Samuel Alito on the first ammendment
The NY Times had an article yesterday on Samuel Alito and his libertarian views in regards to the first ammendment. I am a strong first ammendment believer. Some political views are unpopular but people have a right to them and I believe strongly in this. I also believe strongly that its dangerous if we allow our government or institutions to say what is right or wrong speech.
Alito's view is a little more complex than the NY Times headline. Go and read the entire article.
Hat tip- Poliblog
Open Post- Don Surber, Wizbang
Judge Sameul Alito has vigorously defended freedom of expression, adopting a stance that places him among a group of conservative judges with a libertarian streak.
Judge Alito's broad reading of the freedom of speech and press clauses of the First Amendment stands in contrast with his narrower interpretation of other constitutional rights, including the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and the Sixth Amendment's guarantees of fair trial rights for criminal defendants.
Judge Alito, President Bush's choice for the Supreme Court, has found First Amendment violations in a school board's antiharassment policy, in a ban on liquor advertisements in a college newspaper and in the removal of a boy's drawing of Jesus from a schoolhouse wall.
But this willingness to protect expression has not extended to cases involving prisoners and government employees. In a dissent this year, for instance, he argued that officials in a maximum security prison were free to punish inmates by barring their access to newspapers and magazines.
"Judge Alito is part of the new breed of conservative libertarian jurists who are sensitive to safeguarding our free-speech freedoms," said Ronald K. L. Collins, a scholar at the First Amendment Center, a research and advocacy group in Virginia. "They're particularly sensitive when it comes to issues involving speech and commerce and political orthodoxy."
These judges tend to be very protective of speech rights when they involve the marketplace of ideas, or the core of the First Amendment, said Jesse H. Choper, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Among the generally conservative judges who share Judge Alito's approach to free expression are Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Judge Alex Kozinski on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco. Justice Antonin Scalia may also be considered in this group; his vote was critical in a 1989 case holding that burning the American flag was a form of protected political speech.
In Judge Alito's 15 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, his most expansive meditation on the contours of the First Amendment's speech protections came in a 2001 case challenging a code of conduct.