Rep. Summer Lee (D., Pa.) has long been a voice for censorship, attacking those who seek to restore free speech on social media. Lee’s curious view of free speech was on display this week when she attacked witnesses, including Riley Gaines, as hateful and transphobic but then tried to censor Gaines when she responded to Lee’s attack as misogynistic. Lee withdrew the demand to take down the comments, though it captured the essence of how many on the left insist that they have a right to attack others but seek to censor those same individuals when they respond in kind. Continue reading ““Engaging in Personalities”: Rep. Summer Lee’s Curious View of Free Speech”
The parents of Holden Armenta have retained counsel and sent a retraction letter to Deadspin in moves that usually precede the filing of defamation actions. Armenta was the target of a vicious and false attack by Deadspin’s Carron J. Phillips. The writer has long been controversial, but Deadspin retained him. It could now come at a high cost, but the defamation action will face challenges. Continue reading “Deadspin Defamation: Parents of Holden Armenta Move Toward Libel Action Over Blackface Allegation”
We have previously discussed the growing anti-free speech movement in Ireland. As discussed in The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in the Age of Rage, these crackdowns on free speech tend to come with periods of public panic or anger. Anti-free speech advocates use such periods as opportunities to get the public to surrender this core right to government censors or prosecutors. Right on schedule, Ireland is now pushing one of the most chilling crackdowns to date. Continue reading “The Irish Government Moves to Crackdown on Free Speech After Anti-Immigration Riot”
At Hillcrest High School in Queens this week, a New York teacher had to lock herself in her office as hundreds of high school students rioted after learning that she posted a pro-Israeli statement on Facebook. Dozens of police had to be called to quell the riot, which caused property damage throughout the school. Continue reading “New York High School Students Riot After Teacher Posts Pro-Israel Image on Facebook”
This month, the Coolidge Reagan Foundation has called upon the Michigan bar to investigate and sanction Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., over her comments on Gaza and Israel. While I have been critical of Tlaib over her rhetoric and claims on the Hamas attack and later war, I believe that such sanctions would be inimical to free speech and pull the bar into political controversies. Continue reading “No, Rashida Tlaib Should Not Be Sanctioned by the Michigan Bar”
Below is my column in USA Today on the “deactivation order” issued to a controversial pro-Palestinian group at the University of Florida. The order in my view is unconstitutional. We need to focus on deterring acts of destruction and any violent threats or acts on our campuses. We can maintain a safe space for all of our students without sacrificing the free speech rights that are the foundation for higher education.
Here is the column.
Even in his freshman year, Democratic New York Rep. Dan Goldman has proven one of the most controversial members in Congress from attacking witnesses to inadvertently undermining the Biden defenses. The latest controversy involves a call to “eliminate” Donald Trump after accusing him of using “inflammatory rhetoric.” He has since apologized for his own language. Despite being one of the many past targets of Goldman’s wrath, I do not believe that Goldman was calling for violence. It was what I call “rage rhetoric” in my book The Indispensable Right. However, the incident shows the perils of criminalizing political speech.
Economics professor John Strauss from the University of Southern California is teaching remotely for the rest of the term in a controversy that has serious free speech implications. Strauss was made the subject of a protest after confronting protesters on campus and calling for all Hamas terrorists to be killed. A deceptively edited videotape was posted that made it sound like Strauss was calling for all Palestinians to be killed. The move is part of a disturbing trend limiting free speech on campuses. Continue reading “Southern California Professor Forced to Teach Remotely After Inflammatory Rhetoric Against Hamas”
Below is my column in The Hill on the recent victory of a California professor in challenging diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies on free speech grounds. It is a rare win for dissenting faculty as DEI policies become more expansive and mandatory.
Here is the column:
I am happy to announce the publication of my latest law review article, The Unfinished Masterpiece: Compulsion and the Evolving Jurisprudence Over Free Speech, 83 Md. L. Rev. 145 (2023) The work not only discusses the recent 303 Creative ruling of the Supreme Court, but an important case now pending before the Court for possible review, Porter v. Board of Trustees of North Carolina State University. The Porter decision was decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and, in my view, represents a major threat to both free speech and academic freedom. Both cases are also discussed in my forthcoming book, The Indispensable Right.
Below is my column in The Messenger on the view of diplomats in the Biden Administration that the President is spreading “misinformation.” My interest in the story is less the merits than the allegation. The President is facing the same allegation of ignoring fact and spreading disinformation that has resulted in thousands being banned or blacklisted on social media. The Biden Administration has pushed for such censorship in areas where doctors and pundits held opposing views on subjects ranging from Covid-19 to climate control. The question is whether Joe Biden himself should be banned under the standards promulgated by his own Administration.
Here is the column:
In an interview with The Verge Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel, former President Barack Obama once again claimed that he is virtually a “First Amendment absolutist” despite supporting censorship for years, including United Nations efforts to criminalize criticism of religion on a global scale. There are aspects of the Obama terms that I have praised, but his record on free speech is not one of them.