In her opening statement on last night's "Justice," Judge Jeanine Pirro said that free speech in America is non-negotiable and that the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speech that offends.

"I don't care if you like Pam Geller, you don't like her or what her motives are. She has the right to say whatever she wants," Judge Jeanine said. "Now, I don't agree with what Pam did. It was probably a dumb move. But she did something that critics may not have thought about. She opened our eyes and teed up the discussion about whether free speech in America survives the pushback from Sharia law."

"For the first time, I am worried about whether or not the present so-called 'politically correct' climate will restrict our free speech in line with Sharia requirements," Judge Jeanine said.

"Our founding fathers gave up everything to create the freedoms that we enjoy. My dad, grandfather and every veteran who fought for this country fought for our fundamental freedoms. And no movement, no politically correct hogwash or limitation of my speech is going to force me to live under the requirements of Sharia law. If that happens - make no mistake - it means that Sharia enforcement is already here."

Watch Judge Jeanine's opening statement above and read the full transcript below.


Free speech in America is non-negotiable. No matter what the perceived consequences. No matter the worry about retribution from Islamic extremists. Period. End of the story.

A primer: the First Amendment wasn't established to protect speech that everyone agrees with. The whole point is to protect even hate speech that offends, speech that insults.

Even that liberal icon of the Supreme Court Justice William Brennan wrote "government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because it finds it offensive or disagreeable."

The Supreme Court ruling burning of an American flag, burning of a cross and cursing dead soldiers at their funerals by the Westboro Baptist clan - all disgusting and repulsive to me - are protected by the First Amendment.

Pam Geller's "draw the prophet" contest in Garland, Texas, pales in comparison to those examples. But because of her, many in the politically correct class want to re-think free speech because of the sensitivities of some. Like the New York Times editorial board: “[blatantly Islamophobic provocations like the garland event] can serve only to exacerbate tensions and to give extremists more fuel.”

Now I for one am sick and tired of liberal apologists who believe in free speech, unless they don't. Where were they when taxpayer dollars - through the endowment of the arts - put a crucifix of Jesus in a jar of urine and called it art? Where were they when another taxpayer-funded project showed Mother Mary surrounded by pornography and elephant dung? Now they want to rethink the First Amendment? Now they don't want to offend Muslims? And to shut us up they say the cartoon contest is inspiring ISIS to commit mass murder.

Really? Was anyone drawing a cartoon of Muhammad when they hit us at the World Trade Center? They hate us. They don't need a reason to kill us. Look, we need to stop blaming the victim and start killing the murderers. A simple example: you don't protect the batterer or abuser by telling the victim, "Don't get him upset. Don't provoke him and you'll be alright.”

Since when are we willing to surrender our Constitution to keep peace with those hell bent on killing us anyway? The United States needs to stop wimping around and worrying about talk and start walking the walk. Political correctness be damned! We are at war. It's never been more clear. On one side free speech. On the other, Sharia blasphemy law.  Which will prevail? They cannot coexist.

Consider this: the president of the United States won't use the words "Islamic terrorist," "Muslim extremist" or "jihadist," won't join the leaders of 40 nations to condemn the killing of innocents for expressing their free speech. He and his sidekick Hillary Clinton want to arrest the guy who made the Benghazi video - itself protected by the First Amendment. And they buy an ad to apologize to Muslims for this video. And U.S. supported UN resolution 16-18 - an initiative of the organization of Islamic cooperation - that calls for the restriction of speech involving the defamation of religion.

I have long predicted this administration will cut back our speech if it offends Islam.

“And make no mistake - as sure as I’m talking to you - there will be efforts to limit our first amendment - our free speech - to comply with Sharia blasphemy laws which call death to those who slander the prophet Muhammad.” – Judge Jeanine on Jan. 10, 2015

Imagine a nation founded on Judeo Christian ethics changing the rules for a Muslim prophet. And I don't care if you like Pam Geller, you don't like her or what her motives are. She has the right to say whatever she wants. Now, I don't agree with what Pam did. It was probably a dumb move. But she did something that critics may not have thought about. She opened our eyes and teed up the discussion about whether free speech in America survives the pushback from Sharia law.

The First Amendment - besides giving us freedom of speech - says that Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion, which means I don't have to live under any religious rule, especially one that tells me not to criticize someone else's prophet.

For the first time, I am worried about whether or not the present so-called "politically correct" climate will restrict our free speech in line with Sharia requirements.

Our founding fathers gave up everything to create the freedoms that we enjoy. My dad, grandfather and every veteran who fought for this country fought for our fundamental freedoms. And no movement, no politically correct hogwash or limitation of my speech is going to force me to live under the requirements of Sharia law. If that happens - make no mistake - it means that Sharia enforcement is already here.

Tell Judge Jeanine what you think on her Facebook page or Twitter @JudgeJeanine with #JusticeOpen.