LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal judge ruled ahead of Super Tuesday that presidential contender Joe Biden’s gaffe-prone campaign rhetoric cannot be held against him because “sounding like an idiot” is protected under the Constitution’s free speech clause.
“While there is no question the defendant is suffering from a substantial inability to make a lick of sense to anyone but himself, being a meme machine is actually protected speech,” U.S. District Judge Wilmer Skandrick wrote.
Biden was sued by rival Democratic campaigns who want voters to know they don’t approve of his linguistical gymnastics and fundamental disregard for clear communications.
“The defendant probably means well — this court isn’t even clear on that point — but no matter. Because of the First Amendment, defendant is free to go off on tangents, blow up otherwise simple concepts, misquote earlier misquotes, and feed into theories that he’s regressing into a three-year-old,” Skandrick noted in his opinion.
“But we can’t hold him liable for being a laughingstock on the campaign trail,” he added. “That doesn’t mean, however, that the other campaigns are not equally free to point and laugh at defendant while on a debate stage.”
Asked about what the candidate thought of the judge’s decision, Biden campaign official Symone Sanders remarked, “We don’t. He said something about it, but it was unintelligible.”