We have been discussing the call for blacklists and the campaign of harassment against Trump supporters, lawyers, and officials after the election. Now Harvard students are asking for the university to establish a preemptive bar on former Trump officials and consultants from entering the campus until they are reviewed and vetted. Rather than see universities as an opportunity for dialogue and understanding of our deep divisions, the students seem to be following the lead of Democratic leaders like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who are calling for lists of anyone “complicit” with the Trump Administration. The students demand that any Trump officials be barred pending a review of their record to “hold them fully accountable for that complicity.”
We previously discussed the unrelenting drumbeat of censorship on the Internet from Democratic leaders, including President-elect Joe Biden. This growing campaign against free speech is continuing to grow despite the hearing yesterday when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that the company wrongly blocked the New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s influence peddling before the election. There was no acknowledgement from the many academics or politicians who supported the action by Twitter. Instead, Democratic senators called for more such censorship. Continue reading “Twitter CEO Admits Censoring The Hunter Biden Story Was “Wrong” . . . Democrats Call For More Censorship”
This week I criticized Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito for a speech that he gave to the Federalist Society. That should come as no surprise since I have spent two decades criticizing justices for such controversial public addresses. However, I was struck in the last couple days by the politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and liberal faculty members who are falling over themselves in utter disgust with such public commentary from a sitting justice. For years, I criticized the far more egregious comments from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg without a peep of protest from people like Warren. Instead, Ginsburg became the “Notorious RBG.” There is, however, no place for a Notorious SAA in the media or academia.
We have been discussing how the celebration of Joe Biden’s election as a “unifying” and “healing” moment has been lost on many who are calling for blacklists and retaliatory actions against anyone viewed as “complicit” in the Trump period. Indeed, for years, I have been writing about a rising McCarthyism in our country and the growing threat to both free speech and academic freedom. This hateful or unhinged rhetoric has on occasion come from law professors, but most academics have retained a modicum of restraint and tolerance. For that reason, it was disappointing to read a bizarre attack from University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campus who compared my discussion of possible voting irregularities to Holocaust denial.
We previously discussed the views of Boston University professor and head of the school’s Center for Antiracist Research Ibfram X. Kendi after his infamous description of Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a “white colonizer” for adopting two Haitian children. Despite such extreme views, Kendi remains a popular speaker at universities like Harvard. Now, Kendi is warning that the use of “legal vote” in the current election is itself racist. Continue reading ““Fraught And Functionally Racist”: Professor Declares “Legal Vote” A Racist Term Like “Handouts,” “Personal Responsibility” And “Postracial””
I have long been a critic of Northwestern University and its president Morton Schapiro for policies undermining free speech and academic freedom. In the past, I have contrasted the vastly different approaches of my two alma maters, Northwestern and University of Chicago, the latter taking a courageous stand in favor of free speech rights. Chicago rejected the premise of safe zones on its campus. Conversely, Schapiro has ridiculed those questioning the need for “safe zones” as “lunatics” and denounced “absolutist” views of free speech. At the same time, his school has refused to discipline students who prevent professors from teaching objectionable classes. Now, Northwestern students have moved from attacking classes on campus to assaulting police in downtown Evanston. Schapiro is expressing shock at the conduct despite his controversial history of enabling students who are intolerant of opposing views.
On October 24, 2020, a young lawyer named Geoffrey Wright passed away at 31 from a sudden cardiac event. Few on this blog would know Geoff, but his loss is being felt by our entire law school community. He was one of my former students in Torts and worked as one of my editors on an article with the George Washington University Law Review. He was a brilliant lawyer with unlimited potential. He was also a deeply caring and decent person. His loss is a terrible tragedy for his family, our school, and the legal profession.
Today I have the honor of speaking to Colgate University on the erosion of free speech in the United States. I will first address a class on the separation of powers before giving a lecture as part of the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization at Colgate University. The lecture is entitled “The American Anti-Free Speech Movement from Anti–Sedition to Anti-Fascism.” The program is designed to run from 4:30 – 6:00.
There is a virtual cottage industry among academics in publishing papers that declare common terms or items as forms of white supremacy. This inexhaustible source for publication expanded this week with professors finding new forms of prejudice in common parlance and drinks. The problem is that if you really need a drink after reading that your referencing “Beethoven” is proof of your racism, you cannot even reach for a beer without reinforcing a separate beverage-based bias.
We have previously discussed how senators crossed a critical line in the Barrett nomination in declaring that the conservative’s judicial philosophy makes her “unqualified” — the abandonment of decades of tradition where members separated the qualifications from the philosophy of a nominee. That dangerous shift was particularly evident yesterday when Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., called originalism “racist, sexist, homophobic and a fancy word for discrimination.” Continue reading “Markey: “Originalism Is Racist . . . Sexist . . . Homophobic””
Below is my column on Fox regarding the recent remarks of NBC analyst Jon Meacham explaining how Trump supporters suffer from “lizard brains.” The statement is indicative of a long-standing trend in the media of insulting and biased comments about Trump supporters. Analysts seem to have dispensed with any notion of restraint or reason in such attacks. What is most troubling is that there are students who support Trump at Vanderbilt and there have been complaints for years about an increasingly hostile environment for conservative students. Taking a professor who has publicly dismissed your political views as the result of a lizard brain is hardly welcoming.
Here is the column:
We recently discussed the case of a Louisiana high school senior who had his parking space mural to President Donald Trump painted over by his school. Now a Florida senior has an equally troubling free speech case involving the Volusia County School District. Tyler Maxwell is suing the District after it barred him from parking his pickup truck with a large elephant in the back featuring Trump’s name. The District declared that such “political statements” are now banned. Continue reading “The Elephant in the Room: Florida School Revokes The Parking Privileges Of Student With Trump Display On Truck”
We previously discussed the disturbing case of Vermont Principal Tiffany Riley who was suspended after she wrote on Facebook that she does not agree with the Black Lives Matter movement. Shortly after that posting, Mount Ascutney School Board held an emergency meeting to declare that it is “uniformly appalled” and that Riley was “tone deaf” for making such a statement. In what should now be a major free speech case, the Board unanimously voted to fire Riley, citing her “denigrating, derogatory, or contrary to the movement for social equity for African Americans, including the Black Lives Matter movement.” Continue reading “Vermont Goes “Tone Deaf” On Free Speech: Principal Fired Over “All Lives Matter” Statement”