It’s hard to believe that members of Congress don’t have a good enough understanding of the First Amendment to realize the error of this statement:
Freedom of speech, however, is not absolute. It is limited by the legal and moral understanding that speech that causes the incitement of violence or prejudicial action against protected groups is wrong.
As Professor Volokh explains, that statement is pretty far off. Only speech intended and likely to produce imminent lawless conduct is outside of the protection of the First Amendment. Whatever “prejudicial action against protected groups” means, I think it would go way beyond imminent lawless conduct.
As an aside, the actual situation discussed in the Professor's post involves a speech by a visitor to the United States, although the Congresspersons didn’t mention that distinction. The case the Professor cites on the government’s authority to keep visitors out of the country, based on what they intend to say while here, is Kleindienst v. Mandel. That’s Richard G. Kleindienst, former attorney general of the United States and native of Winslow, Arizona, who I knew personally. I’ll have to tell more about it sometime.
At the Antiplanner blog, there’s a roundup of promising recent developments in the self-driving car sphere, including a recap of the cross-country self-driving car trip that I mentioned recently.
The Antiplanner also has an entertaining (to me, anyway) post at the Cato Institute blog about why heavy subsidies for intercity passenger rail service are a bad idea.
A house committee staff report reveals that while IRS leadership recently bemoaned the agency’s inability to provide adequate service, and blamed that inability on Congress cutting its budget, the agency itself shifted user fees that it collects from public services to employee bonuses, among other things.
Sure, why not shame delinquent taxpayers? Just start with the over 100,000 federal employees who owe back taxes to the US Treasury, to the tune of over $1.1 billion.
Don’t give my any BS about how the delinquency rate for federal employees is lower than the overall delinquency rate. If you work for the government, your pay comes from the Treasury. Federal employees should be universally willing to pay 100% of their tax obligation. The delinquency rate for federal employees should be just about zero. The overall delinquency rate is completely irrelevant.
Why shouldn’t federal employees feel obligated to support their employer? After all, it’s virtually impossible for a federal employee to get fired.
More to come, but for now, I’m just going to say that I have personally been affected by the scamming of the IRS that is now rampant. That scamming is the result of Congress’ decision to use the tax code, and the IRS, as a vehicle for government benefit payments, in the form of what the code refers to, in a masterstroke of political euphemism, as “refundable credits.” If you claim a refundable credit that’s more than what you owe in tax, or if you don’t owe any tax at all, you get cash from the government. In other words, Congress decided to make filing tax returns a moneymaking proposition. Gee, who would have guessed that such a system would become a magnet for fraud?
INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA DURING ITS ACADEMIC SCANDAL TELL ALL (AT LEAST THE PART ABOUT THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT)
I’m not a college basketball fan, and the University of North Carolina’s football team is frankly not good enough to attract significant attention, so I have not taken much notice of the academic scandal at that school since I wrote about it a few months ago.
Now, however, two individuals who were at North Carolina while the cheating was going on have written a tell-all book. They are being praised, in some circles anyway, for doing so.
Are they altruistically motivated whistleblowers? Or are they really just trying to draw attention to the intercollegiate athletics aspect of the scandal? I don’t know enough to come to a conclusion on those questions, but I do know that the academic fraud went way beyond keeping athletes eligible.
I suppose a tell-all book about academic fraud that involved a large segment of the university, not just the athletic department, may not be as interesting to the casual reader. It would also be more damaging to the university. Maybe those are both reasons for the focus of the book.
was a red shirt on Star Trek. Really. Lowering the Bar says so.
Actually, Lowering the Bar doesn’t make the claim itself, but links to a page on imdb that says the most interesting man in the world was a red shirt, among many other TV roles on shows that, if you’re as old as I am, you had forgotten but will now remember.
Speaking of forgetting things, I don’t remember what led me to that Lowering the Bar page in the first place. I got totally distracted by the list of interesting man’s screen credits.
I think I was going to write a post about this. Maybe later.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.