Constitutional Law Lesson of the Day, Featuring Ozzie Guillen

"I love Fidel Castro...I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still here." - Ozzie Guillen, Miami Marlins Manager, Time Magazine

Guillen's comments, while certainly correct in some respects, were also incredibly offensive to a lot of his neighbors in his new hometown of Miami, Florida. They also provide a wonderful reminder of the truism that, while the First Amendment protects the free speech rights of Americans, it does not provide any shield to the consequences of that speech.

This is a simple concept, but one which doesn't always seem to get captured by the refrains of 'it's a free country' which seem to ring out any time anything like Ozzie's comments make the news. Therefore, while I will hold back judgment on the comments themselves or the overall intelligence of antagonizing a large part of the fan base of a team you just started managing, I would like to thank Ozzie for providing this reminder.

The bottom line is that Ozzie had the right to make these comments, and the Marlins organization had the freedom to suspend him, which it did. After all, speech, while free, is not free of consequences.


  1. Anonymous25/4/12 23:42

    Hear hear! I haven't always agreed with the Esteemed Editors' analysis of the First Amendment, but the Blawgconomics braintrust nailed this one.

    Now, perhaps I could interest you in a good deal on hotels and/or travel guides?

  2. Thanks for the comment Anon. While I will admit that my grasp of some of the basic tenets of constitutional law can be shockingly bad for someone who has supposedly graduated from an accredited law school, I am glad we see eye to eye on this one.

    And I am more of a stay-cation kind of guy in these troubled economic times, but thanks to you both for the kind offer!