Law prof: Investigate NRA for 'profiting from dead children,' not PP

Amber Athey
Investigative Reporter

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  • According to a University of Miami law professor, the U.S. Constitution is used to “justify irrational and destructive agendas.”
  • Mary Anne Franks has also attempted to compare the NRA to Planned Parenthood, suggesting that Congress should investigate the gun rights group for "profiting from dead children" instead of the group that facilitates infanticide.
  • According to a University of Miami law professor, the U.S. Constitution is used to “justify irrational and destructive agendas.”

    Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami, will be giving a lecture at Drake University Law School on September 15 to discuss the alleged similarities between “constitutional extremists” and religious extremists.

    “Franks is one of the nation’s leading experts on the issue of ‘revenge porn.’”   

    The lecture, titled “Guns, Speech, and Sex: The Rise of Constitutional Extremism,” claims there is an “obsessive focus” on the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution that leads to dangerous outcomes, according to a Drake University news release for the event.

    “In recent years, the Constitution has become an article of faith in the worst possible sense,” Franks told the university. “It is increasingly invoked to justify irrational and destructive agendas in a way that strongly resembles the way religious extremists use the Bible to advance fundamentalist views.”

    However, she blames both political wings for the “oversimplified interpretation” of the Constitution, claiming that conservatives are obsessed with the Second Amendment, while liberals are obsessed with the First Amendment.

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    “This constitutional extremism occurs on both ends of the political spectrum: in the Right's obsessive focus on the Second Amendment and the Left's equally obsessive focus on the First,” she asserted. “Though their targets are different, constitutional extremism on both the Right and Left is united in the privileging of the powerful”

    Franks charges the Right with failing to protect the right to bear arms for the minority population, invoking the recent police shootings of armed black citizens.

    “The Right's passionate defenders of the right to bear arms are notably silent when black men bearing arms are stopped, harassed, and killed by police and when women use firearms to defend themselves against domestic violence,” Franks said. "Such selective and self-interested appropriation does not honor either the text or the spirit of the Constitution.”

    She added that this selective interpretation of the Second Amendment is used to stifle debate on gun control legislation, something for which she has criticized gun advocates in the past.

    In one October tweet, which is pinned to the top of her page, she attempts to draw an analogy between Planned Parenthood and the NRA, suggesting that Congress should investigate the gun rights organization, rather than Planned Parenthood, for "profiting from dead children."

    Yet Franks also believes that the “free speech fundamentalists” on the Left are equally harmful, pointing out that undiscerning support for free speech sometimes entails defending objectionable speech.

    [RELATED: UC recognized as national model for free speech after ‘Chicago Statement’]

    “While the Left is extremely concerned about the potential chilling effects on First Amendment rights…[they] have very little to say about the range of ways women and racial minorities are silenced by sexist and racist harassment, from ‘revenge porn’ to hate speech,” she argued.

    Ultimately, Franks said, focus on the First and Second Amendments “quash[es] reasonable policy discussion.”

    Mark Kende, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Drake, applauded the decision to invite Franks.

    “Mary Anne Franks is one of the nation’s leading experts on the issue of ‘revenge porn,’ among many other significant and timely issues that challenge our interpretation of the First Amendment,” she boasted, adding, “She is a Harvard Law graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, a significant player in the nonprofit Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, and a very engaging speaker. It will be an honor to welcome her to Drake Law School."

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey



    Amber Athey

    Amber Athey

    Investigative Reporter

    Amber Athey is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Government and Economics, and is currently a member of the 2016-2017 Koch Associate Program. 

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