The Spectacle Blog

Clarence Thomas’s Supra-Legal Wisdom

By on 6.30.11 | 10:05AM

Conservatives on BOTH sides of the recent decision upholding free-speech rights for violent video game producers should take very seriously the stirring dissent from Justice Clarence Thomas. I explain why, here. Here's an excerpt:

His central thesis is that neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of law supersedes the fundamental right of parents or legal guardians to protect their children, nor supersedes a government's interest in protecting the parents' ability to do so.... Apart from the details of the video-game case, which may or may not involve threats to that fundamental right, it should be inarguable that such a right does adhere to parents (or legal guardians), and that protection of that right is essential to this nation's ordered liberty. This is key: Rights apply not directly to children, but to them only through their parents.

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