Feds Refuse To Defend Free-Speech Assault 

††Feds Refuse To Defend Free-Speech Assault 

Posted by CN Staff on January 28, 2005 at 07:29:04 PT
Source: The Monitor†

Congratulations to Solicitor General Paul Clement for deciding, and saying in a letter to Congress, that "the government does not have a viable argument to advance in the statuteís defense and will not appeal the district courtís decision."  It is rare for a solicitor general, the governmentís trial lawyer, to refuse to defend in court a statute passed by Congress. Charles Fried told The Wall Street Journal he could remember doing it only twice when he served in the post from 1985 to 1989.
What prompted such an unusual refusal was what is generally called the Istook Amendment, introduced into a 2004 appropriations bill. Miffed that a few reform organizations bought ads criticizing marijuana prohibition on buses and other transit systems, Republican Rep. Ernest Istook of Oklahoma wrote language denying federal funds to transit systems that accepted such advertising. After the provision went into effect, the ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project and Change the Climate Inc. jointly developed an ad (showing people behind bars with the caption, "Marijuana Laws Waste Billions of Taxpayer Dollars to Lock Up Non-Violent Americans") and tried to buy space for it with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Fearing the loss of federal dollars, the authority declined the ad, and the matter went to court.  Last June, Washington, D.C.- based U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ruled the Istook provision was unconstitutional, stating "there is a clear public interest in preventing the chilling of speech on the basis of viewpoint." At first, the government declared it would appeal the decision. But this week, Solicitor General Clement conceded there was no way the government could win the case.  The shocking thing is that any member of Congress thought prohibiting ads was legitimate, but the attempt is a reflection of how weak the case for prohibition is.  At least the Justice Department recognized the hopelessness of trying to defend the indefensible. Complete Title: Admitting Defeat: Feds Refuse To Defend Free-Speech Assault Source: The Monitor (TX)Published: January 28, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The MonitorContact: letters themonitor.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Sites:MPP: Must Accept Pro-Marijuana Ads Ads Loses Justice Department Support Department Refuses to Defend Congress

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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on January 30, 2005 at 20:55:12 PT
Flashing Eyes -- Twinkling Eyes
"Listen! I will unfold a mystery: we shall not all die, but we shall all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet-call." I Corinthians 15:51And the minister said, "Isn't twinkling eyes what you want to see in friends and relatives?"Twinkling Eyes Club
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on January 30, 2005 at 07:12:20 PT
Bright Eyes,Flashing Eyes - Texas Search in BC #5
Once, maybe still, when prospective teacher candidates were evaluated in Ontario, one of the positive qualities that the evaluators were looking for is "bright eyes"! I guess, teachers better not go driving in British Columbia or Texas anymore.The thought of dull-eyed motorists alarms me. It reminds me of coming back to Toronto after a Woodstock-like outdoor concert, called the Strawberry Fields Rock Concert and Motorcycle Rally, held at Mosport Park. Sharing the road with all manner of impaired drivers was frightening. BRIGHT EYES
(Mike Batt)
Art Garfunkel - 1979
Pierre Belmonde - 1986
Stephen Gately - 2000
Also recorded by: Johnny Ventura; Richard Clayderman; Elaine Paige."Is it a kind of dream, floating out on the tide
Following the river of death downstream, oh, is it a dream?
There's a fog along the horizon, a strange glow in the sky
And nobody seems to know where you go, and what does it mean
Oh, oh, is it a dream?"Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale? Bright eyes"Is it a kind of shadow, reaching into the night,
Wandering over the hills unseen, or is it a dream?
There's a high wind in the trees, a cold sound in the air,
And nobody ever knows where you go, and where do you start,
Oh, oh, into the dark"Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale? Bright eyes"Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale? Bright eyes"--"BRIGHT EYES"
International Lyrics Playground 
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on January 29, 2005 at 03:30:31 PT
Love vs. Fear
Could You Be Loved 
Bob Marley Sound Clip - Real Media"Could you be loved and be loved?
Could you be loved and be loved"Don't let them fool you
Or even try to school you, Oh! No
We've got a mind of our own
So go to hell if what you're thinkin' isn't right
Love would never leave us alone
In the darkness there must come out to light"Could you be loved and be loved?
Could you be loved and be loved"The road of life is rocky
And you may stumble too
So while you point your fingers
Someone else is judgin' you
Love your brotherman"Could you be, could you be, could you be loved?
Could you be, could you be loved?"Don't let them change you
Or even rearrange you, Oh! No
We've got a life to live
They say only, only
Only the fittest of the fittest shall survive
Stay alive"Could you be loved and be loved?
Could you be loved and be loved"You ain't gonna miss your water
Until your well runs dry
No matter how you treat him
The man will never be satisfied
Could you be, could you be, could you be loved
Could you be, could you be loved
Could you be, could you be loved"Say something, say something, say something
Say something
Reggae, Reggae
Say something
Rockers, Rockers
Say something could you be loved"Nanonarks 
by Reverend Damuzi (27 Jan, 2005) Speculations on a drug-war technofuture"Fresh Air" by Quicksilver Messenger Service: The Best Of Quicksilver Messenger Service  Copyright  1990 Capitol and Fighting Driver Jah Seh Conqueror
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 28, 2005 at 21:53:04 PT

That is so disturbing and disgusting. It's horrifying enough when it happens to people here in Texas and to think it was brought to your country. I'm so sorry. They do that "reading signs" stuff here. It's just revolting. It's nothing more than another excuse, a lie, to say so they can search you. Probable cause..."because his eyelashes were fluttering and his eyes were flashing." I wish I hadn't read all that stuff about Russia and the KGB when I was younger. I was horrified...and now it's here. They can stand up and holler "Rule of law! Rule of law!" all day long. They've destroyed whatever good we ever were...even if it was only a facade. At least, with the facade of freedom from government oppression, and the belief in liberty and equality, we could think we weren't like the old Soviet Union. We can't anymore.I can't imagine being pulled over here in Texas by a Mounty or a Federale. I can't imagine that your government let it happen there. It's horrifying. Your tax money was probably spent to make it happen, too. Exchange program? I haven't heard about any RCMP riding with troopers here and questioning Texans. But I guess I wouldn't, would I, unless I'd been stopped. Another of their dirty little secrets and schemes. It's hard to fathom that either government would let such a thing happen. Obviously it does though. That's low. That's very low. What an insult to Canadian citizens. It looks indefensible to me. Somebody ought to be demoted somewhere there in the RCMP to have let that happen. It's like they're aiding and abetting an invasion by foreign troops into their own land against their own citizens.

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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 20:00:10 PT

I'm so sorry. I wish we would leave you all alone.
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on January 28, 2005 at 19:51:43 PT

Our Tax Dollars at Work, 
Thwarting the Will of the People. Smartin' up, Martin. The NDP helped you get elected and they ran on a platform of legal medical cannabis and legal cannabis cafes. Why are you kowtowing to the right-wing Conservative prohibitionists, who threatened to force a vote of non-confidence, and to the US bullies who do not represent the will of the majority of US citizens?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 19:36:48 PT

To me the RCMP are suppose to be good guys and I only think of Dudley Do Right when I think of them.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 19:32:56 PT

Thank you. Why is a Texas Cop training the RCMP in Canada? I couldn't believe it. They are probably some of the toughest cops there are in the states.
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on January 28, 2005 at 19:16:28 PT

Link to CBC Newsworld Story onTexas Search in BC 
Cop wins RCMP settlement after highway search
Last Updated Fri, 28 Jan 2005 21:31:48 EST 
CBC News
HOPE, B.C. - A Vancouver man has won an out-of-court settlement from the RCMP after an incident in which he says he was illegally searched by an American police officer. more..."The RCMP settled with Laing out of court when he threatened to sue for unlawful detention. But the Mounties defend the search, saying Laing looked suspicious because his eyelashes were fluttering and his eyes were flashing."
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on January 28, 2005 at 15:36:02 PT:

I must give credit to the Observer for the idea
Those reading this and enjoying those cartoons should thank him for the effort of gleaning those from a book I had and placing them on the Website...which is largely his baby. The site itself is a smorgasboard of information which any researcher will find invaluable. But the point I wanted to make by directing people's attention to the cartoons and the site is that some of them show a rising figure of those (some of them innocents) killed by the enforcers of alcohol Prohibition...and the casual attitude of those who did the killing. All that's changed in all this time since that last execrable attempt at legislating morality is that the firepower has become much greater, as has the threat to civil liberties. The severely myopic fanaticism of prohibitionists hasn't changed one tiny bitLike I said before: The more things change... 
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on January 28, 2005 at 11:33:32 PT

Those cartoons are priceless! I think I recognized some of today's antagonists in the caricatures. Funny (not ha-ha) how the government saved us from the chaos and violence of Prohibition I, but they refuse to rein in Prohibition II because of vested lobbyists living of the proceeds of the "crime." btw, I just heard on CBC Newsworld that the British Columbia RCMP are allowing Texas State Troopers on an exchange program in Canada to pull over Canadian motorists suspected of cannabis involvement. They made the mistake of pulling over a Vancouver city Police officer and accused him of driving under the influence of cannabis. This is unacceptable! (Of course, the Texas police used the prejudicial term "marijuana.")
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Comment #2 posted by JoeCitizen on January 28, 2005 at 09:29:22 PT

Thanks, Kap
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."Thanks for the reminder, Kaptinemo. We need to keep reminding people what a big failure Prohibition I was, because the antis are already trying to revise that history. JC
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on January 28, 2005 at 08:27:45 PT:

There's that word again: PROHIBITION
I love it. The more that word is mentioned, the harder it is for the antis to dodge the inevitable comparisons with alcohol Prohibition...which literally everyone knows was a resounding failure. (Though some antis, as if they were 'channelling' long dead 'Drys', will tell you straight-facedly that it *did* work; the problem is they currently reside outside the mental institutions they rightfully belong in for suffering from such a hard time with reality.)Speaking of 'Drys', here are the most common caricatures of the present day anti's philospohical ancestor, The Dry: background on this uniquely American cartoon character from the UK's Politcal Cartoon Society:*Rollin Kirby's cartoon is, perhaps, the most famous and enduring image of the Prohibition era in America. Kirby "invented" Mr. Dry, the black-coated, acerbic kill-joy who represented the worst elements of Prohibitionists. This image was quickly adopted by other cartoonists and can be seen in drawings from throughout the Prohibition era. It is a prime example of the development of a cartooning icon.Cartoonists were willing to pick up on a good idea produced by a fellow artist, so long as that image was readily and easily understood by the public - an essential in any cartoon. Obviously, Kirby and the others who used the image were not in favour of Prohibition - or, at least, the most killjoy proponents of it! As the French say, "The more things change, the more they stay the same"... 
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