NBC Universal Inc. v Broker’s Choice of America (Tyrone Clark)

As a First Amendment advocate, I strongly believe that this is wrong. One cannot illegally obtain information and use it against them. Members of Brokers’ Choice of America have the right to practice their freedom of speak and say as they please to other members of their organization without having to deal with hidden cameras recording them, later taking their words and using them out of context. The information was not obtained in a legal manner and therefore it is not usable in a publication. There was no Promissory Estoppel and the members were not aware that there was a reporter in their presence. Their freedom of speech was not protected and the statements made in confidence should not be published for all of America to see. As a Justice I would have to vote for the Brokers and against Dateline.

MH17 Crash Photos

I think it is important to post photos and publish stories about the crash to inform the nation, however, I feel like certain photos should be off limits. Pictures that show the dead’s face–definitely a no-go. There are friends and family members that are currently grieving the loss of that person and they don’t need to see their loved one dead in a field still in their airplane seat on the cover of TIME magazine. That is not acceptable or ethical. If there was a shot farther away, such as a shot from the air, where the dead cannot be identified, that would be an acceptable way to inform people.

Which of the Five Freedoms could I live without?

As a lifelong advocate for the First Amendment this is an extremely difficult question for me. However, throughout my lifetime the freedom I seemed to be least involved in was Freedom of Assembly. I believe everyone deserves the chance to air their grievances, it is their right, after all. However, I feel there are much more tactful ways to go about it.

Who gives their full respect to someone standing outside their offices with picket signs and chanting elementary rhymes all day? What if I was upset with my recent dentistry bill and I stood outside of my dentist’s office rhyming and raging? That would make me look just silly. I would much rather someone write their grievances down in the form of a petition to pass it on to me.

Out of all of the freedoms, this is one I could live my whole life without exercising and I feel the country would not be at too much of a loss without it, either. We have so many other means of expressing concerns that this will be hardly missed.

Yours Truly,
Warren Burger

Getting to know me: Warren Burger, 15th Chief Justice

Graduating college at St. Paul's in '31

Graduating college at St. Paul’s in ’31

As a young lawyer, I found myself getting involved in Republican politics and worked my way up to US Attorney General in 1955. I was recommended by Dwight Eisenhower to the Court of Appeals. How many people can say that? Okay, 45, but I still consider it an accomplishment. I became the 15th Chief Justice of the United States in 1969 for my 13 year term and I was nominated by Richard Nixon who I later impeached.

I may be conservative, but I have some pretty progressive opinions. I voted in favor of the Miranda bill. Who shouldn’t know their rights? I also voted in favor of Roe v. Wade. Privacy is key and it’s a woman’s business.

I did a lot of work behind the scenes and I am known for the advancements I have made in the administration of the Judicial System.

As the first amendment goes, I believe freedom of speech is extremely important, but when it comes to law, it is still applicable. We have rules set in place for this and I spent my career protecting our first amendment rights but I did not stand for anyone breaking the Establishment Clause and I laid down guidelines to determine obscenity. I worked on setting a clear line on what is freedom of speech and what is obscene, which I call the “Miller Test”. I also created the “Lemon Test” for religious laws. During my time as Chief Justice I did fight for the protection of students’ first amendment rights in schools. I believe we deserve our freedoms, but they can be limited when it puts nation in a national threat to security.

Library of Congress '76

Library of Congress ’76