Tagged: ACLU

Lessons in Law 8: On Original Understanding

In American law original understanding is the doctrine according to which judicial review should abide by the constituant’s original intent. This may sound pretty much like common sense, yet it is a minority opinion, which, as such, takes the name of ‘originalism,’ and the originals who defend it are ‘originalists.’

A major exponent of original understanding is Robert H. Bork, President Reagan’s failed nominee for the position of Justice of the United States Supreme Court in 1987. His book The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (1990) shall serve as a guideline to the present lesson.

Although there is much to be commended in Bork’s book, in the present lesson we are mainly concerned with laying down our disagreement with some of his interpretations.

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‘‘The abandonment of original understanding in modern times means the transportation into the Constitution of the principles of a liberal culture that cannot achieve those results democratically.’’ (Bork, p. 9 of First Touchstone Edition, 1991)

Leaving aside the content part of the sentence, it sums up Bork’s technical opinion on judicial review as practiced in ‘modern times,’ namely, by judges who, feeling unconstrained by the constituant’s original intent, inject their own political views into judicial decisions. In the context with which he is concerned, this approach has served, according to him, to carry out a liberal agenda. And ‘democratically,’ here, means by elected legislatures (although, in a broader sense, nominated judges are as much part of the democratic life of a nation as elected legislatures, we’ll come back to this later).

The claim is that a judge cannot disregard original understanding without relinquishing neutrality. To stick to the original intent is the only way not to force one’s own political views upon the body politic in one’s judicial decisions.

Thus, according to Bork, a substantive due process clause of the 5th amendment (No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law) was invented by Chief Justice Taney in the Dred Scott decision of 1857, whereas the amendment only contains a procedural due process clause.

As a matter of fact, Bork denies that a right to own slaves was in the Constitution. However, in the Court’s decision, Chief Justice Taney refers to the rights of property, which are obviously in the Constitution. A slaveholder had a property right on his slaves and, as the right of property is protected, the right to hold slaves was to the same degree.

A few years after Dred Scott and during the Civil War, the 13th amendment was adopted, excluding slaveholding as a form of constitutional right of property (Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States). Was, because of Dred Scott, a constitutional amendment necessary? I might even doubt it (see below), and yet it does not affect Dred Scott, inasmuch as, back then, slaveholding was as constitutional as any other holding of property. The clause struck down by the Court was an unconstitutional abridgement of the right to property; it does not mean that slaveholding was protected as such by the Constitution, that is, that the legislator could not decide to exclude slaveholding from the right of property, but as long as it was included in the latter right, it was protected accordingly, and according to existing statutes compatible with the Constitution.

This fallacy, that the Court would have introduced in the Constitution a right to hold slaves that was not in it, is Bork’s departing point. According to him, the substantive due process clause is the essence of later judicial activism, of ‘judicial legislation.’ He quotes Justice Black saying deprecatorily that the substantive clause is not the ‘law of the land’ but the ‘law of the judges’ (In re Winship, 1970).

To refuse to see slavery in the Constitution before the 13th amendment and to claim that the Court introduced it itself, amounts to giving slavery a definition it has never had, which makes it heterogeneous per se to the right of property. However, the freedom to own slaves, in a Constitution the letter of which knows of slavery (Art. I, Section 2, clause 3; Art. I, Section 9, clause 9; Art. IV, Section 2, clause 3), is the same thing as the right of property.

Even in the hypothetical case where slavery were absent from the letter of the Constitution, it is not permitted to interpret the right as not including slaveholding, for three reasons:

1/Slavery existed in the states at the time of the ratification of the Constitution;

2/The Constitution did not abolish slavery;

3/The Constitution does not enumerate the goods that it is legitimate to own as property, so the right includes all kinds of goods that the law held as permissible at the time of the ratification, which included slaves.

The Supreme Court in Dred Scott said that to deprive a slaveholder of his property when entering a state where that property was banned by statute (like Illinois, by state statute, and Louisiana, by the Missouri Compromise of 1821, the states involved in the case) is violating the right of property without due process of law. This is not the same, I believe, as saying that to vote a statute excluding some kinds of goods, here slaves, from legitimate property is unconstitutional. It is true that Chief Justice Taney went further toward ‘substance.’ However, had the Court made it clear that it was striking down, in the Missouri Compromise, not the statutory exclusion itself but the proceeding attached to the statute, depriving citizens from other states of their property as soon as entering the territory of the state that passed the statute, it would have injected no ‘substance’ at all in the due process clause. (That the consequence might follow that it is also unconstitutional to confiscate illicit drugs, for instance, is not unlikely; that would not shock me, and those aware of recent debates about forfeiture will show no surprise either.)

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According to the Constitution, ‘‘No State shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts.’’ This clause is held by Bork, contrary to the Supreme Court in Hepburn v. Griswold (1870), to apply to the States and not the Union.

However, what could be the meaning of such a limitation, when federal law is as binding as state laws in the respective states? What would be the aim of placing such a constraint on the states, which would have few if any effects on individuals (as the federal law could still impair individuals’ contractual obligations), and that in a domain which has little bearing on the relationships between the states and the federal government? No, one must accept that a written Constitution leaves many things implicit, if only because the constituant cannot foresee all situations in the future, and also because too strict a litteral approach favors bad faith maneuvers that seek the flaws in the letter to the detriment of the original intent.

In the constitutional passage here, one fails to see what the constituant’s intent would be aimed at if he had intended to limit the states’ power to impair obligations of private contracts and not the Union’s, whereas, when both the states and the Union are held in check, one understands that the intent is to ensure the binding force of private contracts throughout the territory of the Union.

Here is a case where Bork asks the courts to adopt a litteral approach. Yet, in one major instance, a very important one in this thought, he asks them to do precisely the opposite.

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Bork approves the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) involving the 14th amendment. The Court said the amendment applies to the newly freed slaves only. Yet the letter of the amendment (No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States) cannot lead to the conclusion that the amendment stops at racial questions. Indeed, in said cases dissident Justice Bradley asserted that the amendment was ‘embracing all citizens,’ and this would later become the line of the Court after it reversed its position†.

Footnote: [On this particular clause of the 14th amendment, the Court is actually said to have maintained its position: ‘’The Court’s narrow restriction of the privileges and immunities clause continues to this day.’’ (J.R. Vile, on Slaugtherhouse Cases, in Essential Supreme Court Decisions, 2018) (Bork, for his part, says of this clause: ‘’The privileges and immunities clause, whose intended meaning remains largely unknown, was given a limited construction by the Supreme Court and has since remained dormant.’’ [37]) At the same time, as Bork emphasizes it time and again, another clause of the same amendment, the equal protection clause (No State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws), has been interpreted as ‘embracing all citizens’, for instance: ‘’It is clear that the ratifiers of the fourteenth amendment did not think they were treating women as an oppressed class similar in legal disadvantages to the newly freed slaves. That is an entirely modern notion and written into our jurisprudence only recently by the Supreme Court.’’ (Bork, 329) Therefore, as a result of the Supreme Court’s stare decisis, in the same sentence of the same amendment, in one part of this sentence (the privileges and immunities clause) the word ‘citizens’ is understood in a restrictive sense as meaning Blacks, and in the other part (the equal protection clause) the word ‘person’ is understood as embracing all citizens. This is certainly peculiar and unlikely to enhance American citizens’ knowledgeability in their own law.]

Bork agrees that the 14th amendment was specifically framed for Black people, the newly freed slaves. He acknowledges that its redaction is more general, more ‘embracing,’ to speak like Justice Bradley, and his argument here (pp. 65-6) is that some other general dispositions are applied by courts in a limited fashion consistent with the intent of the legislator. (As if he were not warning us throughout his book that courts could take militant positions.)

With this guideline of looking for the intent, Bork argues that the Court could have, with the same result, been ‘originalist’ in Brown v. Board of Education, for ‘’the real principle was that government may not employ race as a classification’’ (79) (as the equal protection clause is nothing less and nothing more than a prohibition on racial classification, according to him), but that the unanimous Justices chose another, ‘un-originalist’ way of reasoning, to reach their conclusion. Bork’s point, contrary to the mainstream interpretation of the case, is that the decision itself is consistent with the original intent of the framers of the 14th amendment, no matter how the Court got there.

Leaving aside that (1) a Black-White racial classification is not the only possible racial classification and (2) one fails to see how the will to abolish a slave-master relationship, even when this relationship overlapped with a Black-White classification, must imply an absolute mandate to relinquish every kind of racial classification (an altogether different subject –slavery needs not function on racial dividing lines– and the Chinese Exclusion Act subsequent to the 14th amendment surely pays no heed to the amendment being a racial classification prohibition clause), one entirely fails to see why, if by the 14th amendment they wanted to strike at racial classifications only, the legislators would not say so explicitly and would use the word ‘citizens’ and ‘person’ instead.

Many will find my essays on Brown v. Board of Education, in the previous Lessons of this blog (Lessons 4-6), naive, as I seem to believe that the Court’s aim was to end not only legal but also de facto segregation. I admit I have difficulties with the notion that the undoing of legal segregation and the policy of busing (not to mention affirmative action) had nothing to do with contemplating the end of de facto segregation. Especially because, as the Court claimed that legal segregation was an obstacle to Blacks feeling equal, I fail to see how the obstacle to feeling equal is removed when Blacks cannot put the blame for their marginality in the American society on the states any longer but have to put it on themselves, as they are told that the obstacle to their integration has been withdrawn. Current de facto segregation is of a center-margin structure, no doubt about it. (At the relevant level, which is the reverse of the topographic level, where white suburbia is the periphery.)

As the Court from the outset has refused to address the question of de facto segregation (the dead-on-arrival decision Shelley v. Kraemer, striking racially exclusive covenants, notwithstanding), if the aim was to put an end to a psychological feeling of inferiority, the truth is that Brown was not addressing the issue even remotely.

It remains that the Court could not prove that legal segregation was necessarily causing a feeling of inferiority among Blacks, although the apodixis was formally required to order the ending of legal segregation rather than its reform on new grounds.

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Bork blames the Court, in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) by which the Court struck down an anticontraception law, to have invented a tool for expanding ‘moral relativism in sexual matters’ but he has just explained in the previous pages that the anticontraception statute in question was not enforced (except in the present case, which was brought about as a test case, that is, intentionally by the claimants), and this means that moral relativism was already ensconced in legal affairs and that the Court, therefore, only affirmed it, not as an invention of the Justices, but as the current state of the law. It would have been different if the law had been enforced.

Justice Stewart called the anticontraception bill ‘an uncommonly silly law,’ yet it is a perfectly Christian law. The first and foremost deterrent to promiscuity is the possible consequence of unwanted pregnancy, and Christianity is ‘that religion precisely which extols the single state’ (Kierkegaard, The Instant N° 7). Obviously, for such a religion promiscuity must be a major evil. Had, on the other hand, Justice Stewart had STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and the preventative necessity to curb their spread in mind, he would have called the law dangerous, not silly, so he had not STDs in mind while making his comment, and so it is hard to know what he meant if not that Christianity is an uncommonly silly thing.

In Griswold the Court found especial fault in the fact that the law applied (or purported to apply, as it was not enforced, according to Bork) to married people and what they were doing in their bedrooms. Yet two spouses can be promiscuous with each other (the number of sexual partners is immaterial to the true definition of the word), so laws against promiscuity cannot leave spousal relationships out of their scope.

It is the same with antiabortion laws. As the best trammel to promiscuity is the risk of unwanted pregnancy, women must be compelled to bear the consequences of their sexual conduct in terms of pregnancy, in order for unwanted pregnancies to remain a deterrent. In the past, several, not all, antiabortion legislations made exceptions in case of rape, the result of which must be, however, that some women will want to terminate unwanted pregnancies by accusing the father, or any man, of rape, and such accusations, though baseless, may be hard to dismiss. (I believe many rape cases are decided mainly on the basis of conventional presumptions, such as, if the two individuals did not know each other before, rape, when alleged, is assumed, etc.)

And it is the same with antisodomy laws.

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On Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), Bork makes the relevant following remark: ‘‘That rule [that only incitement to ‘imminent lawless action likely to produce such action’ falls outside the protection of the first amendment] … would not protect one who advocated a sit-in in a segregated lunch counter if the segregation was lawful and the advocacy produced a sit-in’’ (335).

Bork’s solution, however, is not acceptable: The right to advocacy of illegal conduct is a pillar of American freedom, the tenet that distinguishes it from all other nations in the world, which are police states and political caste (see below) states.

The solution must be, therefore, that incitement through speech is never a crime. How, anyway, does one reconcile criminalizing verbal incitement with the individualistic postulate of democracy? One is responsible for one’s actions; the law that criminalizes verbal incitement derives from another, archaic, opposite and incompatible postulate. While you criminalize verbal incitement, why do you not criminalize social conditions, systemic incitement? – Would you like to make an exception for crowds on the ground that crowds are irrational? Be aware that the social scientists who developed such theses, like the French Gustave Le Bon, also said that assemblies are crowds, legislative bodies are crowds.

Bork’s solution is the following: Advocacy of illegal conduct is not to be tolerated unless the conduct advocated is… lawful.

In his example above, he argues that, segregation being unconstitutional due to the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment, speech advocating a sit-in in a segregated lunch counter would be protected by the first amendment. The persons prosecuted for their speech could therefore invoke the unconstitutionality of segregation to demonstrate that, since segregation was unconstitutional, their speech was no advocacy of illegal conduct and was therefore protected by the first amendment.

To begin with, as executive authorities are no judge of the constitutionality of the laws they must enforce, if Bork’s solution were adopted prosecution would be unavoidable, and this in itself is repressive of speech, is bound to function as a form of censorship.

Then, the Constitution can be amended just as legislative statutes can be repealed, so there is no justification in allowing speech that incites conduct contrary to statutes (provided the statutes are proven unconstitutional) but not speech that incites conduct contrary to the Constitution.

This is why we suggest the rule of making unconstitutional all criminalization of verbal incitement.

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One important thing omitted by Bork is that, in the separation of powers, irremovable judges must be a check to a political caste. But we are not really dealing with constitutional theory here, as the Constitution does not even know of political parties.

The lesser of two evils: ‘Judicial policymaking’ by irremovable judges is necessary to counter the underhand actions of a political caste, that is, to prevent the political class to become a political caste in the first place, and this is called for by the separation of powers itself, as a political caste cannot serve its vested interests without maintaining and increasing executive discretion and arbitrariness.

Bork is convinced that legislative policymaking is the result of a democratic tradeoff between political forces and that this tradeoff does not obtain in ‘judicial policymaking,’ but he ignores the common interest of a political caste in the absence of a sufficiently strong judicial counterpower. This common interest results, in questions bearing upon it, not in a political tradeoff but in caste unanimity against all other interests in the society. (Among other things, the caste suppresses speech, to prevent criticism.)

By caste we do not mean the traditional group structure based on the principle of heredity; we were only looking for a word that would make clear that in those democracies where the judiciary is weak the political class (and it is undeniable that there is a political class in the United States) degenerates into something else much more obnoxious.

The ‘liberal culture’ that Bork claims has been forced upon Americans by the US Supreme Court was on the other hand forced by their own legislators on European people. While reading the book, we hypothesized that the US Supreme Court may have set the precedent for legislations abroad, and that European legislators perhaps would not have passed such reforms as legalization of abortion, had not a great Western nation taken the lead, not by politicians but by nine judges. (In the media and political doxa, those European politicians are still held as ‘courageous,’ which implies that they went against the grain, against the mainstream, against the majority of the people.) The hypothesis is not historically supported as far as abortion is concerned. A chronology that would go from totalitarian legislation –Bolshevik rule in Russia (1920-1936, then 1955) and National-Socialist power in Germany (in the thirties)– to the US Supreme Court’s decision Roe v. Wade (1973) to European democratic legislations like France’s (1975), would leave aside a couple of legislative reforms in other countries (Mexico, Poland, Iceland in the thirties, etc).

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For a common law judge, the legislator’s intent is not binding. The following quotation on the situation in Nordic countries will serve as an illustration, by the contrast it offers:

‘‘Such preparatory works [so-called travaux préparatoires to the adoption of legislative statutes] are therefore used extensively by the courts in Nordic countries as interpretive tools when facing legal uncertainties. The fact that judges both participate in the making of new laws and as the practical users of those laws can to some degree explain the willingness of courts to follow such interpretive sources without feeling unduly influenced by politics. (As a contrast, see Pepper v. Hurt [1992], in which the British House of Lords –nowadays the Supreme Court– allowed for a rare consultation of political statements regarding the purpose of a law.) It might be said as a general observation that the courts in the Nordic countries try to stay loyal to legislative intent.’’

(Thomas Bull, in The Nordic Constitutions: A Comparative and Contextual Study, Krunke & Thorarensen ed., 2018)

Common law: the phrase is not to be found in the index of Bork’s book. Yet American judges are common law judges; Bork ignores it completely. His argument, in a nutshell, is that since the US has a written federal Constitution it is a regime of civil law (Roman law), but this is not the case, and one needs no modern constitutional theory, however liberal, to affirm that this is not.

For Bork, judicial policymaking must be interstitial, it must fill in the interstices of statutes, but in the philosophy of common law statutes fill the interstices of common law. – Coming from the very land hailed as the craddle of modern parliamentarism.

Bork’s concept of original understanding must by necessity make an entirely residual, insignificant power of the judiciary (like in France and other continental European countries) with the mere passage of time, for the simple and good reason that as time passes by the number and scope of situations that it is not possible to link satisfactorily to an original intent of the constituant must increase, so much so that the judge of 100 years from now will have to concede more power to the legislator than today’s judge, and the judge of 200 years from now more than the judge of 100 years from now. To prevent it, to maintain a balance of powers, the judiciary therefore must not approach the Constitution too literally, too narrowly, and this not in order to obtain new prerogatives but in order to avoid falling into insignificance, which would unavoidably lead to a despotic republic as warned about by Tocqueville (whom neither Bork nor his coauthors seem to have read).

To be sure, the Constitution can be amended to respond to evolutions. This power of constitutional amendment proves us right in the analysis of the passage of time. One must admit that its very existence shows that the original constituants have asked the posterity not to rely too much on their intent. Bork has little to say about this power of constitutional amendment that contradicts his claim that decisions of the Supreme Court are final. The fact that the legislator does not use this power more often against the decisions of the Court indicates that these decisions are not the will of ‘nine judges’ only. Bork advocates leaving many issues which the Supreme Court have dealt with recently to the legislative bodies, but the legislator has not used its constitutional power to oppose the Court’s decisions. To be sure, there exists an asymmetry between the decision procedure by the Court and the amendment procedure, the latter allowing for a minority veto, and that would confirm Bork that the will of the majority can be held in check. On the other hand, the Court’s decisions are allowed to be countermajoritarian only to a small degree, because if it were to a higher degree its decisions would be defeated by amendment more often than not.

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To conclude, the following comparative law study will illustrate the tendencies of the political caste in continental Europe. (It is no accident that the United Kingdom of all European countries left the European Union: Common law is incompatible with this bureaucratic mess.)

In the US, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) defended the American Nazi party, in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie (1977), and Nazi organizations are protected by freedom of association and freedom of speech. Needless to say, this is not the case in France, where civil liberties organizations would be on the frontline, and vociferously so, to oppose the legal existence of such parties. We know of a legal Nazi party in Denmark too, with swastikas and like paraphernalia, and we are trying to find more on the legal issues involved, as Denmark belongs to the EU and the Council of Europe, which have guidelines to fight ‘extremism’ so it should be easy to terminate these national protective laws but still the Danish Nazi party exists and is legal.

The position of some American Conservatives on free speech is disappointing, they tend to ask for a European model, like Justice Thomas on libel (US libel law is much more protective of speech than France’s) or Robert Bork on flag burning (constitutionally protected in the US whereas it is a criminal offense in France, where one may get six months jail time).

I agree with the latter, however, that pornography does not deserve the same protection. The US still makes a distinction between pornography and obscenity (which includes some pornography), allowing to prosecute the latter, which difference, of course, does not exist in France, where pornography is more protected than political speech.

The first amendment is good protection against state encroachments, but the issue is rising as to how one deals with private encroachments by internet platforms, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Their lobbyists argue that Section 230 protects platforms’ free speech as private actors. Their moderation and censorship is the platforms’ free speech, so the platforms would attack the repeal of S230 on first amendment grounds (cf previous Lessons). Yet they fail to see that the 1964 Civil Rights Act was needed because the Constitution does not protect minorities (ethnic, religious, etc) from private discrimination. As the 1964 Act stands in conformity with the Constitution, a bill that would prevent platforms to discriminate based on speech would equally be constitutionally unobjectionable. In the present state of the law, Twitter or Facebook could ban people based on the color of their skin and that would be legal and constitutional. The Supreme Court’s already named decision striking down racially exclusive private covenants (Shelley v. Kraemer) was dead on arrival, it has never been followed by other decisions, on the contrary the Court has ruled several times in the opposite direction, like in Evans v. Abney (1970) and Moose Lodge N° 107 v. Irvis (1972). Where the Civil Rights Act or Acts are silent, private discrimination is perfectly legal and constitutional in America. French legislators and courts have never granted private actors such room.

The European political caste, challenged by no judicial power worthy of the name, has forced the ‘liberal culture’ Bork is talking about on their people much more rabidly than the US Supreme Court on Americans.

Twi24 Vers une société de vigilance paramilitaire

My Twitter Anthology Sep-Oct 2019 FR-EN

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[Le présent fil est la suite de Race et religion en droit de la presse : kif-kif bourricot sur Twi22, dont la lecture est recommandée pour la compréhension du raisonnement juridique suivant.]

L’article 32 de la loi de 1881, relatif à la diffamation, comporte mention des « groupes de personnes à raison de » (leur race, ethnie, religion, appartenance sexuelle, etc). Ce que demandait l’Organisation de la coopération islamique au Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU (l’interdiction de la diffamation religieuse) est donc déjà là, en France. Très exactement.

Inutile de vous dire que cet article 32 semble n’être jamais utilisé en cas de « groupes de personnes à raison de », et pour cause : 1/ le défendeur aurait des moyens de se défendre (exceptio veritatis, ou exception de vérité, et bonne foi), et 2/ le juge devrait dire ce qu’est la vérité sur tel ou tel des groupes en question (raciaux, religieux…), ceci découlant de l’exceptio veritatis comme moyen de défense.

Vu que, pour les particuliers non rattachables à un groupe selon les propos tenus les concernant, on distingue l’injure et la diffamation, ce qui couvre tous propos offensants pour ces cas, on doit pouvoir ramener, pour les « groupes de personnes à raison de », la provocation à la haine de l’article 24 de la loi de 1881 à la diffamation. Un moyen de défense serait donc de contester systématiquement l’application de l’article 24 et de demander l’application de l’article 32.

[Ajout du  8.11.2019. Tout comme ces tweets visaient à compléter un raisonnement juridique d’où certains éléments importants avaient été omis, le complément mérite à son tour d’être complété. Il n’y a pas là de quoi se désoler, lecteur, car toute situation est susceptible de se voir appliquer une quasi-infinité de dispositions juridiques, et il n’est guère possible de raisonner sur le fondement d’une connaissance exhaustive dans ce domaine. C’est d’ailleurs là ce qui fait un bon avocat : sa perspicacité lui permet d’invoquer pour la défense de son client des dispositions que personne avant lui ne pensait appliquer dans l’affaire. Pour en revenir à notre sujet, il se trouve que la « diffamation raciale », et les autres diffamations de « personnes ou groupes de personnes à raison de », n’est pas une catégorie complètement inhabituelle, malgré les arguments que j’avançai, et que je maintiens, quant à l’étrangeté de ce concept. Car il a été répondu jurisprudentiellement à l’étrangeté, par la création d’une exception, à savoir qu’en cas de diffamation raciale (et autres du même genre) la preuve de la vérité ne peut pas servir de moyen de défense. De sorte que la théorie juridique de la diffamation a été dénaturée. « Malgré le silence du texte sur ce point, il résulte de la jurisprudence de la Chambre criminelle que l’offre de preuve est impossible en matière de diffamation raciale (Crim. 11/07/1972, Bull. n° 236 ; Crim. 16/03/2004, pourvoi n° 03-82.828). Il s’agit là d’une restriction de bon sens, tant on n’[sic]imagine mal un débat portant précisément sur ce que la loi a entendu interdire. » (courdecassation.fr : lien) Je ne trouve pas cette explication satisfaisante : si le débat ne peut porter sur ce que la loi a entendu interdire en interdisant, à l’article 32 de la loi sur le droit de la presse, la diffamation raciale, le juge avoue qu’il ne sait pas ce que la loi a entendu interdire. Mais l’offre de preuve est impossible en la matière parce que le juge ne souhaite pas dire ce qu’est la vérité d’une race. Il condamne donc des propos diffamatoires sans chercher, au mépris de la théorie juridique de la diffamation, à établir la vérité. Dès lors, peuvent être condamnés pour diffamatoires des propos qu’ils soient vrais ou faux, et c’est une régression de la liberté d’expression. Reste que la théorie de la diffamation comporte un autre moyen formel de défense, la bonne foi, qui rend toujours l’article 32 préférable, pour la partie défenderesse, à l’article 24 relatif à la provocation à la haine, à moins qu’une exception existe aussi sur ce point, auquel cas je ne manquerai pas de compléter ce complément de complément.]

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A Florida library once only allowed teens with parental permission to check out The Autobiography of Malcolm X, because of its ‘anti-white racism.’ (ACLU)

If the librarians had the right to act as they did (for instance because it was a privately run library and the private company had as such a First Amendment right to limit speech), the fact that they changed their minds about the autobiography of Malcolm X does not mean they don’t have other books restricted in the same fashion. What gain is this for civil liberties if a librarian has the right to implement such policies and only changes her mind about this or that book, leaving the status of all other restricted books in her library unchanged? Once, that librarian in Florida limited access to The Autobiography but then she saw the light and decided to grant her customers full access to the book. At the same time another librarian in Georgia decided to limit access to a collection of speeches by Malcom because it is his right…

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Des twittos ayant l’air informé disent que la couverture médiatique de l’incendie de Lubrizol n’est pas à la hauteur, que les médias en parlent peu. Peut-être parce que les journalistes ne veulent pas se rendre sur place ?

Le bruit de fond sur ma TL [timeline] c’est qu’on ne parle que de Chirac et pas (ou trop peu) de Lubrizol. Par exemple, ce tweet de Mediapart : « Jacques Chirac : bientôt la canonisation ? Dans ce moment d’ahurissement national, reste-t-il une place pour l’esprit critique et un peu de temps pour parler d’autre chose, comme par exemple du gigantesque incendie de l’usine Lubrizol à Rouen ? »

Nan mais posez-vous la question honnêtement et en toute franchise : Vous seriez journaliste, vous iriez traîner du côté d’une usine Seveso qui vient d’exploser ?

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Certains pompiers intervenus sur l’incendie de Lubrizol viennent de recevoir leurs analyses biologiques. Et les résultats ne sont pas bons. (Le Monde)

1/ Vérifier l’état de santé des pompiers avant l’intervention sur Lubrizol. (« Les pompiers étaient peut-être malades avant l’incendie de l’usine » : ça, c’est fait) 2/ Montrer que ce sont des troubles psychosomatiques provoqués par la lecture de fake news sur Twitter. 3/ Vous savez, il y a beaucoup d’escroqueries à la classification Seveso, pour obtenir des aides publiques. Nos services ont des éléments pour dire que Lubrizol n’aurait jamais dû être classée Seveso et que donc les pompiers sont malades dans leur tête.

Blague à part, un site classé Seveso présente un risque (la directive européenne parle de « substances dangereuses »). Comment se fait-il qu’on envoie des pompiers sur un site Seveso comme si c’était chez la mère Michel qui a perdu son chat ? [C’est bien ce qui s’est passé : des pompiers intervenus sur le site ont raconté n’avoir reçu aucun équipement spécial pour cette intervention.]

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Je ne comprends pas pourquoi une plainte pour diffamation avec constitution de partie civile entraîne automatiquement une mise en examen. Je croyais que le droit de la presse tenait à une certaine idée de la liberté d’expression…

Le principe de la mise en examen, c’est normalement « qu’il existe à l’égard de la personne mise en cause des indices graves ou concordants de sa probable implication ». Or, en diffamation (qui relève du droit de la presse), elle est automatique !

Cette procédure de mise en examen automatique, totalement exorbitante, donne nécessairement à penser à la personne moyennement informée, qui ne connaît que le principe général venant d’être rappelé, que la diffamation est avérée dès qu’il entend parler d’une affaire de diffamation.

ii

Les plaintes pour diffamation comme « procédures bâillons » sont le sujet d’un rapport Mazeaud de 2017, qui préconisait de créer un délit d’entrave à la liberté d’expression pour mettre fin à ces abus de procédure. Pourquoi le législateur n’a-t-il rien fait ?

« Celui qui agit en justice pour entraver la liberté d’expression peut être condamné à une amende civile d’un maximum de 15.000 euros, sans préjudice des dommages et intérêts qui seraient réclamés. » Voilà ce que proposait le rapport, à juste titre. Cela devrait être déjà dans la loi.

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Hong Kong Mask Ban

Hours after Carrie Lam announced an anti-mask law to take effect tomorrow, masked protesters gather in Central (Aaron Mc Nicholas, reporter for Bloomberg)

The way toward full normalization of Hong Kong in the People’s Republic of China (2047 end of One Country Two Systems) goes through French-like anti-mask law. See Diagram: 😷🇭🇰➡️🇫🇷➡️🇨🇳✅

ii

« Avec cette loi les journalistes ne pourront plus suivre la police car il ne leur sera pas permis de porter des masques à gaz dans des manifestations où la police se sert de gaz lacrymogène. La police pourra donc commettre davantage de violences policières. » (Ma traduction d’un tweet en anglais très pertinent d’une certaine Kate)

Heureusement, nous, on est en France ! #LoiAnticasseurs

iii

France is the true model for Carrie Lam as I guess we are the only country in the world to have not one but two antimask laws: 1/ the general 2010 law prohibiting masks on the public space; & 2/ the special 2019 law prohibiting masks in demonstrations.

Generally speaking, demonstrations take place on the public space… 🙄 The April 2019 bill was thus already included in the 2010 general law; apparently the French legislator felt an overwhelming urge to express a thirst of repression. They wanted to make it a much severer offense to wear a mask in demonstrations than otherwise on the public space (go figure). So we have these two laws and today in a demonstration in France 😷 = 1 year prison & 15.000€ fine.

iv

Le dernier gouverneur de Hong Kong Chris Patten dit que Carrie Lam « doit être cinglée » (must be crazy) de faire promulguer une « loi de dissimulation du visage dans l’espace public » qu’on peut aussi appeler loi anticasseurs (to make such decisions as the antimask law).

Français, ne l’écoutez pas : nos dirigeants à nous ne sont pas cinglés !

v

Carrie Lam counters Chris Patten: if this happens in your country, what actions would you take? (CGTN)

En réponse à Chris Patten, Carrie Lam ne prend même pas la peine de rappeler la loi anticasseurs française d’avril 2019. Elle parle à des pays civilisés, où parler de la France ferait tache.

Carrie Lam sait que la France n’est pas le pays des droits de l’homme mais le cabinet du Dr Frankenstein des droits de l’homme, le pays de la Terreur, de Napoléon, de Gaulle Deux, de l’islamophobie médiatique, de l’islamophobie d’État…

vi

Today in Paris. We stand with Uighurs. We stand with Hong Kong. Hong Kong Protests happen in France too. (@AnneChaAsia) [With picture showing masked protestors.]

These peaceful demonstrators are liable to prosecution under the Article 6 of April 2019 #Anticasseurs Law for concealing their faces in a demonstration. They incur one year imprisonment and 15.000 euros fine.

The #anticasseurs bill applies to demonstrations where violences occur or are susceptible to occur*, so a prosecuted person may argue, if violences did not occur, that violences weren’t susceptible to occur. He must only hope the judge won’t ask him to prove it, for who can tell beforehand that violences are susceptible to occur or not?

*(Likely to occur would be, I feel, an inadequate translation of the French ‘susceptibles de se produire.’ Events ‘susceptibles de se produire’ do not necessarily have to be likely, it is only that no condition existed that would have made their occuring impossible.)

If it turns out violences weren’t susceptible to occur in the demonstration, then the prosecuted demonstrator will only be fined a few hundred euros for concealing his or her face on the public space (2010 bill).

*

Non, le travail n’est pas pénible. La preuve, c’est que les gens travaillent pour des cacahouètes.

*

Est justifiée l’hospitalisation sous contrainte de celle qui soutient qu’elle a vu le diable et qu’elle discute régulièrement avec sa cousine et sa mère qui sont pourtant décédées. Cour d’appel de Versailles, 13 septembre 2013 (Curiosités juridiques)

Cette personne était-elle dangereuse ?

ii

Le feng shui est une sagesse millénaire chinoise liée à la philosophie du Tao et qui rend notamment service en architecture et design. Selon cette sagesse, une arête de mur rectiligne est une « flèche empoisonnée » (cela n’existe pas dans nature). Construire un immeuble en plaçant un « flèche » face aux bureaux de ses concurrents peut être une manière d’empoisonner la concurrence. La communauté franco-chinoise est dépourvue de moyens juridiques de défense contre les attaques feng shui, et ce à cause d’un certain état d’esprit des juges illustré par l’exemple ci-dessus.

[Tweets que j’accompagne d’une vidéo de Business Insider, Why Hong Kong Skyscrapers Have Holes?, où l’on apprend que : « These holes are called dragon gates. They allow dragons to fly from the mountains to the water. This is all according to feng shui, a Chinese system for positioning buildings and objects in a way that agrees with spiritual forces &c »]

*

Des deux conseils pour réussir matériellement dans la vie, « Nettoie bien ton four » (feng shui) et « Lèche les bottes aux puissants », l’un est plus rationnel que l’autre. C’est aussi le plus méprisable des deux.

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Le double bind comme solution simple

Passport BP : un parcours de soins innovant dédié aux personnes avec troubles bipolaires. (Lien vers le site de la société prestataire)

« la solution SimpLe, un outil digital de psychoéducation » : Je croyais que ceux qui écrivent en alternant majuscules et minuscules étaient…

En marketing, “la solution SimpLe” ressemble à du camel case, comme MasterCard, LaserJet… Seulement cela donne Simp+Le, et c’est donc incompréhensible. En psychologie, cela relève de la graphopathologie.

Vu la sophistication transcendante de “la solution SimpLe”, et vu que ce nom prétend refléter le contenu de la solution, c’est-à-dire une solution simple, et vu la situation de dépendance du patient, ça ressemble assez selon moi à du double bind à la Palo Alto. (Le patient est implicitement sommé par une institution médicale dont il dépend de trouver simple ce qui ne l’est pas.)

*

Une #ConventionCitoyenne est une mascarade dont les membres ne sont pas couverts par les immunités parlementaires qui rendraient leur parole libre vis-à-vis des lobbies qu’ils voudraient dénoncer.

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PKK, terrorisme et apologie

Un film sur les combattantes du PKK kurde [Sœurs d’armes], c’est touchant, même si le PKK est sur la liste des organisations terroristes de l’Union européenne, si la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme donne raison à la Turquie quand elle condamne les médias turcs qui donnent la parole aux représentants du PKK, et si la Cour donne aussi raison à l’Allemagne quand elle condamne à une lourde amende le fait de faire circuler une pétition pour sortir le PKK de la liste des organisations terroristes de l’UE. À part ça, tout le monde est avec le PKK contre Daech…

Selon plusieurs sources, les YPG qui sont le sujet du film sont la branche syrienne du PKK : « These groups formed in 2003 as a Syrian offshoot of the PKK movement. » (Quora) Le film est donc, au sens de la loi française, une apologie du terrorisme puisque le PKK est sur liste des organisations terroristes de l’UE. Le lien organique YPG-PKK n’est peut-être pas universellement admis (par exemple, cela n’apparaît pas sur Wkpd, même si l’on y trouve mention des opérations menées par les deux ensemble contre Daech). Mais si l’on demande leur avis à nos amis du Conseil de l’Europe, les Turcs, il n’y a pas photo : c’est « YPG/PKK ».

Selon certains, le film porterait bien sur le PKK en tant que tel : « Peshmergas et combattants du PKK sont montrés combattant côte à côte contre les djihadistes. » (Communiqué du CCFR, Collectif des combattantes et combattants francophones du Rojava)

Je rappelle que l’apologie de terrorisme est un délit grave puisqu’il a même été retiré du « droit de la presse » pour être versé au droit pénal commun. Passer du droit de la presse au droit pénal commun, ça veut dire que le procureur peut ordonner une perquisition chez Caroline, faire défoncer sa porte si elle tarde à ouvrir, la mettre préventivement au mitard, etc. Tout ça pour un film, un article, un tweet…

Est de l’apologie de terrorisme « toute action de communication présentant sous un jour favorable des actes terroristes ou ceux qui les ont commis ». Caroline sur Europe 1 : « J’avais besoin d’être à côté, au milieu de ces combattantes, de voir leur courage, leur énergie pour gagner cette guerre. »

ii

La Cour EDH donne raison à la Turquie : arrêt Gürbüz & Bayar c/ Turquie du 23 juillet 2019. « Poursuites pénales contre les dirigeants d’un journal pour avoir publié des déclarations d’un chef d’organisation terroriste [à savoir le PKK] contenant la menace implicite d’une reprise des violences : non-violation. » [Ces poursuites pénales ne sont pas une violation de la Convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l’homme, selon la Cour.]

De même, dans Aydin c/ Allemagne (27 janvier 2011), la Cour EDH rejette la requête d’Aysel Aydin, condamnée en Allemagne à 1.200 euros d’amende pour avoir lancé une pétition réclamant le retrait du PKK de la liste des organisations terroristes établie par l’Allemagne et l’UE. (Wkpd français : page PKK)

iii

Au moment où Trump annonce un retrait de Syrie, il rappelle que les U.S. ont financé et équipé les Kurdes, dont la principale organisation, le PKK (dont les YPG de Caroline seraient la branche syrienne), est sur leur propre liste d’organisations terroristes, comme sur celle de l’UE.

La multiplication des organisations (écrans) kurdes résulte forcément (en partie) de la nécessité de camoufler l’implication du PKK compromis par son inscription sur les listes d’organisations terroristes des US et l’UE. Quand les US ont financé les Kurdes contre Daech, ils ne pouvaient pas ouvertement financer une organisation inscrite sur leur liste terroriste. Dans ce genre de situation, on passe par des « sociétés écrans », créées pour l’occasion ou mises à contribution comme intermédiaires.

Rétrospectivement, il est clair que des États qui laissaient le PKK sur leurs listes d’organisations terroristes ne pouvaient aider sans arrières-pensées les YPG kurdes de Syrie liés au PKK, et qu’ils entendaient les livrer aux Turcs une fois le ménage fait contre Daech.

iv

American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter confirms [before the US Senate] “substantial ties” between the PYD/YPG and PKK. (elif) [with a video excerpt from the hearing]

I can’t understand that when the American Defense Secretary acknowledges 1/the link between the YPG and the PKK & 2/the terrorist organization status of the PKK according not only to Turkey but also to the US, the question should be “Is Turkey okay with the US arming the YPG?” [a question from Senator Graham] and not “Is the US okay with the US arming the YPG?”

To the question “Is Turkey okay with the US arming the YPG/PKK?” the answer is obvious as one can assume consistency. But to the question “Is the US okay with the US helping the YPG/PKK?” the answer is problematic as the question evidences the lack of consistency of the US.

When the US armed and otherwise helped the YPG, an organization with “substantial links” to the PKK which is on the US terror list, thus arming an organization it declares its duty to combat, the US government committed mischief toward US citizens, as the latter are liable to courts of law for supporting the PKK. When a country declares an organization ‘terrorist,’ it combats it even against its own citizens (those who would support the organization), so when that country in fact arms that organization, this means it represses its own citizenry unconstitutionally (for no reason). The US government nor any other government have a constitutional right to arm an organization at the same time that it, by calling that organization ‘terrorist’ and having it placed on a terror list, suppresses the right of the people to show support to that organization.

v

Arming Kurds affiliated to the PKK, an organization on the US terror list, was mischief against US citizens, for the war against terror was then waged not against the organization itself but against US citizens, by suppressing the freedom of speech of those who would support the organization, and other liberties such as the freedom to spend one’s money as one sees fit (donations to the PKK would be liable to prosecution as far as US citizens were concerned while their government was arming the PKK via the Syrian YPG).

[To be sure, I do not know the exact consequences, as far as civil liberties in the US are concerned, of having an organization placed on an US official terror list. The First Amendment might still protect the rights of US citizens to express verbal support for that organization –this has to be checked– but it is safe to assume that this listing must have some consequences on civil liberties. In France the consequences are drastic, and there is at least one French representative who publicly acknowledges the link between the YPG and the PKK: ‘’Le PKK est lié d’une manière ou d’une autre aux combattants du Rojava. Ce n’est pas tout à fait la même chose mais il y a des liens.’’ (Éric Coquerel) He then asks the removal of the PKK from the EU terror list. (As we have seen that an EU citizen can be fined for asking the very same thing, I assume he deems his utterance protected by his immunities as a representative.) As the PKK is on the EU terror list, EU citizens can be prosecuted for supporting a terrorist organization when they support an organization that is ‘our ally’ (according to representative Coquerel’s words) in the war against Daesh.]

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Staffing Policy & Speech Police

REMINDER: One of the amicus briefs filed in our opponents’ favor literally stated that any decision in favor of not letting employers fire people for being LGBTQ “will promote sexual anarchy and gender tyranny.” (ACLU)

A private business has no discretionary power over its staffing policy (Title VII). So why is a private organization allowed to deny service to a person of color, as stated in the precedent Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis (1972) [“The Court held that the Moose Lodge’s refusal to serve food to Irvis because he was black did not violate the 14th Amendment. The Court found the Moose Lodge ‘a private social club in a private building,’ thus not subject to the Equal Protection Clause.”]? And why has a private organization such as Facebook the right to limit free speech? If a private organization has no discretionary power over its staffing policy, I see no justification for allowing a private organization to limit or suppress free speech.

Limiting private organizations’ discretionary powers on staffing sends the signal that the rights of minorities are superior not only to the values of free enterprise but also to the values of First Amendment, when private organizations keep their power to limit free speech even though they have lost discretionary policing of their own staffing.

The standard remark that customers that object to a business’ staffing or other policy are free to stop patronizing that business, seems more consistent with democratic values than the idea of ruling the staffing of private business by law.

In the US a private organization is free to limit or suppress free speech, thus the government only has to tell X or Y what speech they want to suppress (e.g. for the sake of national security) in order to fully circumvent the First Amendment. Besides, private organizations don’t decide freely about their own staffing.

Forcing private employers’ choice by law borders on lunacy. Employers’ power is de facto discretionary. If they want to fire a person, the law tells them they cannot base this on discrimination, so they’ll have to find another motive, and anything goes. On the other hand minority employees are entitled to contest juridictionally any job termination as discriminatory, which makes these employees objectively toxic to the employer. At the same time it will entrench them in the job market more securely than other employees; an employer facing redundancy decisions will favor firing non-minority over minority employees because of the discrimination suit he or she would face as a result of firing a person who belongs to a minority protected by Title VII.

ii

Private organizations can refuse to serve food to black men (Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis) but, as employers, they cannot discriminate against blacks. Do you know why? Because a person can’t prove he has been discriminated against on account of his race in most cases. When you refuse service, it is plain whether you refuse service to some categories, and based on what characteristics. When you fire people, you can advance any (legal) justification: It’s the redundant employee’s word against yours.

iii

The right to free speech is the right to not be silenced by the government. Facebook is not the government. (The Hylian Apologist)

Yes, this is First Amendment law according not to the letter of the Amendment but to precedent. My point was that I thought this interpretation of free speech by precedent was because of free enterprise but as title VII dictates their employment policies to entrepreneurs I must be wrong, it’s got to be something else, like the US government not wanting free speech on the Web.

Why would a country with a Title VII claim it defends free enterprise re speech police but not re employment policy, if not because it is so easy for the government to suppress free speech via pressuring a couple of oligopolistic business owners of internet plaforms?

Because “the government” is not using Facebook to silence anyone. Facebook is abiding by their AUP [Acceptable Use Policy]. And when employment policy appears to violate the law, we discuss it to gain clarity. (Ibid.)

Your naïveté leaves me speechless. You simply cannot dismiss the possibility that the government may pressure business groups. Governments have many ways. With your naïveté the Founding Fathers would have never written a Constitution.

I made no allegation and only stated the obvious fact that the essence of constitutional thinking is to never rule out the possibility of governmental mischief. You made the allegation that there is no pressure on Facebook: The onus of the proof is on you.

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Vers une société de vigilance paramilitaire

« Vers une société de vigilance » : Cela veut dire que le port d’arme va être étendu en France comme aux États-Unis ? “Vigilante: A person or a member of a group that decides to force obedience to the law without official authority.”

Vers une société de vigilance paramilitaire : « Article unique : Le port d’armes est légal pour tout citoyen dès 15 ans. »

Je ne vais quand même pas dénoncer mon voisin islamiste (capable du pire) sans armes pour me défendre contre ses représailles, non ? Où dois-je déposer les statuts de ma milice ?

Quand des vigilants se seront fait égorger par les amis de leurs voisins islamistes dénoncés par civisme et patriotisme pour une société de vigilance, tout ça parce qu’on aura oublié d’armer des milices citoyennes, ne dites pas que je ne vous aurai pas prévenus.

Il est dit, dans le discours présidentiel sur la société de vigilance, que les services de l’État ne peuvent faire face à eux seuls à cette vigilance nécessaire. Mais le citoyen qu’on veut ainsi recruter informellement n’est pas armé, contrairement aux services de l’État. On veut donc mobiliser des citoyens non armés face à ce qu’on appelle une « hydre islamiste » ! Mais si c’est une hydre, s’il s’agit de « déviations dangereuses », les citoyens qui agiraient par vigilance se mettraient forcément en danger sans moyens de défense ! Il n’y a donc pas à tergiverser : devant la carence des services et de l’administration reconnue au plus haut niveau de l’État (dans le discours sur la société de vigilance), la seule solution face à une hydre islamiste, c’est la formation de milices armées citoyennes. Le nier serait d’une extrême inconséquence.

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World Day Against the Death Penalty

The death penalty is racist, arbitrary, and error-prone. It normalizes the extreme sentences that are at the core of our incarceration crisis. On World Day Against the Death Penalty, join us to learn why it’s time for the US to abolish it once and for all. (ACLU, Oct 10, 2019)

Death sentences show a centennial rising tendency in the US (enclosed, p.1, document from the Bureau of Justice Statistics 1953-2010). From extremely low figures in the fifties it went to a peak in 2000 and then decreased but very slowly comparing with the ascending slope of 1975-2000. Link

We will probably agree that such a slope is steeper than that of US demographics, so if it is true that death penalty is ‘racist,’ then the figures show that, contrary to expectations, the racism of American society has been increasing.

ii

‘’It’s time for the US to abolish it once and for all.’’ “Once and for all” means the US has already progressed in the direction of abolishing the death penalty, but in fact it has gone in the opposite direction.

iii

36 US states and the federal government impose capital punishment for some crimes. That’s more than two-thirds of US legislatures (72.5%). [About three fourths.]

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Quand un élu local RN demande qu’une accompagnatrice scolaire retire son voile islamique ou quitte l’assemblée régionale, il ne faut pas oublier la polémique persistante sur le hijab et les accompagnatrices scolaires qui émane du plus haut niveau du ministère de l’éducation nationale, c’est-à-dire du ministre. C’est parce que le ministre LREM a de façon répétée exprimé son rejet du voile pour les accompagnatrices scolaires que cet élu local s’est senti légitime à faire cet esclandre, car il a une couverture. Je vois que des personnalités médiatiques attaquent durement cet élu local RN, mais le ministre LREM qui a de façon répétée exprimé son opposition au port du voile par les accompagnatrices scolaires, est épargné par leurs flèches. Comme s’ils avaient peur d’un ministre…

ii

L’historique du sujet « hijab et accompagnatrices scolaires » est retracé dans un document en ligne de la direction des services départementaux de l’éducation nationale des Alpes-Maritimes. Lien

Les Républicains [opposition de centre-droit] ont fait adopter en 2019, dans la loi relative à l’éducation, un amendement l’interdisant, amendement finalement rejeté au stade ultime de la discussion parlementaire, en commission mixte paritaire.

Le député RN en question, Julien Odoul, peut donc se réclamer des prises de position du ministre mais aussi de l’amendement 2019 de l’opposition de centre-droit (c’est-à-dire des positions de cette dernière), mais encore d’une circulaire Chatel de 2004 : « neutralité pour les parents d’élèves participant aux sorties scolaires (pas de voile) » [c’est ainsi que le document cité résume cette circulaire].

Le Conseil d’État a affirmé en 2013 que les accompagnatrices pouvaient porter le voile mais le ministre Peillon, socialiste, indiqua alors aussitôt que la circulaire Chatel continuait de s’appliquer ! Concrètement, les directeurs d’école peuvent refuser les accompagnatrices voilées si ça leur chante. Compte tenu que les directeurs ont ainsi la plus large appréciation pour refuser les accompagnatrices voilées et que le ministre (leur autorité hiérarchique) a indiqué qu’il était pour ce refus, les directeurs connaissent les desiderata de leur hiérarchie, dont leur carrière dépend.

iii

Non c’est faux. L’étude de 2013 du Conseil d’État fait jurisprudence ! Depuis ce texte tous les tribunaux administratifs ont suivi l’avis du Conseil d’État. En 2015 le tribunal administratif de Nice avait annulé la décision d’une école primaire d’interdire à une mère voilée d’accompagner des élèves lors d’une sortie scolaire. Vous comparez le ministre de l’éducation nationale avec un élu RN [qui] a commis un délit pénal ! Le ministre de l’éducation nationale n’a jamais discriminé et humilié une femme devant des enfants de CM2 ! (ESBN)

J’ai cité ma source [elle indique en effet la décision du tribunal administratif de Nice mais ne dit pas que tous les tribunaux administratifs ont suivi l’avis du Conseil d’État ; l’affaire devant le TA de Nice est donc peut-être la seule à pouvoir être invoquée en l’espèce, et ce serait alors ce TA seul que le twittos qui me répond appellerait « tous les tribunaux administratifs »]. Je peux également citer le ministre. « … a fustigé mardi 24 septembre une affiche de campagne de la FCPE qui défend le droit de mères voilées de faire des sorties scolaires, qu’il a qualifiée d’erreur regrettable. » (Le Nouvel Observateur, article du 24 septembre 2019) Et au Sénat, en réponse à une question d’actualité le 20 avril 2018: « Le Conseil d’État précise qu’un chef d’établissement peut recommander aux mères de ne pas porter le voile dans les sorties scolaires. C’est ce que je recommande aux chefs d’établissement de recommander aux mamans accompagnatrices. »

Et je n’ai pas « comparé » l’élu RN avec le ministre. J’ai dit que Julien Odoul tirait en quelque sorte les conclusions de la philosophie portée publiquement par le ministre. Si ce qu’il a fait est un délit, c’est à la justice de le dire (en sachant que la Cour EDH reconnaît une immunité assez large aux élus dans les débats des assemblées locales, sur l’exemple des parlementaires, et ça se comprend, dans le cadre de la décentralisation).

Il est vrai que, dans la discussion de la loi sur l’éducation, le ministre n’a pas demandé à sa majorité de voter l’amendement LR qui semble correspondre à sa pensée maintes fois exprimée. Peut-être est-ce par tactique politicienne, c’est-à-dire pour ne pas laisser l’opposition se « glorifier » d’une mesure qu’il semble, par ses prises de position répétées, approuver ?

*

Le voile n’est pas souhaitable dans notre société. (Ministre de l’éducation nationale)

Si je suis commerçant et que j’affiche ces mots sur la devanture de mon magasin, d’un côté c’est dire « Femmes voilées passez votre chemin » (Christians Only), d’un autre côté ce sont des paroles de ministre… Gros dilemme.

« Le voile n’est pas souhaitable mais pas interdit parce que ce gouvernement (dont je ne suis que le porte-parole dans le domaine de mes attributions) n’arrive pas à se décider : il a trop peur des conséquences de ses actes. » 🤷‍♂️

Si, tout en n’étant pas souhaitable, le voile n’est pas interdit, quel est l’intérêt de dire et répéter que le voile n’est pas souhaitable ? Les opinions personnelles d’un ministre n’ont aucun intérêt pour la collectivité : c’est la politique qu’il défend activement qui nous intéresse, c’est-à-dire ses actes.

Puisque le voile n’est pas interdit par le gouvernement, un ministre n’a qu’une chose à dire : c’est pourquoi le voile n’est pas interdit par le gouvernement, et non pourquoi le voile n’est pas souhaitable selon ce ministre.

Même si c’est le gouvernement qui pense que le voile n’est pas souhaitable, aucun ministre, puisque le gouvernement n’interdit pas le voile, n’a à dire pourquoi le voile n’est pas souhaitable, car un ministre doit expliquer la politique du gouvernement et pas la non-politique du gouvernement.

Ce gouvernement a une politique vis-à-vis du voile, et c’est que le voile n’est pas interdit (accompagnatrices…). Que le voile ne soit pas souhaitable n’est donc pas une politique du gouvernement. Un ministre qui ne parle pas de la politique du gouvernement, n’est pas dans ses attributions.

Si le gouvernement pense collectivement comme le ministre que le voile n’est pas souhaitable, mais ne l’interdit pas, alors ce qu’il faut qu’il explique ce n’est pas pourquoi le voile n’est pas souhaitable mais pourquoi son interdiction est encore moins souhaitable.

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Les belles-lettres forment un bel esprit – ce que Kant appelle un singe.

(Kant actually speaks of literati who study modern literature and not of those who study humanities from the Greeks. He calls the latter humanists and the former ‘apes of the humanists.’)

Tabagie de singes par David Teniers (1610-1690), Musée de Chartres

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The independence of Catalonia would have consequences for France as there are historical parts of Catalonia and native speakers of Catalan on French territory. It would have consequences for EU as well, as nobody knows if independence would not lead to #Cataxit. Indeed, if Catalonia is no longer part of Spain but remains part of EU, Catalans may find out the rules are the same and nothing has changed, for Spain is part of EU which is a supranational set of binding rules. So I see no prospect of major change in independence without a Cataxit. As this certainly is the reasoning that is made also by EU authorities, Catalan independentists must be in their cross-hairs, and the harsh judicial sentences that were pronounced against their leaders are as much the result of European policy as that of Spanish law.

Catalans are part of EU as part of Spain. If an independant Catalonia is also part of EU, Catalan independence is only formal as the new country will abide by the same set of binding rules of EU origin. (There’s no veto for small countries in the EU legislative process.) If, on the other hand, the EU accepts the membership of independent Catalonia, that could imply an #Spaxit: Would Spain want to remain in the EU beside Catalonia, the independence of which it had opposed?

If you slap a man in the face, his wallet will be telling him he’d better not react but the likelihood is he will. The economy is largely irrelevant in the issue (and more irrelevant in general than people assume). If the reason why Catalonia wants to leave Spain is really the current economic transfers from Catalonia to other parts of Spain, transfers will still occur inside the EU, independence will not change that.

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Doigt d’honneur à des policiers : amende de 300 euros requise contre le journaliste Gaspard Glanz. (Le Monde)

La vraie amende, ce n’est pas 300 euros mais les frais d’avocat. Car pour ce doigt d’honneur il y a peut-être écrit 10.000 euros dans le code (je ne l’ai pas sous les yeux), donc forcément tu payes un avocat (mettons un forfait à 2.000 euros) : 2.300 euros pour un doigt d’honneur, c’est bien la France.

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Qu’on laisse tranquilles les femmes qui souhaitent porter un foulard ! La loi de 1905 assure la liberté de croire ou de ne pas croire et la neutralité de l’État. (Manon Aubry, députée européenne France Insoumise)

Il y a aussi la polémique sur les prénoms qui, comme ils ont un sens dans la religion musulmane, sont donnés à leurs enfants par les parents musulmans. Certains disent que cela montre leur volonté de ne pas s’intégrer à la société française : un raisonnement au mépris de la laïcité. Si un Musulman veut donner à ses enfants des prénoms qui ont un sens en islam, plutôt que des prénoms du calendrier, c’est son droit dans une république laïque.

Les mêmes qui dénoncent le voile dénoncent les prénoms qui ne sont pas dans le calendrier de la Poste. Après l’interdiction du voile viendra l’obligation de s’appeler Alphonse (1er août), Fulbert (10 avril), Pélagie (8 octobre), Urbain (19 décembre), Melaine (6 janvier)…

Cette attaque sur les prénoms musulmans, venant de quelqu’un qui par exemple s’appelle Jean, du nom d’un apôtre de son propre culte, devient dans ce cas parfaitement intolérable.

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Fiat Lux

Ce n’est pas parce que Dieu a créé la lumière qu’il ne voit pas dans le noir.