Seeing the Round Corners

June 3, 2019


Today’s column is prompted by a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against Colorado Senator Ray Scott (R-Grand  Junction), based on a premise that the Senator blocked a constituent on Twitter and Facebook.

This idea is one of the scariest threats ever to America’s constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights, in this writer’s opinion.  Here is why.

Senator Scott decided to block a constituent (Ann Landman) from his social media pages (specifically Twitter and Facebook). What readers should understand is that the constituent posted an article on her blog titled “Ray Scott Shock’s Constituents with Displays of Poor Grammar, Lack of Knowledge in Social Media Exchanges,” and then shared it on Scott’s official Facebook page.

Despite reported requests to be unblocked, Landman has been unable to interact with Scott on the social media sites, according to the legal action filed by the ACLU.

The ACLU bases its argument on this:  “. . .sites like Facebook and Twitter have become a sort-of virtual town square where people can voice their opinions for and against policy.”

Now, what making such a theory a part of law via the precedent basis would mean any blithering idiot could use a public officials’ own social media pages to attack and discredit that public official. (Note, this is not saying Ann Landman is a blithering idiot.)

There are two major problems with the  ACLU’s challenge:

  • Public officials do not give up their rights of free speech when elected to public office and should not have to allow their own social media pages to be used by bloggers which is what Landman is demanding; and
  • The argument gives social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter legal standing not guaranteed by the constitution for free speech in Amendment 1. The can of worms this would create is unfathomable!


Senator Scott does not give up his freedom of expression just because he is elected to serve all the constituents in the district which elected him. Landman is free to use her right to freedom of expression on her blog, but should not be allowed to use Senator Scott’s social media pages against him. It should be pointed out, if allowed, such would give Landman far great readership than just her blog.

And now, a little refresher on free speech from the writer’s archives.

January 14, 2013

One of this writer’s pet peeves is those who go after and take a  job, whether elected or in the private sector, who are near or downright clueless about what the job entails, the law and regulations that control the functions of the job, whether they be sourced in the Constitution, federal, state, city, county or corporate.

Then there’s the added factor or issue of those who insist on ignoring all such laws and regulations and impose their own rules on those who have the misfortune of being an employee of such a company, person or government entity.

The United States is a place that holds its founding documents most sacred, but sometimes the founding principles are forgotten, intentionally or not.

The first ten amendments to the U. S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights, and were ratified December 15, 1791, a really long time ago, but nevertheless are still valid and take on new meaning in this time of national security surveillance, internet security and other such invasions of personal privacy.

Amendment 1:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, or to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The U. S. Supreme Court included this statement in a 1925 ruling:  “Freedom of speech and of the press which are protected by the First Amendment from abridgment by Congress – are among the fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from impairment by the States.”

The Fourteenth Amendment is often referred to as the “equal protection amendment.” It reads: 
Section 1:  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.

Now, most U. S. citizens at one time or another were exposed to, hopefully studied, the U. S. Constitution. But perhaps more pertinent to this edition is the person not already a citizen of this country. Persons applying for citizenship are required to become familiar with the U.S. Constitution, and are required to swear to uphold the U. S. Constitution when

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at