Below is my column in The Hill on the speech by French President Emmanuel Macron and his calling for the United States to join France in a crackdown on “fake news.” Our members were either clueless or complicit in this thinly veiled call for speech regulation on the Internet. However, there is growing pressure from Europe for the United States to abandon its long commitment to free speech — a call that is being heard by a rising number of academics and politicians. I love the oak (which has disappeared) but the advice in far more invasive for this country.
I have previously criticized the University of California at Berkeley for its highly biased history in dealing with conservative speakers who come to campus. Now, federal judge Maxine Chesney has agreed with the Young America’s Foundation (and the U.S. Justice Department) in rejecting a motion to dismiss by Berkeley — forcing the school to deal with its policies and priorities on the exercise of free speech. The president of the University of California system is Janet Napolitano, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama.
I have the honor today of giving the 2018 Thomas M. Kerr, Jr. Lecture on Law and American Society at Carnegie Mellon University. My lecture will be on The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in the West and will be held in Gregg Hall (Porter Hall 100) on Thursday, April 26th from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
California State University Randa Jarrar is facing calls for her termination after she appeared to celebrate the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush. A petition calls for the “Immediate termination of Professor Randa Jarrar for racism and inflammatory comments regarding a former First Lady of the United States, Barbara Bush.” Jarrar’s comments were disgraceful and hateful, but there remains a question of the free speech rights of teachers and professors in their private lives.