Many of you follow me on Facebook and may have seen this Poll I did:
Even though this is an unscientific poll, clearly most all of us believe yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater is illegal. But we’d be wrong. A sense of civility and common sense leads to the wrong answer in this case. No one wants to cause a panic or unduly hurt anyone. Yet, surprise, our First Amendment protects yelling “FIRE!” Otherwise, how would we be able to let people know when there was a fire?
This was decided almost 100-years ago when Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the majority decision in the landmark case Schenck v. United States. Holmes stated that no free speech safeguard would cover someone “falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.” If you are trying to cause harm, you’re not protected. If you honestly believe there is a fire and yell fire, you will be protected. Intention matters.
And here’s why I think we need to understand it’s time to YELL FIRE about the Supreme Court. And keep YELLING FIRE until Democrats get the message. An entire generation of millennials will suffer if we don’t.
The current intention of the Republican Party and Trump is to load the Supreme Court with super conservative justices for their own agenda. Since Reagan’s time, Republicans have cared far more about the Supreme Court than Democrats. No amount of political fatigue or disenchantment can be an excuse for not waking up and yelling FIRE!
Here are a few things that happened in the last twenty years because Democrats were asleep at the wheel about the Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court decided who was going to be 43rd President (Bush v Gore)
The Supreme Court decided against reasonable gun laws (District of Columbia v Heller)
The Supreme Court allowed money to become the most important thing in American Politics (Citizens United v. FEC)
Consider this: Trump could be impeached, disgraced and kicked out of office but his Supreme Court picks will be there working the Right’s agenda for life. Conservative Republican voters understand this and tolerate Trump’s shenanigans because they treasure the Supreme Court. They recognize how powerful the Supreme Court has become.
Here are just a few things at risk: Women’s Right to Choose (Roe v Wade could be overturned), LGBTQ rights, Immigration, Voting rights. Basically rights for women, minorities, young people will be scrutinized and challenged. If there was ever a time to yell FIRE! it’s now.