the constitution: i am confused

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law that had made illegal the creation or sale of videos of dog fights or other types of animal cruelty on the grounds that it violated 1st Amendment free-speech rights.

My confusion is two-fold. “The government argued that depictions showing harm to animals were of such minimal social worth that they should receive no First Amendment protection at all. Chief Justice Roberts roundly rejected that assertion. ‘The First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter or its content,’ he wrote.” (

The 1st Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . . ” The word “no” is unambiguous. However “The chief justice acknowledged that some kinds of speech — including obscenity, defamation, fraud, incitement and speech integral to criminal conduct — have historically been granted no constitutional protection. But he said the Supreme Court had no ‘freewheeling authority to declare new categories of speech outside the scope of the First Amendment.’”

Therefore, “no” does not mean “no.” It means “sometimes,” which, of course, is nonsense. Therefore, the 1st Amendment is not absolute, merely relative to the political whims of the sitting justices, which absolutely denies the meaning of “no.” The protection of speech and press in the 1st Amendment was intended to protect political, not commercial, speech. But whatever the motivation behind it, it still says “no.” All laws interfering with speech, whether obscene, defamatory, fraudulent, inciting to criminal activity, or whatever, are undeniably un-constitutional. If the nation wants to deny free speech protection to specific types of speech, the only constitutional means of doing so is amending the Constitution.

This is, of course, consistent with the manner in which the Constitution is routinely and consistently ignored in times of war. There is nothing in the Constitution which says “in time of war, this document in not in effect.” Thus, the manner in which the Constitution is obeyed or ignored at the whim of the ruling class makes further clear the fraud and hypocrisy upon which this supposedly “democratic” society rests. And now, since we are engaged in a never-ending “war against terrorism,” we might as well just burn the Constitution.

The second area of my confusion is how videos or magazines depicting dog fighting and cruelty to animals is legal, yet Michael Vick, who grew up in a culture where dog fighting was an accepted practice, was fined millions of dollars and spent about eighteen months in jail for engaging in it. Was Michael Vicks’ real crime being black, and successful?


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