Sandal-Wearing Tribe

July 4, 2008

“Scalia did not like to vote that way,” he said, slipping into the third person, as he often does during comic riffs. “He does not like sandal-wearing bearded weirdos who go around burning flags. He is a very conservative fellow.”

Scalia would have loved to put the defendant [who I heard wore Doc Martins, actually] in jail, he said. It made him “furious” not to be able to. But “I was handcuffed — I couldn’t help it, that’s my understanding of the First Amendment. I can’t do the nasty things I’d like to do.” Other democracies still proscribe the expression of certain unpopular ideas, from race hatred to Holocaust denial to offensive speech about monarchs. The American concept of freedom, as Justice Scalia well expresses, responds to disfavored, even vile, expression with moral opprobrium alone, not the force of law. Those handcuffs must remain in place.

Bonus Free-Born Albertan Free Speech Moment:

The woman in the video later quit her job because of all the media. Good.


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