Letting people participate in marketplace of ideas vs.
givingpeople the ...
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Thu Feb 23 20:30:42 PST 2006
Well, actually my parents weren't hard to assimilate; among other
things, they didn't belong to a cohesive religious group that frowned on
assimilation to a certain aspects of American values. It doesn't
follow, though, that others would be equally easy.
As to the gulf between immigration and citizenship/voting, it was
seven years for us, and my sense is that it isn't much greater now; I
doubt that this time will do much to influence the attitudes of most
adult immigrants. To become a citizen, as best I can tell, requires
relatively minimal knowledge of American history and government, and no
real evidence (for quite understandable reasons) of commitment to
American traditions of government.
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of AAsch at aol.com
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:19 PM
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Letting people participate in marketplace of ideas vs.
givingpeople the ...
In a message dated 2/23/2006 4:42:05 PM Pacific Standard Time,
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu writes:
letting people in as immigrants and prospective citizens
doesn't just give them the power to *speak* to us; it gives them the
power to enact their views into law by voting on them. In an extreme
case, if they become the majority, they can, without persuading a single
soul, impose their will on the rest of us. In the likelier case, if
they are a significant minority, they may become a swing vote that will
have the power to enact its views even without persuading anyone. So it
seems to me that talk of the marketplace of ideas is something of a red
While I think the distinction between participating in the marketplace
of ideas and participating in elections is valid, I think the above
analysis glosses over a distinction between immigration and
citizenship/voting. Between immigration and citizenship/voting, a person
would spend much time immersed in the marketplace of American ideas
which can be very persuasive. To become a citizen requires knowledge of
American history and government, etc., as I'm sure members of this list
My point is that the marketplace of ideas gets a fair crack at
immigrants for quite some time before they become voters. I would have
expected Prof. Volokh's biography to make him a witness capable of
testifying to the persuasiveness of American culture and ideas to the
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