Tag Archives: free speech

SCOTUS will hear challenge to California law requiring anti-abortion groups to promote state-funded abortions

Source: KSRO News

“The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider whether a California requirement for pregnancy centers in that state to provide information about publicly funded abortion and contraceptive services violates free-speech rights. The petitioners, which say they are ‘life-affirming pregnancy centers,’ argue that California’s Reproductive FACT ACT, ‘Forces licensed pro-life medical centers to post notices informing women how to contact the State at a particular phone number for information on how to obtain state-funded abortions, directly contradicting the centers’ pro-life message.’ And that petitioners argue is a violation of the First Amendment, both its protections of speech and of free exercise.” (11/13/17)


Is free speech in the US doomed?

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Lindsay Marchello

“The problem with conflating ‘hate’ speech with violence is manifold. For one, hate speech is subjective. Who decides what speech constitutes violence? If the answer is the government, then civil liberties will be in immediate danger, as it stands to reason that the government will crackdown on any speech is deems violent or dangerous. Consider how the government responded to the civil rights movement in the ‘50s and ‘60s. … Another problem with equating words with violence is that it inspires physical violence to counteract it. Force is often justified when the threat of physical harm is imminent, so it stands to reason that force can be used to prevent hateful speech in a world where violence and speech are one and the same.” (11/09/17)


Disrupting “the marketplace of ideas”: Then and now

Source: CounterPunch
by Andrew Levine

“In the liberal view, what individuals do ought to be their own business — unless, there is some compelling reason for the state or the broader civil society to interfere. The only kind of reason Mill and other classical liberals countenanced was the prevention of (significant) harm to (identifiable) others. Paternalistic reasons (making persons better off or preventing them from doing harm to themselves) are ruled out. Interferences intended to shield people from feeling offended or disrespected are also ruled out, as are efforts to enforce morality or any particular vision, religious or secular, of the good life. Even interferences intended to prevent harm to society generally, as distinct from harm to particular individuals, are proscribed. It is therefore all but impossible, from a liberal point of view, to justify interfering with the free expression of opinions.” (11/03/17)


“Speaking freely”: Partisanship and ideology

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Kelsey Naughton

“This is the second installment in a series of posts delving into the results of FIRE’s ‘Speaking Freely’ report on college students’ attitudes toward expression on American campuses. In this post, we will talk about the partisan and ideological breakdown of our sample, and how similar our respondents are to college students that have been surveyed elsewhere.” (11/01/17)


Fencing in free speech at Los Angeles Pierce College

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

“California is supposed to embody the American dream of self determination, but as one community college student discovered, reality doesn’t always live up to our dreams.” [Flash video] (10/30/17)


Free speech leads to tolerance and prosperity

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by James Devereaux

“Free speech is as much a cultural phenomenon as it is a legal guarantee. Make no mistake, I believe the fact that the United States is foremost in speech protection and tolerance is closely related, a reflecting glass of sorts, where our moments of speech antagony are met with the protections of the First Amendment allowing us to culturally realign with the underlying message and expand tolerance towards each other and diverse, even wrong, ideas. However, an illiberal cultural development is possible. We have seen it time again with free trade. Despite the overall benefits, we continue to find anti-trade attitudes bubbling up into our politics and policy, pushing away long-term economic development to alleviate the fears that a few may lose employment. Same is true for the Luddites among us who insist that efficiency and prosperity is a poor trade-off for a static employment regime and scarcity, and wage war against automation.” (10/26/17)


Shouting down speakers doesn’t work

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Ari Cohn

“Shouting down a speaker whose values you oppose does nothing to convince others that his ideas are wrong, and deprives those who might be susceptible to those beliefs from the opportunity, as John Stuart Mill put it, of ‘exchanging error for truth’ or even simply questioning their own beliefs. … shouting down a speaker you disagree with actively harms the development of ‘core skills’ such as analysis, critical thinking, and rigorous debate. And while it may feel good at the time, it is ultimately not only selfish, but also self-harming.” (10/24/17)


Trump vs. Jefferson on freedom of the press

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Gary Galles

“On October 11, President Trump tweeted that fake news was such a threat that someone should look into challenging network licenses on that basis. The next day, (October 12) he doubled down in a follow-up tweet that ‘Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate revoked.’ Unfortunately, his tweet contained some fake news of its own. It implied that networks are licensed, when, in fact, individual stations have broadcast licenses. And the difference implies that Trump’s suggested ‘solution’ is incapable of addressing the problem he sees. Further, his ‘if appropriate’ suggests that there is a situation in which pulling a broadcast license is appropriate for communicating something the President doesn’t like. But if one takes freedoms of speech and the press seriously, and applies those same standards to media that did not exist in our founders’ days, there is never a time to acceptably deny Americans’ freedoms, even for ‘fake news.'” (10/16/17)


FL: Scott declares state of emergency ahead of idiot racist knothead’s speech

Source: USA Today

“Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the state gather at the University of Florida in advance of a Thursday event by white nationalist Richard B. Spencer. Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell had asked Scott to declare the emergency as the university prepares for Spencer’s visit. The governor’s executive order places the state agency usually responsible for hurricanes at the front of the effort to preserve order during the event. It also places the Florida National Guard on standby. Anti-fascist groups, known as Antifa, plan to protest the white nationalist event. Both sides have talked on social media about using violence.” [editor’s note: I almost forgot it was this soon. Guess I need to start getting my kit together – TLK] (10/16/17)


A world without hate speech

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Zach Greenberg

“It takes as little as a flyer, a speech, a newspaper article, or a comedian to trigger calls for ‘hate speech’ bans on college campuses. Considering that many college students support the prohibition of hate speech, let’s imagine if the would-be censors got their way — what would our society look like? First, we must acknowledge that, in the United States, hateful speech is fully protected by the First Amendment. There’s no ‘hate speech versus free speech’ debate raging in our nation’s judiciary. Nor is there a balancing test, an exemption, or a special constitutional provision allowing the government to prohibit it — hateful speech is categorically protected in our nation, including at public colleges and universities, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Getting back to our hate speech-less utopia, we have the luxury of looking to an actual world full of hate speech prosecutions in the many nations that do not enjoy our broad free speech protections.” (10/12/17)