First Amendment

Across the Country, the Federal Government Fights For Muslim Worship Spaces [Updated]

Featured image The government of the United States is suing the town of St. Anthony, Minnesota, a Twin Cities suburb with a population a little over 8,000, to force the town to allow development of an Islamic center in an area reserved for industrial development. It is a minor news story, but one that sheds light on broader legal and cultural trends. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: The federal government on Wednesday »

Risen rules

Featured image In an email message over the weekend, Gabriel Schoenfeld writes to raise a question close to my heart: Should journalists be free to choose which laws they are required to observe and which ones they can break at will? That, essentially, is what James Risen, Pulitzer-prize winning reporter at the New York Times, is demanding as the trial of alleged CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling draws near. Is the Justice Department »

The Democrats Try To Shut Their Opponents Up (Cont.)

Featured image We wrote here about the Democrats’ effort to clamp down on 501(c)(4) organizations–the only entities where Republicans raise more money than Democrats–by requiring such groups to disclose their donors. They have proposed the DISCLOSE Act, which would require such disclosure of 501(c)(4)s, but not of 501(c)(3)s–where the Left is strong–or unions. In the linked post, I wrote about the fact that a hearing on the DISCLOSE Act was scheduled today »

Democrats Struggle With How to Ban Free Speech

Featured image We ridiculed here an absurd constitutional amendment that the Democrats proposed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the support of 42 Democratic senators. The amendment would give Congress unfettered powers to regulate spending on political campaigns in any way that it chooses. I wrote: Many observers have noted that if the Udall amendment became law, Congress could set ridiculously low contribution and spending levels, so as to virtually guarantee the »

The Democrats Try to Repeal the First Amendment: Hear It Here

Featured image This morning, I was on the Bill Bennett show with guest host Mark Davis, talking about the Senate Democrats’ effort to pass the Udall Amendment, which would gut the First Amendment. While the Democrats’ proposal would not disturb the First Amendment’s protection for such activities as flag burning, nude dancing and marching in Nazi regalia, it would take away the constitutional right to participate in the political process by supporting »

Democrats Try to Repeal First Amendment

Featured image Today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Democrats held a hearing on Tom Udall’s proposal to gut the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. The Democrats like to say that the amendment would reverse the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, but in fact it goes much farther than that. The amendment, which is favored by Harry Reid and most Senate »

Was Greenwald justified?

Featured image The case of Edward Snowden is important in more ways than one. He has massively violated the espionage laws of the United States and done great damage to our national security. Glenn Greenwald has been one of Snowden’s most prominent journalistic conduits and in my view shares Snowden’s culpability for the violation of the espionage laws. I made this case in principle when James Risen and the New York Times »

The Democratic Party Makes War On Free Speech

Featured image Scott wrote earlier this morning about Harry Reid’s support for a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate spending on political campaigns, down to the last dollar. The amendment was proposed by Tom Udall last year; you can read the full text here. This is the key language: Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal »

To Reduce School Shootings, How About Press Control?

Featured image Whenever there is a school shooting, liberals try to capitalize by pushing for more gun control. But a recent story here in Minnesota reinforces a point that we have made before: would-be “shooters” are usually copycats who admire the fame that prior mass murderers have achieved. If we really want to cut down on school shootings, in particular, the most effective measure would be to prohibit news media from reporting »

Is Free Speech Endangered In America?

Featured image Mark Steyn believes (this is my characterization, not his) that he is engaged in an Armageddon of sorts; that free speech in America is under serious attack; and that the future of our mostly-free society hangs in the balance. Many consider such fears overblown. At the same time, there has always been some question about how committed most Americans really are to free speech. That skepticism got a boost from »

Standoff at Bundy Ranch Ends, With Photo of the Year So Far

Featured image Before I had quite figured out what to make of the Bundy Ranch standoff, it appears to have been resolved. The Bureau of Land Management has announced that in view of the risk of violence, it is withdrawing its forces, which include snipers, from the area. (How many federal agencies employ snipers, anyway? Too many, it is safe to say.) The county sheriff negotiated the terms of the federal government’s »

Speech, corruption, and the Republican form of government

Featured image Thomas Jefferson recorded a dinner conversation in which John Adams argued that if the British government could be purged of “corruption,” it would become the most perfect government ever devised. Alexander Hamilton shocked Jefferson and Adams when he replied that if purged of corruption, the British system would fall. By corruption, Hamilton apparently had in mind the Crown’s ability to influence the House of Commons. He also had in mind »

The Hayward poll

Featured image The Denver Post is taking a poll on the irreverent comments that Steve Hayward noted had made him a figure of controversy at the University of Colorado. Unlike Brendan Eich, Steve is not taking the path of least resistance and throwing himself out the window. He’s going to make them do it. Why else have a designated professor of conservative studies if you’re going to make life easy for university »

Best. Supreme Court. Brief. Ever.

Featured image Make sure you’ve swallowed any and all liquids, especially hot ones like coffee, before you read further. P.J. O’Rourke has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, related to the upcoming case Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus.  The only possible thing that could top this would be an amicus brief from Dave Barry. Steven Driehaus is the sore-loser Democrat who is suing Susan B. Anthony List for independent »

Election law experts join in the denuniciation of IRS’s attempt to curb free speech

Featured image Scott and I have been writing about the IRS’s latest attempt to silence conservatives, this time through potentially crippling regulations on political advocacy groups (known as 501(c)(4) organizations). The period for commenting on the IRS’s proposed rules, which we discussed with some specificity here, is now closed. I understand that more than 120,000 comments have been filed. The proposed rules don’t just adversely affect conservative groups. Many liberal groups would »

Minnesota Man Who Filmed Sheriff’s Deputies Acquitted By Jury

Featured image I have long been a big supporter of the police, but it is undeniable that in recent years, too many instances of abusive behavior by law enforcement have come to light. To a great extent, this is due to the ubiquity of video cameras, in cell phones and elsewhere, that allow public actions of law enforcement to be recorded. Understandably, some police officers don’t like this fact, and Glenn Reynolds »

9th Circuit Holds that School Can Ban Display of American Flag

Featured image You may have heard about Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, in which a unanimous panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was permissible for a public high school to demand that students remove clothing that displayed an American flag. Many conservatives are understandably upset with the decision. The context was this: the high school, in northern California, had a history of conflict between Caucasian »