The first amendment used to assist the second? Brilliant?
There was a Republican legislator in Michigan.
He wasn’t a remarkably conservative man, and to-be-sure not particularly interested in the constitution. Certainly not very knowledgeable about it either. Bruce Patterson actually tried to license ‘opinion’
One thing of particular interest to bloggers and out-of-mainstream writers is the legislative effort to curb access to information and the ability to report by ‘just anyone’. It had popped up a couple of years ago when a Michigan legislator, State senator Bruce Patterson (perhaps twirling his handlebar mustache a little too tight) had the idea of ‘licensing journalists’.
“Introduced by Sen. Bruce Patterson (R) on May 11, 2010, to create a government “Board of Michigan Registered Reporters” to pass on the qualifications under criteria established in the bill for an individual who seeks to use the title “Michigan Registered Reporter.” An individual who writes or creates news stories, commentaries or editorials for a newspaper, online news outlet or radio or TV broadcaster, and who wants to use this title, would have to pay a $10 fee, and have either a journalism degree, at least three years experience as a reporter, submit writing samples, present evidence of awards or recognitions, present a letter of recognition from a reporter who is “registered,” etc.”
A very strange thing to even ponder, much less propose as law.
In fairness, it should be noted he was ‘cool’ with non credentialed types using the title ‘reporter’.
One might wonder where such a mental process begins. Is it the result of a nasty and hurtful news article? Is it to protect an elite class of reporters and restrict access to all others (unless properly credentialed) who seek access to political types? Is it simply impish guile?
Who knows? It’s forgotten news anyhow, as it went nowhere and it has been absent for several years of the 24 hour news cycle.
Now we have a new twist! read on…Another Republican legislator has crafted a Journalist licensing bill. Same party, in a state very close to us, but probably for a radically different reason. Indiana State representative Jim Lucas apparently wants to make a point.
” An Indiana state representative has drafted a bill that would require journalists to acquire licenses from state police.
Republican Rep. Jim Lucas drew up the bill earlier this year and told the IndyStar he may file it to raise a point about his signature issue, gun rights.
Lucas, from Seymour, has been critical of the media’s coverage of his efforts to repeal a state law that requires a permit to carry a handgun.
He has stated reporters, columnists and editorial boards mischaracterize his idea, which is sometimes referred to as “constitutional carry.” “
A point well made – here at least. Representative Lucas is clearly tilting at windmills, but his message cannot be ignored, even by those who cannot reconcile the two equally important God given rights.
Of course, when playing with fire one must be careful not to get burned. Someone might actually start to think Lucas legislative equivalent of a tongue-in-cheek remark makes sense. As demonstrated by Democrats every day, and at least one republican years ago, free speech is a matter of who is in control.
Add to this, there is rarely a bureaucracy which does not relish the idea of adding a new ‘licensee class’ to it’s rolls. Kudos however, to Rep Lucas for a creative way to demonstrate a logical equivalent to a constitutionally protected class.
If more were like him there, it wouldn’t have been necessary to craft such comparisons.