Free Speech

The Assault on Free Speech, Continued

Featured image The Left’s attack on free speech has many fronts, but two of the most important are Twitter and Facebook, simply because a large portion of political discussion, involving many millions of Americans, takes place on those platforms. As I noted here, our First Amendment gives powerful legal protection to political debate–protection that for now, at least, is acknowledged even by the four Democratic Party Supreme Court justices. (See, e.g., Matal »

Drive to Regulate Speech On the Internet Is Gaining Steam

Featured image Last week the House of Commons’ Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport released an interim report on fake news and disinformation. While couched in the usual do-good language, it illustrates the seriousness of the threat to free speech, most of which takes place, nowadays, on the internet. The report is worth reading in its entirety. Here are some selections, along with my comments. There are many potential threats to »

A Work in Progress (2)

Featured image When I launched my new “Work in Progress” series yesterday I didn’t think I’d have material for another item so quickly, but thanks to a reader tip, I stumbled across this article from the New York Times yesterday, by Bryan Van Norden, a “professor of philosophy,” entitled “The Ignorant Do Not Have a Right to an Audience.” You can imagine where this is going right away: it’s an attack on »

ACLU secretly demotes free speech [UPDATED AND REVISED]

Featured image The left bailed on free speech a while back. Everyone who has been paying attention knows this. Less widely known is that the ACLU seems to be bailing too. So argues Wendy Kaminer, a former board member, in the Wall Street Journal. Kaminer reports on new ACLU guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.” According to Kaminer, the guidelines are contained in a secret, internal document »

Global Establishment Closes Ranks Against Tommy Robinson

Featured image I wrote here about the strange case of Tommy Robinson, and Scott followed up here. The case is strange indeed: Robinson was live-streaming on Facebook from the street in front of a courthouse in Leeds where a number of defendants were on trial for rape. Reportedly, he was reading the names of the defendants and the crimes with which they were charged. That was enough to bring out the paddy »

Bruce Bawer: The Tommy Robinson affair

Featured image Bruce Bawer has been covering the Tommy Robinson affair for our friends at the Gatestone Institute. Today’s column is “UK: You’re Not Allowed to Talk about It. About What? Don’t Ask.” Please see Bruce’s column at the Gatestone site for the relevant links. With the kind permission of Gatestone, here is the text of the column: On Friday, British free-speech activist and Islam critic Tommy Robinson was acting as a »

The Strange Case of Tommy Robinson

Featured image Tommy Robinson (whose real name reportedly is Stephen Lennon) is one of the founders of the English Defense League, which opposes mass Islamic immigration. On Friday, he was standing outside a courthouse where several Muslims were on trial for sex-related crimes, “reporting” on the trial via Facebook live, when he was arrested for breaching the peace. You can see the arrest in this video; as far as I can see, »

Judge rules against Trump on Twitter blocking

Featured image Yesterday, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, a Clinton appointee, ruled that President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking certain followers because of the views they expressed. Judge Buchwald found Trump’s blocking to be “viewpoint discrimination,” which it is, and held that Trump is not exempt from constitutional obligations to refrain from such conduct. Then came the obligatory incantation: “No government official — including the President — is above the law.” »

Arizona enacts effective campus free speech legislation

Featured image My friend Stanley Kurtz has been working tirelessly throughout the U.S. to persuade state legislatures to pass effective legislation protecting campus free speech at public universities. To be effective, the legislation must go beyond simply banning restrictive speech codes and so-called free speech zones (limited areas where controversial speech is permitted), important though such bans are. It must also establish a system designed to discipline students who engage in speaker »

Scenes from a campus mall

Featured image City Journal has just posted the video below reporting Heather Mac Donald’s experience on the front lines of the campus free-speech war. This video is part of a special collaboration with John Stossel and City Journal contributors (other videos in the series are accessible here). City Journal has posted this video together with a transcript under the heading “The campus free-speech crisis.” Heather joins Stossel to talk about the free-speech »

Candace Owens’ Moment: I’m Not Far Right, I’m Free [Updated]

Featured image Candace Owens is a young African-American woman who works through Turning Point USA, among others, to bring a message of empowerment to the black community. I believe this video first made her famous: Owens uses a theme from the movie The Matrix to urge young people to “take the red pill” and become conservatives like her. She has even had the courage to take on the Black Lives Matter movement. »

Amy Wax speaks (YouTube edition)

Featured image We’ve written several times about Amy Wax, the distinguished professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School who has spoken truth to political correctness in the face of threats to her livelihood and attacks on her character. Penn law dean Ted Ruger has now succumbed to demands that Professor Wax be barred from teaching the required first year course on civil procedure. This past Thursday the National Association of Scholars honored »

Laura Ingraham thrives

Featured image Mediaite reports that Laura Ingraham maintained her ratings in her first week back from vacation following the ad boycott launched against her show prompted by that kid and the anti-gun movement. Ingraham had more viewers than Mad Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC’s host in the same time slot, and twice as many viewers as CNN’s entry, “CNN Tonight.” As for sponsors, one has returned so far. Ace Hardware will resume its sponsorship. »

The Levy letter

Featured image The Daily Pennsylvanian posted a copy of the letter of resignation submitted by former Penn trustee and Penn Law School Overseer Paul Levy to Penn President Amy Guttmann in its story here, but it may not be accessible to readers in its entirety unless viewed on a desktop computer. The Wall Street Journal recently published an excerpt of the letter as a signal contribution to understanding what Roger Kimball has »

Amy Wax speaks

Featured image We’ve written several times about Amy Wax, the distinguished professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School who has spoken truth to political correctness in the face of threats to her livelihood and attacks on her character. Penn law dean Ted Ruger has now succumbed to demands that Professor Wax be barred from teaching the required first year course on civil procedure. Paul Levy, a now former Penn Trustee Emeritus and »

The Factual Feminist on Free Speech

Featured image The great Christina Hoff Sommers is just out with another of her splendid “Factual Feminist” videos on the crisis of free speech on college campuses. As it happens, I got together with Christina recently and taped an interview for the Power Line podcast. I’ve got quite a backlog of interviews in the can right now, but I’ll try to move hers up in the queue. In the meantime, it’s totally »

Amy Wax update

Featured image This Thursday, April 12, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) is holding an event at which it will present Professor Amy Wax with an award for academic courage. I wrote about this event here, with a link to Eventbrite for those who wish to attend. Those who can’t attend the event will still have an opportunity to watch it. NAS tells me it will livestream the event through its Facebook »