Congress Shall Make No Law Abridging Free Speech. So What About the 9th Amendment?
Is Free Speech really "free" under the 1st Amendment - or is there Constitutional protection from Disparaging Remarks? The First Amendment of our Constitution 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."
And most accurately, these Amendments are contained in the Bill of Rights - itself an afterthought to the Constitution.
The Bill of Rights is the first ten Constitutional Amendments Ratified on December 15, 1791.
With nothing of Socially-Redeeming value on TV these days, I find myself spending more & more of my evening leisure time watching YouTube Documentaries on a wide variety of topics.
For Constitution Day 2021, I began my evening with watching the Replay of the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal Presentation to the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg from September 17, 2020. The next day she was dead.
After finishing that video again, the Video in today's Blog Post popped up so I thought, "OK. I've spent the entire year learning more about her opinion - let's hear what Justice Scalia has to say.
The two Justices have very different views of the Constitution beyond their Political Party Affiliations.
Ginsburg subscribed to the view that our Constitution is a Living Document, that can be altered Amended or change as need be - the view I also have on questions of constitutionality.
Justice Scalia's views were that of an Originalist Philosophy: that the Laws are to be interpreted as originally intended at the time of their writing. That any changes needed can be done in the Legislature without Amending the Constitution.
So why would questions of Free Speech, Constitutional Law & Libel Law matter so much to me?
Because WOMEN as a Class of People are SLANDERED everyday in Rap Music Lyrics, making it IMPOSSIBLE to do my JOB without putting my life in DANGER.
Prior to Coid19 most people got in their cars & drove to work out in the Community.
For me, as an Insurance Agent helping Senior Citizens with their Medicare meant driving to their homes to do Face-to-Face Enrollment sitting at their kitchen table.
Thankfully this year, I will be a Medicare Call Center Rep, answering In-bound calls & won't be subjected to Sexist Slurs being blared in the neighborhoods. I will be answering Calls from the SAFETY of my own home.
I might not be pushing back SO HARD on Slander With ACTUAL Malice, except for the fact that you can't hardly turn on the TV without hearing outrage over Racist Slurs.
No, WOMEN are NOT BITCHES & I am insulted out of my skull on the behalf of ALL WOMEN.
Either method of Judicial Review has a path forward to fix the Insulting Sexists Slur in Rap Music.
So what exactly does the 9th Amendment say?
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Let's look at one word: DISPARAGE.
What do you think it means?
And it is listed in the Original Bill of Rights.
It is not just the Vulgarity of Language, but the FACT that many of those Profanity-laced Lyrics actually lead to Domestic Violence.
Note: 9th Amendment discussion of Vulgarity begins at 34:31 in video - 44:30
In this Video, Justice Scalia discusses the issue of Discrimination & focuses on 3 types of Discrimination: Taxation, Racism & Sexism, then goes on to put it in terms of the 14th Amendment & the 9th Amendment.
I found - not surprisingly - that I do not agree on most of his Opinions except on the question of Free Speech.
Immediately prior to the discussion of the 9th Amendment Justice Scalia called "discrimination on the basis of Sex a 'Modern Invention...that some think should be in the Constitution...but you don't need to distort the Constitution to fix something like that."
WOMEN DO NEED the Constitutional protection of the Equal Rights Amendment,
NOTE: The New York Times VS Sullivan case discussed in the first Video with Both Ginsburg & Scalia (the Image is linked to YouTube) is a Classic Libel case taught in Journalism School. It clearly defined Who is a Public Official & Who is a Private Citizen.
NOTE: In Supreme Court Case, Cohen VS California on Vulgarity in Society, an opinion by Justice John Marshall Harlan is quote as saying "One man's Vulgarity is another Man's Lyric." - which Justice Scalia calls terrible - saying that "Vulgarity is Vulgarity & you know it when you see it."