1A Exceptions Grow as Judges Disapprove of Your Politics

A New Jersey judge declared that these signs fall under an exception to the First Amendment (Andrea Dick/NJ.com)

Good morning. Yesterday’s quote was clinical psychologist and bestselling author Jordan Peterson on the value of truth. Today the ABA promotes censorship; one NJ judge doesn’t understand 1A; a formula for aspiring financial writers; and the Bezos brothers head to space. Here is today’s quote:

This is not a case about politics. It is a case, pure and simple, about language. This ordinance does not restrict political speech. Neither this town or its laws may abridge or eliminate Ms. Dilascio’s freedom of speech. However, freedom of speech is not simply an absolute right. It is clear from the state law and statutes that we cannot simply put up the umbrella of the First Amendment and say everything and anything is protected speech.

Business

The American Booksellers Association recently promoted Abigail Schrier’s new book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Her work explains the social pressures faced by young girls to ‘transition’ into young boys and suggests that it is perhaps a bad idea to pump them full of testosterone without knowing the long-term effects of such practices. The ABA has since backed off such promotion, calling their actions “a serious, violent incident that goes against ABA’s ends policies, values, and everything else [they] believe and support.” They go on to claim that it is “inexcusable” before being promptly excused by the transgender community.

Law & The Courts

Roselle Park, New Jersey, has this ordinance against obscenity, which it defines as anything that “appeals to the prurient interest; depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct as hereinafter specifically defined, or depicts or exhibits offensive nakedness as hereinafter specifically defined; and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” That law is the basis which a Municipal Court judge used to force a homeowner to take down her three “Fuck Biden” flags or face $250/day in fines. The judge did not care that this run afoul of the First Amendment solely because not all speech is protected by the First Amendment. In other words: because 1A has some exceptions, and the judge did not like the flags, he declared them to be one of the “exceptions”—that “no law” means “some laws”—and allowed the law to stay.

Media Spotlight

Becoming a financial journalist has got to be the easiest job in the world. Outlets like Financial Times, CNBC, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance have some version of the following formula: “stocks moved [up/down] [on/as] [recent news story].” (Note: you can’t use “because,” rather than “on/as,” since that would imply causation.) The Wall Street Journal has a typical story this morning: Markets Open Higher After Worst Fall for Stocks in Months. Yesterday, the story was about markets falling because of the Indian variant of COVID-19, despite such news being widespread for several weeks on consistently higher stock prices. Evidently “stocks [rise/fall]” is not catchy enough.

United States

Early this morning, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took off into space in his Blue Origin module. The date is no coincidence: 52 years ago today, Apollo 11 was touching down in its famous Giant Leap for Mankind. But it is curious that he timed it so close to Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson’s flight, which happened just 8 days ago. Both airships made their way some 60-70 miles into the Earth’s atmosphere and serve as testaments to the people’s ingenuity. With that said, both men assured the public that there is no rivalry between them.

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