Judge Robert Bork recognized that the Framers intended the rule of law to protect rights at the core of governance, like political speech and suing the bastards when you tumble from a podium. That important limit applies to free speech, as well. “The First Amendment is about how we govern ourselves – not about how we titillate ourselves sexually,” he said, deeply confusing people who masturbate to C-SPAN.
Given Rand Paul's devotion to original intent, it should be no surprise that he agrees with Judge Bork. So when GQ — which, contrary to my prior impression, apparently is actually read by some heterosexuals — ran an article claiming that Dr. Paul acted like a college student when he was a college student, his campaign immediately issued threats reflecting his approach to First Amendment jurisprudence:
"We are investigating all our options — including legal ones," Rand Paul spokesman Jesse Benton emails me. "We will not tolerate drive by Journalism by a writer with a leftist agenda."
Now, if you relied solely on the activist precedent by the liberal-dominated judiciary, you might conclude that the relevant question before pursuing legal options is whether the GQ article contains false statements, and secondarily whether those false statements were uttered with knowledge of their falsity or reckless disregard to their falsity (inasmuch as Dr. Paul is, technically, a public figure). Dr. Paul rejects that activist interpretation. The original intent of the Framers was that the First Amendment would not represent an impediment to suing anyone for anything in state court, let alone suing for defamation by leftists or drive-by journalists (which were, in Revolutionary times, called ride-by journalists) or people with an agenda, which the Framers intended to be recognized exceptions to free speech protection.
[Note: to the extent that Jesse Benton's statement becomes non-operational, it will be because he was not authorized to issue it, and Dr. Paul did not know that he would be issuing it, and it is entirely unreasonable to attribute it to Dr. Paul. Failure to supervise statements made in your name is a genetic condition, and under the Americans with Disabilities Act we need to accommodate him.]
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017