Obama asks Supreme Court to eviscerate First Amendment liberties...
(THE WASHINGTON TIMES) How far will President Obama go to control what we see and hear? How about removing First Amendment protections from FOX News or even from MSNBC, ABC, CNN, CBS or NBC. Maybe no free speech or freedom of the press for The Washington Times nor The Washington Post nor The New York Times or any other major media? Obama would justify it by claiming they are all tainted because they seek to profit from the news business.
Don’t laugh. This is the danger from the ground-breaking legal theory being argued by the Obama Administration to the Supreme Court. The threat is carefully-camouflaged within the legal briefs filed to defend Obamacare in the Hobby Lobby case. At the core of its argument that Hobby Lobby must provide abortion-inducing “birth control” to its employees, the government claims that for-profit corporations have no First Amendment rights. Only individuals do. Plus non-profits.
So Brian Williams would retain all his constitutional rights and so would George Stephanapolous, Rachel Maddow, Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Marc Levin, Bill O’Reilly and the other individuals who deliver news, talk radio and entertainment. But their employers presumably would lose those rights unless they restructured into noble non-profits. Then the small handful of pesky reporters would be no more troublesome than the ones from NPR.
Of course, none of them would have protection from being monitored by the NSA.
To be fair, the Solicitor-General’s pro-Obamacare briefs in Sebelius versus Hobby Lobby do not single-out First Amendment free speech and free press rights; but they don’t exclude them either when they argue that First Amendment freedom of religion rights should be denied to for-profit corporations. Yet since when do any Constitutional rights hinge on whether an entity is a for-profit corporation? It’s a novel argument and a chilling one. If the Supreme Court accepts the idea it would set legal dominoes falling as other rights toppled. Once it’s the basis for limiting one First Amendment right, it becomes a sinkhole where other First Amendment rights disappear.
Our First Amendment rights include free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of peaceable assemble, and freedom to petition government for redress of grievances. Read more via The Washington Times...