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Is the Constitution being Eroded ?

In order to determine whether the constitution is being eroded by our government, we need to examine the constitution, and find examples of where it is being protected or eroded. Depending on one's point of view. Periodically we will publish portions of it and make a determination as to what parts are slowly being chipped away.


The first Amendment, "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."

Religion:

-The government under the establishment clause prohibits the government from instituting one religion. The government can not favor one religion over another, nor make a preference regarding non- religion over religion. It is to remain a neutral body with respect to religious institutions as well as non-religious institutions.

-American Law is pretty good at not favoring one religion over another, and although there are institutions that are trying to remove "god" from the country, America does not favor one religion over another. People are able to worship their creator as they see fit, and the government does not force people into one religion, or force them to deny a religion.

Free speech or Freedom of the Press

"The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without government interference or regulation."

-The government finds that a person can not be held liable for printed or verbal expression so long as it is truthful, or based on an honest opinion.

Some media figureheads have declared the President is violating the first Amendment when he refers to the press as "enemy of the people." However, the press has been caught propagating false information in the form of opinion, as well as deceiving the people on incorrect reporting, claiming they are facts.



One example as written by the the New York post: "An 11:00 a.m. Friday “Special Report” by correspondent Brian Ross quoted a source who said that, during the course of the presidential campaign, Trump had directed ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to “make contact with the Russians.” This fake news story caused the Dow to drop more than 350 points. However, despite the story being untrue, as Flynn contacted the Russians after won the election, and directed him to make contact, ABC, took more than 7 hours to correct the story. The President, and many of his followers claim that CNN, writes deceptively biased information that can be misleading, receiving the title of "Fake News." According to All Source, "Many Left-leaning mainstream media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, and The New York Times, often use a more narrow, literal definition of “fake news” — referring to purely fictional, made-up information."

Recently, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC Morning Joe said to Trump supporters, "You are funding this white supremacist campaign," Adding another piece of inaccurate, misleading information to attempt to sway voters who enjoy living under the Trump administration from supporting him.

There are hundreds of examples of the press exhibiting this type of hyperbolic rhetoric, however President Trump, has not put members of the press under any type of scrutiny militarizing the government to take action against these actions. Instead, he makes reference to them by calling them "fake news, enemy of the people."

This is in direct opposition to the Obama administration, who put Fox News reporter James Rosen under surveillance as a probable "co-conspirator" in a criminal spying case after a report based on a State Department leak.

From the Guardian: "Instead of relying on the threat of a contempt charge to get journalists to divulge their sources, the Obama administration has used warrant less wiretapping and dragnet records seizures to identify who is talking to whom."

-Freedom of Speech and of the press has in the past been under attack. It remains to be seen if President Trump will weaponize the government as did the previous administrations to obtain the upper hand with respect to the media.

The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes.

From the day of President Trumps inauguration, there have been several protests. In Washington, "six police officers were injured and 217 protesters arrested Friday after a morning of peaceful protests and coordinated disruptions of Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony gave way to ugly street clashes in downtown Washington." Some protests were peaceful, some not so.



Antifa, conducted several protests aimed at intimidating people from having a conversation about certain speakers such as Ben Shapiro, Ann Coulter, and Milo Yiannopoulos as Nazi's. Some of these events preceded acts of violence, such as the demonstration on the UC Berkeley. They destroyed property and in some incidents, set fires to protest. These protests are not covered under the First amendment. They were neither lawful nor peaceful.



Contrasting that to the Obama administration, that targeted members of political groups and used the IRS to political profile them. From the CATO Institute: "After seeing a rise in the number of applications for tax-exempt status, the IRS in 2010 compiled a “be on the lookout” (“BOLO”) list to identify organizations engaged in political activities. The list included words such as “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” and “Israel”; subjects such as government spending, debt, or taxes; and activities such as criticizing the government, educating about the Constitution, or challenging Obamacare. The targeting continued through May 2013, with no consequences other than Lois Lerner, the chief of the exempt-organizations unit, being held in contempt of Congress—and then being allowed to peacefully retire despite erased records and other cover-ups."

-It is safe to say, that President Trump has not used his authority to target political groups as his predecessor. The question remains, will he?

As far as the First Amendment is concerned, other than the president expressing his distrust in media outlets, he has not violated the first Amendment.

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