Right-wing media invent Kagan quote to falsely claim she said "it's fine if the law bans books"

Right-wing media invent Kagan quote to falsely claim she said "it's fine if the law bans books"

››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

Right-wing media are distorting comments Elena Kagan made during arguments before the Supreme Court to falsely claim she said "it's fine if the law bans books." In fact, in the video the right is citing, Kagan never said "it's fine if the law bans books"; she specifically argued that federal law had never banned books and likely could not do so.

Right-wing media promote video of Kagan argument before the Supreme Court to falsely claim she said "it's fine if the law bans books"

Breitbart TV: "Kagan's own words: It's fine if the law bans books because government won't really enforce it." On June 28, Andrew Breitbart's website Breitbart.tv promoted an edited video -- produced by Naked Emperor News - with audio of Kagan's oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the Citizens United v. FEC case. Breitbart.tv headlined the video, "Kagan's own words: It's fine if the law bans books because government won't really enforce it."

Drudge: "Kagan's Own Words: It's Fine If Law Bans Books Because Government Won't Really Enforce It." On June 28, the Drudge Report linked to the video on Breitbart.tv with the headline, "Kagan's Own Words: It's Fine If Law Bans Books Because Government Won't Really Enforce It." From the Drudge Report:

Gateway Pundit: "Elena Kagan: 'It's Fine If the Law Bans Books.' " In a June 28 Gateway Pundit post promoting the video, Jim Hoft wrote: "Elena Kagan: 'It's Fine If the Law Bans Books.'" He further stated: "Spoken like a true leftist radical... Elena Kagan in 2009: 'Its Fine if The Law Bans Books Because Government Won't Really Enforce It.' "

Fox Nation "Kagan: It's Fine If the Law Bans Books." On June 29, the Fox Nation posted the video under the headline, "Kagan: It's Fine If the Law Bans Books." From the Fox Nation:

In fact, in the video, Kagan actually argued that federal law had never banned books and likely could not do so

In the video, Kagan never said "it's fine if the law bans books"; she specifically argued that federal law had never banned books and likely could not do so. The video promoted by right-wing media is taken from audio of Kagan's September 2009 Supreme Court argument in the case Citizens United v. FEC, which is related to corporate funding in elections, in which Kagan argued on behalf of the federal government. At no point in the video or during her argument did Kagan state that "it's fine if the law bans books." In the video, she stated that if the government tried to ban books under campaign finance laws, "there would be quite good as-applied challenge" to the law, meaning that the corporation attempting to publish the book would have a good constitutional case that the book couldn't be banned. Kagan later added: "[W]hat we're saying is that there has never been an enforcement action for books. Nobody has ever suggested -- nobody in Congress, nobody in the administrative apparatus has ever suggested that books pose any kind of corruption problem, so I think that there would be a good as-applied challenge with respect to that."

Network/Outlet
The Drudge Report, Fox Nation, Gateway Pundit, breitbart.tv
Person
Jim Hoft
Stories/Interests
Elena Kagan
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