Thursday, May 15, 2008

Talk about Turnabout

Recent Cooper City Commission meeting was a drama of Histroical portions. That is to say, we saw a turnabout for former Commission Elliott Kleiman, who now knows what it is to be denied the right to speak and be heard by the city commission. Subsequently, Elliot has become a strong advocate if not a harden dissent regarding the right to free speech. He feels so strongly about the First Amendment rights that he posted the following on his website. As he is absolutely right on
we feel it is only fitting that the First Amndment review he offerred should be shown.
(more on this subject will follow.)

The following is from the website -->Wex The Legal Information Institute (LII) is a research and electronic publishing activity of the Cornell Law School. Popular collections include: the U.S. Code, Supreme Court opinions, and Law about.

First amendmentent: an overview
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.


Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message.
Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

[Thank You Elliot]

As always your comments are welcomed. Remember, no foul language or salacious commentary.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was very distasteful and rude of the mayor to ask people to shut up. And,if I hear her say one more time: "I, Debby Eisinger, mayor of Cooper City along with the commissioners hereby award, so and so" I think I will throw up. She loves to hear herself say her own name! If she is going to continue to say her name when making awards she should at least be decent enough to name the Commissioners instead of referring to them as a group. Manners...do you remember what your mother taught you?

Anonymous said...

Elliot is a senile old hypocrite. He is back to attacking Comm. Sims

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey R. Stone is the Harry Kalven Jr. Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago

I like civility. I like it in my classroom, I like it in my law school. I like it in my university. Civility is good. It helps keep me on top. None­the­less, beware those who champion civility. You can usually assume that they have nothing to lose by maintaining the status quo. You can imagine them saying, “All is right with the world. I like things as they are. Let’s all be civil.”
Civility also may be good for less self-interested reasons. When the stakes in a dispute are low, incivility can cause more trouble than the dispute is worth. Incivility can bruise feelings, create enmity, and trigger vengeance. It can raise the stakes irrationally. Thus, a general presumption against incivility is sensible. It can be counterproductive and seriously destructive of the larger values of the community.
But what if the stakes are high? What about incivility then? Sometimes, incivility may be necessary to make a point effectively, to shake complacency, or to rouse “the people.” A burning flag, a well-aimed insult, a scream of protest may be just what the doctor ordered to stir people to anger and awaken their consciences. As the Supreme Court has said, our nation has made a “profound commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks.”