Supreme Court Wraps Up Term
High court recesses with robust defense of First Amendment
- Duration 6:11
- Date Jul 2, 2011
High court recesses with robust defense of First Amendment
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With a First Amendment front and center the Supreme Court wrapped up its term this week striking down a pair of state laws that.
Justices say trample.
The free speech rights of citizens in California and Arizona.
In a seven to two decision the court struck down -- California law prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children.
And enough five to four decision the court continued its dismantling of campaign finance restrictions declaring unconstitutional.
A provision of an Arizona law that provides additional funds to publicly financed candidates were outspent by their privately financed opponents so.
If first of all overview of the Supreme Court term ones -- -- in your review good successful term.
I think it was and I think one of the things that we still have to continue to remember here.
As that that is that this court really is still very much -- Kennedy court I mean you still saw justice Anthony Kennedy.
Justice Anthony Kennedy.
In bed majority in the vast vast majority of cases here.
I think it was over 90% of cases and whenever there was a 54 split he was almost solace in the majority as well so I think that's something that is is really affecting things now.
-- as you as you mentioned the First Amendment really loomed large in this term as well as -- cases that look at whether or not class action.
Could go forward.
Those -- these -- two of the main themes here class actions being major lawsuits that draw and thousands of cases and the Wal-Mart cases throughout -- discrimination class action that was a pro business.
Decision so let's -- that talk about this campaign finance string of cases it's very narrow 54 majority for it but they're brick by brick taking apart.
These campaign finance restrict.
Well that's right but -- -- in this case is that it violates the First Amendment for the government to give extra money to make up for when candidates private -- What was what's fascinating about this case was the dissent for the four liberal justice and justice Elena Kagan.
Who argued in a roundabout way using this hypothetical that the -- -- restrictions the court has previously -- those accepted are not sufficient to prevent corruption and therefore we need to accept more restrictions -- first about cause cause our calls the previous decisions and to question.
Because of these provisions don't -- -- prevent corruption what's the rationale for restricting people's first amendment rights but second think about the logic of this.
Justice Kagan as saying that the more stubbornly cool rocked the government is.
The more -- it has to violate fundamental constitutional rights that's really -- You know Dan on this First Amendment to subject this is that interest -- area of law where the Supreme Court ideological categories are -- -- Right moves to the left left moves to the right and so on.
But this is very much a First Amendment court.
I think it is fall the is this the one area where you can find.
Seven to two decisions where the liberals join the conservatives but nonetheless I think world you know what the video games decision on which they defended the hum.
Really hyper violent video games -- first man protection.
I worry a little bit that the court is going to run up against.
This storm of public opinion to becomes less and less patient.
With the First Amendment protect I'm for the decision and we'll get into that but I still think.
They're running against the tide of public opinions.
Speaking of a storm -- would you.
That you agree with the majority and that -- -- certainly not I mean this is one of those testimonial to.
To the fact that there is no extreme to which the Supreme Court will go in their religious devotion to anything claiming to be.
Freedom of speech.
And you have here a kind of prancing exhibition this.
And these decisions.
If you have the right here at the majority decision Justice Scalia.
Arguing that these violent video games reminded him of greens very -- homer's Odyssey.
This is a kind of extreme that is laughable.
Let let let me jump in here.
A concurrence was written by justice Samuel Alito who describe the contents of these games it great life and clearly Justice Alito is totally disgusted by what he's seeing.
Nonetheless he joined Scalia in defending the First Amendment.
The problem Dorothy is not the First Amendment the problem is our low and reprehensible culture in this area and others the First Amendment is simply standing there -- for these protections your problem lies with the culture.
Not put the constitute.
Have to dispute that dent in the sense that the lack of discrimination.
In these and these judgment and meet the capacity to discriminate -- to tell the difference between one thing in another.
Is that bull work of intellectual capacity -- -- says that justices have shown themselves mightily lacking in this in these First Amendment case Colin.
Well I think on this fairy tales like that that northeast mentioning just elaborate a little further because there's more to it than just that.
The point was really that the justices were saying.
That you know people used to say that it by watching and by reading -- fairy tales are children we're going to become morally crop there's all sorts of things written about half time.
And there's there's no evidence there's no evidence that any of these video games are significantly he's -- that they -- you know children.
North -- go ahead.
Here's one thing is this a huge difference between children reading prince fairy tales and being asked to take part in a virtual exercise.
Or being allowed to -- with too distant -- you can choose to rape.
The victim that is unless the victim is naked at that point it becomes illegal in a violation.
And obscenity cases where he was so -- -- go ahead -- -- and there's certainly a role for parents so let's remember here I mean who's buying these video games and who's responsible for the children who are buying them I don't think that's necessarily the state of California well and.
And -- you know I think if you -- the philosopher king I would.
Believe in your ability and make those distinctions.
I'm not too sure that our law professors I would trust to make the decision about what speeches.
And what isn't this is the faintly exotic excuse for.
Well that's the first time -- -- called faintly exotic but I'll I'll I'll I'll have to ask compliment we have to to.