Senator Markey looks to regulate all media for 'hate crimes'
As Democrats in the Senate begin an effort to change the Constitution in order to allow Congress only to set limits on campaign spending, Senator Ed Markey wants to police, and regulate TV, radio, and the internet in order to get rid of "hate crimes."
Not suprisingly, Constitutional experts are laughing at him.
Democrat Sen. Edward Markey from Massachusetts says the government should crack down on broadcast messages that promote what he calls hate crimes, by regulating content on television, radio and the Internet.
He’s proposed commissioning a government study to find ways to stop the broadcast outlets from “encouraging hate crimes” through their various communications, Breitbart reported.
But First Amendment supporters say it can’t be done.
“This proposed legislation is worse than merely silly,” said civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate, in Breitbart. “It is dangerous. It is not up to Sen. Markey, nor to the federal government, to define for a free people what speech is and is not acceptable.”
Mr. Markey’s bill would not only commission a study, it would also call on the researchers to identify hate speech and recommend how to stop it. Mr. Markey defended his bill by saying that it makes “crystal clear that any recommendations must be consistent with the First Amendment’s free speech protections,” Breitbart reported.
That claim has other First Amendment legal minds howling.
“He’s not going to be able to come up with legislation that sufficiently protects the First Amendment,” said Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, Breitbart reported.
And from Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center: “Anytime government in any form or level looks to study our speech — even something that we might all consider detestable speech — we need to pay attention.”
Somehow, I think that what constitutes "hate speech" for Mr. Markey is quite different than what you and I might think is hate speech. Which, of course, is why we have the First Amendment in the first place. Reasonable people might disagree about a definition of hate speech, but that doesn't matter as long as it's all protected.
Harry Reid's efforts to change the Constitution and Markey's drive to control speech he doesn't like exposes the Democrat's anti-liberty agenda. Neither proposal is likely to go anywhere, but as an exercise in coercion and control, it should be highlighted this election year.