October 4, 2014


The first amendment has been abridged in that you are required to purchase a permit and are confined to a designated area of "free speech zone" and summarily arrested if you violate the terms of the aforementioned restraints.  Limiting speech through cost and constraint is no example of unabridged or free speech.

One common argument for the regulation of speech is the "fire in a theater" argument.  The argument proposes that one can not yell "fire" in a crowded theater therefore so called reasonable limits should be placed on speech in order to prevent chaos or violence as a result of careless speech.

In the case that some person may yell "fire" in a theater does the accuracy of his claim not come into account when determining if or not he should be arrested?

Writes Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black:

"That is a wonderful aphorism about shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater.  But you do not have to shout 'fire' to get arrested.  If a person creates a disorder in a theater, they would get him there not because of what he hollered but because he hollered.  They would get him not because of any views he had but because they thought he did not have any views that they wanted to hear there."

This essentially boils the argument down to a property rights issue and not a free speech issue.  you are in an unwritten agreement with the owner of an establishment that you patronize to certain conditions with which you can enter said establishment.  This would lead me to believe that in any Public forum one has a complete and unabridged right to free speech.

The fourth amendment which protects against illegal search and seizure might well have never been written as far as government and their henchmen are concerned.  It should read "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated... unless law enforcement or the government wants to."

The recent domestic spying programs by the NSA, government rendition and detention programs and a number of other programs have effectively rendered the fourth amendment to ramblings of dead old men.  If you need any examples of the abuse of this right, simply look at the rash of recent examples in the media due to the Snowden and Greenwald revelations.

The fifth amendment is greatly diminished by the fourth amendments inability to be effective.  It is further made null by the governments ability to lock you up without cause or due process for an indefinite amount of time.  Much of these abuses can be seen throughout the Bush presidency, and the Obama administration.

The sixth and seventh amendments which are dependent upon the fourth and fifth, are made useless.  Its awfully hard to have a right to a fair and speedy trial or a right to a trial by jury if you're locked up in some secret prison somewhere.  US assassination programs also nullify these fundamental rights.

The eighth amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishment.  Many of us are aware of government torture programs.  First disguised as "Enhanced interrogation" they have been exposed as being used in US secret prison programs.  It took quite some time for the US to even admit to torturing people.  But it is now established as fact.

The tenth amendment which gives the powers not delegated by the Constitution to the States, or the people has and is currently being trampled on.  Healthcare is an example of an abuse of state power for no such power is delegated to the Federal Government in the Constitution.  Thereby rendering it a State power exclusively.

I have shown only a handful of examples in the abuse of the Bill of Rights.  I am sure there are many more.  I plan to bring some of these things to your attention in the future.  Are you aware of more specific abuses of the Bill of Rights?  Leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. What are some examples of violations of the Bill of Rights?