SCOTUS upholds cross burning ban

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by stubbornkelly, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. stubbornkelly

    stubbornkelly
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,472
    Likes Received:
    0
    High court upholds cross-burning ban

    In 5-4 decision, justices say First Amendment ‘not absolute’

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    WASHINGTON, April 7 — A divided Supreme Court upheld a state ban on cross burning, ruling Monday the history of racial intimidation attached to it outweighs the free speech protection of Ku Klux Klansmen or others who might use it.

    A BURNING CROSS is an instrument of terror, and government should have the power to stamp out or punish its use, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in the 5-4 ruling.

    The protections afforded by the First Amendment “are not absolute,” she wrote.

    Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s only black member, dissented, but made clear his reasons have nothing to do with protecting free speech rights of the Klan. Thomas said the court didn’t even have to consider the First Amendment implications because cross burning clearly is intimidation.

    THOMAS DISSENTS
    “Just as one cannot burn down someone’s house to make a political point and then seek refuge in the First Amendment, those who hate cannot terrorize and intimidate to make their point,” he wrote.

    “In our culture, cross burning has almost invariably meant lawlessness and understandably instills in its victims well-grounded fear of physical violence.”

    more . . .

    Hmm. As deporable as I find the action, the First Amendment should protect it.
     
  2. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b> <img src =/israel.gif>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    22,028
    Likes Received:
    1
    Too bad they don't feel the same way about the American Flag.
     
  3. Mike McK

    Mike McK
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,630
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, in the context in which it was presented, I have to agree with the court.

    If it were just a free speech issue, then I would disagree.

    But this is speech with the intent of racial intimidation and that's not free speech, that's abuse of free speech.

    In any event, I'm sure Robert Byrd will be disappointed.
     
  4. The Baptist Tape Maker

    The Baptist Tape Maker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    If cross burning can be ruled unconstitutional why can't flag burning be? I am by no means defending the KKK, but I believe as awful as it may sound either both should be legal or both illegal, because they go hand and hand. In my opinion they both are signs of defiance and hate.
     
  5. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    0
    The difference as I see it, is people don't burn the flag to intimidate and terrorize others. The flag, as a symbol of a government, is fair game. If in the future, the govt. became a repressive power over the lives of the people, I could see where such a form of protest could be a way to express displeasure at that regime. This is not meant to intimidate or terrorize individuals.

    While I would not burn "Old Glory", I understand that for everyone to have free speech, even repugnant speech must be protected.
     
  6. The Baptist Tape Maker

    The Baptist Tape Maker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well then in that case, wouldn't (as loathesome as it may be) cross burning still be protected under the First Admendment?
    In Christ,
    Baptist Tape Maker
     
  7. post-it

    post-it
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/post-it.jpg>

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the cross is burning in front of a person's property, then I agree with the court 100%, but if a cross is burned in a KKK ritual, then as bad as it seems, they should have the right to do it under free speech.

    It's not always "what" is done, it is "how" it is done that sets the context. If they can pass this law, why can't they ban KKK meetings, books, websites, etc. since those too itimidate minorities and even me (a white guy). These people are all about hate, but they have a right to it... so far.
     
  8. fromtheright

    fromtheright
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/2844.JPG>

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,772
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a LINK to the decision.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,833
    Likes Received:
    114
    This is a clear cut case of the Supreme Court doing exactly what is was never intended to do. And that is to allow situational and subjective ethics (opinions) and political correctness to sway their decisions.

    I personally believe that people belonging to the KKK are nuts and morons at best and evil Satanic weapons of the devil at worst and everytime a cross is burned in their name it makes me sick. (And I've seen them being burnt.) I've tried to have a rational conversation with these people, but to no avail. They are dangerous and idiots and they need the love of Christ to overwhelm them. Unfortunately, the ones I know are "pillars" in their respective churches and communities.

    It offends me as a white person, an American, but primarily as a Christian.

    However, if Hustler magazine is protected under free speech, child-sodomizing websites are protected, and just pornography in general is protected because the Supreme Court cannot come to a clear decision as to what harmful pornography is (that's their words, folks), then why start banning the KKK's rites and rituals?

    I'll tell you why. Because, today, pornography is "hip" and "cool". They are afraid to attack it from the Great Bench of Justice.

    I don't mind them banning the idiocy of the KKK. I just wish that justice were truly blind and in the case of pornography, I wish justice had a backbone.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  10. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    The statute in question makes it illegal when it is done “with the intent of intimidating
    any person or group [to burn a cross] on the property of another, a highway or other public place,” and specifies that “such burning... shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to intimidate
    a person or group.”.

    In other words, doing it on private property is not an issue. Doing it in public will be assumed to be an intent to intimidate. However, if cross burning is done in public in way that would not constitute intimidation of a group or persons, then it would continue to be federally protected as free speech.
     
  11. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,628
    Likes Received:
    310
    Too much "Strange Fruit" has hung from Southern (and Northern for that matter) trees for this to be a matter of 1st Amendment protection.
     

Share This Page

Loading...