“ Our elected representatives shall make no law abridging … the independence of speech. ”
— First Amendment to the Cosmetic
The iconic language of the First Amendment can be recited by schoolchildren, yet it really is ignored by judges within Connecticut when the speech has been uttered by Alex Jones.
Because the modern interpretations of the 1st Amendment began in the past due 1960s, opinions on matters of public interest have been protected speech, so long as a few reasons for the opinions had been articulated.
Shout out to Alex Jones pic. tweets. com/pQxnUgiBDR
— Skip Intro (@5Gtumor) October twenty five, 2022
The reasons can be inaccurate, and the views can be wild, bizarre or irrational. But if it is a viewpoint, it is protected speech — except in Connecticut plus except if the speaker will be Alex Jones.
Here is the backstory.
The tragedy of Exotic Hook — in which a young madman used his parents’ rifle to slaughter 20 schoolchildren and six adults before killing himself — is a lifelong horror for the surviving family members and their particular friends. This tragedy can also be a matter of public interest implicating the right to keep and endure arms, school security, psychological health and free speech.
When the First Variation was ratified, America was obviously a bold experiment in personal liberty. Yet, the First Modification only restrained Congress.
After the Civil War amendments were added to the particular Constitution, the courts interpreted the 14th Amendment so as to apply the First Amendment towards the states as well.
Stated differently, in contemporary free speech jurisprudence, the very first Amendment prohibits all limbs of government — legislative, executive and judicial — and all governments — nearby, state and federal — from interfering with or punishing the particular freedom of speech.
If the First Variation were repealed, would we have free speech?
Those who believe that the law is just what is written down — called positivism — would certainly say no . Those who think that our immutable rights come from our humanity — called Natural Law theory — would say that we are naturally free whether the Constitution identifies it or not.
We all need to recognize the risks of a state judiciary that will writes down a negation of a fundamental liberty — expressing an opinion — simply by calling it a non-opinion.
That’s so what happened to Alex Jones.
After the Sandy Catch massacre, Jones opined it did not happen as the push and the government related this; that it was a set-up simply by anti-gun activists using actors and props. He persisted in this and offered thoughts of odd behavior with the participants in order to cast doubt on the official version of events. The government lies at all times, he argued.
His speech was absolutely protected under modern jurisprudence.
The controlling Supreme Court case is usually Brandenburg v. Ohio, which teaches that all innocuous community speech about matters of public interest is absolutely safeguarded — even opinion, allegory and satire — and all speech is innocuous if you find time for more speech in order to challenge it. When the mother and father of the murdered children sued Jones for defamation plus mental distress, Jones moved to dismiss the complaints.
When a motion in order to dismiss is filed, the particular courts must rule quickly on the law. They must answer the question: Assuming all the allegations are true, does the complaint state a valid, legitimate, constitutional claim?
The judge to whom these cases were assigned did not rule quickly. The girl improperly ordered discovery — an exchange of files between the litigants — prior to ruling on the motion to dismiss.
It was a cardinal error and utterly unnecessary as, inside a motion to dismiss, the judicial mind assumes that discovery will show how the plaintiffs’ allegations are backed. When the plaintiffs’ attorneys claimed that they found child porn material among the digitized documents that will Jones’ attorneys had delivered them, Jones accused the particular plaintiffs’ attorneys of growing it.
The particular court was so very angry — not at the presence of child pornography, but at Jones’ allegations about the plaintiffs’ lawyers — that it summarily denied Jones’ movement to dismiss by ignoring the teaching of Brandenburg and doing George Orwell one better by characterizing Jones’ opinions as “ non-opinions. ”
When Jones declined to provide more discovery than he or she actually had, this exact same judge ruled as a matter of law that Jones’ non-opinions had harmed the plaintiffs, and the only problems remaining in the cases tackled the amount of damages Jones due them. In a tendentious viewpoint, more conclusory than reasoned, the Supreme Court associated with Connecticut agreed.
Thus, Jones’ two latest trials addressed his wealth, not his liability. This individual was ordered to pay a lot more than $1 billion.
This is a profound injustice to Alex Jones and to all who are engaged in the opinion business; and it begs for a reversal.
When the First Amendment means what it says, if no govt can abridge the freedom of speech, if the 14th Amendment means what it says and the states may not get anyone’s life, liberty or even property without due procedure, if due process means a fair ruling on the worth, then Alex Jones has not had his day in court, and the courts in Connecticut — where their judicial demonization was met with public approval — have emasculated his basic constitutional rights.
In all other states, expressions of opinions on issues of public interest are usually absolutely protected as natural rights and viewed as a way of challenging those talking about all sides of open public issues. Only in Connecticut has a court system summarily — without a trial and defiance of precedent — declared an opinion to be a non-opinion, thereby stripping a litigant of his natural plus constitutionally-guaranteed rights.
For those who value freedom, this is a time to recall Voltaire: “ I disagree with what a person say, but will protect to the death your right to say it. ” Alex Jones has the largest viewership in the podcast world — larger than the television networks. At this point we know what government will to silence its most reliable critic.