First Amendment

Happy new year, DFL style

Featured image Reflecting the Democrat mania to control free speech, Minnesota Democrats enacted a law conflicting with the proposition that corporations have a constitutional right to speak independently about politics. I learned about the law from the December 18 Wall Street Journal column “Minnesota’s Xenophobic Restrictions on Speech” by Brad Smith and Eric Wang. The “xenophobia” flagged in the Journal headline is entirely pretextual. The subhead homes in on the problem: “[The] »

Dan Goldman’s clown show

Featured image Matt Taibbi appeared as a witness to testify at the recent congressional hearing in which Rep. Dan Goldman made a fool of himself again. Taibbi chronicled the doings in his Racket News column “Dan Goldman, Democrats, Make a Clown Show of Censorship Hearing,” behind the Racket News paywall. However, Taibbi has posted a narrated version of the column in the video below. I thought some readers would find this of »

Government Censorship: A Conspiracy Theory?

Featured image Lately Democrats have fallen into the habit of labeling all facts they would rather not talk about as “conspiracy theories.” They must think it works. Yesterday, Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified before Jim Jordan’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Matt recorded the experience, which he describes as “surreal,” at Racket News. Representative Dan Goldman is the Democrats’ attack dog on the subcommittee. Goldman hasn’t given »

The Rise of Censorship and the Death of Journalism

Featured image Matt Taibbi was the principal reporter who broke the Twitter Files story, one of the major news events not just of the past year, but of the past decade. The fact that federal agencies leaned on, and collaborated with, tech companies to suppress Americans’ freedom of speech and dictate the limits of public debate on several critical issues, is the most important scandal of our time. And the fact that »

Trump the Authoritarian

Featured image Democrats like to label Donald Trump an authoritarian. This is why he supposedly is a threat to “our democracy.” The charge is generally groundless. Trump was president for four years, so he has a track record as the least authoritarian president of recent years. But Trump, being Trump, can’t get out of his own way. So earlier this week, on Truth Social, he handed the Democrats all the ammunition they »

Biden hits the fan in the Fifth Circuit, part 2

Featured image A month ago the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the Biden administration’s plea to set aside Judge Terry Doughty’s preliminary injunction in Missouri v. Biden. Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum ruling in support of the injunction is posted online here. Judge Doughty’s injunction is separately posted here. I anticipated the appellate proceedings in “Walk away, Joe.” Having listened to the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit, I threw caution to »

In re the censorship regime

Featured image Zach Weissmueller takes a deep dive into Missouri v. Biden with (plaintiff) the great Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and attorney John Vecchione in the Reason podcast (video below). Reason provides background for the podcast here. We have covered the lawsuit and the underlying issues of the epidemic and social media censorship repeatedly on this site. The historical review captured in the video is enraging and the related clips included light it »

Biden hits the fan in Fifth Circuit

Featured image On Independence Day last month, Western District Louisiana federal district judge Terry Doughty preliminarily enjoined the Biden administration from continuing its censorship regime in place. Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum is posted online here. Judge Doughty’s preliminary injunction is posted here. I anticipated the interlocutory appellate proceedings in “Walk away, Joe.” The government’s appeal of Judge Doughty’s preliminary injunction came before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit for oral argument »

Thought for the day

Featured image Columbia Law School Professor Philip Hamburger and his New Civil Liberties Alliance colleague Jenin Younes write in their column “The Biden Administration’s Assault on Free Speech” in today’s Wall Street Journal: [T]he nation needs to come to terms with the reality and scale of the assault on free speech. Our government has established a vast system of censorship. By keeping it largely secret, it has been able to exert unconstitutional »

The Facebook Files: More Censorship Revealed

Featured image Rep. Jim Jordan’s House committee has been trying for some time to extract documents from Facebook relating to the Biden administration’s leaning on that platform to censor content. Jordan eventually threatened to hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt, and Facebook finally produced the files. Jordan has now released some highlights on Twitter. These documents, similar to the Twitter files, clearly show the administration’s effort to use the social media companies to »

Media access in one state revisited

Featured image The Minnesota Reformer is a “progressive” left-wing site edited by Patrick Coolican. I came to know and respect Patrick when he was a reporter covering Minnesota politics for the Star Tribune. Patrick and Stephen Montemayor wrote the Star Tribune’s 2019 story (“New documents revisit questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history”) delving into Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage to her brother. The story was three years late, but otherwise excellent. Anyone »

Memo to Supreme Court: Save the First Amendment!

Featured image The First Amendment is under unprecedented attack, as the Democratic Party has weaponized one federal and state agency after another to go after its opponents. An important instance of this phenomenon is the effort by Democratic banking regulators to deprive disfavored organizations of access to our financial system. The issue is raised in NRA v. Vullo (the link goes to Eugene Volokh’s discussion of the case). The facts underlying the »

In Dominion’s lawsuit, Fox’s brief

Featured image In a nearby post I link to Dominion’s brief in support of its motion for summary judgment in the defamation case it has brought against Fox Corporation and Fox News Network (FNN). The Fox entities have also moved for summary judgment dismissing the claims. Fox Corporation’s 32-page opening brief denying responsibility is posted here. FNN’s 192-page opening brief is the one of interest and is posted here. Deadline has posted »

“Hate Speech” Fails Again

Featured image The liberals’ crusade against free speech consists largely of trying to except “hate speech” from First Amendment protection, followed by characterizing pretty much anything they don’t like as “hate speech.” This effort has made considerable headway in the thinking of ill-educated people, especially recent college graduates. But it has encountered a stone wall in the courts. The most recent instance is yesterday’s decision by Judge Andrew Carter of the Southern »

Democrats Try to Criminalize Free Speech

Featured image Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has introduced legislation that would make advocates of “white supremacy” guilty of conspiracy if someone commits a “hate crime” that supposedly is inspired by them. The legislation, H.R.61 “Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023,” introduced last Monday by Democratic congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, seeks to “prevent and prosecute white supremacy inspired hate crime and conspiracy to commit white supremacy inspired hate crime.” The »

Safe From the Sign of the Cross

Featured image It is easy for Americans to forget how rare, and how precious, our guarantee of free speech is. Even the United Kingdom, the country from which we inherited most of our historic freedoms, does not recognize anything like our First Amendment. This fact was brought home by the recent declaration of a “safe zone” in Bournemouth, England. Rod Dreher has the story. It has to do with the sacrament of »

Bravo, Judge Silberman

Featured image Yesterday I briefly noted Fifth Circuit Judge James Ho’s keynote remarks at the Federalist Society’s sixth annual Kentucky chapters conference. With a little work I was able to obtain a copy of Judge Ho’s remarks. I hope to revisit them with a few quotes from the text in the next day or two or three. In my comments I referred to Senior D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Laurence Silberman as »