A website run by a talented group of First Amendment lawyers and other intellectual property professionals, The Legal Satyricon, which is headed by attorney Marc J. Randassa, who serves as both a First Amendment lawyer as well a professor of law at Barry University liked a past Wizbang post that I recently wrote that was highly critical about the awful free speech past of recently confirmed Attorney General candidate, Eric Holder. This law website essentially agreed with my position which was highly critical of Holder for confusing the role of religion with the role of government as it applies to the Justice Department. It was very heartening to see such a talented group of lawyers and other professionals find one of the features posted on Progressive Values and Wizbang Blue to be worthy of quoting in part. I certainly appreciate this endorsement for the quality of Progressive Values and Wizbang Blue.
I'd strongly recommend that anyone interested in First Amendment law issues add The Legal Satyricon to their list of favorites for easy reference. This site features excellent discussions on a wide range of legal issues dealing with the First Amendment, intellectual property and trademark law issues. And the team of writers skills range from law professors to software developers. This is a fine group of some of America's brightest legal minds in the areas of modern law as it applies to the Internet.
A few days ago a procensorship post by one writer over at Wizbang immediately drew some responses and discussion from me. I felt compelled to defend freedom of expression and the First Amendment as any good civil liberties warrior should. But it is certainly heartening to see a group of First Amendment lawyers use a fine website like The Legal Satyricon to further the defense of civil liberties and free expression and help to keep religion or other elements from dictating how the laws of the nation are enforced in regards to free expression.
The strict reading of the wording of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's Bill Of Rights makes it absolutely clear that the founding fathers had no intent whatsoever that some should use religion or other personal beliefs to jail other persons because of something they write or produce, that offends their own personal religious beliefs or moral tastes. The government was never intended to be the "good taste" police by the founding fathers. All American obscenity laws are clearly unconstitutional and should be struck down as such.
In 1840, A Massachusetts book dealer who offered for sale a copy of the racy European novel, FANNY HILL, became the first known case in the United States of someone arrested for selling an alleged "obscene" novel. This book dealer was essentially arrested and jailed without a formal charge because there was no such law against obscenity in Massachusetts at the time. It was one full year later that the state legislature of Massachusetts actually wrote a law to justify this arrest.
Arrests like that without a formal charge are just some of the many outrageous examples of actions by those who abuse government powers to promote their religious views. And unfortunately the First Amendment views of new Attorney General Eric Holder are not too much better than this. He deserves a careful oversight by anyone who supports the First Amendment. When he is wrong, then we need to speak out and say so.
The Internet and legal issues dealing with free expression will no doubt sometimes involve the Justice Department under Eric Holder. Hopefully, Mr. Holder will understand the worldwide nature of the Internet and respect that this giant communication medium cannot be subjected to a patchwork of local community standards laws dealing with legal limitations on freedom of expression.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!