Friday, September 08, 2006

The Supreme Court is staffed by morons: An historical perspective

Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919)

Justice Holmes, dissenting:

"A patriot might think we were wasting money on aeroplanes, or making more cannon of a certain kind than we needed, and might advocate curtailment with success, yet even if it turned out that the curtailment hindered and was thought by other minds to have been obviously likely to hinder the United States in the prosecution of the war, no one would hold such conduct a crime...I do not doubt for a moment that by the same reasoning that would justify punishing persuasion to murder, the United States constitutionally may punish speech that produces OR IS INTENDED TO PRODUCE a clear and imminent danger that it will bring about forthwith certain substantive evils that the United States constitutionally may seek ro prevent."

So, in case you weren't sure, speech can be punished when it produces OR IS INTENDED TO PRODUCE a clear and imminent danger...unless, of course, the speaker is a patriot who doesn't intend to produce the danger, in which case he can't be punished. I lasted three days before descending back into a bad mood.

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