Today it finally rained. A few minutes after entering my class on the 7th floor, I looked out the window and noticed a downpour. The rain steadily increased until it looked like there was a river falling from the sky. After a few minutes of this intense cloudburst, we heard an alarm. This alarm came from someone’s phone and notified a student in my class that there was a flash flood warning. Over the course of the next few minutes, several other phones voiced alarms. If it weren’t for these alarms, I probably would have drowned on the 7th floor (just kidding). For my personal safety, I will definitely need to invest in a smartphone.
Shivering, and soaked to the bone we started going over the court cases. Today we discussed the cases that we read over the weekend. Although the circumstances of each case were different, they all had to do with freedom of speech. In each case, a state had created a sketchy law, which the defendant had violated. In each case, the Supreme Court reversed the rulings of the appellate courts because the states had overreached their rights regarding the freedom of speech and the 14th Amendment through the creation of each law.
After a particularly disgusting experience in the dining hall, we headed back to class to watch two dramatic documentaries related to the Supreme Court. The first movie was about a man named Al Franken who published a book criticizing the right wing conservatives of the time. The title of the book used a slogan that Fox News deemed to be theirs. Fox sued Al Franken and lost miserably. I’m sure it was a huge embarrassment for everyone on the losing side. To make matters worse for Fox, all the publicity of case boosted Franken’s book to the top of the best sellers list.
Next we watched a documentary about Daniel Ellsberg and his release of the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. The passion which many of the interviewee’s told the story was captivating. I almost felt as though I was experiencing the story in the moment! For homework, we read the subsequent Supreme Court case that arose as a result to the Papers being released to the New York Times. According to the Court, the press had full rights to publish the papers.
This evening I went out to see the off Broadway show Potted Potter. It was a little too goofy for me, but I know that I would have regretted not seeing it. When I get home, I plan to read all of the Harry Potter books one more time!