Can anyone explain what Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is trying to say?
Last week we saw a Florida Pastor – with 30 members in his church – threaten to burn Korans which lead to riots and killings in Afghanistan. We also saw Democrats and Republicans alike assume that Pastor Jones had a Constitutional right to burn those Korans. But Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told me [George Stephanopoulos] on “GMA” that he’s not prepared to conclude that — in the internet age — the First Amendment condones Koran burning.
“Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” Breyer told me. “Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?”
[. . .]
For Breyer, that right is not a foregone conclusion.
“It will be answered over time in a series of cases which force people to think carefully. That’s the virtue of cases,” Breyer told me. “And not just cases. Cases produce briefs, briefs produce thought. Arguments are made. The judges sit back and think. And most importantly, when they decide, they have to write an opinion, and that opinion has to be based on reason. It isn’t a fake.”
Maybe I’m misunderstanding the analogy, but it seems like Breyer is implying that since burning a Quran would incite Muslims to violence, the act would not be protected by the First Amendment. Can that really be what he’s saying? If so, would that lead to a dual standard for religious texts since no one is going to riot if a Bible or Book of Mormon is burned?
(Via: Hot Air)