My right as an American, according to Mark Twain

Inn defense of my right to ignore you, I will rely on a line of Supreme Court cases dealing with the right of association.  This is modern language for the part of the First Amendment which reads, “Congress shall make no law . . .abridging . . . the right of the people peaceably to assemble. . . .”  The Supreme Court has ruled that contained within the right of association is the right to disassociate.

A political party has constitutional rights because it engaged in the exercise of this right of association.  Since this right necessarily implies the right not to associate, it means that political parties may exclude non-members from voting in a their primary elections.  It’s right there in the Constitution, if you look hard enough.

As it is with association, so it must be with speech.  The First Amendment means I have no obligation to be lectured to on legal ethics by a young lawyer with some sort of credential of instruction.  I shouldn’t be forced to suffer needlessly.  It’s cruel and unusual punishment.

I think Mark Twain said the United States was a country where any man can walk up to the President and tell him to go to hell.  If I can do that, I ought to be able to tell the Alaska Bar Association to go to hell.

As Twain also said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”  Good advice, from my experience.


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