Sunday, December 16, 2007

What Is It About Dissents And Concession Speeches?

They’re just a lot more lyrical.

The Widget:

Court: First Circuit
Judge: Lipez (dissenting)
Subject: First Amendment
Tone: Thorough, elegant
Importance: 5.3

Judge Lipez writes a gorgeous dissent (starting at page 63) in Sullivan v. City of Augusta, First Circuit No. 06-1177. The issue is whether a parade fee without an indigency exception violates the First Amendment. The majority says no and Judge Lipez disagrees.

One of the issues to consider here is whether there are reasonable alternatives to street marches for people who can’t afford the parade permit. Lipez says no, and he focuses for a bit on the internet. “Although the internet has provided new for a for communicating with large numbers of people,” Lipez writes at page 83, “websites, blogs and other publicly accessible online opportunities are not substitutes for face-to-face experiences . . . .”

We sort of know this already, but it’s an awfully good point. Example: Remember when the Deaniacs thought they could win a presidential election on the internet? Well, they learned that you need more than orange stocking caps and righteousness to finish better than third in the Iowa caucuses. This may not have anything to do with anything. But it's worth noting!

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