First Amendment

This Week in Berkeley: The New Free Speech Movement?

Featured image Attention all Bay Area Power Line readers: As Ed Sullivan used to say, this week I’ve got “a really big show” for you. This Wednesday and Thursday I am executing an Inchon landing behind the lines, with a two-day program starting with a late afternoon (5 pm) lecture on “The Metaphysics of Free Speech” from Harvey Mansfield, Harvard’s most well-known conservative. (Click the link to get location and RSVP information.) Then »

CRB: The free speech debate

Featured image This morning we resume our preview of the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books. Thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute, I read the new issue in galley to select pieces — this week I have five because we featured two yesterday and two today) to be submitted for the consideration of Power Line readers. As always, wanting to do right by the magazine and by our »

Losing my religion

Featured image Our robed masters have really made their presence felt on the lower federal courts in their treatment of President Trump’s three so-called Muslim travel ban orders. The Supreme Court will have the final word and it is in light of the Court’s prospective final word in Trump v. Hawaii that David Rivkin and Lee Casey declared last week in the Wall Street Journal (at least according to the overoptimistic headline) »

South Dakota Moves to Protect Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity On Campus

Featured image A bill has been introduced in South Dakota’s legislature that would go a long way toward protecting free speech on university and technical school campuses, while also encouraging intellectual diversity. It is House Bill 1073, and it will get a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 2, at 10:00. (That is in Pierre, for any of you who are intrepid enough to consider attending.) You can read »

A framework for analyzing the Colorado wedding cake case

Featured image Listening to the oral argument before the Supreme Court in the wedding cake case, it struck me how artificial the discussion was. Much of it centered on whether and under what circumstances cakes are speech. Bizarre. I don’t blame the advocates or the current Justices for the content of the argument. They must be mindful of Supreme Court precedents whether or not, as a practical matter, they fit this case »

Baked in the cake

Featured image The tweet below finds the intersection of two of this week’s big stories. On the one hand, we have the oral argument in the Masterpiece Cake Shop case. (Professor Phillip Muñoz has published an illuminating essay on the deep issues baked into the case.) On the other hand, we have President Trump’s declaration that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The infamous Linda Sarsour is »

The Sword Is Mightier Than the Pen

Featured image I don’t think we have written about the article by Professor Bruce Gilley of Portland State University titled “The Case For Colonialism,” which was published in Third World Quarterly. I haven’t read the article, but this is the abstract. It sounds as though the article is in line with my own thinking on the subject. While it certainly had its dark side–e.g., pretty much anything involving Belgium–European colonialism was, on »

A right to make a fool of himself

Featured image The controversy over the NFL’s indulgence of players protesting the national anthem might be treated as a time to learn. One might learn something from Heather Mac Donald about the mythology underlying Colin Kaepernick’s protest “against the incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police.” In Kaepernick’s honor, I say that one deserved a high Colinic flush. Instead it metastasized with the invaluable assistance of Barack Obama »

Should NFL Teams Fire Players Who Won’t Stand For the Anthem? [with comment by Paul]

Featured image President Trump’s Huntsville, Alabama, speech, which Paul wrote about here, continues to reverberate. One of Trump’s riffs related to the National Football League: When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things »

Far-Left Bullies Suppress Civil Rights In California

Featured image The “heckler’s veto” is not recognized in American law, but it is increasingly becoming a fact of life in American cities. The hecklers are always from the far left, and they generally come armed. This is a scandal of major proportions, but is rarely recognized as such. The Associated Press reports on a blatant violation of civil rights: A planned right-wing rally in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge »

Free Speech? What’s That?

Featured image It is no secret to anyone who has been paying attention that the Left’s commitment to free speech–perhaps never strong in the first place–has been eroding rapidly. Now even the American Civil Liberties Union is beginning to backtrack on the First Amendment. The Associated Press reports: Faced with an angry backlash for defending white supremacists’ right to march in Charlottesville, the American Civil Liberties Union is confronting a feeling among »

Talking ten theses, with footnotes

Featured image On Monday our friend Seth Leibsohn invited me to appear on Phoenix AM 960’s Seth and Chris Show yesterday afternoon. Seth asked me to discuss my post on the law, the leaks and the New York Times. My discussion with Seth frames the background to my “Ten theses on leaks.” What is to be done? In my view, the Trump Department of Justice must pick its best case to prosecute »

For AG Sessions, ten theses on leaks

Featured image This past Friday Attorney General Sessions held a news conference to announce the Justice Department’s dedication to stopping the flood of leaks of classified information that is undermining the Trump administration and damaging our national security. The transcript of Mr. Sessions’ statement at the press conference is posted here. What is to be done? This was the only potential reform of policy or practice mentioned by Attorney General Sessions: “[O]ne »

Is the Times a law unto itself?

Featured image Yesterday on FOX News Special Report, Chris Wallace led a panel discussion of Attorney General Sessions’s press conference announcing the Trump administration’s efforts to suppress leaks of classified information. Video of the segment is below. In the course of the segment Charles Krauthammer addresses the applicable law in a manner that is extremely misleading. This is what he had to say on the legal issues (my transcription): I thought we »

CNN blows lid off Trump tweet

Featured image CNN dispatched the head of its “leading investigation team for the social, mobil generation”– Andrew Kaczynski of the so-called KFile unit — to blow the lid off the source of the GIF showing President Trump taking down CNN. President Trump tweeted it out on July 2 (below). #FraudNewsCNN #FNN pic.twitter.com/WYUnHjjUjg — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017 If you’ve been following the news, you know that Trump’s tweet represents »

Free Speech? Not In Minneapolis!

Featured image The City of Minneapolis has established a hot line to report speech and conduct that are deemed hateful. The city’s press release says: Through its 311 service, the City of Minneapolis has opened a new hotline for reporting hate crimes, which are harassing behaviors motivated by prejudice. That is wrong. “Harassing behaviors” may or may not be crimes; in many cases, depending on how the phrase is understood by people »

Portland Tries to Stamp Out Free Speech

Featured image The mayor of Portland, Oregon, Ted Wheeler, is trying to block a free speech rally in his city: The mayor of Portland, Oregon, on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a “Trump Free Speech Rally” and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted »