Samuel Alito Pledges To Defend Freedom of Speech

There’s hope that Samuel Alito won’t be a total disaster on the Supreme Court as he has stressed the importance of freedom of speech in considering upcoming cases while speaking at the National Italian American Foundation:

Two of the court’s biggest remaining cases focus on the First Amendment, and while Alito didn’t mention either, he did make it clear that any restrictions on speech face a high hurdle with him.

“I’m a very strong believer in the First Amendment and the right of people to speak and to write,” Alito said in response to a question of “where’s the line” on what can be posted on the Internet. “I would be reluctant to support restrictions on what people could say.”

The newest justice, who was protective of speech rights as an appellate judge, added that “some restrictions have been held to be consistent with the First Amendment, but it’s very dangerous for the government to restrict speech.”

One case is over whether a principal violated the rights of a student who unfurled a flag saying “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” along a parade route. The other concerns restrictions under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law on corporations, unions and special interest groups naming federal candidates in ads broadcast in the run-up to elections.

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