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Show ALL Forums  > California  > Free Speech 1st Amendment      Home login  
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 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 2
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Free Speech 1st Amendment Page 1 of 21    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)

Until ALL lobbyists are banned we will never have an unbiased Democratic society.


That's interesting logic. Campaign contributions are a form of political speech protected by the 1st Amendment.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 4
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 9/24/2009 6:28:02 PM

If I remember right, the comment was made as an ASIDE by the Judge, the stenographer took it down as law.


Well, not quite. See Buckley v. Valeo (1976) (holding that cash contributions to political campaigns are "speech" within meaning of 1st Amendment); McConnell v. F.E.C. (2003) (upholding, 5-4, McCain-Feingold Act as valid restriction of campaign contributions); F.E.C v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2007) (invalidating part of McCain-Feingold prohibiting unions and corporations from broadcasting ads using candidates' names in weeks just before election, as violation of 1st Am.).
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 6
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Posted: 9/25/2009 1:47:02 AM

Really? By your logic, extortion and bribery is also free speech.


I'm sure that makes sense to someone. What you call my logic is no such thing--and you know it. I stated the law, and I cited the decisions. Read them yourself. If you don't like what they say, it's not my problem.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 8
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 9/26/2009 5:17:06 PM

Corporations are not citizens within the meaning of that clause.


The 14th Am. Pr&I clause doesn't really have any meaning. It had only been around five years, when in 1873 the Court killed it off--for good, apparently--in The Slaughter-House Cases.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 9
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 9/27/2009 2:07:56 PM
I know The Anointed One knows what is best in all things. I think it is wonderful our schoolteachers are starting children on the correct path by teaching them it's their duty to serve him.

I'm also sure that the people of The Planet are all one, and if we treat others nicely, we can be sure they will always treat us the same way. There is never any excuse for violence. Hurting terrorists just because they hurt us just brings us down to their level. Can't we all just get along?
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 10
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Posted: 10/1/2009 4:23:55 PM
Sorry, but perpetrating fraud isn't protected under the First Amendment, and that's what those mailings were all about. Lying under color of financial authority to pursue political ends is not "freedom of speech."
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 11
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Posted: 10/1/2009 6:34:59 PM

Lying under color of financial authority to pursue political ends is not "freedom of speech."


And we have what evidence that what was mailed was lies? Your opinion? I don't know what you mean by "financial authority," or what it means to act "under color of" it. Sounds like you just don't agree with what the company said, so you want someone--I'm not sure who--to prevent them from saying it. Does that same rule apply to Mr. Obama's many untruthful statements, too? Or are those OK because you agree with the end they're meant to achieve?
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 12
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Posted: 10/1/2009 9:00:44 PM
Want to end this once and for all? Cite one court case which protects a company's right to send out a letter saying that their coverage might be cut if a certain bill gets passed or a certain official gets elected. You won't find one, because there isn't. That practice has been banned since the 1800s, and let me explain why:

During the 19th century, many towns were completely dependent on a railroad line for their way of life. Take Abilene, Kansas, for instance. Without the railroads, cattle drives coming up from Texas wouldn't go near the town. It was a common practice that every time someone was up for election that railroad company would send letters to everyone in the town that said, "We are sorry to inform you, but if ______ is elected _____, we will no longer be able to afford send trains to Abilene anymore."

This practice caused mass panic, and it's been illegal for over a century. The idea that Obama personally had something to do with squelshing a letter that would most likely be squelshed anyway is kind of silly. Don't get me wrong, perhaps he did get it squelshed, but this sort of practice has no place in a free and democratic society.

 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 13
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/1/2009 10:00:06 PM
Well, not that I'm saying it's right or wrong, but worker's unions aren't health-care corporations, and they're not bound to the same laws. I should know; I was in a union myself once, and I had to put up with the political jibber-jabber at meetings. I'm also not saying that it's right or wrong for Humana's letter to be squelshed.

The point of the matter is that Humana did is NOT covered by the First Amendment, and people running around saying that it is simply don't know what they're talking about. There is literally a century of case history going against Humana and absolutely NO evidence that Obama had anything to do with it.

The reason for laws like this is that you can't let the corporations have too much power.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 14
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Posted: 10/1/2009 10:41:39 PM

You won't find one, because there isn't.


You say this "has been banned." I assume that must be the result of a decision of the Supreme Court of the U.S. If so, I wouldn't expect to find any cases upholding a company's right to do what you describe. But I *would* expect to find the Court's decision against the railroad, or whatever the company was. If you know the citation, I'd like to read it, because I'm not familiar with the rule you're stating.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 15
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Posted: 10/1/2009 11:15:46 PM

The reason for laws like this is that you can't let the corporations have too much power.


Corporations law is almost entirely state law, rather than federal. And it doesn't usually raise constitutional questions. If there's a big 1st Am. commercial speech issue involving corporations, I'm not recalling it. Land-use law, for sure--sign and billboard regulations, size and location requirements for political posters in your yard, etc.

I don't want to misunderstand--I thought you were referring to a Supreme Court decisions. If the authority for what you're saying is a 100-year-old federal law instead, there must be all sorts of court decisions that have interpreted it. I'm a little surprised, because although commercial free speech, and even political free speech, are not absolute rights, it's usually agreed that the Court's always enforced the guarantees in the 1st Amendment more strictly than any others in the Constitution.
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 16
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Posted: 10/1/2009 11:44:05 PM
No, what Humana did wasn't covered under any Supreme Court case I've ever heard of. Ugh. I am SO pissed that I didn't buy the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court this weekend at a used bookstore. Anyway, the purpose of Humana's mailers was to scare seniors into opposing health care reform, because Humana's head is on the chopping block if it passes.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 17
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Posted: 10/2/2009 1:05:25 AM

No, what Humana did wasn't covered under any Supreme Court case I've ever heard of.


But you said what Humana did is a practice that "has been banned since the 1800's." Banned by what authority, if not a court decision?

I'm not concerned with your personal opinion of what Humana did. You claimed that something--I'm still trying to understand what--"banned" what it did. And banned it in spite of the First Amendment's strong protection of political and even commercial speech.
What evidence do you have to support that claim?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 18
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Posted: 10/2/2009 1:24:53 AM
^^^^^jd, What I think you're missing is that what Humana really did wrong was to do something the poster doesn't like. He is the source and font from which all truth springs, as he was quick to make sure gc knew.

And, as with Our Leader, any disagreement with The Word, as they've received it--apparently straight from on high--is heresy and cannot be tolerated. The blackshirts and brownshirts in Italy and Germany had just about the same notion of free speech: I'm free to speak, but no one else is.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 19
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Posted: 10/2/2009 1:35:22 PM
^^^^^^The poster's earlier statement revealed something telling. He challenged anyone to point to a single court decision authorizing a company to do what Humana had. But that's putting the cart before the horse!

The 1st Amendment forbids ANY law that abridges the freedom of speech. The Court's interpreted that to allow state and federal laws to limit freedom of speech in certain carefully defined ways. It's hard to imagine a much more un-American notion than that speech is prohibited unless some court has first authorized it.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 20
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Posted: 10/2/2009 1:54:37 PM
Jefferson once said something that's always impressed me as the right attitude to take: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal war on tyranny over the mind of man." I feel the same way, and that's why I see most of the people in the current administration as threats to this country that need to be resisted.
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 21
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Posted: 10/2/2009 4:01:35 PM

Elmenreich... You are basing your whole argument on the fact that you believe Humana is lying and trying to scare seniors.
No, I'm not. If you can't take the time to read everything I've written, I won't take time to read anything further that you write.
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 22
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Posted: 10/2/2009 4:03:11 PM

The 1st Amendment forbids ANY law that abridges the freedom of speech.
That is stupid and wrong.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 23
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Posted: 10/2/2009 6:31:56 PM

That is stupid and wrong.


That's a little conclusory, isn't it, counsel? The basis for my statement that "the 1st Amendment forbids ANY law that abridges the freedom of speech" is this passage:

"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." U.S.C. Am. I.

and, of course, the fact the Court, under the "doctrine of incorporation," has applied the Free Speech Clause to the states through the 14th Amendment. Therefore, not only Congress, but also all fifty states "shall make no law . . . ."

As I said, that doesn't mean speech is an absolute freedom. Through its decisions, the Court's interpreted the Free Speech Clause to allow laws that impose certain carefully defined restrictions on various forms of speech. That's why I asked what the legal basis was for the assertion about Humana.

My goodness, I thought most Americans *liked* free speech. Are there any other parts of the Constitution that particularly vex you?
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 24
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Posted: 10/2/2009 9:50:02 PM
Anyway, I looked it up, and I was a little off on the main reason why the Federal government has the right to squelsh those mailers. Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) gives the Federal and State governments the right to withhold funds from health companies that don't do as they're told. Basically, Humana could probably continue sending out those mailers, but then the Federal government would have the right to stop sending Medicare money through Humana.

Surprisingly enough, it was a the uber-conservative Rehnquist Supreme Court which limited the Freedom of Speech of medical facilities that get public funds. Basically, if you want publicly-funded medical facilities to have total Freedom of Speech, they'd be able to counsel pregnant woman on the best way to get abortions and that sort of fun stuff.

So, in this case, the government does have the right to abridge Freedom of Speech, and the Republicans gave the government that right. See, you stupid Republicans? This is your fault. :tounge:
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 26
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/3/2009 12:33:49 AM

Frankly the 1st Amendment is there to protect ALL speech not PC speech. Libs used to say "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it" What happened to those Dems?


They got tired of being called traitors.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 27
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Posted: 10/3/2009 12:37:49 AM

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) gives the Federal and State governments the right to withhold funds from health companies that don't do as they're told. Basically, Humana could probably continue sending out those mailers, but then the Federal government would have the right to stop sending Medicare money through Humana.


I don't know what you pulled that assertion out of, but the Court didn't say in Webster that the government has "the right to withhold funds from health companies that don't do as they're told." Or anything even remotely like that. Webster's not even a 1st Amendment case--the main issue was whether a Missouri abortion statute that didn't follow Roe's strict trimester scheme was constitutional.

The Court in Webster never evaluated the section of the Missouri law that covered public funding and the right to counsel women to have abortions, because the appellants decided to drop their claim regarding that section. "The controversy over § 188.205's prohibition on the use of public funds to encourage or counsel a woman to have a nontherapeutic abortion is moot . . . [S]ince appellees no longer seek equitable relief on their § 188.205 claim, the Court of Appeals is directed to vacate the District Court's judgment with instructions to dismiss the relevant part of the complaint with prejudice." See Webster at 511-513.

It seems you're more than a "little off." And even if there were a decision that seemed to be on point, it wouldn't make it reasonable to state flatly, as you do, that it would give the government "the right to stop sending Medicare money through Humana." That's not legal analysis--it's just your thoroughly uninformed guess.
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 28
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Posted: 10/3/2009 12:53:57 PM
You're looking at the small picture. This seems to be a reoccurring theme. Webster affirmed the State's right to withhold money, and that's why the HHS is allowed to do this.

Quite frankly, if what the HHS did was illegal, why doesn't Humana just sue them? Answer this question, or else you basically have no case.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 29
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Posted: 10/3/2009 2:56:16 PM

Webster affirmed the State's right to withhold money, and that's why the HHS is allowed to do this.


Why don't you show us where the Court says that in Webster? Could it be that you can't, because it said nothing like that? I already quoted the Court's finding that because the plaintiffs had dropped their 1st Amendment claim about section 188.205, the issue was moot. As the Court mentioned, that means there was no longer any "case or controversy" before it.

The original post was about Senator Baucus' statement that his Finance Committee planned to investigate a letter mailed by Humana that claimed legislation Baucus had introduced would be harmful. The article the poster cited mentioned efforts by the Medicaid/Medicare division of HHS to "crack down" on Humana, which Baucus approved of, but which Senator Mc Connell said were an improper attempt to stifle freedom of speech for political reasons.

The senators only made those statements Sept. 21 and 22. The article didn't specify what HHS was doing. Even assuming Humana's done nothing so far, and assuming also that HHS has waived sovereign immunity so that a company like Humana could sue it, to claim that proves the outcome of any potential 1st Amendment issues is laughable. If the failure of every plaintiff to file a suit within a week or so after something had damaged them proved they had no legal claims, we wouldn't need courts at all.

You're making things up as you go, and you know it. If you want to have silly arguments for their own sake, I'll let you do that with someone else.
 Elmenreich
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 30
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Posted: 10/4/2009 7:21:34 PM
Um, the original statute called for the withholding of funding to clinics that counsel women on abortion when her life wasn't in danger, remember?
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