Lust At The Library In Loudon County


If you live in Loudon County, Virginia, you have an undeniable, fundamental, First Amendment right to use the personal computer at the local library as a medium for viewing graphic depictions of your favorite sexual fetish.

This according to U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who struck down the Loudon County Library Board Internet policy that required filtering software on all public library computers. In his November 23rd ruling, the judge assured sexual misfits and curious children alike that any penchant for porn was to be supported by resources paid for with taxpayer monies.

In the ongoing macroevolution of First Amendment meaning, Judge Brinkema has discovered a new hominid. The genesis of this creature, undoubtedly, dates back to the previous century, when the Fourteenth Amendment applied the Bill of Rights to the states. From that point, the legal environment of natural selection enabled judicial activists to redefine the scope and intention of this First Guarantor of individual liberty to such a point that James Madison, if he were alive today, wouldn't recognize it from the lyrics to "Louie, Louie."

One of the notoriously carnivorous creations that has arisen from this judicial Darwinism has earned its own buzz-phrase: "separation of church and state." The speciation of this beast occured in the Supreme Court's 1947 decision, Everson v. Board of Education, in which it was summarily decided that a single phrase contained in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson should become an unemurated Amendment to the United States Constitution.

But if "separation of church and state" represents the Neanderthal Man of First Amendment jurisprudence, then Judge Brinkema's decision represents Homo Erectus (pun intended). It's a distinct branch, of course, but it's a cut from the same common ancestor: the distortion of First Amendment intention to the point of absolute lunacy.

No doubt that the rights mafia is cheering. Libertarian extremists might find a certain pleasure in noting that the services of the library include a new partition: the advancement of carnal pleasure. Not only can Loudon County residents visit their local library to research the causes of Downs Syndrome, or further their knowledge concerning the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ, they can also take a few moments to carefully examine the comeliness of Jenny McCarthy's nipples. Perhaps the county libraries need to amend the signs posted near the PC Terminals to read: "No food or drink allowed. Pants must be kept buttoned at all times."

The People For The American Way, which fought the Loudon County policy, claim that the blocking software which was used (X-Stop), also blocked sites without questionable material (including a Beanie Babies site). But that is nothing more than a red herring. PFAW never went on record as stating a definite opposition to the transformation of a library terminal into a peep show. The organization simply adopts a radical anti-censorship approach, assuming that people's perversions should be subsidized by the taxpayers. Additionally, the library board has stated that requests to unblock non-questionable sites will be honored. Loudon County didn't adopt the policy in an effort to mobilize a war against Beanie Babies (although the merits of such an effort should be considered separately).

Judge Brinkema has done again what so many judicial activists have done over the years. He has caused the average American to scratch his head and quizzically ask himself and his neighbors, "The Constitution guarantees THIS?" It doesn't, but Constitutional reality or common sense jurisprudence have never stopped highly partisan judges from imposing amoralism on the American people. In their ongoing efforts to continue to rewrite the Constitution, these activists forge new and unusual laws, not from sound Constitutional interpretation, but more apparently from their own disgruntled attitudes about the significant lack of left-wing extremism currently accepted by the body politic.

It's rulings like this that should cause the judiciary to tremble for its independence. While no one is going to deny the importance of judicial independence, no one should condone flagrant activism on the part of the bench which crafts "Constitutional" law from extra-Constitutional principles. Gibbon points to the example of Augustus in stating that the principles of a free Constitution are lost when the executive nominates the legislators. However, isn't that effectively what we see happening as a result of judicial activism? The President appoints justices who frequently view the office as a supra-legislature, and find law in the Constitution that was never intended by the framers.

One has to wonder if the movement towards publicly funded access to pornography will stop here. The libraries in Loudon County most assuredly have a magazine collection. Will Judge Brinkema be coercing the library board to stock the periodical racks with issues of _Hustler_?

Ah, but perhaps that is a species that will evolve in a different epoch.

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