situation here really....you don't want to piss the wrong people off if you get my drift....
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby Art Vandelay » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:44 pm

knapplc wrote:This is dumb. You can burn a flag but not the Quran? I presume that would also cover the Torah, the Bible, and any other religious text? And his argument is that doing so would constitute shouting fire in a theater?


This seems more like a ploy to sell his book than a realistic opinion. I have no doubt if this went to the Supremes that the right to burn a religious text would be upheld.

My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby Neato Torpedo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:47 pm

knapplc wrote:This is dumb. You can burn a flag but not the Quran? I presume that would also cover the Torah, the Bible, and any other religious text? And his argument is that doing so would constitute shouting fire in a theater?

Well, the US isn't at war with Christian or Jewish fundamentalists, and there is pretty much no possible situation where burning our own flag would inspire our enemies to recruit more people and to kill more of our soldiers. Just pissing off our enemies for the sake of pissing off our enemies has like no positive outcome.

I'm personally not offended by anything like this but if it puts our soldiers at risk for literally no benefit, then I have to be against it. Not sure if I'd resort to legal action, but the stance is definitely justifiable.
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby Art Vandelay » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:49 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:
knapplc wrote:This is dumb. You can burn a flag but not the Quran? I presume that would also cover the Torah, the Bible, and any other religious text? And his argument is that doing so would constitute shouting fire in a theater?

Well, the US isn't at war with Christian or Jewish fundamentalists, and there is pretty much no possible situation where burning our own flag would inspire our enemies to recruit more people and to kill more of our soldiers. Just pissing off our enemies for the sake of pissing off our enemies has like no positive outcome.

I'm personally not offended by anything like this but if it puts our soldiers at risk for literally no benefit, then I have to be against it. Not sure if I'd resort to legal action, but the stance is definitely justifiable.

Saying "you shouldn't burn religious texts just to piss off practitioners of that religion" is a justifiable stance. Saying "the constitution should prohibit the burning of religious texts because it will likely piss off practitioners of that religion" isn't, in my opinion, of course.
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Re: Surpreme Court Justics Not Sure Burning Quran is a Right

Postby knapplc » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:52 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:
knapplc wrote:This is dumb. You can burn a flag but not the Quran? I presume that would also cover the Torah, the Bible, and any other religious text? And his argument is that doing so would constitute shouting fire in a theater?

Well, the US isn't at war with Christian or Jewish fundamentalists, and there is pretty much no possible situation where burning our own flag would inspire our enemies to recruit more people and to kill more of our soldiers. Just pissing off our enemies for the sake of pissing off our enemies has like no positive outcome.

I'm personally not offended by anything like this but if it puts our soldiers at risk for literally no benefit, then I have to be against it. Not sure if I'd resort to legal action, but the stance is definitely justifiable.

I understand this angle, and I am totally against putting our soldiers at more risk than we need to, but... they're soldiers. There's an implied risk in the gig from day one.

Freedom of Speech is a fundamental right, one of the most important ones we have. If we abrogate that right today it's still abrogated tomorrow, or the day after we make peace with Islam (playing along with this). Once suspended, those rights are very hard to regain, and frankly I don't trust either of the two parties we have entrenched in power right now to voluntarily give those rights back to us when the crisis is over.
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