Dover Bitch

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Principled Democrats for Bork

How far across the aisle do you have to reach to make a speech like this on the Senate floor (Oct. 27, 1995)?

Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I rise today to call my colleagues' attention to a thought-provoking speech recently given by Judge Robert Bork about the media, and our perceptions of the first amendment and censorship.

Judge Bork, who is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, made these remarks at a forum sponsored by AEI entitled, `Sex and Hollywood: What Should Be the Government's Role?', at which I had the privilege of speaking. As the title suggests, this forum sought to examine what effect the media's bombardment of sexual messages is having on our children and our culture, and what steps the Government can and should take to address the public's growing concern about the threat posed by these increasingly explicit messages.

In his comments, Judge Bork argued that this threat puts not only our children at risk, but our civil society as well. If the entertainment industry's standards continue to drop, he suggested, the Government would be well within its constitutional bounds to take more active steps to protect children by regulating lewd and indecent content. In making this argument, Judge Bork reminded the audience that the Government has regularly played the role of censor--albeit a limited one--for most of our history, and that in recent years the general notion of what forms of expression are fully protected by the first amendment has, in Judge Bork's eyes, become distorted. Judge Bork's comments remind us that our commitment to free expression must be balanced by our commitment to protect our children and the moral health of our Nation.