ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Bill of Rights" Category

From The Archives -- What Would Abbie Hoffman Have Thought Of The Flag Lapel Pin Debate?

[ Posted Friday, July 3rd, 2020 – 15:25 UTC ]

Instead, please enjoy the following column, which ran on the Fourth of July, 2008. Just to remind everyone, at that particular point in time Barack Obama had secured the Democratic presidential nomination, but the general election was still months away.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Doubles Down On Racism

[ Posted Friday, June 12th, 2020 – 18:07 UTC ]

President Donald Trump seems to have settled on a theme for his campaign, as he doubles down on blatant racism. Think that's too strongly put? We don't. Consider the following, from just the past week:

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Friday Talking Points -- The Battle Of Lafayette Square

[ Posted Friday, June 5th, 2020 – 17:24 UTC ]

This week, an American president ordered the violent removal of peaceful protesters -- who were doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government for redress -- from a public park so that he could then walk across the park and hold up a borrowed Bible for a photo opportunity with both the Secretary of Defense and (clad in battle fatigues) the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Afterward, the Trump White House immediately issued a propaganda video of the event. Later that evening, a military helicopter clearly marked with a red cross took offensive action against the protesters (which is banned by the Geneva Conventions, and is now under investigation). Later still, the president and all his enablers in the White House lied through their teeth about the entire incident, repeatedly. At week's end, we learned of another affront to the Constitution by the Trump administration, when it was revealed that federal law enforcement had unconstitutionally seized a shipment of cloth face masks created by a Black Lives Matter affiliate, and the only possible reason they did so was that the Department of Justice apparently didn't like the messages displayed on the masks (which read: "Stop killing black people," and: "Defund police").

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Friday Talking Points -- 100,000 Dead While Trump Fiddles With Twitter

[ Posted Friday, May 29th, 2020 – 17:16 UTC ]

Anyone "tired of all the winning" yet? Just asking....

In the same week America passed the grim milestone of 100,000 dead from the coronavirus pandemic, a black man was suffocated by a white police officer while three other cops stood by and either helped him commit this crime or did absolutely nothing to prevent it. Since then, there have been sometimes-violent protests in the streets of not only Minneapolis but in several other cities across the country. The dead man was accused of the crime of trying to use a fake $20 bill at a convenience store. The cops, acting as judge, jury, and executioner, provided him with a death sentence -- for the transgression of trying to pass a fake twenty.

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Trump Shoots Himself In Foot With Twitter Executive Order

[ Posted Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 17:23 UTC ]

President Donald Trump executed a double-reverse bit of irony today, by signing an executive order that he thinks will threaten social media companies like Twitter into allowing conservatives to spout whatever hate-filled or wildly inaccurate rants they wish to. However, as with many things Trump does, his executive order might just wind up giving companies like Twitter more incentive to police Trump's own tweets. In other words, by attempting to "fight back," Trump may in fact have just shot himself in the foot.

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Trump Unclear On First Amendment

[ Posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 – 16:53 UTC ]

President Donald Trump is unclear on the basic concept of the First Amendment's "free speech" clause. This isn't all that surprising, since he's obviously never made it all the way through a reading of the United States Constitution. After all, the Founding Fathers didn't see fit to provide colorful graphics instead of boring blocks of text, and the whole thing just goes on for pages and pages and pages -- both of which absolutely guarantee Trump has never read it.

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Trump Can't Rescind An Order He Never Gave

[ Posted Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 16:14 UTC ]

Donald Trump seems determined to reopen the country for business on the first of next month. For a while, the media kind of went along with the fantasy that there was a giant "on/off" switch in the Oval Office that, when thrown by Trump, would immediately put all Americans back to work and fully restore the economy. This was never really true, and now they've finally woken up and realized it. Trump is not king, and we have no royal edicts in this country. It just doesn't work that way. In fact, President Trump has been incredibly reluctant to offer any sort of federal top-down leadership at all during the crisis, from largely refusing to take charge of the supply lines to refusing to issue a nationwide "stay-at-home" order. Because of his absolute abdication of leadership, individual state governors had to step in and fill the gaping void. Which now means that they are the ones in charge of making the decision as to when we should all get back to work. Trump, to be blunt, cannot rescind an order that he never gave.

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Constitutional History Being Made

[ Posted Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 – 18:31 UTC ]

Some constitutional history was made this week -- and it had nothing to do with President Donald Trump, because presidents have absolutely no role in amending the Constitution itself. That power is reserved to Congress and the legislatures of the states. And Virginia's state legislature just officially ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. In doing so, they became the 38th state to ratify, which seems to meet the constitutional requirement that three-fourths of the states ratify an amendment in order for it to be adopted as part of the Constitution. This is a fairly momentous occasion, which coincides with the other constitutional history being made in the Senate this week, as only the third-ever presidential impeachment trial continues.

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Friday Talking Points -- Republican Senators Prepare To Violate A Sworn Oath

[ Posted Friday, January 17th, 2020 – 17:46 UTC ]

This doublethink continued this week, as every sitting senator (except the one who was absent due to a family medical emergency) swore a solemn oath to be an impartial juror -- an oath that several Republicans have already publicly promised to utterly disregard. Because, you know, all that business about being for law and order and all that tut-tutting over the sins of "moral relativism" is so 1990s.

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Xi, Who Pays The Piper, Calls The Tune

[ Posted Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 – 17:10 UTC ]

I don't think I've ever used this column to comment on the world of basketball, but there's always a first time for everything. The National Basketball Association is currently struggling with a conflict between free speech and making piles of money in China. It is a struggle that many American corporations have faced before, and it boils down to one basic fact: if you want China's money, then you have to play by their rules, period. Chairman Xi is paying the piper, so he gets to call the tune. The concept is clear, and nobody's forcing any company to do business with China, but if any American company does want to tap into their billion-person market, then they've got to follow the Chinese rules for doing business there. And most of those rules are antithetical to democratic norms, which makes perfect sense because China is an authoritarian state.

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