There is an interesting case out of Washington that pits the “free range children” movement against child welfare authorities. Danielle and Alexander Meitiv believe in the new movement to reject “helicopter” parenting and allow child to push limit in venturing out on their own and testing self-reliance. For many parents, the specific controversy would seem much too do about nothing” a one-mile walk home for the two Meitiv kids aged 10 and 6. However, the kids were stopped halfway by police who reported the parents to child welfare, which continues to investigate them for endangering their children.
Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category
The town officials in Braunau, Austria have a bit of a problem. They have a pretty Renaissance home with “location, location, location” but also history, history, history. The picturesque corner home happens to be the birthplace of Adolph Hitler and the town is exploring ways to preventing it from continuing to draw neo-Nazis as a type of fascist heritage tour.
Remember Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s outrage over the appearance of Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu at the Paris march for free speech? It seems a rather bizarre scene for a man who had led to one of the greatest rollbacks on free speech and press freedom in Turkey’s history as part of his insertion of Islamic fundamentalism into the once secular state. The irony only grew today after a Turkish court banned websites from show this cover of Charlie Hebdo’s magazine following the massacre of its editors and staff by Muslim extremists.
This weekend I wrote a column for the Washington Post on the crackdown of free speech in France. The column suggested that, if the French really wanted to honor the dead at Charlie Hebdo, they would rescind the laws used to hound them and threaten them with criminal prosecution for years. (Indeed, at least one surviving journalist expressed contempt for those who now support free speech but remained silent in the face of past efforts to shut down the magazine). Now, however, news reports indicate that the French government is doubling down on criminalizing speech in the name of free speech after the massacre. France has reportedly made dozens of arrests of people who glorify terrorism and engage in hateful or antiSemitic speech.
A proposed British law creates a serious threat to academic freedom and free speech. The law seeks to force universities to take action to stop young people being exposed to extremist ideas and speakers. The law is consistent with a trend toward greater speech regulation in the West As I discussed in column yesterday in the Washington Post.
Russia has imposed a bizarre new law that bars transsexual and transgender people from obtaining driving licenses. The Russian now also ban people found to have proclivities toward fetishism, exhibitionism, pathological gambling, compulsive stealing, and voyeurism as “mental disorders” incompatible with driving.
Our erstwhile ally Egypt has again violated the most basic civil liberties in a criminal case involving blasphemy. An Egyptian court has sentenced student Karim al-Banna, 21, to three years in jail for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam. His own father testified against him and denounced his son for “was embracing extremist ideas against Islam.” Of course, neither Egypt nor the father view criminalizing someone’s mere speech about religion to be an “extremist idea.”