Monday, June 16, 2008

So Much for Free Speech

I commented recently on penalties imposed on "hate speech" (a.k.a., speech the government doesn't approve of) in France. With the political left pushing for hate speech laws in the United States, it is a battle that every American who values his or her right to say things that are unpopular, will soon have to fight.

But we don't have to wait long. Elaine Huguenin, a wedding photographer in New Mexico, will be brought before the New Mexico Human Rights Division because she refused to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony.

It remains a mystery why the agency has even agreed to hear the complaint, as a spokesman for the state said the agency handles discrimination claims "in the areas of employment, housing, credit or public accommodation." Last time I checked, wedding photos didn't fit in those categories. I haven't read the New Mexico constitution, but I seriously doubt it protects the basic human right to have photographs taken of you. But we all know about the rights that courts can find in "living" documents.

How can minor "rights" override major ones? How can a supposed right not to be discriminated against trump the right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment? For that matter, how did the "right to privacy" discovered in Roe v. Wade trump the right to due process of law before an individual is deprived of life?

As we have just seen in the California rulings banning home schooling and legalizing homosexual "marriage," the courts are free to make up the rules as they go. The judiciary was intended to be the most conservative branch (in the sense of resistant to change) of government. It has become the most radical. Change should come as the people's representatives propose it and pass laws. The judges should see that the laws of the land (and in some cases, its traditions) are followed.

The courts are out of control, and the legislature is the only body capable of removing the judges who violate their trust and make new laws. We must get our representatives to undertake that responsibility. And it might not be a bad idea to start working toward constitutional amendments at the state and federal level allowing voter recall of all judges.

If we don't get the courts to follow the laws of the land, we won't have a Constitution left, nor will we have the freedoms it guarantees.

Wesley Wilson is the President of Let Her Live, a nonprofit dedicated to saving babies by showing the beauty and value of life to women considering abortion. Please learn more about the Let Her Live pro-life billboard campaign. Donations are tax deductible.

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