Sunday, August 5, 2012

Free Speech Quizzo

Take today's First Amendment quiz. My print column is up.

13 Comments:

Blogger MediaMike said...

James Kenney should have stated: “The 14th Amendment, if read correctly, protects people according to sexual orientation from discrimination in restaurants. All citizens are entitled to an equal protection under the law as stated in the first section of the 14th Amendment.”

August 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

Was the post under Jake on the article itself really a Jake post? Or a Fake Jake post? Methinks the latter because it really was un-Jake like...

August 5, 2012 at 11:55 PM 
Blogger jake said...

Charlie,
You are correct that those comments were not from me.

August 6, 2012 at 7:34 AM 
Blogger jake said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 6, 2012 at 7:34 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Hey MediaMike have you actually read the 14th Amendment? Because it is made up of words and none of them speak to the issue of discrimination in restaurants based on sexual orientation.

I guess by "read correctly" you mean "read in a way that pleases me." Is that it?

August 6, 2012 at 7:12 PM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

Thanks, Jake... How do you spell r-e-l-i-e-f?

August 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM 
Blogger MediaMike said...

@Spencerblog:
To quote the 14th (lest you think I didn't read it) Amendment ; "Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

States are not allowed to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. It would seem morally logical that people of all sexual orientations should be protected equally under the law.

For example, Denny's found itself in a serious legal problem a decade or two ago over repeated discrimination against African Americans attempting to eat in their restaurants. It is a commonly agreed upon point of law that one cannot refuse service in a restaurant to a patron based on race. My contention is that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause should extend to equal protection of the rights of citizens based on sexual orientation in addition to race, religion, etc.

In 1896 the Supreme Court made one of its worst rulings in Plessy vs. Ferguson, upholding the legality of segregation. Justice Harlan, in one of the most truly American dissents ever written, stated; ".... [I]n view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens."

It took a very long time for this nation to extend equal protection under the law to Americans of all races. As time passed the Supreme Court chose to extent equal protection via the 14th Amendment to all types of groups. Some of them, Corporations for example, aren't even people. Americans of non-straight sexual orientations should be extended this protection as well.

On a final note, feel free to disagree with my logic or legal opinion in any way, shape, or form that you wish. In the future you can avoid comments like “….have you read” and simply state something along the lines of “The Supreme Court has not extended equal protection under the law via the 14th Amendment to people base on sexual orientation, and it is my opinion that they should not.”

August 7, 2012 at 6:40 AM 
Blogger MediaMike said...

@CharlieSix: Can you send that spelling of relief, and a detailed explanation of how it works in baseball, to Ruben Amaro so he'll take care of that portion of the Phillies before 2013 starts?

August 7, 2012 at 6:42 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

MediaMike, nice try but simply put there are no federal laws that require restaurants to serve people based on their sexual orientation.

The Denny's example was an alleged violation of the 1964 Civil Rights act. Race is a protected class. As is sex, ethnicity, religion, national origin, etc. But not sexual orientation.

It was NOT the Supreme Court that "chose to extend" protection under the law to Americans of all races - it was Congress.

Got it?

Kenney is either ignorant of the federal law or misspoke. States and cities (including Philadelphia) have passed their own anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation. I believe they are free to do so under the 9th and 10th Amendments.

In any case, no one has suggested that Chick-fil-A turned away or refused to hire people based of their perceived sexual orientation. This hubbub is about free speech and the politicians who threatened a private businessman because of his stated religious and social views.

I made fun of Kenney's ignorance of federal law but it's his arrogance and sanctimony that really offends.

August 7, 2012 at 8:02 AM 
Blogger MediaMike said...

A few points Gil:
1) It is immaterial to one’s Constitutional rights what any specific law, 1964 Civil Rights Act included, states. If the Supreme Court chose to apply the Equal Protection clause of section 1 of the 14th Amendment to restaurant patrons denied service based on sexual orientation, it could do so with ease.
2) Kenney being ignorant of how federal law and Supreme Court rulings work is no shock to me. William Jennings Bryan he is not. My original statement on here correcting what Kenney’s comment should have been, buttresses your argument that he doesn’t know what he’s saying.
3) There is no need to restate, to me at least, that Chic-fil-a is not guilty of discriminatory practices in hiring and/or service of patrons. I never stated that they were. I was just trying to clean up Mr. Kenney’s statement into something that would merit legitimate legal discussion.
4) I’m more than happy to ping pong differing views with you, or any other conservative for that matter, on points of Constitutional law, the 14th Amendment, customer boycotts, etc. What I am not ok with is being spoken to with a misplaced tone of superiority. There are valid legal and rhetorical counterpoints to all of my views that do not require “did you read?”, “got it?”, and the like.
5) The boycott on Chic-fil-a foolishly was played up as a battle over what the CEO of the company can and cannot say. In my opinion, he can feel free to say and believe anything he wants about people’s sexual orientation. What I will not support as a consumer is a company financially supporting politicians and organizations that work to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation. Sadly the organizers of the boycott, and their political “friends”, came nowhere close to messaging this in a proper m

August 7, 2012 at 3:33 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

m... anner?

Anyway, you're right. Your comment was in no way snide or snarky and didn't deserve the snark with which I responded.

My apologies.

August 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM 
Blogger MediaMike said...

Yes, it was to have said "manner." I'm not quite on the medal podium for MS Word cut and paste. At least I didn't make it a foul word by accident.

And no long term worries on snide and snark. I enjoy the rhetorical dialog on here. I could go on some liberal blogs and have everybody agree with everything I say, but one doesn't learn much by hanging out in a groupthink environment.

August 7, 2012 at 5:18 PM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

I respect your enjoyment of the dialogue on SpencerBlog. I would not be here if I didn't also enjoy it. In that vein, your post says: "If the Supreme Court chose to apply the Equal Protection clause of section 1 of the 14th Amendment to restaurant patrons denied service based on sexual orientation, it could do so with ease." I don't know if you are right or wrong (left, yes, but that doesn't make it right or wrong). But I still agree with SpencerBlog that in no way did anyone ever allege that any Chik-Fil-A restarurant refused to serve a person on the basis of sexual orientation. If you know of any such allegation please provide it. Perhaps you'll mimick Harry Reid and say you heard it from a 'source'...

August 7, 2012 at 8:47 PM 

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