This week, the University of Pittsburgh was under fire from State Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, who objected to conservative speakers, including competitive swimmer Riley Gaines, Daily Wire commentator Michael Knowles, and Daily Wire podcast host Cabot Phillips. Mayes’ objections reflect the growing anti-free speech movement, and its rationale of “speech-as-harm” that is sweeping the nation. Continue reading ““How Does This Keep Transgender Students Safe?”: Pittsburgh Under Fire for Allowing Conservatives to Speak on Campus”
Category: Constitutional Law
Today is the birthday of our greatest Framer and the genius behind our Constitution: James Madison. He would have been 272 years old. We will be celebrating tonight with a traditional Virginia dinner (with the required Virginia ham), a three-layer cake, and Madison’s favorite dessert of ice cream (I recommend the tripartite Neapolitan).
Below is my column in the New York Post on the suggested censorship of bank critics by Sen. Mark Kelly (D., Ariz.). It was only the latest example of how censorship has become a reflexive response of many Democrats to opposing views. It is now increasingly common for certain views to be declared as simply too dangerous to be tolerated or allowed on social media, including (it seems) questioning the solvency of banks.
Here is the column: Continue reading “Banking on Censorship: Sen. Kelly Becomes Latest Democrat to Suggest Censoring Views on Social Media”
If there is one image from Jan. 6th that will remain indelible with the day, it is the “QAnon Shaman.” Bare chested and wearing an animal headdress, horns and red-white-and-blue face paint, Jake Angeli Chansley is to the Capitol riot what Rosie the Riveter was to World War II. Howling and “chanting an unintelligible mantra” on the Senate floor, he is the embodiment of the unhinged rage that led to one of the most disgraceful attacks on our constitutional process in history. Continue reading “Did the “QAnon Shaman” Get Shafted on Sentencing? New Footage Raises Questions Over the Chansley Case”
There is a deeply disturbing legislative proposal in Florida where Sen. Jason Brodeur of Lake Mary has called for bloggers to register with the state if they want to write about the state’s governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet members or legislative officials. It is a highly intrusive, dangerous, and presumptively unconstitutional effort. Yet, it is also important to note that this is just a proposal from a single legislator with little real chance of passage. What I find interesting is the historical underpinnings of such a law. The comparison is not favorable for Sen. Brodeur. Continue reading “Florida Legislator Proposes a State Registry for Bloggers”
A video has gone viral of the owner of a Washington state dispensary unleashing a profanity-laced verbal attack on state trooper, Yasin Anwar, who pulled over a driver near the Green Seed in Moses Lake, Washington, a marijuana shop. The owner has been identified as Amy Dalluge, who reportedly has a history of problems with the police. Some are calling for charges. As outrageous and unhinged as the verbal attack was, I do not agree that such verbal abuse should be criminally charged as a matter of free speech. Continue reading “Pot Shop Owner Faces Possible Criminal Charge After Profane Diatribe Against Police Officer”
The Times Higher Education has prompted a debate in the teaching academy over a call for “Black bereavement leave” by Angel Jones, a visiting assistant professor teaching educational leadership courses at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Jones wrote that Black educators need time off to cope with the killings of black individuals in society. The leave would not depend on the educators knowing or having any relationship to the deceased. Continue reading “Should Universities Offer Black Bereavement Leave?”
The Washington Post is now admitting that President Joe Biden’s college loan forgiveness plan is unconstitutional, but it insists that the “the court shouldn’t stop him.” The reason is standing and the Post is now apparently a standing hawk forced to accept a half trillion dollar give-away to maintain a narrow view of case or controversies under Article III. The Post previously ran opinion pieces saying that Biden clearly has this authority, but this is an opinion piece from the editors themselves on the subject.
Continue reading “Washington Post: Yes, the Biden Loan Forgiveness May Be Unconstitutional But…”
Fran Drescher, SAG-AFTRA president, appears to taking her signature role as The Nanny to heart. Actress Fran Drescher used the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards to call for a host of initiatives from eliminating all single-use plastics to boycotting any states that do not meet SAG’s view of supporting “freedom, diversity, inclusion and democracy.” That latter proposal follows cities like San Francisco imposing similar boycotts. It also follows calls from Rep. Marjorie Greene (R., Ga.) for a “national divorce,” including limiting the rights of people to move from northern states to southern states for their lower crime and lower taxes. It is the ultimate expression of our age of rage where we seek separation rather than interaction with those who hold different views and values.
Continue reading “A House Divided: The Right and Left Call for Boycotts, Secessions, and “Divorces” in the Age of Rage”
Below is my column in The Hill on the increasing claims that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment. Even dictionaries are now repeating this false claim and polls show that a majority of students believe that hate speech falls outside of the scope of protected speech. For those who often rail against “disinformation,” this is a particularly dangerous false narrative meant to support expanded censorship and speech controls. Even Salman Rushdie has been been invoked in the campaign against hate speech. We should all denounce hate speech but that is not a license for the government to censor or ban such speech.
Here is the column: Continue reading “Yes, Hate Speech Is Protected Under the First Amendment”
The Texas Supreme Court has handed down a major ruling in defense of free speech this week. The decision Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity v. Dickson by Justice Jane Bland rejected an effort by pro-choose groups to use defamation lawsuits against pro-life advocates. What was particularly chilling is that one appellate court agreed with the absurd argument that characterizing abortion as murder is an actionable basis for defamation as opposed to protected opinion. Continue reading “Texas Supreme Court Rejects Defamation Claims of Pro-Choice Group”
I have the pleasure of speaking this morning at the University of Maryland Law School as part of the Law Review’s annual symposium on constitutional law. To the Law Review’s great credit, the students sought to bring together a wide range of views on the evolution of constitutional law in a well-balanced selection of academics. I will be on the first panel at 10:15 at the law school. That is the first of three panels and there will be a keynote address by the Honorable Judge Greenaway of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Continue reading “Turley to Speak at University of Maryland Law School Symposium on the Supreme Court”
Former Vice President Mike Pence is making a novel constitutional argument in opposing the recent grand jury subpoena for testimony from Special Counsel Jack Smith. He is claiming that, as President of the Senate, he falls under the protections of the “Speech and Debate Clause” like members of Congress. It is an unresolved question and he could ultimately prevail. However, I am not confident that the claim would bar the subpoena in its entirety. Continue reading “Pence Asserts Novel Constitutional Claim to Avoid Testifying Before Grand Jury”