Cyberbullies everywhere, breathe a sigh of relief! If SCOTUS gives a pass to the Westboro Baptists, snotty tweets are a no-brainer.
Thank God — the real God, not the unfathomable deity who watches over the Westboro Baptist Church — that the First Amendment falls hard. The Supreme Court of the United States, as it occasionally must, has vindicated our most blessed right, which is the right to express ignorant, repulsive, and contemptible ideas in public, even when it hurts someone’s feelings.
First Amendment absolutism requires defense of creepy lunatics like the Westboro Baptists and sociopaths like Julian Assange. They are, in fact, the most critical cogs in the free speech wheel, and defend them we must, like them or not. (Absolutism is the Reasonable Reporter’s position. You need not, of course, be an absolutist to appreciate the decision.)
We can only hope that the so-called “cyberbullies” are next to have their rights upheld. Most cyberbully laws seem almost deliberately heedless of the First Amendment, overly broad, and failing to distinguish between authentic threats and mere taunts causing emotional distress (the initial cause of action in Snyder v. Phelps).
Long live the eight Supreme Court Justices who honored the document they’re sworn to defend, and long live nasty people whose unacceptable speech requires protection. Their protection is protection for all of us.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized