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Feb 242014

TAHLEQUAH It contains just 45 words, arranged simply but eloquently, and its effects and influence have spanned centuries.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is actually the first of 10 articles in the Bill of Rights, which were demanded by Anti-Federalists those suspicious of a central government before dropping opposition to ratifying the document.

There was some concern in the 18th Century that a strong national government could be a threat to individual rights, said State Rep. Mike Brown. It was important then, as it is today, to prevent the kind of government tyranny seen in some other countries.

Though the amendment enumerates the rights most dearly held by most Americans, there has always been disagreement about their application, and sometimes, interpretation has led to different levels of government encroachment.

In 1798, less than 10 years after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the Federalist administration of John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, making criticism of government illegal, said Dr. Daniel Savage, chair of the Department of Geography, Political Science and Sociology at Northeastern State University. What does this tell you about their commitment to free speech? The law was aimed primarily at Jeffersonian Republican critics. Just because the First Amendment has been in force since 1791 does not mean that Americans have actually enjoyed freedom of religion, speech and press since then. There have been numerous exceptions.

Some regulations at the state, local and federal level can make petition difficult, and some such laws have been struck down by courts. The right to assemble is curbed on occasion; a recent example is protest zones.

The freedoms of speech and the press have felt restrictions during wartime. The motion picture industry introduced the Hayes Code during the 1930s because it feared government interference.

And many people today misunderstand the concept of freedom of the press, using it to demand publication or airing of whatever they say, regardless of whether it flouts the standards set for libel, defamation or privacy invasion.

That freedom applies to the press itself, not to the general public, who cannot force the media to act, or refrain from acting. The medias refusal to comply with someones demand to print or air is not censorship of that person; censorship occurs only if the government tries to interfere. Otherwise, declining to print or air material is merely a business decision.

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First Amendment covers basic rights



Brown v. EMA: Video Games and the First Amendment
Brown v. EMA: Video Games and the First Amendment The Cornell Law Federalist Society hosts Prof. William K. Ford, a Professor of Law at the John Marshall Law…

By: Interesting VIdeos on Youtube

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Brown v. EMA: Video Games and the First Amendment – Video



Chuck Woolery on Saving The Second Amendment – EXCELLENT!
Chuck Woolery discusses the state of gun control in America, and how we, as Americans, can protect the Second Amendment from an overreaching government.

By: The Federalist Papers Project

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Chuck Woolery on Saving The Second Amendment – EXCELLENT! – Video



Ted Nugent on Gun Control and the Second Amendment – AWESOME!
Amendment II A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed…

By: The Federalist Papers Project

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Ted Nugent on Gun Control and the Second Amendment – AWESOME! – Video



One of the BEST Second Amendment Speeches – Ever!
This veteran says it like it should be said! Let us know what you think of the speech by commenting below…

By: The Federalist Papers Project

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One of the BEST Second Amendment Speeches – Ever! – Video



Diane Feinstein: First Amendment is a Privilege, Not a Right
According to Diane Feinstein, the First Amendment is a privilege and not a right. The government should get to decide who is a legitimate journalist, and who…

By: The Federalist Papers Project

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Diane Feinstein: First Amendment is a Privilege, Not a Right – Video

Re “Read the Second Amendment” (Letters, Sept. 8): Letter writer Marc Grossman writes that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Second Amendment is all wrong and that the Second Amendment only allows the National Guard to have guns. If the reader would like to know how wrong that is, I have a hardbound copy of the Federalist Papers that can enlighten him.

Grossman says the court had it right in denying that the Second Amendment was an individual right. Did the court also have it right when it allowed slavery, or discrimination? In a time when we need unity, why promote this divisive and polarizing fight?

— George Alger, Placerville

Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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Supreme Court was right on Second Amendment

This week marks an interesting anniversary in U.S. historythe first known appearance of a huge loaf of bread at the White House, as a tribute to an equally giant, politically charged cheese wheel that symbolized the First Amendment.

The Cheshire Cheese Monument.

The bread was called the Mammoth Loaf, and it was made by the U.S. Navy for President Thomas Jefferson, to be eaten at a party in the Senate on March 26, 1804.

The bread was made to honor The Mammoth Cheesea 1,200-pound cheese wheel sent to Jefferson two years earlier as a political statement about religious freedom.

The Mammoth Cheese was conceived by Elder John Leland, a Jefferson supporter in the Federalist hotbed of Massachusetts. (Jefferson belonged to the rival Democratic-Republican party.)

Leland enlisted the ladies of his Baptist congregation to concoct the giant cheese. He reportedly barred milk from Federalist cows from being used in the cheesemaking process. Using milk from 900 Republican cows, they used a large cider press to form the cheese. Leland also carefully ensured that no slaves were used to make the cheese.

Lelands followers were Baptists in the decidedly non-Baptist New England, and the cheese was seen as a symbol of religious freedom and diversity. The cheese was engraved with the motto Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

The Federalist newspapers werent amused by the stunt, and they called it mammoth as an insult.

The controversy of the word mammoth was linked to Jefferson and Charles Willson Peale, the painter and naturalist who had displayed mammoth bones found in America at his Philadelphia museum. Jefferson contributed to Peales mammoth research, which the Federalists thought was a waste of funds. Jefferson used the mammoth as a symbol to counter the claims of the French scientist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, who said that Europe had bigger animals than the Americas and that therefore Europes residents were superior to Americans. The American people sided with Jefferson on the mammoth issue, and his supporters started using the word to describe various things related to Jefferson.

The Mammoth Loaf arrived in March 1804 on Capitol Hill as the Mammoth Cheese was two years old and past its prime.

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A tale of a giant cheese, a loaf of bread and the First Amendment



An Examination of Substantive Due Process and Judicial Activism 11-17-12
The Federalist Society closed its 2012 National Lawyers Convention with Showcase Panel IV. After it became clear at the oral argument the health care mandate law might be in trouble, President Obama suggested that the Justices would be engaging in judicial activism if they overturned the law. This is a particularly high profile example, but charges of judicial activism have been a key part of the discussion of the role of the courts for quite some time, in earlier times from people generally identified as conservatives, but more recently by liberals and progressives. Is there real meaning to the term? Would the term apply to overturning the Affordable Care Act? The Defense of Marriage Act? The three most common ways of understanding judicial activism are that it refers to when judges invalidate legislation, when they do so based on their individual preferences rather than the requirements of the Constitution, and when they overrule a prior precedent. This panel will consider these various possibilities as well as whether the term continues to be a useful one. –Prof. Steven G. Calabresi, Northwestern University School of Law and Chairman, The Federalist Society –Hon. Walter E. Dellinger, III, Partner, O'Melveny Myers LLP, Duke University School of Law and former Acting US Solicitor General –Prof. Nelson R. Lund, Patrick Henry Professor of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment, George Mason University School of Law –Mr. William H. “Chip” Mellor, President and …From:TheFederalistSocietyViews:3 0ratingsTime:01:29:59More inNews Politics

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An Examination of Substantive Due Process and Judicial Activism 11-17-12 – Video

By the time John Adams became president, Americans already had taken to noisy celebrations of Independence Day, of which he heartily approved.

“It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other,” he wrote to his beloved Abigail.

That tradition continues, of course, to the point that not only Independence Day, but its underlying ideals and the sacrifices that made it possible, might be taken for granted.

The Center for the American Dream at Xavier University recently conducted a survey, asking native-born Americans any 10 of a group of 99 questions on the civics portion of the naturalization test taken by immigrants.

Whereas 97.5 percent of immigrants achieved a passing grade of 60 percent, only 65 percent of citizens born here passed. The natives tended to do well on questions related to geography, national symbols and holidays, but poorly regarding principles and ideas.

About 96 percent knew that the Statue of Liberty is in New York Harbor, for example, and 100 percent knew that each star on the U.S. flag represents a state. About 99 percent knew that Barack Obama is president, but only 71 percent correctly identified Joe Biden as vice president.

Only 7 percent knew that the Constitution has 27 amendments; 8 percent could name any of the authors of the Federalist Papers: John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

There was widespread misunderstanding about the powers of the federal government and the states. In the survey only 43 percent correctly identified one power reserved for the federal government and just 23 percent correctly named one power held by the states.

The facts, principles and ideas addressed in the survey should be fundamental to every American’s education.

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty,” said Thomas Jefferson, John Adams’ rival, successor as president and, ultimately, friend by correspondence.

Read more:
Honor our country's legacy by learning more about it

By the time John Adams became president, Americans already had taken to noisy celebrations of Independence Day, of which he heartily approved.

“It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other,” he wrote to his beloved Abigail.

That tradition continues, of course, to the point that not only Independence Day, but its underlying ideals and the sacrifices that made it possible, might be taken for granted.

Immigrants learn civics

The Center for the American Dream at Xavier University recently conducted a survey, asking native-born Americans any 10 of a group of 99 questions on the civics portion of the naturalization test taken by immigrants.

Whereas 97.5 percent of immigrants achieved a passing grade of 60 percent, only 65 percent of citizens born here passed. If the passing grade had been 70, the Xavier researchers reported, only 50 percent of the natives would have passed.

The natives tended to do well on questions related to geography, national symbols and holidays, but poorly regarding principles and ideas.

About 96 percent knew that the Statue of Liberty is in New York Harbor, for example, and 100 percent knew that each star on the U.S. flag represents a state. About 99 percent knew that Barack Obama is president, but only 71 percent correctly identified Joe Biden as vice president; 38 percent could name the governor of their state or the speaker of the U.S. House, and only 37 percent could name one of their state’s two U.S. senators.

Only 7 percent knew that the Constitution has 27 amendments; 8 percent could name any of the authors of the Federalist Papers: John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

The right not to know

Excerpt from:
Give nation civics lesson for birthday Third of native-born citizens fail naturalization test

In this contentious election year, it seems almost quaint to hear someone insist that its socially incorrect and possibly illegal to criticize the president of the United States as opposed to a candidate for the office.

Quaint, except that: The misguided guidance came from a high school teacher in North Carolina; her statements were flawed on the socially incorrect point and plain wrong as to illegality; and her words were aimed at young people whose rights to freedom of speech dont disappear when they enter a classroom.

The exchange began as students discussed reports of schoolhouse bullying by both likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. The teacher went on a rant, saying Obama was off-limits. It was captured for all to experience on a YouTube video. A teachable moment, surely though more for the teacher than the students.

And perhaps for all of us. Lets go back to school ourselves for a moment and study those three points.

A social studies teacher ought to know more about the First Amendment, the five freedoms it protects, and how prized dissent, critical thinking and critical opinions should be in a representative democracy.

A teacher should know that divergent opinions yes, sometimes harshly stated or socially incorrect are more than merely tolerated or grudgingly permitted. Differing views, however freely expressed, are embedded in the political DNA of this nation.

We need look no further than the Federalist Papers or the Declaration of Independence, and the debates about both, for political expression that was politically incorrect to some in their day. But documents and debates helped our nations Founders coalesce around what came to be our core ideals.

It should be obvious that even as the First Amendment protects dissent, it just as certainly does not mandate respect. Nor does it require politeness, majority approval or impeccable logic.

Certainly the office of president, many would say, ought to deserve a measure of respect for the duties it entails and the responsibilities it imposes on any elected occupant. But reverence is nowhere required by law.

In fact, we did try once to make it a crime to publicly criticize the president (and Congress). That was in 1798, with the Alien and Sedition Acts, enacted a mere seven years after the Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791. Some newspaper editors were jailed for their dissenting views. But public reaction was so sour that the four laws making up the acts were repealed or allowed to expire in 1802.

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Gene Policinski | Teacher flunks First Amendment 101

Gene Policinski

Senior Vice President/Executive Director, First Amendment Center

Friday, May 25, 2012

In this contentious election year, it seems almost quaint to hear someone insist that its socially incorrect and possibly illegal to criticize the president of the United States as opposed to a candidate for the office.

Quaint, except that: (1) the misguided guidance came from a high school teacher in North Carolina; (2) her statements were flawed on the socially incorrect point and plain wrong as to illegality; and (3) her words were aimed at young people whose rights to freedom of speech dont disappear when they enter a classroom.

The exchange began as students discussed reports of schoolhouse bullying by both likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. The teacher went on a rant, saying Obama was off-limits. It was captured for all to experience on a YouTube video. A teachable moment, surely though more for the teacher than the students.

And perhaps for all of us. Lets go back to school ourselves for a moment and study those three points.

(1) A social studies teacher ought to know more about the First Amendment, the five freedoms it protects, and how prized dissent, critical thinking and critical opinions should be in a representative democracy.

A teacher should know that divergent opinions yes, sometimes harshly stated or socially incorrect are more than merely tolerated or grudgingly permitted. Differing views, however freely expressed, are embedded in the political DNA of this nation.

We need look no further than the Federalist Papers or the Declaration of Independence, and the debates about both, for political expression that was politically incorrect to some in their day. But documents and debates helped our nations Founders coalesce around what came to be our core ideals.

More:
Teacher flunks First Amendment 101 with classroom rant

By Jess Bravin

J. Harvie Wilkinson, the federal appeals judge from Charlottesville, Va., long has carried a contrarian streak.

The Reagan appointee disputed President George W. Bushs advice to take up cross-training, possibly costing him elevation to the Supreme Court.

And last month, receiving the Federalist Societys Lifetime Service Award at Georgetown University, Judge Wilkinson hinted that the high court he nearly joined should think twice before striking down the symbol of everything contemporary conservatives revilethe health care overhaul President Barack Obama signed into law over near-unanimous Republican opposition.

It may of course seem tempting to press the advantage when one seemingly has a judicial majority at hand. But this wheel shall turn, Judge Wilkinson said. Lasting credibility on an issue such as judicial restraint requires us to practice it, as the old saying goes, when the shoe pinches as well as when it comforts.

In a new book, Cosmic Constitutional Theory, Judge Wilkinson takes on jurists ranging from conservative Justice Antonin Scalia to liberal Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court for legal theorizing that ends up increasing the judiciarys power over democratic processes.

In his Federalist Society remarks, he focused on the constitutionalization of political dispute. Both left and right, he said, now were defined by competing strains of libertarianism.

Liberals have a vision whose central element often appears to be autonomy in lifestyle choices, he said, alluding to abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Conservatives have a view in which liberty seems to pertain primarily to economic and market freedoms, in areas such as environmental and commercial regulation.

With both sides seeing their positions as constitutional imperatives rather than political aims, he said, the new game is to press ones views into our fundamental charger such that our opponents are left with no quarter and are defeated not in the temporary sense of a political ebb and flow, but in the more absolute tones of constitutional condemnation.

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Judge Wilkinson Hints that Overturning Obamacare Would Be a Mistake


30-11-2011 15:08 The Cornell Law Federalist Society hosts Mr. Alan Gura, litigator of famous Supreme Court Second Amendment cases DC v. Heller and McDonald v.

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Mr. Alan Gura on Current Second Amendment Litigation – Video

You can look to the Declaration or the Federalist papers or the Constitution and make a principled argument that America is about individual liberty or limited government (which secures the former).

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Ordered Liberty: So, how's that "libertarians want to work with …

The Second Amendment is the coner stone of the rights of every person, the ablitity to defend themselves from an encouching Federalist power. Nothing more,nothing less. Hence why we (citizens) need machine guns and other weapons.

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Judge Breyer on history and the Second Amendment. – Conservative …

Martinez case, spoke to UI students on Wednesday about First Amendment rights and the importance of students uniting against universities when they infringe upon them. The event was cosponsored by the UI Federalist Society.” …

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ADF Alliance Alert » Schools criticized on First Amendment rights



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