Mary Anne Franks THE CULT OF THE CONSTITUTION
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Mary Anne Franks THE CULT OF THE CONSTITUTION

September 11, 2019


Most of what I’m working on here on the desk is for my book. First Amendment issues, Second Amendment issues. Five different bills right now. So the book project is something I’ve been working on for, I think it’s been in my head for years. It started with the sense that the Constitution is becoming incredibly popular. If you are on Twitter, there are so many more people I think now who would say ‘this is about the First Amendment’. What’s disconcerting though is that so much of what people were saying was factually incorrect. The ways in which they were using these concepts of freedom of speech were completely at odd with what doctor (name) says. The inspiration for this book was to try to capture the popularity. But also the really disturbing lack of understanding that people have about the Constitution. This is a slide that I often show in my classes about all of the forms of speech that the first Amendement actually doesn’t cover. I think a default presumption of so many people of what the First Amendment means is.. you can never stop someone from saying something no matter what the circumstances are. Some of this is known to people. The others, many people I think just never think about. Fraud laws, conspiracy laws, you can’t call up someone and say ‘I want you to kill my husband’ without that being a crime. Discrimination laws that say you know it’s not actually OK for you to put a whites only sign in your establishment. Now that’s speech and we’re telling you, you can’t do that and the First Amendment is OK with that. Now what does that mean when we are talking about online spaces, which is a whole extra dimension that makes things complicated. I’ve been encouraged by a couple of things. It’s not normal for there to be an attempt to mainstream white nationalism, like mainstream misogyny There’s been real attempts for Republicans, Democrats, people all across the spectrum who are saying this is not what America stands for. All of these types of issues aren’t OK with us. There really is a sense, I think, of urgency among a lot of people who were a little complacent before And that’s a really good thing.

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