White privilege and free speech, or “The Brandenburg test is sturdy for a theater….when a man falsely cries FIRE! in a crowded theater, his speech is not protected.  Are there no blacks in this theater?  Are there no Jews?”

Tonight, I read about the First Amendment, especially freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.  I read the per curium opinion in Brandenburg v. Ohio. I read the concurrence by Black and Douglas. I read the Memorandum of Opinion of the judge who, over the objection of the city, granted the permit of the white […]

Free speech and democracy

#DailyDemocracy  This is a Brief of Whitney v. California, a 1925 case about the Free Speech of a Communist, Charlotte Whitney.  In later cases before the Supreme Court, the right of free speech would be strengthened more than the “imminent lawless action” test used on Charlotte Whitney Here, the mere idea that Charlotte Whitney’s speech […]

Trump and the Death of Democracy

I have focused on the sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia that is deeply and expressly embedded in Trump’s rhetoric, and the bias he tuned into, in many supporters, to become elected. This morning I have read the wise words of Michael Lerner, a rabbi, who I’ll paraphrase this way: The Trump supporters really are disgusted, […]

Know Your Rights 101

Terry stops Terry v. Ohio 392 US 1 (1968) Police can briefly detain if reasonable suspicion that suspect is involved in criminal activity Pat downs A limited search of outer garments (pat down) is permissible if police have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that suspect is armed and dangerous. Standard of proof: totality of the […]

What Exactly is Due Process?

Palko v Connecticut and Adamson v California set out some of the first contours of the apparently simple phrase “Due Process.”[1]  This essay will explain each case.  It will then summarize many of the Constitutional rights the Fourteenth Amendment’s “Due Process” clause encompasses today. Palko v Connecticut[2] Facts: Palko was indicted for murder and a […]