Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Questions Right to Burn Quran

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MattSepeta, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #1
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20016378-503544.html

    Shocking? Hardly...

    Interesting position for one of our highest level law-interpreters to take. Wonder how a Muslim person would feel about that statement... If I read it correctly, Stephens is equating Muslims to a pack of excited, scared theater-goers trying to escape a blaze, trampling everybody in the way? Just because somebody burned their book? How about giving the 2nd largest religion in the world the benefit of the doubt, instead of assuming that burning their book will lead to doomsday?

    EDIT: Interestingly enough, I found this story via DrudgeRetort... Not sure why a liberal news site would want to promote this... Surprised I didn't see it on Drudge report, either...
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #2
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    I'll have to disagree with him.

    Shouting "Fire!" in a theater involves imminent danger and instinctual split-second reactions.

    While a book burning allows for a considered response and no immediate threat to one's well-being.
     
  4. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #4

    Hey, man, that's like, offensive? And doesn't america like, suck anywayz? :rolleyes:
     
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #5
    I don't see them outlawing flag burning any time soon.

    US Flag Code. TITLE 4, CHAPTER 1, Sec. 8(k)

     
  6. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #6
    I interpreted what he was saying that as more and more outlets of speech become available, the definition of Free Speech will need to be outlined better by the Supreme Court. I think he was just using this hot news topic as an example, not that he was in favor of outlawing Koran burnings.
     
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #7
    I don't know about that. In my opinion he was quite clear.

     
  8. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #8
    Disturbingly optimistic take on it.

    I read it as : "I am not convinced that it is constitutionally protected to burn this particular holy book because I am scared of what the scary muslims might do"

    But republicans are still racist.
     
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #9
    That is how I read it as well.
     
  10. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #10
    I'm going there because of what he said immediately after that statement:

    Again, these are just my thoughts from the article, but last I read 5 people were killed while protesting the Koran burnings. I'm only using this incident becasue he did (he could have found a better topic, IMO), and these are not Americans we are talking about, but if multiple people start dying from someone's "Free Speech," well the rules might need to be changed, altered or updated. I think a better example from him might have been the recent bullying suicides.
     
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #11
    Ok, so you'd be ok with basically censoring anything negative about Islam because they will riot and someone might get hurt? This seems like a very dangerous road to be taking with our rights to Free Speech.
     
  12. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #12
    Ucfgrad93- Have you not yet realized that the ends justify the means in many people's minds? As long as it saves a few people, it does not matter how many rights get trampled (PUN:p).

    This is such a terrifying statement, especially coming from a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Mind boggling.
     
  13. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #13
    Not at all. Free Speech is a right I hold extremely dear. I was just letting you know how I interpreted his comments and that I thought the topic he choose was a poor one.
     
  14. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #14
    What you are seeing here is best described in this article

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler's_veto


    In other words, restricting one sides freedom of expression to limit behavior of the other side.

    Then again, cynically speaking Breyer is probably reacting like certain big name Universities who would not allow publishing of the cartoons, the other side if effing crazy.

    Rule of law applies until my life is threatened is the new way of those who supposedly protect/stand for our rights.
     
  15. Queso macrumors G4

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    #15
    He's entitled to a personal opinion, after all the right to free speech also extends to him.

    But if this came up in a ruling I'd expect him to judge the issue differently. As a member of the SCOTUS his duty is to interpret US law, which very clearly enshrines the right of people to burn whatever texts they like (providing of course that they own them in the first place).
     
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #16
    Agreed.
     
  17. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

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    Quote:
    During an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America this morning, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer addressed the recent controversy over a Florida pastor's plan to hold a Quran-burning rally on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, saying he wasn't convinced the First Amendment would protect such an action if the case were brought to the court in the future.

    "Holmes said it doesn't mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater," Breyer told George Stephanopoulos during the GMA interview, referring to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who wrote the opinion in a 1919 Supreme Court decision that addressed Freedom of Speech. "Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?"


    Not quite true; Holmes' decision took the position that one cannot FALSELY shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre.
     
  18. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #18
    So, I suppose as long as he burned the pages with conviction, he's alright?
     

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