Tag Archive: First Amendment

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson joins long list of media personalities penalized for comments

Messaging Matters2

Fallout regarding A&E Network‘s suspension of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson for his anti-gay and anti-black comments in a GQ Magazine interview is reaching a fever pitch. For example, “Phil Robertson” is trending very high on Twitter, with commenters voicing their opinions on both sides. However, Robertson’s suspension is hardly surprising given the long list of tv, radio, musical and other personalities who have been commercially penalized for their comments made either on or off the air. This list spans the political spectrum, and includes:

Supreme Court upholds First Amendment

Messaging Matters2

In a decision that was all but overshadowed by anticipation over decisions on gay marriage and voter rights, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled 6-2 in favor of the First Amendment. This case was Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International. The dispute was over a 2003 law with the rather clunky name “United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003.” The law provides billions of dollars for non-governmental agencies to fund efforts to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide. However, the law required funding recipients to agree explicitly in their awarding documents that they oppose prostitution. That provision was added by Republican Representative Chris Smith, reportedly as a sop to conservative ideology that had no practical effect on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The law also requires the U.S. President, as part of the overall prevention strategy, to “promote abstinence” and “encourage monogamy and faithfulness.”

Second Amendment and other constitutional rights are not absolute

Messaging Matters2

In the current gun violence debate, the National Rifle Association and its supporters often cite the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for their opposition to sensible gun safety laws. However, as guest poster Kenny Pick recently wrote here, such a view falsely turns the Second Amendment into a “super right.” In fact, most individual rights under the U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment and other amendments in the Bill of Rights, are not so absolute; rather, they are subject to reasonable limits. Here is a brief and partial list of examples:

Rush Limbaugh Learns that Free Speech is a Two-Way Street

http://youtu.be/ODI-NALkI4c

Rush Limbaugh‘s radio attack on Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke for her advocacy of contraception insurance coverage has been met with an unprecedented response. As a result, at least 29 sponsors and 2 radio stations reportedly have abandoned Limbaugh thus far. However, some are saying that Rush should be left alone because he has “the right to free speech.” Those folks are confused.