The controversy over banning
the sale of an online documentary of the life, death, and subsequent
re killing of Bernard Hill,
the only confirmed case of Necro-Mortosis in the United States, hit
the High Court today.
Court, in a surprise decision, ruled in favor of Joanne Hill, widow
of Bernard Hil,. on grounds the UN Code
"violated her First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech."
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Richards said, "The Government
failed to present the Court with any compelling evidence that the
curtailing of Mrs. Hill's right to sell the images of her husband's
death would significantly benefit the public… Additionally,
the Government failed to produce convincing evidence showing where
the display of images of the killing of the Undead has led to any
definitively proven instances of domestic disorder or encouraged lack
of respect for victims of the Necro-mortosis
virus within the United States or any international venue… It
is without precedence in the history of this Court to restrict the
personal freedoms Citizens based on theory and conjecture."
In a dissenting opinion, Justice Curtis stated, "The
intentions of the United Nations charter was, among other things, to
retain respect for the Undead. The Court's decision
opens the door to the exploitation of the victims of the virus, and
significant domestic panic… and places the United States in abrogation
of its commitments under the United Nations Charter."
The decision opens a Pandora's box of other issues, not the least of
which is the Supreme Court's authority to override a decision of the
Justice James Skillings addressed this issue in his
concurrent opinion, "Article III, Section II of the Constitution
delineates the powers of this Court to oversee the Constitutionality
of any treaty or international agreement entered into by the United
States. By definition, international treaties ratified by the Senate
are the Law of the Land. However, Missouri v Holland (1920) sets the
precedent that the treaty-implementing power of the Executive Branch
could not be used as an excuse for regulating activities that are not
'a proper subject of regulation.' No international treaty or charter
has the authority of override, or amend the Constitution as defined
by this Court. And, any treaty judged by this Court to be outside the
Constitution can be ruled invalid within the United States."
Critics charge this is another attempt by the United
States to exempt itself from international law. Luke Charring of the
Center for International Cooperation said, "The United States is
yet once again saying there are two sets of rules, one for the United
States, and another for the rest of the world. This is the most irresponsible
decision I have ever seen from any court. The Justices systematically
ignored every argument in favor of the Code without even considering
that it is a desperately needed tool in fighting a global epidemic.
The United Nations acted because no country had the will to act. Now,
its efforts have been destroyed by a short-sighted Court more concerned
with semantics than the survival of millions of people."
Further complicating the issue is the fact that the decision could effectively
invalidate all domestic legislation regulating the containment of the
Necro-Mortosis virus in the United States.
the UN Code, the United States' efforts in fighting the virus where
based loosely on the Patriot Act, and National Security Act of 1976.
When the General Assembly passed the Code, President Bush implemented
it as a whole with one Executive Order, as is done with
the implementation of most international treaties," said Brad Hagan
of The Congressional Policy Group. "Since then, almost all Congressional
legislation has been based on supporting this one order or the Code.
However, the Supreme Court does not have the authority to rule one aspect
of a law unconstitutional. It is all or nothing. So, when the
Court said one part of the Code was unconstitutional, by default, the
entire Code is ruled unconstitutional."
includes everything; regulations of acceptable methods of containing
the Undead, proper identification procedures, the sale of trophy parts,
proper disposal of corpses… Literally, almost everything has been
thrown out the window. The Congress and President
will now be very hard pressed to try to reenact those aspects of the
Code not ruled unconstitutional in a timely manner. If there is an outbreak
tomorrow in the United States, the legal hurdles created by this decision
will make its suppression much more difficult."
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