Bush Lied – They Died

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Jul 01, 2007 Bush Lied – They Died

The First Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights. (From the public domain.)

It is a supreme irony when civil liberties are curbed domestically — particularly when the curb has nothing to do with winning any war — during a war purportedly being waged to protect "freedom".

Praised be Arizona lawyers Lee Phillips, Natalie Jacobs, Charles Babbitt (related to Bruce Babbitt?) (all from the Law Office of Lee Phillips, P.C.), , and Dan Pochoda (Arizona’s ACLU legal director) for filing this Complaint on June 26, 2007, in Dan Ray Frazier v. Patricia J. Boomsma, et al. Civ. No. ________ (D. Az.).

As the Complaint  states: "This action seeks a declaration that Arizona’s recently enacted Senate Bill 1014 (hereinafter Bill) which prohibits the use of the name of any soldier, alive or deceased, on any item for sale without permission of the soldier or their legal representative, violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution."

The Arizona Bill apparently was written with Plaintiff Dan Frazier in mind. The Complaint confirms that: "Among the items for sale on Plaintiff’s website are t-shirts which contain the words ‘BUSH LIED — THEY DIED’.  The statement ‘BUSH LIED’ is printed on the front of the t-shirt and the statement ‘THEY DIED’ is printed on the back of the t-shirt in large capital and bold letters… The ‘BUSH LIED THEY DIED’ is printed over a background of the names of the American soldiers who have died in Iraq.  The names of the deceased soldiers are printed in small type approximately the size of newsprint." As the Complaint further states: "The names of the soldiers killed in Iraq are matters of public record and can be accessed by private citizens in numerous ways."

Mr. Frazier’s t-shirt activities are at the very heart of First Amendment protection, and I look forward to seeing him achieve victory in this litigation. Jon Katz.

ADDENDUM: Thanks to my brother Marc Randazza for blogging on this First Amendment lawsuit. Thanks also to Arizona ACLU legal director Dan Pochoda for taking my phone call, and for consenting to my posting the Complaint here. (He and I both agree that no such consent should be required, seeing that the document is in the public domain; nevertheless, it was nice to speak with another civil liberties bird of a feather). 


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