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Tag Archive for ‘Constitution’

Abridging the Freedom of Speech ➝

From the United States Constitution:

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.

If a government entity requests that legal content be removed from a social network, that’s a violation of the first amendment, right? And given the key word “abridging” in the amendment, wouldn’t it also be a violation if a government entity requested that legal content be hidden or otherwise down-ranked within the service’s algorithm?

➝ Source: constitution.congress.gov

Leaked Documents Outline Government Plan to Police Speech ➝

This is a pretty blatant violation of the first amendment and, sadly, not surprising to those of us that have been paying attention. There needs to be a class action lawsuit for anyone that was suspended or banned from these platforms for discussing the topics that were targeted.

➝ Source: theintercept.com

Federalism and the Constitution

The tenth amendment of the United States Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

This restricts the powers of the federal government to only what is specifically afforded to them in the Constitution. Everything else is given to the states or to the people.

Like it or not, that is the law.

If you believe we should expand the powers of the federal government to additional issues, you must amend the Constitution. That is a high bar, of course. But it should be. Our natural rights shouldn’t be so easily altered by the whims of a simple majority in the legislature. It should require far more broad support across the population of an overwhelming majority of states.

Anything that is unable to obtain such broad support should be handled more locally. And that’s a good thing. This will limit the number of people that are living under laws that are incompatible with their lives and allow for a competition-of-sorts among the states to find the best balance.

Each state can take a different approach to the same issue and we can all learn from it, adapt, and slowly improve over time. In some cases we may find that we all eventually reach a similar conclusion. And at that point, this broad support may mean that a constitutional amendment is possible.

But on other issues, we may always have wildly different opinions about what is best. And in those instances, the states should continue to handle such matters.

This is federalism and it is foundational to our republic.

I’ve quoted text from the Constitution a time or two because I don’t think enough people have actually read it and very few understand it. But it’s an incredible document and, despite its age, is a fairly easy read — it wasn’t written for the time, it was written to stand the test of time.

If you’ve never read the United States Constitution, I would encourage you to do so. Especially if you’re a citizen of this country. I have a few copies from the Cato Institute that include the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in a single, pocket-sized book. I keep one in my desk drawer and find myself getting it out every month or two to reference the exact text of amendments.

I am, by no means, an expert on the subject. But I’m doing my best to learn what I can to better understand how my government functions. And that all starts with our foundational document. I think we as citizens would have more respect for one another and could shrink the divide in this nation if we took a little time to study it once in a while.

The Free Exercise Thereof ➝

From the United States Constitution:

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.

These aren’t rights granted to you by the Constitution, they are rights you already have. The Constitution prevents the government from infringing upon them.

➝ Source: constitution.congress.gov

Amendment Proposed to Define Size of Supreme Court ➝

The proposed amendment:

The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices.

This should have bipartisan support, but is very unlikely to, unfortunately. But I support it wholeheartedly. Both sides have openly discussed changing the size of the Supreme Court and I think it would be wise to solidify its size to prevent that from happening.

➝ Source: cruz.senate.gov

The Constitution Protects Our Rights ➝

The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

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.

I think it’s worth reading the actual text from time to time. It’s short, simple, and easy to understand.

But I think there is some often ignored nuance to the way it is written — the Constitution doesn’t give you rights, it protects your rights. These are rights that you already have and the Constitution prevents the government from infringing upon them.

➝ Source: constitution.congress.gov

Freedom of Speech ➝

From WordPress.com’s page on freedom of speech:

At WordPress.com, we’re committed to freedom of speech: our core mission is to democratize publishing. Our service allows anyone on the web to express their ideas and opinions, whether we agree with them or not — we don’t censor, moderate, or endorse the content of any site we host.

We believe that our openness to a diversity of viewpoints is one of the main reasons so many great blogs and sites call WordPress.com home. However, you may also come across the occasional blog that offends you, or that contains ideas that you disagree with. The best response to content that you find negative, offensive, malicious, or inaccurate is not to silence it, but rather to speak out. When you present your own counter-narrative, you give others a chance to see multiple aspects of complex issues and help them reach their own conclusions.

I’m so proud to work at Automattic.

➝ Source: wordpress.com