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SCOTUS Nominee Kagan On Free Speech Issues

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the she's-a-shoo-in-anyway dept.

The Courts 664

DesScorp submitted one of a few stories I've seen about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, whose confirmation hearings are supposed to start today (despite being a formality, given that she has the votes pretty much locked up). "SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan hasn't left much of a paper trail during her legal career, which may make gauging her ideas and opinions somewhat difficult. But there are some positions she has made clear statements on, among them, pornography and 'hate speech.' In a 1993 University of Chicago seminar on the subject, Kagan argued that the government wasn't doing enough about the spread of porn or hate speech. She argued that new approaches were needed to fight their spread, as well as taking a fresh look at old approaches, such as obscenity laws. Kagan included herself among 'those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation,' and told participants that 'a great deal can be done very usefully' to crack down on such evils."

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Yay, Obama (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715646)

I knew there was a reason I voted for Obama, and not the Republicans.

Wait, what's the difference, again?

Re:Yay, Obama (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715710)

I'm just amazed that an inexperienced, fascist President would appoint not one, but TWO inexperienced fascists to the Supreme Court.
Sotomayor is a Mussolini style fascist just like Obama is, and Kagan will be no different.

Re:Yay, Obama (2, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715760)

Well, while we're talking about Kagan... Myths and falsehoods about Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination [mediamatters.org] .

(from a left-leaning watchdog, but still)

Re:Yay, Obama (4, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716022)

From your link, in which it is attempting to reconcile Kagan's seemingly lax respect for the First Amendment.

In her defense: The New York Times reported, "There are indications ... that [Kagan's] views on government regulation of speech were closer to the Supreme Court's more conservative justices, like Antonin Scalia, than to Justice John Paul Stevens."

Is that a good thing?

I read through your link, and it isn't just from a left-leaning watchdog, it reads as if it is from the campaign page of a politician running for office. (IE: it only 'corrects' negatives, and doesn't address any myths and falsehoods that exist which may appear to be positive for her).

Re:Yay, Obama (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716110)

From the link:

Libertarian First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh has analyzed Kagan's scholarship and predicts that she will be "generally pretty speech-protective," and Fox News legal analyst Megyn Kelly said that "on free speech, Elena Kagan ... seems pretty middle of the road."

So, if FN says she is middle of the road, and a libertarian agrees that she is speech-protective, is there a legal expert who agrees with the articles premise?

Re:Yay, Obama (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715772)

Sotomayor is a Mussolini style fascist just like Obama is

Source? All the Supreme Court hearings I've heard Sotomayor take part that have been broadcasted on C-SPAN have shown that she does just what someone in her position should do: stick to the law.

You can show me all kinds of skelatons in her closet, but can you give me specific examples of her being facist since she took her place at the bench?

Re:Yay, Obama (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715918)

All the Supreme Court hearings I've heard Sotomayor take part that have been broadcasted on C-SPAN have shown that she does just what someone in her position should do: stick to the law.

Dred Scott was part of "the law" at one time. This line about respecting precedent is utter BS when the precedent was wrongly decided to begin with.

Re:Yay, Obama (1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715982)

Is there a slavery version of Godwin's law?

Re:Yay, Obama (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716092)

So wait...you're saying you want her to inject opinion into her rulings, instead of basing her rulings solely on law? Isn't ruling from the heart and not from the head exactly the sort of thing people rail against when it comes to Supreme Court nominees?

Also, obligatory: Slavery is a horrible thing.

Re:Yay, Obama (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716136)

Isn't ruling from the heart and not from the head exactly the sort of thing people rail against when it comes to Supreme Court nominees?

Only when their own heart disagrees with the nominee's.

Re:Yay, Obama (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716230)

Isn't ruling from the heart and not from the head exactly the sort of thing people rail against when it comes to Supreme Court nominees?

Following the text of the Constitution is not "reading from the heart". Regarding two rights that Ms. Kagen apparently takes issue with, the document plainly states that Congress shall make no law (1st amendment) and that the right shall not be infringed (2nd amendment).

Re:Yay, Obama (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716232)

Ditto "Slaughter-House," "Wickard v. Filburn," and "Kelo." All bad law.

Re:Yay, Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716282)

Wrong by whose standard? Yours? That's not very helpful over a century ago - your opinion. If a case makes it that far up the chain it's because it's got one of those (and I'm summarizing here) "Oh crap, these specific details aren't entirely covered by what's on the book right now" situations. Then guess who decides? 9 people. And, stupid as it sounds, those 9 people simply cannot be wrong in their moment of time because the DEFINE right/wrong via their interpretations. Yep, that system has flaws. Got a better one?

You seem to be taking one particular, very old and obsolete, ruling somewhat personally. Why this one?

I cannot tell from your brief post; but are you for, against or neutral as pertains to the concept of "precedent"?

Re:Yay, Obama (1, Interesting)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716006)

You can show me all kinds of skelatons in her closet, but can you give me specific examples of her being facist since she took her place at the bench?

Indeed. Just one googling of Sotomayor or Kagan, and it will be immediately obvious that both have waged a lifelong struggle against facism. They will no doubt stand firm lest it once again rear its, err, ugly head.

Re:Yay, Obama (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716272)

I'm afraid my patience for people lobbing the word "fascism" around is dwindling quickly. From being a word used to describe with reasonable explicitness a group of political ideologies it has now become "any politician or political assertion I don't like." You've got people on the Right calling Obama a fascist, people on the Left calling the Cheney-Bush-Borg Collective fascists, and the word has come to mean virtually nothing at all.

A comparison of the US even at the height of GWB's stupidity (and that's what it was, whatever the neo-Cons were plotting and planning, they put a simpering moron in the White House) and, say, Mussolini's Italy, suggests that calling GWB a fascist was hyperbole to such a point that you just had to say "Bullshit!"

Re:Yay, Obama (4, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716058)

All the Supreme Court hearings I've heard Sotomayor take part that have been broadcasted on C-SPAN have shown that she does just what someone in her position should do: stick to the law.

I thought that they were supposed to stick to the Constitution.

Re:Yay, Obama (3, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716170)

The Constitution is no longer law around here. Get with the times bro!

Re:Yay, Obama (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716296)

I'm not sure what your point is. The constitution is a part of the law. Sticking to the constitution is a subset of sticking to the law. In cases where the constitution and other laws disagree, sticking to the law means sticking to the constitution and overturning the other law. In cases where the constitution says nothing on the issue, it means sticking to what the other law says.

Re:Yay, Obama (5, Insightful)

Robert Bowles (2733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715928)

If this comment was attacking Bush a few years ago, calling him a fascist, it might very well have been modded up (it also would've been true...). If we want a truly open forum here, we really shouldn't so quickly silence those who disagree with us.

Re:Yay, Obama (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715892)

The biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is that they disagree about which of your rights should be taken away first.

Re:Yay, Obama (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716112)

They also disagree to what group of corporate interests get to bend you over first, and which one has to settle for sloppy seconds.

Re:Yay, Obama (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716150)

Or as Huey Long put it: One skins from the top down and the other skins from the bottom up.

Re:Yay, Obama (3, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716234)

The biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is that they disagree about which of your rights should be taken away first.

Not so much anymore, evidently.

Re:Yay, Obama (5, Funny)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715924)

When I got this on my RSS ticker in firefox, it said "SCOTUS Nominee Kagan on F...". For some reason, I genuinely thought the next word would be fire, and I excitedly clicked on it. I think my disappointment should be obvious at this point.

Re:Yay, Obama (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716106)

What's the difference between someone spreading hate and someone wanting to regulate - really? Do they hate haters and/or pornography?

While it is still legal to say so... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715660)

Dear Kagan, I hate you.

Re:While it is still legal to say so... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716010)

Dear Kagan, I hate you.

No, it's "Dear Ms. Kagan. Fuck you."

We don't hate you because you hate pr0n more than we like it (although lots of us do like pr0n!) We hate you becase we hate censorship more than you do.

KAGAN (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715664)

IS a space alein from the DEVIL PLANET K! And she is a VAMPIREWOLF! Who is BAD! in an EROTIC kind of way! Mmmmmm-hmmm!

Re:KAGAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715922)

Good call. If you're going to troll, take the parent post as an example of how to do so.

SCOTUS has too much power (2, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715680)

A court isn't supposed to be able to make policy decisions. That power should be reserved for the parliament (House/Senate in the US case), the ones that were actually elected by the public.

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715722)

Courts have made policy decisions since time immemorial. When laws are ambiguous, somebody needs to decide what the fuck is supposed to happen, and those people are called "judges". People whining about "legislating from the bench" are invariably people without legal backgrounds (or deliberately hypocritical politicians, but then I repeat myself).

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716034)

Making decisions in ambiguous cases is quite different from advocating new approaches to skirt around the first amendment. She's thinking like a Mafia defense lawyer, not a judge.

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (1)

FutureDomain (1073116) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716120)

She's thinking like a Mafia defense lawyer, not a judge.

That's because she was a defense lawyer for the US government, the biggest Mafia in the country.

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (2, Insightful)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716156)

AND often when they make policy, they will layout how the legislative body can change the law if they don't like the outcome. Sometimes they decide on a constitutional ground, but even then they might say something like, "if the legislature had done this... it would have been acceptable."

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (5, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716174)

People whining about "legislating from the bench" are invariably people without legal backgrounds (or deliberately hypocritical politicians, but then I repeat myself).

Cute generalization there. That group also happens to include people who are concerned about the courts abusing their powers. For example, the classic case is Roe v. Wade [wikipedia.org] where abortion was made legal over the entire US. From Wikipedia:

In Section X, the Court explained that the trimester of pregnancy is relevant to the weight of the factors in this balancing test. Thus, during the first trimester, the state cannot restrict a woman's right to an abortion in any way; during the second trimester, the state may only regulate the abortion procedure "in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health"; during the third trimester, the state can choose to restrict or proscribe abortion as it sees fit when the fetus is viable ("except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother").

The Court could have merely struck down the Texas law without claiming a right to abortion based on a trimester system. In my view, they went beyond their legal power in doing so. It is legitimate for them to declare anti-abortion laws to be unconstitutional. It's not legitimate for them to work out the details of valid abortion laws. That's what Congress does. For an example, which I don't think crosses the line, is Miranda v. Arizona [wikipedia.org] . Here, the court states a requirement (the arresting officer has to inform the suspect of their rights) to be done at the arrest of a person. They don't say exactly what the wording of this statement should be (it turns out that the court's own words were used with slight modifications) and there's apparently a number of changes made to this statement. That's an aggressive court, but it stayed out of the legislative side.

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716238)

Lets bear in mind that being a judge is not a requirement for serving on the Supreme Court. 36% of those historically seated to the Supreme Court had no prior judicial experience.

http://tinyurl.com/23rbojm

It would not be out of order to "legislate from the bench" without a legal background.

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (2, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715792)

There's a system we have called common law, where judges actually do play an active (although very subdued) role in protecting the public good, flexibly interpreting law, and other uses of judgement. "Judicial activism" has been part of the system for longer than we've been a nation.

Re:SCOTUS has too much power (2, Interesting)

Meneth (872868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716280)

There's a system we have called common law, where judges actually do play an active (although very subdued) role in protecting the public good, flexibly interpreting law, and other uses of judgement. "Judicial activism" has been part of the system for longer than we've been a nation.

Didn't think of that. I've been brought up in a society with civil law. Most nations [wikipedia.org] use it.

Porn? (4, Funny)

BVis (267028) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715682)

Don't mess with porn, it's the only thing keeping some people sane.

Re:Porn? (4, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715822)

Don't mess with porn, it's the only thing keeping some people sane.

Pornography is regulated everywhere in the world; the lawmakers of various nations have mostly decided that bestiality, child porn, etc. are not to be allowed. In addition to the laws covering the actual pornographic content, there are laws regulating who you may sell pornography to, where, at what times, and under what circumstances.

So, the question is not "regulation?" but "how much regulation?".

Re:Porn? (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715986)

If you read the article, Kagen seems to think that the Government should have the power to outlaw the production of pornography altogether. Significantly more troubling is the fact that she thinks we need to prohibit "hate speech".

We should be looking for new approaches, devising new arguments,” Kagan declared, according to video of the event reviewed by POLITICO. She seemed to count herself among “those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation” and told participants that “a great deal can be done very usefully” to crack down on such evils.

“Statutes may be crafted in ways that prohibit the worst of hate speech and pornography, language that goes to sexual violence. Such statutes may still be constitutional,” Kagan assured the meeting. She pressed for “new and harsher penalties against the kinds of violence against women that takes place in producing pornography, the use of pandering statutes and pimp statutes against pornographersperhaps the initiation—the enactment of new statutes prohibiting the hiring of women for commercial purposes to engage in sexual activities.”

So, we can outlaw the production of pornography (by making it illegal to pay actresses for performing in it) and whatever the Government deems to be "hate" speech. So much for the 1st amendment. So where's the outrage from the civil libertarians in the Democratic Party? Russ Feingold, I'm looking at you.....

Re:Porn? (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716164)

The problem is that we've gone too far in being accommodating of hate speech. And I say that as a legitimate civil libertarian. If you've read the kind of vile, hateful, bigoted things that I've seen attached to mainstream blogs you'd see the problem. The first amendment is there to ensure that there's public discourse and an airing of issues which the government might find to be inconvenient. It's never been a completely unrestricted right, you've never had the right to libel or slander people, nor have you had the right to commit fraud. Hate speech is similar in the fact that it's not something that advances any meaningful purpose.

A lot of it is just made up like like those bigoted Barrack Husein Obama posters. And the folks that claim that giving equal rights to the GLBT community is somehow undermining their rights. These are not people engaging in legitimate free speech, nor is there a good faith effort on their part to do so. The harm to society is great when trying to push a constitutional ban on same sex marriage is viewed as more important to the country than dealing with two wars of questionable intent and an ever rising national debt.

Re:Porn? (5, Insightful)

Meneth (872868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716212)

You don't get the idea of free speech, do you? It is the right of idiots to say stupid things. If it isn't that, then it isn't anything at all.

Re:Porn? (5, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716216)

Hate speech is similar in the fact that it's not something that advances any meaningful purpose

You'll do fine when the people who get to decide what is or is not a "meaningful purpose" are on your side but when the shoe is on the other foot it won't seem like such a good thing. Unfortunately at that point it will be too late.

Re:Porn? (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716256)

You are no civil libertarian if you deem a particular type of speech not to be 'legitimate'

Re:Porn? (1, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716206)

If you read the article, Kagen seems to think that the Government should have the power to outlaw the production of pornography altogether. Significantly more troubling is the fact that she thinks we need to prohibit "hate speech".

And that's the really scary part. Its reasonable to conclude she doesn't understand the Constitution, doesn't understand why its protected by the Constitution, and likely considers herself to be an authority on the Constitution. Even worse, someone who has these types of views almost always believe themselves to be the absolute authority on how to interpret and apply such views to the world. Basically she considers herself Emperor. Not only is she above the law, she is the law.

No matter how you slice it, she's unfit to live in the US, let alone interpret its laws. The mere fact its the highest and easiest to understand laws of the nation are beyond her comprehension seriously brings into question her most basic level of intelligence. And even if you believe she absolutely understands the Constitution, that paints her in an even darker light as an inescapable conclusion. As that implies she believes she's above the Constitution; which brings us full circle, back to Emperor status. There is no higher power than her as she thinks nothing of sweeping the highest laws of the land aside to bend to her final morale authority. In short, there's no point in having laws because SHE AND ONLY SHE, IS THE LAW.

That's one scary fucking lady! And yet, scarier yet, are those who would nominate her!

Re:Porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716208)

there are laws regulating who you may sell pornography to

As a German I can wholeheartedly say: you do not want this kind of regulation. It's one of those "for the children" topics that end up MASSIVELY restricting the rights of adults; just because some conservatives say so.

The whole youth-protection-laws clusterfuck in Germany kills businesses (e.g. porn, 18+ video games, small entertainment businesses who cannot afford pricy ratings or dedicated moderators) due to excessive barriers set by judges and expensive mandatory ratings.

Comma (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715702)

They left out the comma, I think she means
""those of us who favor some form of pornography, and hate speech regulation"

There we go, now we're all on the same page.

An ugly woman (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715706)

Both physically and mentally.

Re:An ugly woman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715926)

yet, STILL way out of your league.

Excited (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715730)

I'm really looking forward to her hearing later today...there isn't much to go on about her, so I'm reserving judgement exclusively to how she handles herself during the questioning.

Re:Excited (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715886)

Are you a Senator? Not to be rude, but does your judgement matter in the long run with this nominee? I know mine sure as hell doesn't.

Re:Excited (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716154)

Not to be rude, but does your judgement matter in the long run with this nominee? I know mine sure as hell doesn't.

True...but would you rather citizens not pay attention to what their government is doing? One of the biggest problems in this country is that not enough people listen.

I'm trying to increase that number by at least 1.

Re:Excited (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715966)

Yes, because it's not as if she's putting her best features forward.

It's a bit like deciding which candidate to vote on based on their campaign.

Editors, who needs them? (5, Funny)

Mathness (145187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715746)

supposed to start to day

I wonder when Slashdot will be burned down to the ground by English teachers.

Re:Editors, who needs them? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715952)

Won't happen, as our educational system is being gutted - we won't have English teachers for much longer.

Cause for concern (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715748)

As an angry wanker, I find this very troubling.

Re:Cause for concern (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715806)

As an angry wanker

Doesn't that hurt? Or at the very least, chafe?

Re:Cause for concern (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716124)

Doesn't that hurt? Or at the very least, chafe?

A little, but the make-up sex is great!

Science disagrees with you Kagan (5, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715802)

Milton Diamond, The Scientist magazine, March 2010. "Porn: Good for Us?"

This opinion piece takes a look at scientific research around pornography. Higher consumption levels os correlated with lower abuse. Many studies have shown the opposite, but they tend to study abusers like rapists, find they use pornography, and say that porn is bad. You should be able to see the flawed methodology easily.

When you look at the entire population, the percentage of male porn users stays around 100% in countries where it is allowed and available, and abuse is low. In countries where it is not allowed or available, usage is obviously lower and abuse rates are higher.

People need an outlet, and if you don't want to see it you don't have to. But make your decisions based on what's best for the country, not your own moral stance. Outlawing alcohol was not intended to start the Chicago mob into overdrive, but it did, unintended consequence.

By restricting porn, you are essentially saying that men should satisfy their urges using real women instead of pictures or videos. Is that what you want Kagan? Are you that anti-female that you are calling for their abuse of a massive scale? I know it sounds like I'm twisting your words around, but given the evidence in question the law of unintended consequences makes it clear that's what you would prefer.

If I called for country-wide home schooling of kids, I would be calling for the death of America. Not every parent is capable of, nor interested in, schooling their own children, and the kids would not learn much. I don't mean for education to stop for most families, but that's what would happen. Unintended consequences, learn them.

Re:Science disagrees with you Kagan (2, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715934)

Not every parent is capable of, nor interested in, schooling their own children, and the kids would not learn much.

You're jumping to conclusions when you assert that learning nothing is worse than the status quo.

If, in fact, what's learned in school is a net negative then learning nothing would be an improvement.

What exactly [cantrip.org] do schools really teach in the first place? Would we be better off [johntaylorgatto.com] without it?

Re:Science disagrees with you Kagan (4, Informative)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716138)

Reading, math, geography, history, these things are actually useful. I know how to communicate with other humans, how to take a derivative, and what happens if you give a fire oxygen. People who don't have access to the school system of America often don't know these things. If we left schooling to parents only, many kids would not learn math, science, reading, history, or geography.

Re:Science disagrees with you Kagan (1, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716188)

If we left schooling to parents only, many kids would not learn math, science, reading, history, or geography.

This statement is demonstrably false. Prior to modern public schools kids learned all of those things and in fact 19th century children were generally more knowledgeable in these subjects than their 20th and 21st century counterparts. This is well documented in Gatto's book which I linked above.

Re:Science disagrees with you Kagan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716158)

Schools, even schools in the US, teach reading and writing, as well as math, all of which are absolutely necessary to take an active part in the current democracy. Sure, you could potentially communicate exclusively with vids on Youtube/Skype convos, and only learn what buttons to press in order to make the computer do what you want, but the fact is, too much of our culture is embedded in text to not learn to read.

And yes, I do believe that parents would forego teaching their kids to read, and just plop them in front of the telly for 16 hours per day.

There are many things that should be done differently in the US schooling system. Home-schooling for every child is not one of them. Rather the opposite, in fact (i.e. public schools for everyone). Preferably with rich kids in the same schools as poor kids, since that would mean that rich parents have an incentive to invest in schooling for the poor, which is unlikely to happen otherwise, despite the numerous beneficial effects of a well-educated population.

Re:Science disagrees with you Kagan (0, Offtopic)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716264)

the numerous beneficial effects of a well-educated population.

I absolutely believe that a well-educated population is desirable. That is why I would like to see the elimination of schools before they finish completely destroy education.

Re:Science disagrees with you Kagan (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716014)

When you look at the entire population, the percentage of male porn users stays around 100% in countries where it is allowed and available, and abuse is low. In countries where it is not allowed or available, usage is obviously lower and abuse rates are higher.

That anecdote ignores the fact that, for the past generation, laws permitting pornography have increased in countries simultaneously with laws protecting women.
 
Pornography use/availability is just a proxy for personal privacy/liberty rights and/or income. You could use availability of divorce, homosexual unions or iPhones as an equal proxy. Unless you control by, say, "equally wealthy Western countries that do or do not permit easy pornography availability while still firmly enforcing women's rights," all you are saying is "the current trend in many countries towards personal liberty has provided more personal liberty for women."

She has the wrong mindset for a judge (5, Insightful)

Spazed (1013981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715814)

She has the wrong mindset for a judge at any level. Her job is not to force her views and values down the public's throat, but to interpret the law as closely as the writers had in mind while trying to close the huge loopholes.

Any judge who speaks out in a professional manner about any activity's moral/ethical/philosophical components is not fit to rule. Those parts are reserved for the people to decide upon.

Re:She has the wrong mindset for a judge (2, Insightful)

MattSausage (940218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715908)

Well, for what it's worth, it is possible for a grown adult to put their personal feelings aside and try their best to keep an open mind when you sit on the highest court in the land.

I'm sure there are several examples of Supreme Court Justices that have mentioned in their bench-opinions that while they may disagree with an action or another, that action is still constitutionally protected. I don't think past opinions are necessarily hard and fast (or even fair, sometimes) things to judge a candidates capabilities on.

So... (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715818)

I guess my Nazi porn collection is completely unacceptable then?

Re:So... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715898)

I can just picture Dirk Hilter saying "who's your Fuhrer?" while spanking a Nazi medic.

Re:So... (1)

Mazzie (672533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716002)

You and Jesse James are both SOL

Re:So... (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716042)

Hey look everyone it's Bernie Ecclestone!

Re:So... (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716100)

wait damn it wrong F1 moron... meant Max Mosley... Fail...

1993? Hardly fresh. (4, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715860)

OTOH, I guess if you changed your thinking over the course of seventeen years, you're a weak-ass no-good hippie flip-flopper?

Re:1993? Hardly fresh. (0, Troll)

Trivial Solutions (1724416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716090)

Lets ask God today, wiseass. (your signature) God says... messages abideth fables speaks babe all temporal disgust overjoyed Nebridius presideth Cassiacum converse amiss Ministry gratefully dotards consistently armed sake considering Suppose Moon eating commend find certain predestination

Re:1993? Hardly fresh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716116)

OTOH, I guess if you changed your thinking over the course of seventeen years, you're a weak-ass no-good hippie flip-flopper?

That's just the thing: Has she? I'd love to find out, but I'm not a Senator, so I don't get to ask. Moreover, I can't imagine a single Senator who'd gain political capital by asking her. OK, so that last bit is our fault as the electorate, but I think you get my drift.

As long as we're living in the early '90s, it doesn't matter whether your conservative Dad catches you smokin' and says "no-way" (while he's a 3-pack-a-day hypocrite), or your nanny-statist Mom throws away your best porno mag. When it comes to issues of personal liberty, one thing hasn't changed over the past couple of decades, and it's that "progressives" are often just as bad as conservatives.

Re:1993? Hardly fresh. (0)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716192)

Is there any evidence that she has changed her mind? Advocating laws be specially crafted to skirt around the First Amendment to ban things she doesn't like is troubling, and I hope she has had a change in heart about it.

Freedom of speech (3, Insightful)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715864)

Freedom of speech means exactly that, freedom. And freedom is above the right, the rule or stature if you want me use the formal language. Freedom is irrevocable, as the base constitution says. So, even if there is a some stature that restrains it, it is invalid and void. And it is very important that every single person is aware of that fact.

Re:Freedom of speech (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716036)

Freedom is irrevocable, as the base constitution says. So, even if there is a some stature that restrains it, it is invalid and void. And it is very important that every single person is aware of that fact.

Your view is overly simplistic. Laws can restrain speech and still be constitutional, provided they are striking a balance between different enumerated rights. A law that says ordering your employees to commit murder restricts free speech, but is still constitutional because it simply judges the right to particular free speech versus the right of an individual to live and makes a law in favor of the latter. For more information please do a search for "yelling fire in a crowded theater".

Re:Freedom of speech (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716292)

"yelling fire in a crowded theater" may means that there are some very special cases when your freedom is restricted, but it is nonsense to make a law only because there is some exception to the rule. And there you may have some very good reason to yell fire in theater...... even if there is no fire. And that is the problem that i see in the last, lets say century, that there a way too many laws made based on the exception, not the common sense. Pornography? Just some 20 years ago gay marriage could have been recognized as a pornography. Do we wanna to change the law every 20 years!!!!

Re:Freedom of speech (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716240)

So, you're going to send death threats to the President? Mailings about prime real estate properties in Florida? Assert that there's a brothel being operated out of a local garage? Free speech has never been completely free, nor should it be. There's speech which furthers public discourse and there's speech which hinders it. The first amendment is there to ensure that speech is free unless it's demonstrated to fall into the latter category.

Just what we need! (3, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715876)

Another egotistical prick who knows what's best for us and is all-too-willing to save us from ourselves.

Maybe once she saves us from looking at naked people and hearing mean comments we can move on to tackling other such pressing social ills like power-hungry sociopaths who systematically defraud an entire population of various liberties under the guise of protecting them.

Oh wait. Sorry, let me get back in line for my RFID chip and social reeducation. Did you guys SEE what happened on Cat the Midget Bounty Ghost Hunting Cake Survivor last night?

Definitions please (5, Insightful)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715890)

As a conservative, you would think I would be all for this, but no. How do you define what is or is not pornography or hate speech. One could argue the pornography may be easier to define based on the physical activities involved, but what about hate speech? Does Shawn Penn's comments qualify? David Duke? Rossie O'Donnell? This is right up there with defining racially motivated crime.

Re:Definitions please (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715998)

It will be defined as whatever best suits the agenda of the base of the political party currently in power.

Hate crime laws are bad law (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715906)

There is no such thing as hate speech only speech and its supposed to be free. Even advocationg violence I do not think meets the clear and presant danger test. As to hate crimes laws; its those laws that are biggoted. There is a very specific enumerated list in every state of when you are permitted to use violence against other citizens. Those are mostly when they are endangering your life or that of family member.

The rest of the cases its boolean matter or it should be. The issue is you beat someone half to death without one of the few good reasons we have listed. Why you specifically did it does not matter, it was wrong and equally so no matter weather it was because you hate gays or the guys dog defecated in your yard. It is an in excuseable crime. I don't think as a society we should go down the path deciding when its more or less ok to hurt someone. Its ok because you had not other legitimate choice or its not ok. Its unforgivable and you should be kept away from society forever if it was premeditated, and if it was a crime of passion well made some reform and you can rejoin the rest of us at some point.

Re:Hate crime laws are bad law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716046)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLotehGgbiE

Bonus (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32715942)

> Kagan included herself among "those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation"

- I favor some form of pornography; and I also hate regulation of speech! She sounds pretty good to me.

And you're surprised... why? (1, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715958)

Crushing racism and sexism are more important to most American leftists than freedom of speech today. The ACLU, which is a left-wing organization, is in the minority of American leftists today in that it actually does still take a fairly left-libertarian stance. If it weren't for the first amendment, we'd long have had an official federal censorship system aimed at finding and prosecuting "hate speech" and pornography because both sides would've come together "in the spirit of bipartisanship."

The only people who actually give a rat's ass consistently about these things and want to leave people alone are libertarians. Right or left-wing, it's only the libertarian elements of the left and right that care about freedom today.

Re:And you're surprised... why? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716020)

Crushing racism and sexism are more important to most American leftists than freedom of speech today.

You're confusing what they say with what they do. Leftism acts to bolster racism and sexism while claiming to do just the opposite.

Re:And you're surprised... why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716162)

You're confusing what they say with what they do. Leftism acts to bolster racism and sexism while claiming to do just the opposite.

Give the Glenn Beck rhetoric a rest. He can't even tell his right from his left, and you're helping to spread his ignorance.

Re:And you're surprised... why? (0, Troll)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716284)

This is exactly true.

Vapid and farce (4, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715994)

Back in 1995, Kagan said (widly reported .. and first link off google Vapid hollow [go.com] )

When the Senate ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues, the confirmation process takes on an air of vacuity and farce.

So it should be an interesting nomination

Free Speech (5, Interesting)

dasheiff (261577) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716026)

If you believe in Free Speech you will defend even those you disagree with.
However, not being able to shout fire in a full theatre is censorship that I have trouble arguing against.
Censorship of sexuality is what kept information about birth control from women in the 19th Century and Abortion in the early 20th.
Censorship of porn is censorship of women. Literally.

Re:Free Speech (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716300)

Censorship of porn is censorship of women. Literally.

This.

Why just last week I read an incisive essay on abortion rights as they pertain to the legacy of feminist voting patterns in post-Industrial America in last month's issue of "Big & Bouncy".

Poison (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716050)

This woman is poison. Every. Single. View. That she has demonstrated has been contrary to the primary tenants of our country: free speech, peaceful assembly and security of our persons, the right to keep & bear arms, and so on. The only demographic she's appealing to is the "let's trample the rights and liberties of the populace" demographic.

She's got no history to speak of - 2 years of actual practice - and everything she has done has been "activist". She's a SC variant of Obama.

Me too (2, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716128)

Kagan included herself among 'those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation"

Me too. I am in favour of regular pornography and hate speech.

Hey... (3, Funny)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716134)

I also favor some form of pornography, and I also hate speech regulation.

Oh, wait...

Text book precedent setting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32716198)

State,
        I hate the way you incrementally take away my rights through seemingly humanitarian causes that historically go horribly wrong. But I understand, you do it because it works, you do it because an informed citizenry with rights is a real threat to political power.

Voltaire (1, Insightful)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716214)


"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Free Speech (5, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32716288)

I am a major proponent of free speech and I am Jewish. If someone wants to write speeches against me or my group, fine, it is their right to do so so long as speech is all that it is. One of the most important and cherished freedoms in the United States is free speech, even if it's racist or what people deem vile and disgusting. The best way to counter racism and hatred is not through laws that regulate its associated speech and expression, but through education. Combatting racism begins with education! I hate racism as much as any educated person but I realize that regulating speech leads down a slippery slope where there is no return. I can cite Governor Lester Maddox as a result. Lester Maddox was probably a last symbol of the bastion of Jim Crowism in America. As he got older and became more educated, he realized he was wrong and publicly admitted being so.

Finally, pornography does not need regulation beyond child pornography. Child pornography does exploit children and minors and needs to be rigorously enforced, but beyond that, the government need not further regulate/criminalize the industry. I see absolutely no harm in adult pornography. We as Americans are puritanical and hypocritical about sex and pornography - look at the Europeans and Japanese as they take a much more liberal stance. Overall, they have a healthier and less conflicted society.

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