If only professional journalists get extra speech privileges, is that an Equal Protection violation? I've received several emails along the following lines:
Only "suspect classes" can assert an equal protection challenge. Or, more correctly stated, only suspect classes stand much chance of winning. Suspect classes include race, gender, ethnicity, etc. Poor people are not a suspect class. ... So I'm guessing bloggers would not qualify, either. If not a suspect class, a legislative body only needs a "rational basis" to treat different groups of people differently. [from reader M. G.]
Supreme Court doctrine has been evolving, but when I went to school there were two things that could trigger "strict scrutiny" (and, usually, invalidation) under the Equal Protection clause. One was if a law discriminates against a "suspect class." But the other was if it i nfringes on a "fundamental right." What's a "fundamental right" if not speech? Is the "fundamental right" trigger no longer operable? ... P.S.: Whether the Court recognizes it or not, the so-called "rational basis" test is a crock. See Robert F. Nagel's famous law review note, "Legislative Purpose, Rationality, and Equal Protection," 82 Yale Law Journal 123 (1972). Every law is perfectly rationally related to the goal of doing exactly what it does. The question is whether some goals are impermissible, a question that can't be answered on the basis of "rationality." That much I remember! ... 3:13 P.M.
Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--He reports! And decides! Wonkette--Makes Jack Shafer feel guilty. Salon--Survives! kf gloating on hold. Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! David Corn--Trustworthy reporting from the left. Washington Monthly--Includes Charlie Peters' proto-blog. Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink. Virginia Postrel--Friend of the future! Peggy Noonan--Gold in every column. Matt Miller--Savvy rad-centrism. WaPo--Waking from post-Bradlee snooze. Keller's Calmer Times--Registration required. NY Observer--Read it before the good writers are all hired away. New Republic--Left on welfare, right on warfare! Jim Pinkerton--Quality ideas come from quantity ideas. Tom Tomorrow--Everyone's favorite leftish cartoonists' blog. Ann "Too Far" Coulter--Sometimes it's just far enough. Bull Moose--National Greatness Central. John Ellis--Forget that Florida business! The cuz knows politics, and he has, ah, sources. "The Note"--How the pros start their day. Romenesko--O.K. they actually start it here. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities--Money Liberal Central. Steve Chapman--Ornery-but-lovable libertarian. Rich Galen--Sophisticated GOP insider. Man Without Qualities--Seems to know a lot about white collar crime. Hmmm. Overlawyered.com--Daily horror stories. Eugene Volokh--Smart, packin' prof, and not Instapundit! Eve Tushnet--Queer, Catholic, conservative and not Andrew Sullivan! WSJ's Best of the Web--James Taranto's excellent obsessions. Walter Shapiro--Politics and (don't laugh) neoliberal humor! Eric Alterman--Born to blog. Joe Conason--Bush-bashing, free most days. Lloyd Grove--Don't let him write about you. Arianna's Huffosphere--Now a whole fleet of hybrid vehicles. TomPaine.com--Web-lib populists. Take on the News--TomPaine's blog. B-Log--Blog of spirituality! Hit & Run--Reason gone wild! Daniel Weintraub--Beeblogger and Davis Recall Central. Eduwonk--You'll never have to read another mind-numbing education story again. Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. John Leo--If you've got political correctness, he's got a column ... [More tk]