“Justice” Stephen Breyer: Incompetent and Unfit for USSC
Breyer’s willingness to curtail the First Amendment underscores his lack of fitness for any position of public trust
by Bill Levinson
Stephen Breyer’s recent statement that the First Amendment might not protect Koran burning is but the latest evidence of his total unfitness to serve as the custodian of the U.S. Constitution. He also thinks the Constitution allows developers like Donald Trump and Jim Komen (Komen Properties) to collude with municipal authorities to take private property for private use by the developers in question, and that foreign and international law can be used as “guidelines” for interpretation of the Constitution.
- He has also defended the Supreme Court’s use of foreign law and international law as persuasive (but not binding) authority in its decisions.
If we wanted foreign and/or international law to play a role in governing the United States, we would probably not have bothered to declare independence from Great Britain and fight a war to achieve that independence. Foreign laws of that era included, for example, capital punishment for so-called crimes like witchcraft and heresy along with the use of torture to extract confessions. The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution because we very explicitly did not want to be like other countries.
Today’s foreign laws, for example, criminalize condemnation of militant “Islam” even when the condemnation is accurate. “Justice” Breyer seems receptive to such laws per his statement,
- But Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told me on “GMA” that he’s not prepared to conclude that — in the internet age — the First Amendment condones Koran burning.
“Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” Breyer told me. “Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?”
This statement shows that Breyer is ignorant of current events, incompetent, dishonest, or a combination of all three. The First Amendment allows an “artist” to display a cross in a jar of urine. It allows burning of the American flag, blood libels of the United States as propagated by Barack Obama’s church, anti-Semitic cartoons, and so on. The fact that Breyer has no problem with any of these activities suggests that he is either so ignorant that he does not know about them or is sufficiently dishonest to propose a double standard.
The analogy to shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater also is eminently dishonest. It tells us that, if we hired Stephen Breyer to represent us in court over a parking ticket, we would probably leave in shackles for a felony conviction. There are indeed situations in which offensive speech might or might not be covered by the First Amendment depending on its potential to cause violence–by the standards of the law’s hypothetical “reasonable person” and not the standards of somebody in a tinfoil hat.
Consider for example the White Aryan Resistance’s cartoons of Black people and its statements about Black people. A reasonable person would consider them repulsive and distasteful but not a clear and present incitement to violence. On the other hand, if WAR’s members walked up to some Black people and began to shout the N word at them, a reasonable person could construe WAR’s speech as “fighting words” likely to cause immediate violence and therefore not covered by the First Amendment. There is also an obvious difference between burning a Koran in a video on the Internet and burning one in the presence of Muslims outside a mosque. The fact that Breyer either does not understand this obvious difference or does not care about it underscores his lack of fitness to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court or in fact any court whatsoever.
The fact that some militant “Muslims” reacted to Terry Jones’ Koran burning by slaughtering people does not change this in the least. Militant “Muslims” need only the flimsiest excuse (such as a cartoon of Mohammad) or no excuse whatsoever to butcher innocent people. It is telling that “Muslims” in other countries have done far worse things, such as slaughtering Christians wholesale, and to the best of our knowledge no Christians have reacted with violence against innocent Muslims.
The bottom line is that “Justice” Breyer ought to change his name to Squealer the Pig, the “Animal Farm” character who rewrote the farm’s Constitution in the darkness when nobody was looking. It is vital that Obama be defeated in 2012 so he cannot appoint more Breyers, Ginsbergs, Sotomayors, and other incarnations of Orwell’s Squealer the Pig. The duty of the U.S. Supreme Court is to serve as a faithful steward of the Constitution, which does not include rewriting it via judicial activism.