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March 06, 2003

HEY! The Constitution is a

HEY! The Constitution is a living document.

United States v. American Library Association, 02-361- SCOTUS considers the validity of Internet filters in libraries. At issue - whether libraries accepting federal money must institute web filters that not only filter porn, but are so broad as to block useful information - such as health, scientific, social, and political information.

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit chooses not to reconsider the ruling by a panel of its judges that determined the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional, because its current text contains the words "under God," forcing a showdown in the Supreme Court. Note to the President and Congress - not everybody is a Christian, or even believes in a God. Then again, atheists should learn early on that their belief, or lack of belief, is not going to make them popular. Stylistically, the tacked-on phrase creates a big thudding interruption of flow: "one nation, indivisible" v. "one nation, under God, indivisible." "Liberty and justice for all," means all, not just all Christians. (I can't even begin to tell them apart.)

At a mall in upstate New York, a lawyer is arrested for wearing a t-shirt that says "Give Peace a Chance." UPDATE: The mall in question has opted not to press charges.

An airline screening program, under the control of the Transportation Security Administration, would run background checks, such as credit checks, and assign to people a color that indicates their risk level as airline passengers. In today's NY Times an article details how both travel industry and privacy groups object to this program, a plan that Delta will soon test. A boycott is already underway.

Lastly, Dick Cheney has sent a letter to the owner for the satirical website whitehouse.org requesting the removal of his wife's doctored-up picture and fictitious bio. The letter requests that the site should avoid "using using her name and picture for the purposes of trade without her consent." The site owner has referred the matter to the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Yours, &c., LC | 11:06 AM | Legal , Librariana