If you’re just joining us, it’s Day 3 of the Senate confirmation hearings for Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Jackson Brown. She’s fielded a lot of questions so far, but, to be fair, not every single question has been super relevant to the situation. Some issues won’t really factor into things if she gets a seat on the Supreme Court.

But when it comes to stuff like, say, the First Amendment and freedom of speech … well, those seem like topics that you’d definitely want to be brought up during a confirmation hearing for a potential Supreme Court Justice.

And those topics did come up. Unfortunately, Ketanji Brown Jackson’s take on them doesn’t really inspire a whole lot of confidence in her ability to apply the Constitution in interpreting the law:

Her words:

“If there is speech that is an incitement to violence, that’s one circumstance in which the government might be able to prevent it. But, other than that, short of that, um, free speech is supposed to be allowed to happen.”

We get where she’s coming from when it comes to incitement to violence (assuming that she’s talking about actual incitement to violence as opposed to, say, pointing out that a biological male is not a woman. But what’s this “free speech is supposed to be allowed to happen” business? Let’s take another look at the First Amendment, in case we just missed that part somehow:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Hmmm. “Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech.” Seems pretty cut and dried. Nothing about how Congress is not supposed to make any law abridging the freedom of speech.

Yeah, seems like we’re pretty much at that point.



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