Archive for the 'Freedom of Speech' Category

The Lamp of Experience: Constitutional Amendments Work

Posted by on Mar 09 2014 | Constitutional Amendments, Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Constitutional Theory, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, History, Natelson Rob', Rob Natelson, U.S. Constitution

(This article originally appeared in the American Thinker.)

Opponents of a Convention of States long argued that there was an unacceptable risk a convention might do too much. It now appears they were mistaken. So they increasingly argue that amendments cannot do enough.

The “too much” contention was first promulgated in modern times by apologists for the liberal, ultra-activist Earl Warren/Warren Burger Supreme Court. Specifically, these apologists feared a convention might propose amendments to reverse their favorite judicial decisions. Their tactic was to claim that an amendments convention, even if legally limited, could turn into a “con-con” that disregarded its limits, repealed the Bill of Rights, and restored slavery. (Yes, some of them really said that.)

The liberals who promoted this scenario must have been amused when some deeply conservative groups fell into the trap and began using the same argument to kill conservative amendments.

The “too much” line, however, has been losing its persuasiveness. New research shows it to be legally and historically weak, and Americans increasingly are pondering the very real dangers of not resorting to the convention process the Founders bequeathed to us.

Hence the shift to the “too little” argument. Its gist is that amendments would accomplish nothing because federal officials would violate amendments as readily as they violate the original Constitution.

Opponents will soon find their new position even less defensible than the old. This is because the contention that amendments are useless flatly contradicts over two centuries of American experience — experience that demonstrates that amendments work. In fact, amendments have had a major impact on American political life, mostly for good.

* * * *

The Framers inserted an amendment process into the Constitution to render the underlying system less fragile and more durable. They saw the amendment mechanism as a way to:

* correct drafting errors;
* resolve constitutional disputes, such as by reversing bad Supreme Court decisions;
* respond to changed conditions, and
* correct and forestall governmental abuse.

The Framers turned out to be correct, because in the intervening years we have adopted amendments for all four of those reasons. Today, nearly all of these amendments are accepted by the overwhelming majority of Americans, and all but very few remain in full effect. Possibly because ratification of a constitutional amendment is a powerful expression of popular political will, amendments have proved more durable than some parts of the original Constitution.

Following are some examples:

Correcting drafting errors

Although the Framers were very great people, they still were human, and they occasionally erred. Thus, they inserted in the Constitution qualifications for Senators, Representatives, and the President, but omitted any for Vice President. They also adopted a presidential/vice presidential election procedure that, while initially plausible, proved unacceptable in practice.

The founding generation proposed and ratified the Twelfth Amendment to correct those mistakes. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment addressed some other deficiencies in Article II, which deals with the presidency. (My reference to a particular amendment does not mean I agree with every provision in it.)

Both the Twelfth and Twenty-Fifth Amendments are in full effect today.

Resolving constitutional disputes and overruling the Supreme Court

The Framers wrote most of the Constitution in clear language, but they knew that, as with any legal document, there would be differences of interpretation. The amendment process was a way of resolving interpretative disputes.

The founding generation employed it for this purpose just seven years after the Constitution came into effect. In Chisholm v. Georgia, the Supreme Court misinterpreted the wording of Article III that defines the jurisdiction of the federal courts. The Eleventh Amendment reversed that decision.

In 1857, the Court issued Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which it erroneously interpreted the Constitution to deny citizenship to African Americans. The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment reversed that case.

In the 1970, the Court decided Oregon v. Mitchell, whose misinterpretation of the Constitution created a national election law mess. A year later, Americans cleaned up the mess by ratifying the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.

All these Amendments are in full effect today, and fully respected by the courts. Some argue, in fact, that the Supreme Court actually over-enforces the Eleventh Amendment — a contention with which I do not agree.

Responding to Changed Conditions

The Twentieth Amendment is the most obvious example of a response to changed conditions. Reflecting improvements in transportation since the Founding, it moved the inauguration of Congress and President from March to the January following election.

Other amendments as well were wholly or partially triggered by changed conditions. The Seventeenth Amendment, which transferred elections for Senators from the state legislatures to the people, is still controversial in some quarters. But it was adopted only after social changes had caused widespread breakdown in the prior election system. (That is why the state legislatures themselves sought the change.) With the partial exception of Mark Levin, few if any of its critics address the very real problems the Seventeenth Amendment was designed to solve.

Similarly, the Nineteenth Amendment, which assured women the vote in states not already granting it, was passed for reasons beyond simple fairness. When the Constitution was written, overwhelming domestic duties and very short female life expectancies effectively disqualified most women from politics. During the 1800s, medical and technological advances made possible by a vigorous market economy improved the position of women immeasurably and rendered their political participation far more feasible. Without these changes, I doubt the Nineteenth Amendment would have been adopted.

Needless to say, the Seventeenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Amendments all are in full effect many years after they were ratified.

Correcting and forestalling government abuse

Avoiding and correcting government abuse was a principal reason the Constitutional Convention unanimously inserted the state-driven convention procedure into Article V. Our failure to use that procedure helps explain why the earlier constitutional barriers against federal overreaching seem a little ragged. Before looking at the problems, however, let’s look at some successes:

* We adopted the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Twenty-Fourth Amendments to correct state abuses of power. All of these are in substantially full effect.

* In 1992, we ratified the Twenty-Seventh Amendment, 203 years after James Madison first proposed it. It limits congressional pay raises, although some would say not enough.

* In 1951, we adopted the Twenty-Second Amendment, limiting the President to two terms. Eleven Presidents later, it remains in full force, and few would contend it has not made a difference.

Now the problems: Because we have not used the convention process, the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights) remain almost the only amendments significantly limiting congressional overreaching. I suppose that if the Founders had listened to the “amendments won’t make any difference” crowd, they would not have adopted the Bill of Rights either. But I don’t know anyone today who seriously claims the Bill of Rights has made no difference.

In fact, the Bill of Rights continues to have a huge impact more than two centuries after adoption. The courts enforce, to at least some extent, all of the original ten except, arguably, the Ninth. Some, such as the First Amendment, have been “super enforced.” Others, such as the Second and Fourth are under relentless pressure, but remain far better than nothing at all.

What about the Ninth and Tenth? They are certainly under-enforced today, but we must remember that they enjoyed full effect for nearly 150 years. No reasonable person would classify 150 years of effect as anything but a stellar political success. Even today, the Tenth retains some of its power, as Congress learned when the Supreme Court upended its effort to corral all the states into the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience,” Patrick Henry said. “I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.”

In this case, the lamp of experience sheds light unmistakably bright and clear: Constitutional amendments work.

no comments for now

Monday Links

Posted by on Oct 01 2012 | education, energy, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Op-eds, PPC, U.S. Constitution

It’s Monday. Booooooo. No one likes Mondays. But allow me to help you cope with today.

If you happen to be male and reading this, then I’m certain you did not attend our women-only renewable energy debate we had this past Wednesday. I snuck in to watch for a few minutes here and there and let me tell you, it was fantastic. (It was even better than I thought after I listened to the full debate audio). We had an all-star panel for the debate, highlighted by none other than Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center and Reason Magazine. If you were unable to attend the debate either because of your gender or your day job, check out the full debate audio here.

Secondly, I’d like to point you towards a couple of articles from I.I. authors that deserve a look. First, Ben DeGrow of the Education Policy Center saw a sneak preview of Hollywood’s take on the school choice/reform movement called “Won’t Back Down.” Ben admits in his review for Ed New Colorado that even though Won’t Back Down is no Citizen Kane, it still gets across a vital message: School reform will not wait!

Finally, frequent I.I. guest author Ari Armstrong published an op-ed in yesterday’s Denver Post arguing against Amendment 65, which appears on this November’s ballot and would demand that Colorado legislators get on board with more onerous and restrictive campaign finance reform. In other words, to be FOR Amendment 65, one must be against free speech. Ari is fervently pro-First Amendment rights however, and thus, makes a good case against Amendment 65. You might recall that our Research Director Dave Kopel is also a big fan of free speech rights and recently appeared on KNUS to debate Ken Gordon on the issue. You can hear that debate audio here.

no comments for now

Brown v. EMA casts doubt on the “weapons effect” justification for gun control

Posted by on Jun 27 2011 | Child Protection, Constitutional Law, Expert Evidence, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, guns, supreme court

(David Kopel)

The State’s evidence is not compelling. California relies primarily on the research of Dr. Craig Anderson and a few other research psychologists whose studies purport toshow a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children. These studies have been rejected by every court to consider them,6 and with good reason: They do not prove that violent video
6See Video Software Dealers Assn. v. Schwarzenegger, 556 F. 3d 950, 963–964 (CA9 2009); Interactive Digital Software Assn. v. St. Louis County, 329 F. 3d 954 (CA8 2003); American Amusement Machine Assn.
v. Kendrick, 244 F. 3d 572, 578–579 (CA7 2001); Entertainment Soft-ware Assn. v. Foti, 451 F. Supp. 2d 823, 832–833 (MD La. 2006); Enter-tainment Software Assn. v. Hatch, 443 F. Supp. 2d 1065, 1070 (Minn. 2006), aff ’d, 519 F. 3d 768 (CA8 2008); Entertainment Software Assn. v. Granholm, 426 F. Supp. 2d 646, 653 (ED Mich. 2006); Entertainment Software Assn. v. Blagojevich, 404 F. Supp. 2d 1051, 1063 (ND Ill. 2005), aff ’d, 469 F. 3d 641 (CA7 2006).
games cause minors to act aggressively (which would at least be a beginning). Instead, “[n]early all of the researchis based on correlation, not evidence of causation, and most of the studies suffer from significant, admitted flaws in methodology.” Video Software Dealers Assn. 556 F. 3d, at 964. They show at best some correlation between expo-sure to violent entertainment and minuscule real-world effects, such as children’s feeling more aggressive or mak-ing louder noises in the few minutes after playing a vio-lent game than after playing a nonviolent game.7
—————— 7One study, for example, found that children who had just finishedplaying violent video games were more likely to fill in the blank letter in “explo_e” with a “d” (so that it reads “explode”) than with an “r” (“explore”). App. 496, 506 (internal quotation marks omitted). The prevention of this phenomenon, which might have been anticipated with common sense, is not a compelling state interest. 8JUSTICE ALITO is mistaken in thinking that we fail to
thatviolent video games produce some effect on children’s feelings of aggression, those effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media.In his testimony in a similar lawsuit, Dr. Anderson admit-ted that the “effect sizes” of children’s exposure to violent video games are “about the same” as that produced bytheir exposure to violence on television. App. 1263. And he admits that the same effects have been found when children watch cartoons starring Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner, id., at 1304, or when they play video games like Sonic the Hedgehog that are rated “E” (appropriate for all ages), id., at 1270, or even when they “vie[w] a picture of a gun,” id., at 1315–1316.8

Today’s Supreme Court decision in Brown v. EMA casts doubt on one of the shibboleths of gun prohibition.

Since the 1960s, some social scientists have been attempting to prove that guns cause violence. They do not make this claim in the straightforward sense that guns, as tools, can be used for malign purposes–for example, that a criminal with a gun might attempt a robbery which would he would consider too risky if he did not have a gun. Rather, the claim is that the presence of makes ordinary people more aggressive, anti-social and violent. Thus, as one study put it, “the trigger pulls the finger.” The hypothesis is known as “the weapons effect.”

Over the subsequent decades, researchers tried, with little success, to replicate experiments proving a weapons effect. To the limited extent that any effects could be found, they tended to be confined to subjects with no prior experience with firearms, and they never succeeded in finding any actual resulting violence. Instead, they found, at most, trivial results, such as how some subjects reacted to various words after being prompted with gun imagery.

Among modern scholars, one of the best-known advocates for the weapons effect is Dr. Craig A. Anderson,  Distinguished Professor & Director, Center for the Study of Violence, at Iowa State University. See C.A. Anderson, A.J. Benjamin,  & B.D. Bartholow, Does the gun pull the trigger? Automatic priming effects of weapon pictures and weapon names, 9 Psychological Science 308 (1998) (summarizing prior literature, arguing for a weapons effect, and reporting a new study involving word responses).

My Independence Institute colleagues Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen, in an article scrutinizing the weapons effect literature, addressed the Anderson study:

Stimuli were presented to the subject on a computer screen in the form of “prime” words, and “target” words which were categorized as either “aggressive” or “non-aggressive.” Two categories of prime words were used: weapon words (shotgun, machete, fist, bullet, dagger, and grenade), and animal words (rabbit, bug, dog, bird, butterfly, and fish).

For the experimental procedure, a prime word was presented to each subject for 1.25 seconds, followed by a blank screen of 0.5 seconds duration. Then, a target word was presented. The subject’s task was to recite the target word as quickly as possible. The computer was equipped with a microphone to measure the time between the presentation of the target word and the first sound made by the subject.

In this part of the study, the researchers found that, on animal-primed trials, subjects were 0.005 seconds slower at naming aggressive target words than at naming non-aggressive words. For weapon-primed trials, however, subjects named aggressive target words 0.009 seconds faster than they named non-aggressive words. The authors claimed that these results provided “clear support for the priming interpretation of the weapons effect,” i.e. that “the mere cognitive identification of a weapon increases the accessibility of aggression-related concepts in semantic memory.”

In the second experiment. . . the prime stimuli consisted of black-and-white line drawings of weapons (guns, swords, and clubs—3 different pictures for each category, for a total of 9 weapons) and of plants (fruits, trees, and flowers, also 3 different pictures for each category). The prime stimulus was presented as in the previous experiment, and the subject was instructed to call out the category as quickly as possible. Again, a blank screen appeared for 0.5 seconds. Then the target word was presented and remained visible on the screen until the subject called it out.

The researchers found that after exposure to plant pictures subjects were 0.005 seconds faster at naming aggressive target words compared to non-aggressive words. However, after exposure to weapon pictures, subject reaction time decreased, and subjects were 0.011 seconds faster at naming aggressive target words compared to non-aggressive words. . . .

The authors concluded: “These two experiments demonstrate that simply identifying weapons increases the accessibility of aggressive thoughts . . . that thinking about weapons increases accessibility of aggressive concepts in general….Does the gun pull the trigger? Extant research suggests that it does. Our research demonstrates one way that exposure to weapons might increase aggressive behavior—by increasing the accessibility of aggressive thoughts.”

But did the authors really demonstrate what they claimed?

Insomuch as “gun” might well be associated with “shoot” or “murder,” when it comes to the non-weapon primes they selected, there is no such logical link. For example, while butterfly was used as a prime word, the words “flutter,” “fly,” and “cocoon” were nowhere to be found. If the idea was to explore whether a certain word would trigger a class of words, such as “gun” triggering the entire class of aggressive words, why did not the authors compare this effect with similar effects for animal primes? The word “rabbit” is likely to trigger “carrot,” “ears,” “chew,” and “hop,” but that was not tested. In addition, potentially threatening primes like “lion,” “shark,” or “rattlesnake” should have been used to determine whether these would have elicited the same aggressive tendencies.

Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen, Trigger-Happy: Re-thinking the “Weapons Effect”, 14 Journal on Firearms & Public Policy 89 (2002).

As it turns out, very similar research by Dr. Anderson played a major role in today’s Brown v. EMA decision, and the majority sharply rejected the utility of Dr. Anderson’s experiments. According to the majority opinion:

The State’s evidence is not compelling. California relies primarily on the research of Dr. Craig Anderson and a few other research psychologists whose studies purport toshow a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children. These studies have been rejected by every court to consider them,6 [FN 6 lists 3 Circuit and 4 District Court decisions] and with good reason: They do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively (which would at least be a beginning). Instead, “[n]early all of the research is based on correlation, not evidence of causation, and most of the studies suffer from significant, admitted flaws in methodology.” Video Software Dealers Assn. 556 F. 3d, at 964. They show at best some correlation between exposure to violent entertainment and minuscule real-world effects, such as children’s feeling more aggressive or making louder noises in the few minutes after playing a violent game than after playing a nonviolent game.7

[Note  7.] One study, for example, found that children who had just finished playing violent video games were more likely to fill in the blank letter in “explo_e” with a “d” (so that it reads “explode”) than with an “r” (“explore”). App. 496, 506 (internal quotation marks omitted). The prevention of this phenomenon, which might have been anticipated with common sense, is not a compelling state interest.

. . . those effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media.In his testimony in a similar lawsuit, Dr. Anderson admitted that the “effect sizes” of children’s exposure to violent video games are “about the same” as that produced by their exposure to violence on television. App. 1263. And he admits that the same effects have been found when children watch cartoons starring Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner, id., at 1304, or when they play video games like Sonic the Hedgehog that are rated “E” (appropriate for all ages), id., at 1270, or even when they “vie[w] a picture of a gun,” id., at 1315–1316.

Thus, EMA  v. Brown rejects the “violent video game effect” studies for failing to demonstrate a compelling state interest. Indeed, EMA suggests that the studies do not even rise to the level of a trivial state interest. Quite significantly, for Second Amendment purposes, the very similar “weapons effect” hypothesis likewise is presented as something which is equally non-compelling, and no more than trivial.

The studies on video games have led, at worst, to some minors being unconstitutionally deprived of video games. In contrast, the “weapons effect” has become an article of faith among many anti-gun advocates, who are convinced that guns turn peaceable people into dangerous aggressors. Many anti-gun laws have been enacted in part because of this wrongful idea, and some of those laws have deprived the victims of violent crimes from having the means of effective self-defense. Indeed, continuing belief in the non-existent weapons effect is a major reason why nine states still deny law-abiding trained adults the constitutional right to carry licensed firearms for lawful protection in public places.

In examining the legislative history of anti-gun laws, courts will not have to look far to find the “weapons effect” as a crucial motive for many of the laws which aim to reduce gun ownership or accessibility by ordinary citizens (rather than merely keeping guns away from actually dangerous people). Legislative animus against the exercise of constitutional rights can be, in itself, an important reason to find a law unconstitutional. When that animus is based on the same type of social science which the Supreme Court has recently dismissed an unrelated to any serious state interest, then courts have especially good reason to recognize the unconstitutionality of the legislation.


Copyright © 2010
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. )

Comments Off for now

The Petition Process is Dead in Colorado

Posted by on Jan 25 2011 | ACORN, Amendment 63, Capitol Crazies, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Petition Rights, PPC, Purely Personal

This legislative session there will be yet another attempt to make it harder for citizens to change the Colorado State Constitution by raising the signature requirements to get something on the ballot. Why bother? The petition process in Colorado is already DEAD.

I mean it. Dead. Only a fool with a financial death-wish would try to get ANY initiative on a statewide ballot.

You see, the petition process frightens many in government because it gives us little people the ability to have a meaningful say in restricting government. When the legislature fails to address our needs, we can bypass them and bring an issue directly to our fellow Coloradans. Over the years we’ve been able to do this on a number of occasions. Take for example the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) or Term Limits. Without the petition process, we would not have TABOR in place now saving us from an even larger budget deficit. And legislators certainly would never have limited their own terms in office.

To be sure, the enemies of the petition process have come from both the left and the right. In 2009, the legislature passed the 24-page HB 1326, which placed several restrictions and regulations on the petition process that did not exist before – restrictions that would hamper ordinary citizens from petitioning their government by greatly raising the cost of petitioning. Of course this does not effect the rich, union backed forces nearly as much as the little guy (us).

Additionally, the law for the first time opened up the individual proponents of petitions to be liable for a much more loosely defined “fraud” or wrongdoing by nearly anyone working or volunteering on behalf of the amendment. And here is where the story really begins. With the proponent of a petition forced to personally pay the legal costs if someone else commits “fraud” – even when their amendment does not pass – who in their right mind would take on that risk? Answer: me.

Right now I am the target of a legal complaint and may be personally liable for so-called “fraud” committed by other people during the signature gathering process for Amendment 63, our Right to Health Care Choice initiative. As this MUST READ Citizens in Charge article outlines, I could be forced into personal bankruptcy because of this legal complaint. All because I wanted my fellow Coloradans to have a say in how our government was run.

Despite the initiative process still officially on the books, it has effectively been nullified by this 2009 legislation. I join Vince Carroll at the Denver Post in calling for cleaning up these rules.

My current situation now serves as a warning to those who might be considering running an initiative in the future. Now read this Citizens in Charge article.

5 comments for now

The Chinese dictatorship’s reaction to the Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by on Dec 09 2010 | "Bullying" Bans, Freedom of Speech

(David Kopel)

I’ll be discussing the topic on NRA News tonight, at 11:40 Eastern Time. The program will remain available for replay at the website for a few days thereafter.

In the meantime, please feel free to provide your own thoughts and analysis in the comments.


Copyright © 2010
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. )

Comments Off for now

The OAS Firearms Convention Is Incompatible with American Liberties

Posted by on May 19 2010 | Freedom of Speech, guns, International Law, Registration, Regulation

(David Kopel)

Just published on-line this morning is the above Backgrounder from the Heritage Foundation. My coauthors are Theodore Bromund  and Ray Walser, of Heritage. We argue that the CIFTA gun control convention, which was drafted by the Organization of American States, and which President Obama has urged the Senate to ratify, would harm First and Second Amendment rights. We suggest that the convention offers no practical benefits to the United States.


Copyright © 2010
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. )

Comments Off for now

Big First Amendment win in United States v. Stevens

Posted by on Apr 20 2010 | Freedom of Speech

(David Kopel)

At issue: a federal statute bans commercials depictions of “animal cruelty,” namely a depiction “in which a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed,” if killing or other action violates the law where the “the creation, sale, or possession takes place.” The statute would therefore outlaw the sale in the United States of a bullfighting video produced in Spain (since bullfighting is not legal in the United States), the sale of any hunting video or magazine in the District of Columbia (since no hunting is allowed in the District) or the sale of a crossbow hunting video or magazine in the many states which allow hunting with compound bows but not with crossbows.

There is an exception for a depiction “that has serious religious, political,scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value.”

An 8–1 decision by written by Chief Justice Roberts held the statute to violate the First Amendment. The decision declines the government’s invitation to create a balancing test in order to add a new exception to the First Amendment. The government’s promise to enforce the very overbroad statute narrowly could only rescue the statute if the statutory language were susceptible to a limiting construction.

Relying on amici briefs from two organizations to which I happily belong (the Professional Outdoor Media Association and the National Rifle Association), the Court details how the statute means that the sale of videos and magazines depicting lawful hunting in one state would be a felony if the video were sold in a state whose regulations did not allow that particular type of hunting.

The government argued that hunting videos and magazines are protected by the exception for depictions of “serious” educational, journalistic, etc. value. However, as the Court notes, relying on amici briefs from Safari Club International, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and the National Rifle Association, many hunting videos or magazines are not instructional, artistic, or historical, but are mainly for entertainment or recreation. The government urged that the exception be applied to any depiction which has at least “scant” value. However, the majority declines to read “serious” as equivalent to “scant.” Therefore, the statute outlaws most of the billion-dollar industry in hunting videos and magazines, at least if any of those videos are ever sold in the District of Columbia.

Accordingly, the statute is plainly invalid under well-established First Amendment doctrine.

Justice Alito, the lone dissenter, would read the statute to encompass only “animal cruelty” and would also presume that any depiction of lawful hunting has “serious” value. He notes “the predominant view in this country has long been that hunting serves many important values, and it is clear that Congress shares that view.” (Citing many presidential proclamations of National Hunting and Fishing Day, which was instituted at congressional request).

Further, writes Justice Alito, “it is widely thought that hunting has ‘scientific’ value in that it promotes conservation, ‘historical’ value in that it provides a link to past times when hunting played a critical role in daily life, and ‘educational’ value in that it furthers the understanding and appreciation of nature and our country’s past and instills valuable character traits. And if hunting itself is widely thought to serve these values, then it takes but a small additional step to conclude that depictions of hunting make a non-trivial contribution to the exchange of ideas.” Therefore, Justice Alito would construe the statute so narrowly that it reaches its intended targets (“crush” videos and dog-fighting videos) without causing extensive collateral damage.

Safari Club International and the Con-gressional Sportsmen’s Foundation,
National Rifle Association

Copyright © 2010
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. )

Comments Off for now

Clicky Web Analytics