Justice Stephen Breyer: Is Burning Koran 'Shouting Fire In A Crowded Theater?'
When nutty pastor Jones threatened to burn korans last week, most people, including myself, assumed that he had a constitutional right to do so. If flag burning is protected speech under the First Amendment, then this would be too. Not so fast, says Associate Justice Stephen Breyer (one of four non-conservative justices on SCOTUS), this act may not be protected.
Last week we saw a Florida Pastor – with 30 members in his church – threaten to burn Korans which lead to riots and killings in Afghanistan. We also saw Democrats and Republicans alike assume that Pastor Jones had a Constitutional right to burn those Korans. But Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told me on "GMA" that he's not prepared to conclude that -- in the internet age -- the First Amendment condones Koran burning.
“Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater,” Breyer told me. “Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?”
If Justice Breyer is saying that muslims may be a special protected class of people that have additional rights because they turn to violence easily, this would be a scary precedent. And what does the internet have to do with it?