Jones vs. Morgan Debate = Second Amendment vs. First Amendment?

by Admin on January 10, 2013

The Alex Jones vs. Piers Morgan quarrel, initially centered on the Second Amendment, evolved Wednesday morning into a dispute over First Amendment rights.

Jones, an alternative journalist, was featured on Morgan’s show Tuesday evening for creating a petition to deport the British-born CNN host. The petition, which has amassed almost 110,000 signatures and counting, claims that Morgan is engaged in a “hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment,” and that Morgan be deported “for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”

What’s resulted since Jones’ appearance on the show is as disputed and compelling as the segment itself.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney released a response to Jones’ petition, urging not to “let arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First,” and that “no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment.”

Makes sense, if they’re an American citizen that is. Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto tweeted in December that Morgan’s opinion isn’t protected under First Amendment, citing a Supreme Court ruling that refused allowing a foreign journalist into the U.S.

That tweet was referenced again by critics reacting to Press Secretary Carney’s response to the petition.

More First Amendment Issues with Social Media

This culmination of events points to another issue, of not only who is covered by the First Amendment, but what is. Take social media, for instance.

Complaining about one’s job on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter typically is not protected by the First Amendment, since it protects free speech against government interference but not private employers. But soon, it could be.

As RTAmerica explains, in a recent case the National Labor Relations Board argued that posting dissent could be considered “collected action” against an employer to protest unfair work conditions.

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