"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
For those of you who were educationally abused in our public school system, the above is the First Amendment. It may very well be the most important sentence ever written in the English language, since it's the backbone of American society. It guarantees the rest of the Constitution. No other part of the Bill of Rights has ever generated the debates the First Amendment has, despite being crystal clear.
What the uninformed do not understand about the First Amendment is that it is a negative right. It does not guarantee what you can do, it only guarantees what can't be done to you by the Big Mommy Regime. Now this may be news to the 2+2=5 Progressivevik crowd and to idiots like Pete Stark (Commie-CA), but there are limits to what Big Mommy is allowed to do.
However, there is plenty states can do, like, oh, I don't know, forbidding mosques being built at Ground Zero.
The First Amendment limits what Congress can and can't do about religion, but it leaves the door wide open for the Dystopia known as New York to stop the Cordoba Project dead in its tracks. By a strict reading of the First Amendment, you'll notice that the words "state government" or "local government" are curiously absent. That means the state (or more appropriately the city) of New York can act to prevent the mosque from being built two blocks from Ground Zero. This would not violate the First Amendment since they wouldn't be forbidding the building of all mosques, just that one in particular. (For bleeding imbeciles like Ed Schultz, all cities and towns in the US have little things called "zoning laws" that are designed to keep inappropriate buildings away from each other. It's why we don't have nudie bars next to preschools.)
The moral to this story is this: Michael Bloomberg, grow a set. You're the mayor of the largest city in the world. You have a responsibility to apply the law as it's written, not the way you want it to be. Is this Cordoba hubbaloo a test of our Constitution ? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY! Will you pass the test, Mike ?
God help us all.