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Opening Arguments

Burn, baby

Justice Emily Litella Sthephen Breyer clarifies his remarks on the First Amendment:

CNN's Larry King: There's no doubt that Pastor Jones, little church in Florida, had the right, he has the right to burn the Quran, doesn't he?


Breyer: Yeah, I said it depends on what analogy you use, but the most one analogous case is that there was — you have the right to burn an American flag as a symbol....

King: ... Does [the flagburning decision] make us a great country?

Breyer: It helps. It helps.... [W]hat we're saying is we protect expression that we hate. And protecting expression that we hate is not the only good thing in the world, but it is one good thing in the world. And when you have a country of 300 million different people who think different things, it is helpful. It is helpful to tell everyone, you can think what you want.

Well, good. It's nice to know a sitting Supreme Court justice understands at least one part of the Constitution. Quran burners should understand, however, that their actions won't be quite as protected as those of the flag burners:

At the urging of the FBI, the Seattle cartoonist behind "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" is "going ghost" — leaving town, changing her name, creating a new identity because of the death threat issued in July by an Islamic cleric linked to the failed Times Square bombing, the Seattle Weekly says of its former contributor.

The Cartoonist Formerly Known As Molly Norris gained notoriety in April with a comic responding to Comedy Central's censoring of a South Park episode after its creators received a death threat from Brooklyn-based radical Muslims offended by satirical representations of Mohammed. Islam forbids any representation of the prophet, which is considered blasphemous.