New Jersey Transit finally found a reason to fire a worker – burning the Koran. Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people have a right under the First Amendment to bun the U.S. flag, the same freedom of expression apparently doesn’t exist in New Jersey. NJ Transit fired a man who burned pages from the Koran at Ground Zero on September 11, 2010. Let’s hope the ACLU takes his case. Do you think the man would have been fired if he burned the Bible?
Oops, me dumb. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Breyer said that burning the Koran is not free speech protected by the First Amendment. Hot Air says:
“the Supreme Court has already ruled on burnings as free speech. In both Texas v Johnson and US v Eichman, the court ruled that free speech trumped any offense and/or concerns about public safety raised by burning the American flag. In Johnson, the court spoke directly to this issue:”
“The State’s position … amounts to a claim that an audience that takes serious offense at particular expression is necessarily likely to disturb the peace and that the expression may be prohibited on this basis. Our precedents do not countenance such a presumption. On the contrary, they recognize that a principal “function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or … even stirs people to anger.”
Update: Either or or more other justices of the Supreme Court or perhaps one of his law clerks “splained” the First Amendment and U.S. constitutional law to Justice Breyer because he backpedaled. See “Justice Breyer Clarifies Earlier Remarks, Suggests Koran-Burning Is Constitutionally Protected After All.”