Tag Archives: free speech

The new threat to free political speech

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Thomas Eddlem

“It’s said that tough cases make bad law. If so, Maryland’s prosecution of Dennis Fusaro and Stephen Waters for campaign finance law violations threatens to make some really bad law. The prosecutors themselves believe the case will ‘justify burdening speech and associational rights’ under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and article 10 of the Maryland State Constitution’s Declaration of Rights. The latter promises ‘That freedom of speech and debate, or proceedings in the Legislature, ought not to be impeached in any Court of Judicature.’ … One of several interesting details about the case is that none of the actions, spending or speech took place inside the State of Maryland. Prosecutors claim that Fusaro bought the phone used for the call at a Virginia Wal-Mart and had Waters set up the robocall from Virginia with a Canadian company. In short, Maryland is claiming that it can regulate political speech initiated in other states.” (06/21/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-new-threat-to-free-political-speech/

Yes, hate speech is free speech

Source: National Review
by Rich Lowry

“With the Left feverishly attempting to squash unwelcome speech on college campuses, with the president of the United States musing about tightening libel laws, with prominent liberals asserting that so-called hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment, free speech in America at least has one reliable friend — the Supreme Court of the United States. In a firm 8-0 decision, the court slapped down the Patent and Trademark Office for denying a band federal trademark registration for the name ‘The Slants,’ a derogatory term for Asian-Americans. The case involves a very small corner of federal law, but implicates the broader logic of political correctness, which is that speech should be silenced for the greater good if there is a chance that someone, somewhere might be offended by it.” (06/20/17)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448776/slants-supreme-court-matal-v-tam-decision-protects-free-speech

SCOTUS strikes down rule against disparaging trademarks

Source: Hollywood Reporter

“Those of fiendish or mischievous mind will have an easier time registering trademarks after the Supreme Court on Monday decided to reject as unconstitutional a rule against disparaging ones. The high court’s decision, authored by justice Samuel Alito, holds that a Lanham Act provision against such offensive trademarks is facially invalid under the First Amendment. … The free speech victory goes to Simon Tam, the Asian-American frontman for The Slants who attempted to register his rock band’s name. He says he picked his band’s moniker in an effort to reclaim a stereotype. After trademark examiners refused Tam’s application, Tam brought a lawsuit, and in December 2015, he prevailed at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Supreme Court has now affirmed the lower appeals court’s opinion, which is also potentially welcome news for the NFL’s Washington Redskins, whose own marks were canceled for being disparaging to Native Americans.” (06/19/17)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/supreme-court-strikes-down-rule-disparaging-trademarks-1006208

Who’s afraid of free speech?

Source: The Atlantic
by Thomas Healy

“Middlebury College’s decision to discipline 67 students who participated in a raucous and violent demonstration against conservative author Charles Murray brings closure to one of several disturbing incidents that took place on college campuses this semester. But larger disputes about the state of free speech on campus — and in public life — remain unresolved.” (06/18/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/whos-afraid-of-free-speech/530094/

Where’s the Free Speech Party?

Source: spiked
by Mick Hume

“Since last week’s Manchester bombing, all Britain’s political leaders have repeated their commitment to defending our freedoms against terrorism. Yet when it comes to our most important liberty of all, freedom of speech, they have all surrendered already. Whatever the result of the UK General Election, the Free Speech Party will not be joining the government.” (06/01/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/wheres-the-free-speech-party/

Free speech: Ted Wheeler is the enemy he invokes

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The difference between Ted Wheeler and an ‘alt-right’ agitator with a baseball bat is that Wheeler has a full-time police force, armed with lethal weaponry and effective legal immunity for its actions, at his beck and call. We’ve seen societies in which the likes of Wheeler lay down a party line and the police break out their tear gas and truncheons to suppress all opposition to that line. For example, the Soviet Union, Italy, and Germany before, and eastern Europe after, World War Two. I don’t want to live in such a society.” (05/30/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/10593

OR: Portland’s fascist mayor publicly wipes his ass with 1st Amendment

Source: ABC News

“The mayor of Portland, Oregon, is asking the federal government to cancel the permit for an “alt-right” rally scheduled for Sunday, saying it could make a difficult situation worse, after two men were stabbed to death as they tried to intervene when a pair of women were targeted by a man yelling what authorities have described as hate speech. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also said he is trying to ensure that a permit is not issued for a June 10 protest, which is reported by ABC Portland affiliate KATU to be called #MarchAgainstSharia. … ‘I am calling on the federal government to IMMEDIATELY REVOKE the permit(s) they have issued for the June 4th event and to not issue a permit for June 10th,’ Wheeler wrote on Facebook. ‘Our city is in mourning, our community’s anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation.'” [editor’s note: What’s this “permit” crap? The events should go forward, “permit” or not – TLK] (05/30/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/portland-mayor-asks-federal-government-revoke-permit-alt/story?id=47712839

What free speech isn’t

Source: National Review
by Karol Markowicz

“As a free society, we must protect speech in the public square. That’s why the Westboro Church lunatics are accompanied by a sizable police force when they protest military funerals. It is our job as a society to permit speech, even and especially speech we find repugnant, and to protect the speaker from violent reactions to that speech. Additionally, speakers must not face repercussions from the government for what they say. If Donald Trump doesn’t like it when Saturday Night Live makes fun of him, he can tweet about it. He can’t send a police force to arrest Alec Baldwin. This does not, however, mean that speech comes without consequences. If Westboro Church leader Fred Phelps applied for a job at your company, you would be fully within your rights to turn him down because he is a vile, hateful person whom you do not wish to employ.” (05/09/17)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447433/free-speech-rights-offensive-speech-can-get-you-fired-not-jailed-feds

On churches in politics, Trump does … nothing

Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

“In the executive order he signed Thursday titled ‘Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,’ Donald Trump had a rare opportunity to pursue a small yet significant change that would have accomplished both of his stated purposes. Instead, he ceremoniously unveiled a heaping platter of nothingburgers.” (05/08/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/05/08/on-churches-in-politics-trump-does-nothi

The mob vetoes Ann Coulter

Source: The American Conservative
by Peter Van Buren

“Ann Coulter will not speak at Berkeley tonight because the threat of mob violence led campus authorities to claim they could not protect her, resulting in a back-and-forth in which the speech was canceled, un-canceled, and finally canceled for good when the group sponsoring the event backed out. Similar threats led New York University (NYU) to cancel Milo Yiannopoulos'[s] appearance in February. These are shameful actions by two universities that purport to value free speech — one of them a public institution that is constitutionally obligated to. Previous violence at Berkeley directed against Yiannopoulos, as well as the current threats, originated with a coalition of so-called antifas: anti-fascists, persons who believe that in Trump’s America violence to silence speech they do not agree with is justified. They probably are unaware their tactics were once used to silence civil-rights marchers, anti-war protesters, abortion-rights advocates, and the women’s movement.” (04/27/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/__trashed-2/