Action Alert!

"sadly" preserving freedom of speech

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 04, 2007

Yesterday the US House of Representatives voted (237 to 180) to approve a "hate crimes" law, which would separate standards of justice for defendants whose crimes (real or alleged) are motivated by beliefs that other people find offensive.

Tony Perkins, the ex-Congressman who now heads the Family Research Council, makes a persuasive argument that this legislation is unconstitutional, violating the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of law for all US citizens.

But some congressmen, at least, seem willing to tear up the Bill of Rights, if necessary, to serve the cause of political correctness. On the floor of the House there was a lively debate as to whether "hate crimes" should include the expression of ideas that are judged socially unacceptable. (You know: such as the idea that homosexual acts are immoral.) Ultimately the majority backed away from that idea, but some ideologues were disappointed. Rep. James McGovern of Massachusetts (where else?) sniffed: "Sadly, this bill does not go after speech."

Just to recap quickly:

The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech...

Congressman McGovern says:

Sadly, this bill does not go after speech.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2010 6:47 PM ET USA

    Were these all "Catholic" lawyers? You know; keeping it in the family? What might have been the cost if the first priest noticed by the first bishop who was suspicious, was removed, and all in the USCCB declared war on the problem? How large then would have been the problem. But, that's not fair, is it? In what year would that have been?

  • Posted by: parochus - Mar. 24, 2010 5:58 PM ET USA

    Actually, I would be that's probably a small percentage of the total money that went to lawyers. Without looking at the actual data, I bet that's what the Bishops paid their own defense lawyers. Anywhere from 33 to 50% of the settlements which were paid out probably went to plaintiff lawyers as contingency fees. But who needs tort reform. Many of them were probably Catholic...