Because It’s Not OK – OK Frat Boys & First Amendment

When the ACLU prevailed in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie in 1977, it was to make a point that the protection of the First Amendment was for unpopular speech. After all, popular speech needed no protection. It was not to say that the speech was worthwhile, or acceptable, or even okay with them. But it was speech, and that was reason enough for it to be protected.

Now, some frat boys from SAE at the University of Oklahoma have disgraced themselves. It was caught on video and published, and the President of the University, David Boren, has expelled two students and threatened to shutter the fraternity, condemning the speech as creating a hostile educational environment. More sanctions may be coming.

On the one hand, this couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys. Post hoc explanations that they didn’t really mean it, aren’t really racists, don’t make it okay. There are lines one doesn’t cross, even in jest, and “only kidding” is so utterly inadequate as to offend again. There are no jokes to be had here.

And that’s what’s making people’s heads explode, because what happened here was so offensive, so unbearable, that there must be a way to punish it. And, indeed there is. Let the students who engaged in this speech be held accountable for it. The video is there for all to see who at the University of Oklahoma would do such a thing.

Let them be pariahs for their speech. Let them hear the counterspeech of their friends and classmates. Let them bear the consequences of the expression of twisted words.

Some law profs, like Eugene Volokh, Scott Lemieux and Howard Wasserman, have taken the position that, vile as this may be, it’s exactly what the First Amendment protects….

The speech was vile. The speech is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. And nothing about that changes the fact that the students who uttered this speech should endure the brutal opprobrium of their fellow students, their teachers, their friends, their parents, and everyone else in society who will hold them in infamy for their words.

This speech was not okay. This is why it is protected by the First Amendment.

From Simple Justice –

Oklahoma 10 Commandments Monument Lawsuit Dismissed

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenges a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron handed down an order Tuesday that dismissed the lawsuit filed by a New Jersey-based nonprofit group, American Atheists Inc., and two of its members in January 2014. Cauthron ruled that the group lacked legal standing to file the lawsuit.

An attorney for the group, Eric O Husby of Tampa, Florida, says he disagrees with the ruling but that no decision has been made to appeal it.

From Associated Press – NewsOk.com –

Bill to exempt politicians from arrest & prosecution for corruption in Oklahoma

Taking payoffs, breaking the law and pushing through unconstitutional legislation as special favors to corporate interests has long been par for the course in politics. But now Representative Kevin Calvey (R – Oklahoma City) wants to make it official and make it illegal to arrest any state officials accused of a public offense.

Representative Calvey has introduced House Bill 2206, which would prohibit Oklahoma’s district attorneys from prosecuting state officials, granting that power exclusively to the state’s Attorney General. This would exempt lawmakers from prosecution of nearly any crimes that are normally handled at the local level.

The bill proposes the following:

“The jurisdiction of a prosecution against a principal in the commission of a public offense, when such principal is a state elected official, state legislator, district court judicial officer, appellate judicial officer or an appointee of a state board or state commission at the time of the commission of the offense, is within the sole and exclusive prosecutorial authority of the Attorney General of Oklahoma. Such an action must be filed in the county of residence of the state officer.”

“It’s a big deal to me. I’m upset and concerned,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater explained. “This bill creates a different class of citizens that would be protected from the normal prosecution process.”

“I am suspicious … that is what this is really about,” Prater added.

Rep. Calvey, said that he filed the bill because there is “malicious prosecution” of politicians. He cited the prosecution in Texas of former Gov. Rick Perry. But Calvey is in Oklahoma, and Perry is no longer in office, though he is fighting an abuse-of-power indictment that he says is politically motivated.

From CounterCurrentNews.com –