Outside of this context of shared assumptions, e-mail
functions like bad poetry where any meaning can be put into the e-mail depending on what
youre trying to see. And that makes it a very dangerous type of document outside of
context that people can control.
The construction of a state that prohibits
discrimination and protects the rights of minorities is now a central aspiration of
civilization in this century. The entire human rights corpus is premised on these
preeminent norms. Living with difference and otherness within the borders of a
state is required and assumed to be essential for human development. The very
legitimacy of a state partially depends on its relationships with different communities.
But as the examination of the former Yugoslavia clearly demonstrates, living with
difference is much more difficult than international society is willing to
A Web page simulating, or even glorifying, violence and hatred is not outside the First Amendments protection any more than are disgusting board games, magazines, or political tracts. The same First Amendment that safeguards the right of Nazis to march through Skokie protects the right of an adult to put virtual machine guns aimed at lifelike human targets on his or her computer screen.
At the same time, Internet speech doesnt have
more constitutional protection than speech disseminated in a more old-fashioned and
limited manner. In particular, direct threats or other messages that by their very
utterance cause harm receive no more protection on the Internet than anyplace else.
Releasing a computer virus through e-mail deserves no greater immunity than crying
Fire in a crowded theater.
I have a question about whether we should be
inducing women to sell their eggs and to sell parenting rights.
Sacco and Vanzetti [the famous case] plays a role in
the psyche of some Massachusetts people. Indeed, I think it probably explains why the
message of the Vatican has taken hold, I think, more strongly among Irish Catholics and
Italian Catholics in Massachusetts than elsewhere. I think people with immigrant
backgrounds have been told terrible stories of discriminatory application of the death
penalty against immigrants.
Much of medieval canon law has passed
overoften unnoticedinto the laws of the state. And many of the legal reforms
the medieval papacy promoted [such as rational trial procedures, legal protection of the
poor] command respect even seven and eight centuries later.
The inherent faults in the Independent Counsel Act cannot be fixed merely by tinkering with the laws details. But it would be a mistake for Congress simply to let the act expire without replacing it with a different system. Doing so would mean that the next time serious charges of criminal misconduct are raised against a President or other top officials, much of the public will be left with suspicions that any investigation might be influenced by politics or personal interest. . . .
[A way to] quiet such fears while also avoiding the
institutional flaws [of the current system] is to assign the investigation and prosecution
of criminal charges against high officials to a pre-existent, permanent unit of
government, and then to couple the assignment with strong safeguards against outside
influence. The most suitable unit is the Justice Departments criminal division,
which is headed by an Assistant Attorney General. In fact, such a system was in place from
1979 to 1981, after Watergate and before the Independent Counsel Act took full