Fields: F**k You Wilfred E. Rice

Guest Columnist

It may be fifty years late, and he is already dead, but if the Florida Legislature has its way, I can finally tell off my racist, anti-Semitic North Miami High School Principal Wildred E. Rice.

And I can do it without fear of getting paddled or even detention.

Florida House Bill 31, which as of this writing is well on its way to becoming law, prohibits public schools from “infring[ing]…the rights or freedoms afforded to instructional personnel, school staff, or students by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Up to now courts have regularly held that public school students while in school do not have the same protections that the Bill of Rights affords the rest of us on the streets.  Students and teachers are bound by school decorum rules that substantially limit the kind of free expression one may exercise outside of school.

Although I do not recommend it, any of us standing in the street can tell a cop to “kiss my ass. 

Not a kid in school.  If you were to say that to a teacher a three-day suspension would be a gift.

Pornography, not legally deemed obscene, is perfectly legal to possess and show your friendsas long as it is not in school.  HB 31 changes that.

While the courts have generally upheld this First Amendment double standard there is nothing to stop state and local governments from trumping those rules by breaking down the barrier that distinguishes personal freedom in and out of school.

So why would the Florida Legislature turn our public schools into free speech zones?

The answer is four words:  It’s all about Jesus

The legislative history makes it clear that this is lawmakers attempt to get government-sanctioned prayer into the schools without openly stating that is their goal.   They avoid mentioning prayer with the hope that HB 31 will expand school prayer under the First Amendment’s “free exercise clause.

If they had their way, the religious fanatics that run our Legislature would require teachers to perform First Communions at recess. 

But the broad brush of HB 31 also covers the other parts of the First Amendment which includes “speech, “assembly and “the press.

So hold on to your seats, if this becomes law these yahoos will find out about another law:  the law of unintended results.

The Myth of Judicial Activism

With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Stevens, we are now hearing that favorite Rightwing mantra: “activist judges.

The Right will use it to attack whomever President Barack Obama nominates.

The term is crap. It has as much meaning as, “I am spiritual.

In both cases, the more you look the more you realize there is nothing behind them. They are vagaries, wrapped in ambiguities, covered by a very thin veneer of self-righteousness.

The dissent of Justice Samuel Alito in the animal torture video case of The United States v Robert Stevens  proves my case.  It is clear evidence that Rightwingers are more than willing and able to promote their personal views by inventing legal concepts found nowhere in the Constitution.

Rightwingers like Alito are often the real “activist judges.”

The case involved whether Stevens had a First Amendment right to sell animal torture videos. In an 8-1 opinion, the Court upheld Steven’s  right.

[What a despicable human being Robert Stevens must be.] 

Justice Ginsberg and the liberals saw this as a real First Amendment issue. 

Law and order Roberts, Scalia et. al., went along because they were worried that upholding a conviction for dog fighting films could lead to outlawing films about their favorite activitykilling animals for fun–a.k.a. hunting.  Hunting is an activity not mentioned in the Constitution.

It’s in Alito’s dissent that we fully see Rightwing willingness to invent legal concepts not found in the Constitution.

Arguing to uphold the ban, he described the videos as “depraved entertainment (correct) that has no social value (some folks in Davie and Da Hood might disagree) and therefore not protected by the First Amendment (incorrect).

Notwithstanding that the First Amendment says that “Congress shall make NO law, Alito has opined that “NO means: except if Congress decides it has “no social value.” 

Apparently, there is The Constitution. Then there is “The Teacher’s Edition of The Constitution.

Whether Left, Right or Center, only Supreme Court Justices get to read the Teacher’s version with the answers in the back of the book.

16 Responses to “Fields: F**k You Wilfred E. Rice”

  1. Floridan says:

    The Republicans would oppose a resurrected Ronald Reagan, if Obama nominated him.

    “Party of No”

  2. Phil Heck says:

    I caution non-lawyers reading this commentary or anyone who has not read the Court’s opinion for themselves that this commentary is an unfair, misleading, and inaccurate summary of the decision in U.S. v. Stevens. All eight justices concurred fully in the majority opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts upholding the court of appeals decision which held the federal statute unconstitutional. No other opinion was advanced other than by the one dissent. It therefore cannot correctly be stated that one set of concurring justices had one rationale, and another set had another rationale for upholding the lower appellate court decision as this writer suggests. None of the concurring justices wrote a separate opinion stating a rationale different from that stated in the majority opinion. If any of them had concurred in the result but on the basis of a different rationale, they would have filed separate opinions.

    What is Field’s authority for his statement that “Rightwing” justices “went along” to protect their “favorite activity,” namely, hunting? I could as easily say that “Leftwing” justices “went along” because they enjoy watching vids of animal cruelty.

    It might be further noted that it was the Obama Administration which sought to overturn the appellate court decision and to reinstate Stevens’ conviction in the District Court for violating the federal statute.

  3. James says:

    Are snuff films protected free speech? How about child porn films? Though not as depraved, animal cruelty films should fall within the same realm. Just my $.02

  4. Barack Obama says:

    Somehow it’s not “Judicial Activism” when right-wingers want to sue the feds to overturn health care law, right?

  5. Phil Heck says:

    Barack, it’s not “somehow.” The term “Judicial Activism” is not applicable to the case you describe. I suggest you take advantage of the many online resources to learn what the term means.

  6. sam fields says:

    Dear Mr Heck,
    While all the justices signed onto the same opinion it is laughable to imagine that it was Ginsberg or Sotomayor that wrote the segment worrying about hunting films.

    Scalia loves to kill animals especially when it is on a trip paid for by Dick Cheeny notwithstanding that Cheney has a case before the court.

    Animals are not people and therefore their interest gets very little play. Our concern about this kind of conduct is less and issue of the animals than us.

    During Puritan times locals engaged in a sport called Bear Baiting where a bear was lured into a pit and then tortured to death.

    The activity was eventually outlawed but not out of concern for the bears. The Puritan fathers concluded that the locals were having too much fun!

    Prohibiting kiddie porn is based on the notion that the films were done without real consent.

    Unless you were a public figure, I don’t think someone could get away with publlishing intimate photos of you that he obtained by sneaking a camera into your bedroom.

  7. sam fields says:

    The films that were being sold included “crush films” where women wearing stiletto heels were stomping small furry animals to death. Scalia et, al. will protect that video.

    But I have little doubt that he would have supported as legally obscene a ban on a video where instead of killing the little furry creature she was blowing the little fella.

    I can understand the rationale that the First Amendment protects all this crap but there is no rational argument other than a hunter’s self interest that inter-specie animal “crush films” are protected but inter-specie animal sex films are not.

    I am pretty sure that if given the choice the little furry creature would prefer the sex film.

    On the other hand, Scalia the hunter sees it the other way and we know why. He is an Opus Dei rightwing religious fanatic with all the sexual hangups who sublimates by killing animals for fun.

  8. Phil Heck says:

    Dear Mr. Fields,

    I don’t know if you’ve ever argued a case before the Supreme Court or any appellate court, but I defy you to use this argument:

    “While all the justices signed onto the same opinion it is laughable to imagine that it was Ginsberg or Sotomayor that wrote the segment worrying about hunting films.”

    That is shoddy law, terrible analysis, and the worst possible kind of journalism. It is not fair to the readers of this blog for you to substitute your fantasies for facts.

  9. Mister Courthouse says:

    In these articles, Fields considers himself a great legal scholar when he is only a DWI lawyer picking up the courtroom scraps.

  10. Barack Obama says:

    Mr Heck,

    #1 do you have any actual legal analysis? or do you just criticize others in ad-hominem attacks? Your arguments so far are a lot like an episode of Seinfeld. They’re about nothing.

    Just because a justice signs onto an opinion doesn’t mean they agree with every word. Justices all have their own analysis of every case. Yes there are concurring opinions if there are major discrepancies, but they don’t all write an opinion for every single case. That’s why you have majority opinions and dissenting opinions. To assume that all of their jurisprudence is exactly the same for ANY case is laughable.

    #2 Of course Judicial activism isn’t applicable to that case of health care. It’s only judicial activism when the courts overturn gay marriage bans, right? However when conservatives go running to the courts to overturn something THEY don’t like, it can’t be applicable!!!


  11. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Mr. Outhouse,

    Florida has not had DWI for twenty years.

  12. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Mr. Heck,

    When did you become a legal scholar or for that matter even a lawyer? According to the Florida Bar you ain’t neither.

    As for Mr. Courthouse he is also not a lawyer. He is a janitor in the building who goes around trying to convince everyone to accept Jesus.

  13. Coolio says:

    Insulting a dead man by calling him an anti-Semite: Mr. Fields may have reached a new low here.

    I don’t know him, but I’ll hazard a guess and say I doubt that everyone who thinks Mr. Fields is a noxious buffoon is anti-Semitic.

  14. sam fields says:

    The School board publically admonished him for ramming New Testament prayers down the throats of Jewish students. Buddy found it an old newspaper story.

    In case you wanted to know why he was racist let me advise you that he resigned as principal the year after I graduated because they were going to integrate the school… That story was confirmed to me personally by Holmes Braddock who was on the Dade
    County School Board when it happened.

    Then of course there was Mr. Garth a history teacher who used to openly refer to Jews as “Beachbirds” and “chiselers”. Rice didn’t do a damn thing about it even though it was widely known.

    If your interested I can give you a lot more.

    It was just like Happy Days as long as you were Baptist.

  15. sam fields says:

    Did i forget to mention My senior year he altered the grading system for calculating the Valedictorian to keep a Jewish kid from earning that honor.

  16. mustbecrazy says:

    I cannot see this being a good thing, teachers can barely control students as it is, this will only worsen the current out of hand situation. I guess this means they are “free to excercise” their right to show their boxers and belt their pants below their butt cheeks while in school. No more uniforms?