Monday, April 09, 2007

Professor who criticized Bush added to terrorist 'no-fly' list

A top Constitutional scholar from Princeton who gave a televised speech that slammed President George W. Bush's executive overreach recently learned that he had been added to the Transportation Security Administration's terrorist watch list. He shared his experience this weekend at the law blog Balkinization.

Walter F. Murphy, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Emeritus, at Princeton University, attempted to check his luggage at the curbside in Albuquerque before boarding a plane to Newark, New Jersey. Murphy was told he could not use the service.

"I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list," he said.
When inquiring with a clerk why he was on the list, Murphy was asked if he had participated in any peace marches.

"We ban a lot of people from flying because of that," a clerk said.

Murphy then explained that he had not marched, but had "in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution."

The clerk responded, "That'll do it."

And what is Professor Murphy's professional opinion on these events, as a distinguished constitutional scholar? He offers this opinion at a post at a law blog titled Another Enemy of the People?

"I confess to having been furious that any American citizen would be singled out for governmental harassment because he or she criticized any elected official, Democrat or Republican. That harassment is, in and of itself, a flagrant violation not only of the First Amendment but also of our entire scheme of constitutional government.
Professor Murphy is aso a decorated Marine. My father was a Marine, and I'm telling you, you don't mess with the Marines.


Anonymous ProphetJoe said...

"... That harassment is, in and of itself, a flagrant violation not only of the First Amendment but also of our entire scheme of constitutional government."

Harass: to irritate or torment persistently; to wear out or exhaust; to impede and exhaust (an enemy) by repeated attacks or raids.

Amendment I: "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, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Please explain to me how putting him on the Terrorist Watch List denied him the right to assemble, speak, worship any religion, be a part of the press, or petition the government for redress of grievances?

Furthermore, unless the professor can document a series of acts meant to exhaust or irritate him personally, I'm not sure he has a case for harassment either.

Gary, tell me again, where in the Constitution does it guarantee the right to fly commercial?

12:16 PM  
Blogger gary said...

He exercises his right of free speech and ends up on a terrorist watch list and you don't have a problem with it?

6:20 PM  
Anonymous ProphetJoe said...

I question the facts of the case and the professor's response (as you presented it above). Many would argue that C.A.I.R. is am impartial non-profit organization. Others would argue that they are a terrorist sympathizer organization. It really depends on the facts, don't you agree?

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you for real prophetjoe? People need to fly these days, they can't walk or drive the distances involved. How is an airline ban anything other than an obstruction and harassment for someone expressing public views? What next? Impose a nationwide ban on filling up the Professor's car with fuel? Make him walk?

You need to understand that harassing people in this way is just one very short step from hiring thugs in brown shirts to beat you up in the early hours of the morning. Whoever imposed this ban belongs behind bars.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck the Marines. Another extremist death cult. Fuck the United States and Fuck Hugo Chavez and Fuck Moqtada al-Sadr and Fuck Jewish Settlers in the West Bank and Fuck the Sandinistas and Fuck You and Fuck Chinese street food vendors. And fuck Kattie Kay in Washington.

2:27 PM  
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