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“After all, where would we be without the knowledge that Democrats are pinko-communist flag-burners who want to tax churches and use the money to fund abortions so they can use the fetal stem cells to create pot-smoking lesbian ATF agents who will steal all the guns and invite the UN to take over America? Voters have to decide whether we’d be better off electing Republicans, those hateful, assault-weapon-wielding maniacs who believe that George Washington and Jesus Christ incorporated the nation after a Gettysburg reenactment and that the only thing wrong with the death penalty is that it isn’t administered quickly enough to secular humanist professors of Chicano studies.” – Cato Institute/P.J. O’Rourke Supreme Court amicus brief filed in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus


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  1. In modern times, “truthiness” — a “truth” asserted “from the gut” or because it “feels right,” without regard to evidence or logic —is also a key part of political discourse. It is difficult to imagine life without it, and our political discourse is weakened by Orwellian laws that try to prohibit it.

    The sarcasm is so heavy I’m honestly having trouble wading through it. But if I am to read that correctly, the argument is, in essence: We need to be allowed to lie as long as it feels right.

    • We need to be allowed to lie as long as it feels right

      Not really, it’s more like:

      1) Statements of dubious truth value have been part of American political discourse since forever.

      2) The state is ill-equipped to take a stand on what constitutes the truth in political discourse, what constitutes a falsehood, and where to draw the line between the two.

      3) Nor is it equipped to properly delineate between a malicious lie made for political gain and such things as hyperbole, satire, or honest error.

      4) The courts have repeatedly protected such political statements in the past, even when false. The remedy for bad speech is better speech, not legally imposed silence.

      It’s really quite a good and coherent legal argument, couched in terms of the absurd, which of course helps to reinforce their point of the value of such speech.

    • It’s the “we need to be allowed to…” part that’s being sent up. Who, exactly, does this “allowing?” The right to Freedom of Speech is as fundamental as the Right to Keep and Bear Arms or any of the rest of our unalienable rights.

      If you lie to me, it’s not the job of the police to punish you – it’s up to me to figure out that you’re a liar and respond accordingly. You are not your brothers’ keeper.

  2. That’s hilarious. PJ is a national treasure. I’ll read Ilya’s amicus at lunch.

    • Some of it is true for me. I gotta say that the death penalty should be served up right quickly when it’s warranted. I wouldn’t shed a single tear if Lanza, Holmes, or Hassan were sentenced to death. It’s obviously too late for Lanza, but the concept still applies. Perhaps that makes me a heartless Republican, but I really consider myself an independent constitutional conservative.

      • If you “serve it up quickly”, you increase the chance of executing an innocent on flimsy evidence etc. It’s not like it never happened. Are you okay with that?

        • In cases where no doubt exists and the only defense is “insanity” or “political” I would say do it.
          I’d rather not have the obviously guilty costing us thousands of dollars a month in prison and wasting our time.

          Eventually they would get the message and we’d see less wanton violence from these vermin.

  3. The amazing thing is that the brief manages to make some very important first amendment arguments, as well as speaking to the actual issue, which is standing.

    But the greatest lines of all, for those who follow the Supreme Court, are in footnote 15.

    15 Driehaus voted for Obamacare, which the Susan B. Anthony List said was the equivalent of voting for taxpayerfunded abortion. Amici are unsure how true the allegation is given that the healthcare law seems to change daily, but it certainly isn’t as truthy as calling a mandate a tax.

    I don’t know about the rest of the Court, but I’m quite certain Justice Thomas couldn’t restrain a giggle at that one.

    • Footnote 15 is definitely the best line in the brief. The throwaway line at the end of footnote 1 is pretty good too:

      “… Also, amici and their counsel, family members, and pets have all won the Congressional Medal of Honor.”

      • There’s a subtlety in that line of footnote 1, since the Court ruled in Alvarez that 1A trumps a prohibition against lying – which is precisely the issue in this case.

        On the other hand, the end of footnote 15 is a direct attack on Roberts. Basically called him a liar. In a nice(?) way.

  4. You might be part of the armed intelligentsia if you read amicus briefs on the 1st amendment in a gun blog.

    It’s fantastic. I did not know you could do that in an amicus brief.

  5. Awesomeness itself. As we in the gun community know, our opponents lie constantly (sometimes they say things that aren’t just wrong but nonsensical (“the shoulder thing that comes up”). But they have every right to say them. TTAG is a perfect example of truth keeping up with (and defusing) the dishonesty of our political opponents.

  6. I agree; let’s make a law that says only what we believe to be true should be allowed; everyone else’s beliefs counter to ours are obviously lies and should not be allowed.

    Darn; if those liars make laws saying our truth are actually lies we would not even have the internet to tell the truth. I guess we’ll just have to be better in backing up our truth with facts better than those lying liars.

  7. If that were a comment, and not an article, would this article fall afoul of RF’s guidelines and be moderated away?

    Just wondering.

    • Since they’re not ad hominem attacks, and as far as I know TTAG hasn’t ever moderated content based on lies or mischaracterizations, my guess would be no, those comments would not be moderated away.

  8. Classic PJ! I’ve been reading his stuff for years, just keeps getting better. Little known fact, he (PJ) was one of the writers on what I think is the most underrated comedies of all time “Easy Money”. Dangerfield at his schlubby best….

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