When Will They Learn?

The US Constitution is a lot like the Bible.  A lot of people quote it or use it to justify their actions, but very few have actually read the whole thing or know how to properly interpret the material.

As Xandar pointed out, Republicans have a difficult time understanding the the 1st Amendment let alone the whole damn document.  For all those who have never looked at the 1st Amendment, it states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You know what that means?  It means the government cannot restrict ignorant inflammatory speech, the right of its citizens to practice whatever religion they choose, censor the press/media for writing and reporting on unflattering stories (cough wiki leaks cough), and finally, stopping its citizens from peacefully protesting unfair laws or actions in hopes of some type of reparation.

The government cannot pick and choose what is good and bad speech because any move would to do so would be deemed unconstitutional.  Case in point:

Skyler Smith claimed to be a hero during his Army service in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he was around other veterans in Huntsville, Alabama, he walked with a limp and liked to wear his medals — including two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Combat Infantry Badge…

Turns out, though, that Smith not only never earned these medals, but was dishonorably discharged from the military for gong AWOL.

He even rode on the Purple Heart float in Huntsville’s Veteran’s Parade, and was about to be inducted into the American Legion’s Military Order of the Purple Heart. He also used his status as a disabled vet to get a $160,000 contract with the Defense Department to provide bullet-proof vests, which he failed to provide. And to top it all off, Smith had sold a man a $70,000 ring, claiming it was diamond when it was really just cubic zirconia worth $13.

Among other crimes, he was charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act.  While the fraud charges may stick, he doesn’t have to sweat the stolen valor charges.

An appeals court in California ruled this week that the Stolen Valor Act violates the First Amendment, since it’s a restriction on speech.

Even though this was a dick move and he will surely have to answer to his crimes once he reaches an undetermined level of hell, the U.S. government cannot restrict him from going around saying he was a bigger war hero than Grant and Jackson combined.

Every time some politician wants to restrict speech, it’s the speech they deem unlawful.  The 1st Amendment is in place to protect the citizens from its government.  Republicans are more than willing to throw people in jail for lying about their military status, but give no thought as to who’s right they are infringing on by not allowing some rube to be a complete jag off and say whatever silly thing comes out of his mouth.

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