Kagan: Some speech can be ‘disappeared’–Wanted ‘societal costs’ counted against 1st Amendment rights

LAW OF THE LAND

Kagan: Some speech can be ‘disappeared’

Wanted ‘societal costs’ counted against 1st Amendment rights



Posted: May 10, 2010
9:10 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2010 WorldNetDaily


Elena Kagan

 

NEW YORK – President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, argued certain forms of speech that promote “racial or gender inequality” could be “disappeared.”

In her few academic papers, Kagan evidences strong beliefs for court intervention in speech, going so far as to posit First Amendment speech should be weighed against “societal costs.”

In her 1993 article “Regulation of Hate Speech and Pornography After R.A.V,” for the University of Chicago Law Review, Kagan writes:

“I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.”

In a 1996 paper, “Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine,” Kagan argued it may be proper to suppress speech because it is offensive to society or to the government.

 That paper asserted First Amendment doctrine is comprised of “motives and … actions infested with them” and she goes so far as to claim that “First Amendment law is best understood and most readily explained as a kind of motive-hunting.”

 Kagan’s name was also on a brief, United States V. Stevens, dug up by the Washington Examiner, stating: “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.”

 Kagan’s academic writings are sparse – just nine articles, two of which are book reviews.

 Her stand on free speech could become a hot button issue as the Senate convenes to confirm her. If approved, Kagan would give the high court three women justices for the first time. She would be the youngest member on the current court and the first justice in nearly four decades without any prior judicial experience.

WND has reported that in her undergraduate thesis at Princeton, Kagan lamented the decline of socialism in the country as “sad” for those who still hope to “change America.”

WND also reported Kagan has advocated for an increased presidential role in regulation, which, she conceded, would make such affairs more and more an extension of the president’s own policy and political agenda.

Kagan was nominated as U.S. solicitor general by Obama in January and confirmed by the Senate in March. She was a dean of Harvard Law School and previously served alongside Obama as a professor of law at the University of Chicago.

A former clerk to Abner Mikva at the D.C. federal appeals court, Kagan was heavily involved in promoting the health-care policy of the Clinton administration.

Obama praised her because while he said a “judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law,” she has evidenced a “keen understanding of the impact of the law on people’s lives.”

The president said she has a “firm grasp on the nexus and boundaries between our three branches of government.”

But more importantly, she understands, “behind the law there are stories, stories of people’s lives,” Obama said.

Kagan said the law is “endlessly interesting” and also “protects the most fundamental rights and freedoms.”

With research by Brenda J. Elliott.

Illegal Immigration = Human Smuggling/Trafficking (And That’s Just Fine For Progressives)

Set aside the national security issue for a minute, and consider the fact that illegal immigration into this nation is the life blood for human smugglers and traffickers.

This has been the case for a very long time and is the fault of both major parties. One example comes to us from USA Today back in 2005, but we can hardly believe this is an uncommon tale:

Now a cashier at a discount store, Molina was enticed to California by a woman back home in Mexico’s Puebla state who promised a job and free housing.

“I came to the United States with lots of dreams, but when I got here, my dreams were stolen,” said Molina, 33, who left three children behind in Mexico.

On Jan. 1, 2002, she worked her first shift at the dressmaker’s, sewing roughly 200 party dresses over 12 hours.

Later, the shifts stretched to 17 hours. Molina was locked into the shop at night — sleeping in a small storage room. The shop manager confiscated her identify documents.

Does anyone want to make the argument that the human smuggling business isn’t a violent enterprise, wherein people are raped, robbed, enslaved, and murdered?

This one is obvious kids. Even without having to worry about Hezbollah Jihadis coming across our unsecured border from Hugostan, the moral position here is to cut off the human smuggling routes because they devastate lives. Excusing this black market in human beings is disgusting.

America should have a generous immigration posture which encourages legal and documented entry for an abundance of people. Ironically, for some reason Progressives are very invested in maintaining the status quo when it comes to the human smuggling and trafficking industry on our Southern border.

Why are America’s Progressives not advocating on behalf of the welfare and safety of those who fall prey to the coyotes who traffic them over the border, by encouraging legal immigration and discouraging illegal immigration?

It isn’t as though they don’t know that there is a problem here. From President Obama’s own State Department:

Mexico is a large source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Groups considered most vulnerable to human trafficking in Mexico include women and children, indigenous persons, and undocumented migrants. A significant number of Mexican women, girls, and boys are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, lured by false job offers from poor rural regions to urban, border, and tourist areas. According to the government, more than 20,000 Mexican children are victims of sex trafficking every year, especially in tourist and border areas. The vast majority of foreign victims trafficked into the country for commercial sexual exploitation are from Central America, particularly Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; many transit Mexico en route to the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada and Western Europe.

For all of the Left’s characterization of Republicans as simply being the “party of no” while offering no credible alternative, it’s hard not to note the hypocrisy of their position on this issue.

In the absence of the Federal Government living up to its constitutional mandate to secure our borders, what do the Progressive-Democrats have to offer besides outrage and violence against the police?

Outrage: Obama Administration Targets Military for Pay Reductions

Outrage: Obama Administration Targets Military for Pay Reductions

May 11th, 2010

Newsmax

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIHz5tevLAw&feature=player_embedded

President Barack Obama — who came to power with the help of government employee unions across the nation and has lavished on them hundreds of billions in stimulus funds to keep them on federal, state and local payrolls with no strings attached — is moving to cut spending on salaries for military personnel.

This weekend The Washington Post headlined story, “Pentagon Asking Congress to Hold Back on Generous Increases in Troop Pay,” disclosed that the Obama administration is “pleading” with Congress to give military personnel a much smaller increase in pay than lawmakers have proposed.

The Pentagon contends that Congress simply has been too generous with troops during the past decade.

In fact, lawmakers have lavished so much money on troops, according to the Post, that service members are now better compensated than workers in the private sector with similar experience and education levels.

For example, the military brass claims that an average sergeant in the Army with four years of service and one dependent would receive $52,589 in annual compensation, according to the paper. This figure includes basic pay, housing, and subsistence allowances, as well as tax benefits.

Read More:

Kagan spit in the eye of America’s Armed Forces

Kagan spit in the eye of America’s Armed Forces

May 10th, 2010

Curt Levey, The Committee for Justice

Realizing that the retirement of Justice Stevens threatened to leave the Supreme Court without a military veteran, the Committee for Justice and others urged President Obama to replace Stevens with someone who has “the military experience necessary to understand and evaluate the government’s national security arguments.”  Most importantly, Justice Stevens himself talked recently about the importance of having “at least one person on the Court who had military experience.”  It was disappointing enough when the President showed no interest in this important concern.  But in selecting Elena Kagan, Obama has chosen to replace the Court’s last veteran with a nominee who essentially spit in the eye of America’s armed forces. Kagan banished military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus during a time of war, after pronouncing our armed forces guilty of “a moral injustice of the first order” for carrying out the Clinton Administration’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Millions of Americans will be outraged when they learn that Obama has picked a Supreme Court nominee with a demonstrated hostility to the very armed forces that make our freedom and constitutional rights possible. But that’s just one reason why President Obama is in for a more difficult confirmation fight than he bargained for when he chose Kagan.

Kagan starts out with more than thirty votes against her confirmation to the High Court.  Only seven Republican senators voted to confirm her as Solicitor General 14 months ago.  Now she faces the less deferential standard applied to lifetime Supreme Court appointments, an emboldened Republican Party, nervous red state Democratic senators, and a public concerned about the nation’s leftward drift.

Added to that mix will be scrutiny of Kagan’s out-of-the-mainstream views on gay rights, which are sure to generate controversy and vigorous opposition. Kagan’s argument that “don’t ask, don’t tell” justifies kicking the military off campus was unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court in 2006, placing her to the left of even the Court’s most liberal Justices on the issue of gay rights and the First Amendment.  Moreover, Kagan allowed her obviously strong feelings about gay rights to interfere with her duties as Solicitor General.  At least twice during the last year, in cases involving challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” Kagan failed to vigorously defend federal law despite her institutional obligation and promise to senators to do so.

At a time when the number one goal of the purveyors of judicial activism is the discovery of a right to gay marriage in the U.S. Constitution, the American people should be worried about this nominee’s views on gay rights.  However, in light of speculation and White House denials concerning Kagan’s sexual orientation, let me be clear that it is Kagan’s constitutional orientation and not her sexual orientation that is a legitimate cause for concern.

 

President Obama’s selection of Kagan is particularly disappointing given that the potential nominees he considered included at least two highly respected judges with a proven track record of moderation – Merrick Garland and Leah Ward Sears.   Conservatives made it clear that they would have a hard time opposing either nominee. While no nominee would silence all the President’s critics, Garland or Sears would have been widely seen as a bipartisan, non-ideological choice and either would likely have been confirmed by an overwhelming margin in the Senate.  Instead, the President chose to pick a fight with Republicans.

Perhaps picking a fight is part of the President’s reported strategy of using the confirmation debate to portray Democrats and the judges they chose as protectors of the “little guy.”  If so, Elena Kagan is a strange choice because her background is far more elitist than humble.  In addition to heading Harvard Law School, one of the most elite schools in the world, and serving as a Clinton Administration politico, Kagan was a paid member of a Goldman Sachs board during the height of Wall Street’s excesses.

 

It’s not clear how the White House can portray Elena Kagan as a woman of the people, but it is apparent that the Administration plans to portray Kagan as a moderate by calling the press’s attention to the concerns of some on the Left that she is not a genuine liberal.  It is hard to know if concerns expressed on the Left are borne of disingenuousness or just a propensity to worry.  However, the bottom line is that it’s downright silly to imagine that a fervent supporter of gay rights who thrived on the Harvard Law School faculty and in the Clinton Administration and embraces Justice Thurgood Marshall’s approach to judging will turn out to be a closet conservative once on the High Court.

Specifically, Kagan described Justice Marshall’s view of the judiciary – that its primary mission is to “show a special solicitude for the despised and disadvantaged” and “to safeguard the interests of people who had no other champion” (Kagan’s words) – as “a thing of glory.”  The Kagan / Marshall judicial philosophy sounds an awful lot like President Obama’s promise to appoint judges with “the empathy to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom [or] poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old,” a view of judging that even the very liberal Sonia Sotomayor rejected last summer.

Particularly because the American people are concerned like never before about unrestrained federal power, Elena Kagan’s view of a judge’s role is a real threat to her confirmation, as Judiciary Committee Ranking member Jeff Sessions has noted.  After all, a Supreme Court that is free to ignore the law in order to “show a special solicitude” for the interests of certain groups or to discover new rights in the Constitution – such as a right to gay marriage – is an insitution whose power is essentially limitless.

For example, when the constitutionality of ObamaCare comes before the Supreme Court, as is inevitable, will a Justice Kagan decide that “special solicitude” for the disadvantaged is served by okaying Obama’s federalization of health care or, instead, by protecting the rights of those who do not want to be coerced into purchasing health insurance? In other words, it is hard to see how the Kagan / Marshall standard puts any limits on a Justice’s indulgence of their personal policy preferences.

Kagan’s troubling statements about judicial philosophy will take on added significance given her thin record, which includes a puzzling dearth of academic scholarship after more than a decade in academia.  Her thin record also makes it vital that the White House release, in a timely manner, the documents Kagan produced while serving as President Clinton’s associate counsel and domestic policy advisor.

Finally, given her thin record, Kagan owes it to the American people to engage in an open and honest debate with senators about her judicial philosophy and other controversial views.  One hopes that Kagan agrees, given her assertion that “when the Senate ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues, the confirmation process takes on an air of vacuity and farce.”

Elena Kagan Resume (the cartoon)

You Want Us to Believe You Can’t You Use An iPod, Mr. President?

You Want Us to Believe You Can’t You Use An iPod, Mr. President?

May 11th, 2010

By James P. Pinkerton, FOXNews

 nice iPod, too bad you can’t use it

Remember that cranky old relative, or neighbor, who told you to stop listening to crazy stuff, or to stop wasting so much time on computers? Of course you remember such a person–because they were and are everywhere. On the other hand, no doubt you also had relatives, and neighbors, and teachers, who encouraged you to try new things and think new thoughts–and that’s good, because, let’s face it, new technology is the lifeblood of our economy, and better communication is the key to our functioning democracy.

But one way or the other, we all grew up with someone who said that everything new was a bad idea. Well, now, those cranky curmudgeons have been joined by the president of the United States. He, too, thinks that new technology is dangerous, especially if it means you will pay less attention to official news.

Yup, this is the same Barack Obama who, in 2008, was the high-tech candidate of cool, whose campaign built a list of 13 million people, many of whom were “Friends of Barack” on Facebook and other cutting-edge websites. Indeed, two years ago, it seemed that in Obama we would finally get a President who was truly in tune with the rhythms of social-networking, Tweeting, and videogaming.

Sigh. That hope was so 2008. On Sunday, in a commencement speech to Hampton University in Virginia, Obama vented his anti-technology spleen to a bunch of 20-somethings, who must have been amazed at what they were hearing from the presidential podium: “With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations–none of which I know how to work–information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.” The president really doesn’t know how to work an iPod? More than 250 million have been sold around the world since 2001–and the 44th president can’t figure out how to use one?

And this is supposed to be the government that is going to overhaul federal broadband rules, and supervise the digitalization of all our medical records? Other tech challenges loom ahead, too, from figuring out homeland security intelligence to capping leaking oil wells. Maybe now we know why those efforts aren’t going so well.

Read More:

The Taxman Cometh

The Taxman Cometh

May 11th, 2010

by  Grover Norquist, Human Events

President Obama is quoted in Jonathan Alter’s new book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, explaining how he lost control of the political momentum early in his administration, claiming that the unanimous Republican opposition in the House of Representatives to his stimulus spending bill “set the tenor for the whole year.”

“That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for Republicans.”

Because the Democrat party was alone in passing the stimulus and then the budget and then the healthcare spending bill, the Democrats alone own the increasingly unpopular issue of overspending.

Obama is determined not to repeat this mistake when he moves to massively raise taxes after the 2010 election.

He needs cover, a useful idiot, a high profile Republican who can stand with him in the Rose Garden when he endorses a VAT and higher income taxes and energy taxes. He wants Republican fingerprints on the murder weapon. The Democrats are stuck with their ownership of overspending. They want to share the blame for the taxes to pay to continue their overspending.

Read More:

Prez slinging mud to stoke his base

Prez slinging mud to stoke his base

May 11th, 2010

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN, New York Post

 Obama goes on the attack to fire up his base

He said he had the audacity to hope that America could rise above the politics of partisan polarization and embrace the sunlight paths of compromise and cooperation. But that was then and this is now.

Faced with falling polls and the chance of wholesale obliteration of his majorities in Congress, President Obama has plainly decided to pursue the very politics of division and partisan animus he once claimed to eschew.

To grasp the reasons behind Obama’s descent into the mud, start with some basic facts. In 2008, he won almost exactly the same percentage of the white vote that John Kerry won in 2004. The reasons he won and Kerry lost were all demographic:

* Obama generated an African-American turnout three points higher than Kerry, and almost all of those new voters supported him.

* Latino-American voters gave Obama a margin of 45 points while they supported Kerry by only 10 — and they constituted 1 percent more of the vote in ‘08 than in ‘04.

* Obama offset his losses among older white voters by increasing the turnout and the Democratic margin among whites under age 30.

Read More:

Here come Michelle Obama’s food marketing police

Michelle Malkin 

Here come Michelle Obama’s food marketing police

By Michelle Malkin  •  May 11, 2010 11:43 AM

Big Mommy Michelle Obama launched her childhood obesity in February by dragging her daughters’ BMIs into the public spotlight and carrying water for the SEIU’s legislative agenda. What’s next? Aggressive government pressure on, and policing of, food advertisers. Here they come:

The review by the Task Force on Childhood Obesity says one out of every three children is overweight or obese. The task force is a key part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to solve the problem of obesity within a generation. President Obama ordered the comprehensive review of the issue.

The report includes familiar themes, emphasizing the importance of improved nutrition and physical activity. It also calls for some new and dramatic controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods.

The task force wants junk food makers and marketers to go on what amounts to an advertising diet. It says media characters that are often popular with kids should only be used to promote healthy products. If voluntary efforts fail to limit marketing of less healthy products to young viewers, the task force suggests the FCC should consider new rules on commercials in children’s programming. It also challenges food retailers to stop using in-store displays to sell unhealthy food items to children.

The advisory panel proposes better food content labeling on products and vending machines. Restaurants and vending machine companies are urged to display calorie counts. The experts say the FDA and USDA should cooperate with the food and beverage industries to develop a standard system of nutrition labeling on the front of packages. The study also suggests that restaurants should re-evaluate portion sizes, improve kids’ menus and list more healthy food choices.

The White House study says school systems should consider efforts to promote healthier food in cafeterias. One idea: “swap deep fryers for salad bars.”

In a proposal that’s sure to be popular with children, the panel says schools should promote recess for younger students and “physical activity breaks” for upper level grades.

Because, you know, parents, teachers and administrators in their local school districts are too stupid and too uncaring to have figured this out already.

Kagan on Obama circa 2005

Kagan on Obama circa 2005

Greg Halvorson

By now, anyone with a working knowledge of narcissism recognizes the pathological condition of the president.  Even liberals concede that the man who sends thrills up Chris Mathews’ leg is self-absorbed. 

It therefore makes sense that Elena Kagan, his Solicitor General, is the SCOTUS nominee.  In 2005, at a Harvard luncheon, Ms. Kagan waxed eloquent on Obama.  She’d had the “privilege” of attending the DNC National Convention the year before and had experienced rapture:

He opened his mouth, said a few words, and the place was mesmerized.  You could hear a pin drop.  In part, that is because of all the rock star qualities he has: the eloquence, the magnetism, the great looks, the brilliance.  When he opens his mouth, you know what you’re getting. 

Kagan went on to call Obama a “hero,” concluding that he is “truly one of the great public servants of our time,” and gives many “hope” in the future of our country. 

Wow.  To label a man who voted “present” in the Illinois assembly and was a do-nothing Senator “great” is remarkable.  If Obama is “great,” may I ask, What is bad?  True, when he opens his mouth, we know what we’re getting, but based on the above, we know what we’re getting when Kagan opens hers.  A kool aid progressive who defines “hero” oddly, who believes rock stars “eloquent,” and who’s dipped her toe in the pool of Narcissus to admire Obama admiring himself. 

 

Greg Halvorson is the founder of Soldiers Without Boots, and hosts The Soldier One Radio Hour on Blog Talk Radio.

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