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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Will freedom of speech trump telling truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

When the US Supreme Court hears arguments about whether or not to allow political lies to be challenged, it seems to me, the justices should go back to law school 101, before deliberations on this case begins. History tells us the Ten Commandments were the foundation of our western legal justice system.  In the document Moses is credited with chronicling, Exodus 20:16- thou shall not bear false witness...., seems to me the high court would be trumping this tenet of the bailiff's swearing in oath and Moses, if the ruling in support of free speech, including the liberty to spread lies, is permitted to overrule what's taught in the Ten Commandments.

Of course, cynics will deny the validity of the Ten Commandments as being the foundation for our western justice system. If so, then what's the basis of the oath all witnesses take before testifying in a jury trial or before a judge?  "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth....". Although atheists are apparently permitted to omit the optional "so help me God" clause, the fact is, witnesses raise their right hand and swear to tell the truth. To do otherwise, or to lie while under oath, is called perjury, which is a crime.

It also seems to me, US Supreme Court rulings supporting Second Amendment rights to own guns, over the right of people to be protected from gun violence, likewise, trumps the Ten Commandment about "thou shall not kill".

Perhaps it's time for our US Supreme Court conservative justices, especially the Roman Catholic Justice Scalia and Chief Justice Roberts, should consider their Judeo-Christian heritage while contemplating how freedom of speech fits with the Ten Commandments.

In other words, perhaps the Supreme Court justices should read a law 101 book. Nearly all professions require refresher courses. It would be reassuring to know how the justices refreshed their judicial roots, before ruling on case law that puts our US Constitutional freedoms of speech and to bear arms, above the traditional enforcement of the Ten Commandments.

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