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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 6, 2013 8:45pm-10:01pm EDT

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and formed a lifelong friendship, something i never knew, and that's a great book, a big book for baseball fans this summer so that's the list, and looking forward to reading them all. >> let us know what you are reading this summer. tweet us @booktv, post it on facebook, or e-mail us at >> first amendment attorney, floyd abrams, who remitted the "new york times" in the pentagon papers cases recounts the career and represents his thoughts on current first amendment debate. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> this evening, we're delighted to have one of the greatest present living lawyers, and one the greatest lawyers the nation had by the name of floyd abrams, who just released a wonderful book, that the critics are raving about called "friend of the court: on the front lines with the first amendment," and
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what we're going to be doing is a 40-minute conversation interview, and floyd has kindly agreed to open up to you'd yens questions so as many people as possible have a chance to question one of the greatest lawyers, so to kick start it, floyd, could you please tell us how this very interesting book receiving critical great reviews came about? >> first, i got a call from a legal scholar named ronald collins, a professor at the university of washington law school. he told me he was interested in doing a book about my views about certain aspects of the first amendment, different sortings -- sorts of cases, how i thought the courts ought to analyze first amendment cases, and he asked me for speeches i'd begin and arguments i'd been engaged in and the like, and i sent him
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many more than he wanted, i think, but certainly many more than he thought that i had, and he called me up one day saying, i have an idea, why don't you publish these? you put together what you think are the most interesting and continuing relevant speeches or articles or opinions or the like that you're involved with, and i said, no, too busy. i don't want to spend time rereading things i said 30 years ago, but it can be tempts to reread what you write, and i did start to look through articles that i had written and letters i'd written, and book reviews that i'd written and the like, and so i started to put together a book which sort of spanned 40
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years of law and my life in it, but also and only on topics i thought were still relevant and that people could care about. sometimes it's hard to make that choice. one of the ones that i found hardest to decide on was whether to put in some material on confidential sources of journalists, and the reason that it was hard was that there had not been cases in a few years now involving journalists who had sources that were threatened by something or other that the government was trying to do or that the courts were requiring or anything like that. i decided, well, it's an interesting subject. it's got to recur. who'da thunk that the same week my book came out that i was getting phone calls by the press that the administration, and the
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associated press, and the administration and the fox news journalists, and whether we should have a shield law protecting journalists and who is journalist was and whether we should decide who a journalist was or not, and, you know, i was glad that chapter 8 tucked in there -- had material on that, but in any event, that's how it came into being, the broader way to say it, is that i had enjoyed throughout the years going mostly to college campuses and law school and talking about various issues and current about or dealing in some way with freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and that's, in the end, how the book came about. >> floyd, tell us, when you first read the pentagon papers, what do you think, and why do you think it was so important for the public to have access to
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what you were able to read? >> well, the pentagon papers, for any of you below a certain age -- [laughter] were, you know, 21 volumes of material commissioned by the then secretary of defense, robert, and basically asked that it be put together for him in the late 1960s to sort of answer the question, how did we become involved in the war in vietnam. one can say maybe we should have asked the questions before we became involved in the war in vietnam, but in any event, the secretary asked the defense department to put together, by putting a lot of scholars together to write this summary of starting 1945, right after world war ii ended, of how the u.s. gradually and then with ever greater speed became
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involved in the war in vietnam, and this, at a time, when the war was not going well, when our entry into it had become very controversial, when trying to get out of it was very, very difficult, and when i was retained in 1971, when the new w york times" was provided with a couple all by three volumes of what became known by a source, the government had advised the times that if they published this, and it was all classified as top secret, that the government would take steps, that the government would go to court, to get a court order barring the times from doing so, so that sort of the background of the case. again, every document in all the volumes was classified as the
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top secret, which was at least, in theory, the highest, most secret sort of material that there is, and when i became involved, the case was so rushed, the government asked for a prior restraint, a court order, a unjux against the times publishing any more of what was in the study than they had already published, that when you asked me when i first read the pentagon papers, i didn't read the pentagon papers until the case was over. i read parts of the papers, and those were the parts that the government claimedded were dangerous because that was the basis of their going to court. they said, if this is published in the nid l of the war, it frustrates our efforts to end the war, and otherwise harm national security, and so our
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job in defending the times was to persuade the courts that that was not so, or that even if it was potentially so, that it was so important that the press be able to publish information and views and the like about the war that no injunction should be entered, and that's how it all began, and that was our thinking from the time it began. >> and why was it so important that the public have access to it then that it was published? >> right. what was important about it is that it really showed that there had been a great deal of duplicity of our government to our people. mostly and simply not telling them that we were getting more involved and more involved and more involved in the war, and
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otherwise simply not presenting the full anything like a fair picture of the situation there at the time we became really very actively involved in the war. the papers ended in 1968. that was the cut off date, so the case was in good part historical in nature. the case is 1971, the pentagon papers went from 1945 to 1968, and one of the things we were saying throughout was, look, this is history. this is not what's happening today. you don't have to worry so much that something terrible's going to happen on the ground, that we're going to lose a battle, that we're not going to be able to end the war, whatever, and it always seemed to me one of the most startling things about it is that we really lost the battle to persuade the supreme
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court that no harm would come. a majority on the court thought it would be harlful -- harmful, but they were not sure enough, and they certainly were not sure that it would be very harmful, and when they put that against the first amendment, congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or the press, they said, you can go ahead and publish it. we can't, won't, don't think we have the power or ought to say we have the power to keep a fliewp -- newspaper from publishing news. >> you've been one of the strongest propoems and defenders of the first amendment for its protection, and in what circumstances do you think that the first amendment can be restricted? >> we don't live in a world of
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absolutes. there are situations, certainly, one can cop -- conjure them up in which no one would want a first amendment that was so strong that there could never be any limitation on speech. for example, we have libel law in america. we have more protection of speech against libel law than any country in the world, but we have libel law. we have privacy law. we have law designed to protect a national security. we have and espionage act. we have lots of laws which either touch on or intersect with or have tension with the first amendment. the real issue again and again is not whether there are some limits that can be put. the real issue is what's the rule and what's the exception? if the rule is really going to be the press can publish what it
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likes, you can do what you like by way of verbal expression, you can burn the american flag, burn a bible, burn the american constitution as a way of expressing how strongly you feel about something or other, but that, sure, there can be situations, but they would be very few and very rare in which speech can ever be stopped up front before you say it, and even when the government wants to punish you, we have to be very careful not to allow punishment except in cases where the speech is so likely to do harm of such mag magnitude and o quickly that we're ready to trump the first amendment. it happens. the important thing is that it
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doesn't happen often, and we are very careful, very cautious, very cherry about the circumstances in which we allow it to happen. >> the first amendment is usedded as a litmus test in different facets of our society. some say pornography should not be protected under the first amendment because subjects are physically abused, hurt, and degraded. what's your opinion on this area in which people say is controversial? >> when people are hurt or the like, the criminal law comes into the people who do it, but not people who write, and we do have law against obscenity, and this gets technical to say as we're in new york city tonight, walk down the street, and
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there's not a whole lot that's not a -- allowed -- [laughter] so there are some things. child pornography, for example, but it's really interesting. the theory on which the supreme court has said that child pornography can be made criminal is not that the public will learn bad things or be deeply offended by it. the theory is that it hurts the kids who are in the pictures, and that we can always protect, so if somebody is doing something to a child, whether beating a child or making a child or luring a child into some sort of child pornography situation, to protect the child, we can take steps, and we can punish people, but we distinguish that, usually, from
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making it illegal to take pictures is of things which are offensive. ..
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>> which means people have very different political, social, cultural views, the court said the least the statute that congress passed was too broad and therefore was unconstitutional, that it violated the first amendment even when it was of an act that was illegal. we're the only country in the world that would of -- even think of protecting that sort of speech. canada wouldn't. i picked them as a free country. great britain wouldn't, the western european or japan would not. that is our first amendment is that it goes very, very far into the depiction of events and the articulation
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of speech which is deeply offensive to us all because of the basic disinclination of trust, government, well-mean ing or not to comment to make decisions what we see, what we read alternately in what we think steel making recently prevailed in a national and historic argument before the supreme court with a landmark case with the federal election commission. does interposition conflict with your personal liberal believes? >> sure. but i think it is really important that we don't mix up their political, social, cultural views with what is allowed to be said.
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i was not the lawyer on that case. ted olson represented citizens united but i represented senator mcconnell in that case and i did get to be one of the two lawyers argued that. it a film was made by a conservative organization denouncing senator hillary clinton when she looked like should be the democratic candidate in 2008, the entity that made it, the conservative organization was partially funded by corporate many. not a lot but partially. under the statute in the fact -- effected any speech than and up denouncing the election still within 60 days of an election or 30
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days of a political convention could not be funded by corporations. that was so called mccain-feingold law. my view is and was is that it is inconceivable a movie denouncing a candidate for the president of united states could be a crime. that is what the statute did. it made criminal that movie is shown on television or on cable or satellite is shown with in the 30 or 60-- period. i think there is nothing that the first amendment says more about them political speech, who to vote for, who to vote against and the fact the money even if all of it came from corporations, should
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not change that. that is what citizens united was about. i spend most of life professionally representing corporations that are involved in the delivery of news to people, broadcasters, televi sion stations, museums. no one ever thought that the corporate form was what they used, public broadcasting system the corporation for "the new york times" that no one ever imagined but because of that they would not receive full fledged highest level first amendment protection so that is rather was coming from and you are right there is some conflict between that
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with my liberal friends and more liberal political and social inclinations. but in this area there is nothing more important than to put that stuff aside, really what side you are on with the ideological but battle in washington when one talks about the subpoena to be served recently it goes to court to to get a search warrant to search the home telephone numbers of the fox news correspondent in washington to tell a federal judge that the correspondent is likely and guilty of violating the espionage act because he
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asked to many questions of someone in the government that was in power to know certain matters he asks too much and it flattered him and that that could be a crime and that is what they said in order to persuade the id judge to enter the order to allow a search of the e-mail's it is too important to put aside to anyone voted for on something like an ad and similar the with citizens united the protests around the abortion clinics people who are more liberal think the women ought to have the right to decide to have an
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abortion. many conservative people disagree the case comes to the supreme court to then the question is, can you try to persuade a woman on route to a medical facility not to have an abortion? in the supreme court on the case said the statute says you have to stay 8 feet away in that you could not speak to the woman within that area unless she asks. the supreme court by the five / four boat said it was constitutional and the conservative members said what about the first amendment? that is more liberal but my reaction was what about the first amendment? is one thing to say you cannot get in someone's way
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or frighten them but it is something else to say somebody who thinks abortion is murder cannot try to persuade a woman not to have an abortion. they think it is critically important with the one overriding please of my book is to try to put out political social and cultural views to decide when we talk about what rights people have to speak out. >> you represented the museum of natural are with the battle of mayor guiliani. do you believe there should be any type of limitation of a publicly funded museum can display to the public? >> it is a hard question. certainly the funders can make the decision, content.
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nobody would say a publicly funded museum that decided all it wanted was portraits could be challenged in court to say you're leaving out modern art. that can be the lot and it is not but what guiliani did was to allow his personal ideological views, religious views and almost artistic puce. [laughter] views forgive me of the process -- proposition because of the pictures and the paintings and the works of art at the time of the exhibition were deeply offensive, and they were two lots of people including one in particular which showed
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an african woman in african clothing with elephant dung on her of that. which you would not know that unless you knew that it just makes everything shiny in case you want to know what to do when you go home tonight. [laughter] but it was for the holy virgin mary in mayor giuliani, i take kim at his word on this, was outraged that that the great religious symbol should wonder why is public funding going for that? the reality is public funding doesn't have to go to that but you can take it away because of the ideology.
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he can say we were going to fund the brooklyn museum the we will not find it because we are deeply offended by the message of that work of our. said that was a great challenge. the court said in the fact he could do that to put it issue not just paintings but books as well. but to say at all like a book with the same picture in the public library or adult like karl marx in our library. so that sort of thing is at war with the first amendment and the notion of the freedom of expression, freedom of
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thought to let people make up their own decisions in these critical areas. >> can you describe your argument formerly of "the new york times" and tame -- "time" magazine should be exempt before the grand jury? >> let me tell you it was not with a successful argument reflected in the fact judas' miller spent 88 days in prison after made the argument. but you cannot win them all. [laughter] the public cannot learn certain things the public cannot learn certain things unless promises of confidentiality
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can be made and kept. because there are certain matters and other matters of high importance if they can be promised and they believe the promise that no one will tell, we have a shield law here in new york. most states have shield laws that mean just that to shield the journalist against having to reveal against confidential sources of news gathering. but someone in federal court with the cases involving miller came out the way it
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did was was and still is no federal protection as such a part from the first amendment in with a grand jury context so far there has not been much protection in that area but there is in right now as we meet with the court of appeals for the fourth circuit in which a judge did find that in the context of a leak investigation that a journalist could refuse the nave of the person that provided him with information so to see how that goes but as a general
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proposition require protection of a significant level to unable to do their work is the one that i believe in very strongly. one of the articles in my book was the op-ed piece ended in a los angeles times writer around the time judith miller had to go tucci jail not withstanding protecting the free speech than has ever been true in any of the country in this area here that there's more protection in europe in japan and more protection in mozambican of course, the "l.a. times" put it even in mozambique. [laughter]
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but the reality is we give protection by a state law but it went -- and said being less protection than most nations provide to their journalist. >> you would ask what lot to abolish you said bush verses' gore? why is that? >> was asked which case that was the case was the end of the 2000 election that ended the vote counting in florida. it was an opinion without getting into it to deeply appeared to be written for that case only in the majority opinion basically went very far down the road to say the facts in this case are so extraordinary
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don't look to this for anything in the future for anything. [laughter] but that at the least it was a difficult opinion for the majority to right. i thought the court was wrong on a look -- a lot of levels and it should not have heard the case it arose from the state courts of florida should have stayed in the state court of florida. the decisions there should have been allowed to stay in the fact which would have resulted in more boats being counted. that is not how it came now getting that was the court's finest hour by any means with many. >> with many decades to be a
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proponent of the first amendment and the great cases you have argued to the nation, has anybody for in your life because they disagree with your position? >> not that i know of. [laughter] i did have a partner of mine as we going to court with the "pentagon papers" case in 1971 say how does it feel to represent traders? if you think people cannot get along today in america believe me it was worse in the late '60s and early '70s. >> can you explain your present position on the wikileaks case? >> i have been very critical item think it is playing the
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same role as "the new york times" did in the "pentagon papers" case. i think they behaved recklessly i think they reveal the information which could lead to significant harm to individuals and to the country and i don't believe wikileaks is engaged with journalism not because i disagree with them but just for one example, when it looks like private manning provided them with 90,000 military reports written by american soldiers in afghanistan and it was released to the public 77,000 of them. and was asked by a journalist that you read and
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he said about 2,000 hummel and the 70,000 navy 2000 he settled think there is any reason to think that would harm or threaten personal security your life. the lesson i took from that is that anything else you want to say about wikileaks wikileaks, that has nothing to do with the journalism journalist don't release documents. they write about things and 75,000 pages they have not read. but the hard question is is that the first amendment? we give first amendment rights to political activist. so the fact and of the key is a journalist that does not begin to answer the
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question was sort of legal protection they should get unfortunately we live under the espionage act passed in 1981 the first amendment to 90 been applied to the states at all and written very probably right after world war i ended. it has language about with the release of information relating to the national defense being barred. with everything within your times is about self-defense when he writes about the defense department. but in all years after to struggle to find a balance between what the first amendment protects and with
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the country and the people are entitled to do by way of defending themselves to take an easy case atomic weapon technology it is if you ask statute to make it a crime to publish and it says so. i think if there was a case against wikileaks it would have first amendment protection. i cannot answer the question how far the courts would go to apply the protection. one of the reality is that they talk about and law school is there are more or less attractive parties in court better sympathetic
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they would like to rule if they have the chance in wikileaks itself is very controversial but i have been so critical of just one example of the difficulties to persuade the jury that they should be let off but i hope if we do have a case, we really keep in mind again our country alone that you have done a lot of worse things of wikileaks we protect not the speech in something very close to obscenity in speech in the most of you would think this obscenity.
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we protect speech that the famous people based on race and religion and sex and. of speech that would be criminal in every of other democratic country in the world including the ones that we would all recognize most not the speech comes from internet sites in the united states because we protected. i think we are right but we have to understand that is part of the price tag that is big enough, broad enough and concerned enough to allow government to even make decisions about the worst, in the meanest and to some degree the most dangerous speech. that is what we have made with freedom of expression
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is so important we will allow bad speech to be legally protected. >> when mark question what you think the greatest challenge of the 21st century going forward does it come from social media? in your experience tusis the laws of the court will be think the greatest challenge will be first amendment protection in the years to come? >> let me answer the easy part first. i don't think it will come because of the internet or new technology. people are likely to have more speech and more protection because one of
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the great things about the internet is far more than newspapers rich corporations own men in general everybody could have a say it doesn't cost anything and where it does cost you can keep the cost down. the internet has said great contribution of free expression in the world and even in the country which has protected it generally very well but the internet we should remember is the home for not to speech and child pornography and a lot of terrible stuff where
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people who have sometimes dangerous odd views find other people to share those views and communicate. that said i suspect that will come from the old red when the country feels threatened it is very natural to want to limit speech oliver wendell holmes said a perfectly logical and somebody is saying something that you really disagree with and you think will do harm that you want to suppress it. and then justice holmes answered himself to say in effect the route that americans have chosen not to
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go on that is a marketplace of ideas and that everybody has to say. so where are the biggest threats? i think when we feel the most threatened if that is because of foreign threats and internal turmoil at home or something truly dangerous may be exaggerated but what we feel is said dangerous situation for the impetus to say they cannot say that you're not allowed to say that shows what we have to do at the same time we really protect yourself and what we have to do is really
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not a narrow the circumstances in limit those in which we limit speech or suppress speech or punish speech or force speech to limit those situations to a very narrow circumstances so the rule is it is a free country. thank you all very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentleman he has agreed to take audience questions. please wait for the microphone. >> the question i have for
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you involves barack obama extreme heavy-handed use and the justice department's heavy-handed use of criminal charges against the associated press which it is not the only thing he has done but obviously the one that is the most in the news lately. what you think he takes such a heavy-handed approach and engaging with prosecutorial conduct against the media that seems to be against the spirit? had reduced sees the situation to be resolved? >> first, of course, there is no prosecution of the associated press. i know what you mean but it is important to be clear for them to be accused they're not at criminal risk for anything at all.
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with the administration did the to readjust this basically in the course of a leak investigation to do the end run around the protections of the department of justice itself they would abide by a set of sitting down with the ap and try to work out some way and i doubt there could have been, but trying to dole out the business to allow the ap to go to court we have a neutral decision maker, a judge that decided but is said the right to the telephone company and served a subpoena on the telephone company and basically they
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got all the information they wanted to win from over telephones used by 100 reporters over to miss period, who called and how long the calls were of the telephone data of that sort and that was an abuse of power and also consistent with the department of justice regulations that say they have to engage in the negotiating process with a journalistic organization unless doing so would interfere with the integrity of the investigation itself. i have any reason to believe this would have interfered
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but that they would have gone to court and some judge would have decided that is the way it should have been. i don't have an answer when you ask why they did it. there are people that speculate the president's don't like to mix it up. these caa or nsa or the department of defense and self for fear of thought being soft on national security issues. i would also say this is where a leak investigation was appropriate. there are situations that someone in the government provides information they are not allowed to give which genuinely threatens
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national security. but it seems to me in this case and in the case of james rosen, the fox correspondent, and the administration went well beyond the boundaries that they should have gone and they are taking the criticism they deserve. a final thought, this is an area that criticism really matters. people talk sometimes will make a difference and here i think it will. because this administration in joy's this situation it is in with most of their friends denouncing them let alone the other entities about the whole situation. and i really hopeful that at the least we will end up with more enforceable rules
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within the department of justice and maybe wind up with a meaningful shield law to protect the press even in situations like less. >> with the difficulty to draw lines in two cases in respect to the pictures with what most people would view is truly offensive messages and the other area of with t-shirts and that they may wear is a good questions of it is not easy but the
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courts have said school is a place for we have indoctrination where the idea is to teach students certain things and not to teach them certain other things. so there is more room for discipline which is sometimes the enemy of absolutely free speech we'll let kids get up and scream in the middle of a class. what the supreme court has said of the case of the 1960's in which a kid came to school wearing a the black armband to protest the war in vietnam immerse and interferes with the teaching process that it was first amendment protected.
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so the question arises a confederate flag or comes with the anti-gay, what can or should the school will do? my comment is soft and easy which is if the apostle use it as a way to teach rather than suppress speech and if the apostle if there are no fights and there is no immediate terrible harm as a result. is a hard question because when you talk about the harm that could be done to children by words, pictures
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by saying certain things you are an area that is much more difficult than simply saying that is just the country we live-in, a free society and therefore you can feel that sometimes the children can be affected in ways with this speech so i have not answered the question that is as far as i will go. the other one another supreme court case decided just around the same time with small animals and that is the case in which
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1,000 feet away and those of our mourning the death of their son who died in afghanistan a group of family that calls themselves a church had signed up denouncing soldier as a way of denouncing gays in america and basically saying one is that he deserved to die because america is to excepting of gay people that they call fags than only did he deserve to die but other people ought to die as well because of the sexual orientation. the supreme court wrote an opinion that would have been unthinkable 20 years before
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because it is so protective of the first amendment with liberal and conservative members of the court but the eight / one vote the supreme court said holding their breath and holding their nose said this is a speech about politics, public affairs than they are speaking up of public issues , how to treat gays and how that is in american society and this is tasteful and even use harsher words this is the sort of speech that we protect them most about political cultural policy liked decisions. i agree with that opinion and i will tell you i was very grateful nobody asked
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me to write a brief to support the charges in this case because of rages does not begin to state its. i want to add one thing. they followed the rule the police told them where to stand and they did. they did not go into the church they were not riding around the cemetery. that affected the court a lot. >>. >> i thought what you said about wikileaks was interesting because for me the first amendment is where
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does it start and where does it and if you disagree with the fact the release these documents they have not even read in the fact they have not read them they don't know if it will harm anybody even if they do read them all who decides what causes harm? have you deal with that? you can read everything but it is still speech. >> and in that respect the question then you're raising is a similar question raised in the "pentagon papers" case the government said who are these people? for "the new york times" to decide what harms national security or not? and the answer was almost territorial they had the documents they were not entitled to them they had no legal right to to put their
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source made them available to them at the time and they could use them. the court made clear there were some circumstances that might using them could lead to another restraint but it even could lead that they violated the a spinoff jacked to say to allow them to publish and then go to court against them that is what wikileaks is afraid of. nobody is able to keep wikileaks from saying what it wants in the sophisticated way they have avoided limitations on what they get to say. so the answer to your question is if it ever came to court is not who were
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they to decide that they would have a trial where there is a decision made how dangerous and by the way i left out that some of this stuff i think has a good impact on society. but i wish is dealing with my articulation of the darker side but how bad does it have to be? that is really at the center of almost all the cases. >> you talked about this with another question but what about the states that have bullying laws of the internet, schools, different
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environments what is your feeling about that? >> do think a narrowly drawn bullying law is constitutional. really is protected and will put it this way, we have always said that certain types of speech amounting to threats are not protected by the first amendment with the law calls a true threat to to say that i will kill you the government can play a role with the first amendment if i needed. or if i mean if it is a joke on stage it is something else but there are threats that no one would argue protected by the first amendment but that bullying what can you drafted nearly enough can you avoid the
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terrible danger of a law that includes kids better to steps farther than they should be in teasing other kids. but i think it bullying was drafted well can be sustained. >>. >> what is the current state of the law where pure speech of racist or sexist nature but not threatening is the basis of a harassment claim in the workplace? >> the answer is unclear.
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because you rightly pose the question of speech that would be protected by the first amendment. but in the context in which a precondition of employment that you must live with that has generally held to be constitutional. then know where -- the courts are nowhere near to decide your question. we've got laws which try to do both things to do free-speech and laws against discrimination and workplace harassment which on the face is perfectly constitutional run into each other with just the example that you
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offer. i think there will be cases that reach the supreme court just like certain types of economic speech about the stock market and the like i think we will wind up with more legal protection than people think right now. but that is for another speech in a few years and. >> with restrictions on campaign finance should go out under the first amendment, if any? >> first, restrictions of this sort which require
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disclosure of who is giving money and how much money to whom our constitutional and i believe the citizens united case made that clear. so that is the beginning. under current law in contributions can still be limited but expenditures cannot which is to say foreign individual or corporation and limit the amount of money to give to a political party or candidate the what the supreme court has said so far we can't win that our expenditures to spend your own money as you like the that is what some dissension knighted was about to so as long as it is and coordinated with the
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candidates. , now that has been almost a joke in the way that it is not enforced. that is not the supreme court's fault but the theory is if you do it on your own, you cannot correct yourself. the only thing is the supreme court said we can decide who to vote for in the first place is corruption. of factual quid pro quo for me and i will do that for you. but the recent that your bloomberg spent $150 million is set the supreme court said you cannot correct yourself.
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so what we should be concerned about is it is just not fair. it is not right or equal to have some people have so much power and some people so little is that is inconsistent with the first amendment and have said it is alien to the first amendment to try to deal with the equalization issue by limiting speech. and now that i add to that from the first amendment perspective is to say you think some people have too much money? take away their money. increase taxes, if you want to have more powerful
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antitrust laws, do that. corporations. the first amendment does not require having corporations. the constitution does not say anything about corporations. but if you have got them and people with a lot of money money, the one thing you cannot do is to keep them talking and the money gets the message out as much as they want with as much influence they give them. the final five with a cheerful results of the last election for or against them , was how much of the money spent had no effect at all. [laughter] it does give a little hope that in the final final
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thought we're in new york city we don't have elections here. we know who will win in our state and inner-city but i was in ohio the week before the election and it was a first amendment paradise. they were so sick of the advertisements. but for the first amendment protection there was up obama, ms. romney then another obama than the same net romney add an item no people who felt more liberated than the folks in ohio with the election was over. but from my perspective perspective, that's okay.
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but it is to have that speech and let the people have their say. >> my question has to do with employers and employees and i notice a lot of times people on twitter, not a journalist but others make a response that may not be the best interest of the company that they work for brett they put in the profile of these traits are my opinion the yet one week later they are fired or there is a case but a share of of a town that the employees voted for another candidate and he liked their page and he was fired but they told him it
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was poor performance. >> from the first amendment perspective the two examples the offer are interesting but starting a different. the first amendment does not protect anyone against employers unless it is the government. if only protects against the government. the first amendment exists to protect you against the government. now, other countries have much more protection for what you and i would call free speech of the employees against their employer but with issues like this, we live in a society where employment is at will to fire someone for no cause. but not an awful reason but
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you can fire people if you like their political views. so employees who think they have legal protection for their views expressed on twitter or otherwise are often wrong about it. for example,, something i have seen again and again our employees who send e-mail on the company-owned computer that is the most common place. then lawyers like me with the not first amendment case by the way are demanded by a the sec to turn over all the males of that group for this person or the whole company
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from this day through that date and we had discussions some of these females are very personal. some of them relate to relationships, illnesses, ch ildren, political views, and the answer is generally generally, we're not interested in that but send them over. so there is very little first amendment protection with the employer / employee situation unless you work for it the government or a government entity. but if you do, then the world really does change. on the one hand there are limits that have been placed
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on the rights of government employees on the theory that they are redoubling government employs to do certain types of work you do with them to give political speeches that congress said any reform effort years ago that the same time the one thing that is clear is no government entity is allowed to make decisions based on the politics or the social views of their employees. that is analogous to the controversy that now raises the internal revenue service it has a lot of power and authority for there is no
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argument. you cannot even make the argument they can take into account the political views of the taxpayer. and it is indefensible. so when something comes up is but in the other context it is part of life in america. >> ladies and gentlemen, on that note he has kindly agreed to sign his book. critics are giving incredible previous and it is a breathtaking book. i have read in a strongly encourage you to have your book signed. please remain seated for about 20 seconds. my last question is can you tell us


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