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The Attorney General of Massachusetts shows us a glimpse of what fascism in the United States looks like. It is wrapped up in feminist LGBT robes and warns of non-existent threats. It insists that those "threats" are far more important than First or Second Amendment rights.
A few days ago Healy unilaterally issued a diktat banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles that have been sold legally in Massachusetts for the last 18 years. She claims that she has the authority to make that change in the law without any legislative input. She did it while the legislature was adjourned. She never even asked for legislative input.. It was a classic abuse of power that lead to record sales of the existing rifles in stock in Massachusetts. Crimes with those riles have always been exceedingly rare in Massachusetts.
But Healy does not stop with abuse of her power to infringe on legislative authority, the separation of powers, and ever more infringements on the Second Amendment. She has equal disdain for the First Amendment.
The theory of man-made global climate change is a hotly disputed political and scientific topic. So are theories of what to do about it, or if anything can be done about it.
One side of the political debate demands evidence. The other side demands obedience. At least that seems to be the case with AG Healy's stance. She has attacked several companies, particularly Exxon Mobile, on the shaky political theory that disagreeing on the scientific basis for man-made climate change somehow defrauds investors in Exxon Mobile. Fraud involves fact. It does not involve opinion. Exxon Mobile has been offering facts about the debate on man-made climate change in advertisements. By demanding that Exxon Mobile produce all documents that have any information about climate change for the last 50 years is to point the sword of the State's prosecutorial powers directly at the First Amendment rights of Exxon Mobile. From eagletribune.com(AP):
This past week, Healey and her counterpart in New York — fellow Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — refused to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking records about their investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about man-made climate change.It is not hard to determine whose side AP is on. They characterize AG Healy's diktat and attack on First Amendment rights as "protecting the people of Massachusetts".
The refusal was part of an escalating political fight with the Republican chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas.
Smith is seeking records from Healey and Schneiderman along with nine environmental, scientific and philanthropic organizations.
In AP's view, Healy's demand for records from Exxon Mobile, a private entity, about man-made climate change, is legitimate, even though it tramples on the First Amendment rights of Exxon Mobile and its owners, managers and workers.
Remember that the most important First Amendment protections are those for unpopular speech. Anyone who agrees with the State is always protected. Shouting the praises of Hitler or Stalin was always protected in those totalitarian regimes. It is those who disagree who need the First Amendment to protect them.
AP makes clear that Healy believes the demand for records by the U.S. Congress, to determine to what extent there exists an illegal conspiracy to deprive people of their First Amendment rights, is not legitimate.
The First Amendment would be limiting her dictatorial power.
I do not expect any immediate result. President Barack Obama, has put in place arguably the most highly partisan Department of Justice in American history since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
The Obama DOJ has shown that it will delay, obfuscate and lie about matters that a Congressional committee is investigating, if it involves political allies of the President.
The Congress has a duty to investigate these crimes by Healy and others in power. That is what checks and balances in U.S. government are all about.
Those checks and balances have been drastically whittled down during the last eight years.
AG Healy is a classic example of the importance of First and Second Amendment rights, and how they are viewed as detrimental limitations by those who desire more and more political power.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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