Category: Free Speech

The Kennedy Retirement Leaves The Court Without A Center of Gravity and Grace

225px-Anthony_Kennedy_OfficialBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the legacy and vision or Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.  The departure of Kennedy will leave the Supreme Court more calcified and rigid in its ideological division. Chief Justice John Roberts now assumes the role of the swing vote with a center of gravity that will likely move further to the right.  His voice was unique and often profound.  He applied a conservative jurisprudence that emphasized the protection of individual rights and identity.  Time will show that Kennedy saw a horizon for our society that we are still struggling to attain.

Here is the column:

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Sociology Professor Declares Diversity of Thought Is “A Trojan Horse For White Identity Politics”

downloadThere has been a rising movement in colleges and universities led by professors who are advocating speech regulation and contesting basic values of free speech.  The anti-free speech movement takes many forms.  I previously voiced my objections to Antifa and its anti-free speech values, including academics legitimizing efforts to violently curtail free speech on our campuses.  One of the most recent examples is the writing of University of Tennessee sociology Professor Victor Ray who explained in a column in Inside Higher Ed that diversity of thought is something of a trap and is in reality “a Trojan horse for white identity politics.” Continue reading “Sociology Professor Declares Diversity of Thought Is “A Trojan Horse For White Identity Politics””

Controversial Socialist Army Officer Given “Other Than Honorable” Discharge

West Point graduate and Army infantry officer Spenser Rapone has been drummed out of the military after receiving an “other than honorable discharge” from the military.  He caused a stir with a posted photo of his West Point cap with the words “Communism will win” written inside.  He also displayed a Che Guevara T-shirt underneath his uniform jacket.  Rapone is clearly a dedicated socialist, but the action raises the issue of whether being a communist or socialist is disqualifying.  His removal is widely tied to a letter sent by Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fl.).  Rapone is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the conference “Socialism 2018” in Chicago this year.

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No, NFL Players Do Not Have A Constitutional Right To Protest During The National Anthem

The_Star-Spangled_Banner_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_21566Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the calls for a constitutional challenge to the new NFL policy against protests during the National Anthem.  While many have  claimed that the policy violates free speech rights of the players, there is actually little support for such a challenge under constitutional law.  The best shot might be procedural in nature in arguing that the collective bargaining agreement requires conferral on such rules with the players. Putting aside the strong defenses to this claim, it would likely only require consultation and not a change in the ultimate policy.

Here is the column: Continue reading “No, NFL Players Do Not Have A Constitutional Right To Protest During The National Anthem”

Oregon High School Student Suspended For Wearing Pro-Trump T-Shirt

Addison Barnes, 18, is  suing his school, Liberty High School in Hillsboro, for violating his free speech rights under the First Amendment.  Barnes had simply worn a t-shirt reading “Donald J. Trump Construction Co. . . .The wall just got 10 feet taller.” He was suspended for refusing to cover up the message.  It is clearly a political statement that some would object to. However, high school students are encouraged to become involved in the political system and nothing on the shirt is profane or racist or vulgar. If this t-shirt is offensive and barred, wouldn’t any political or religious or social cause be equally subject to such action?  The question answers itself and the implications are troubling.

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Florida Man Arrested For Yelling The Facts Of Life To Children From Atop Playground Equipment

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Otis Dawayne Ryan, 30, has a curious idea of family planning education classes.  The Florida man was arrested in Clearwater Beach at a playground after he climbed atop a piece of equipment at a Clearwater Beach playground Sunday and yelled at a bunch of children in the area about where babies come from.

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Gallup Poll: Ninety Percent Of Pomona Students Feel That They Cannot Speak Freely

240px-Formal_Seal_of_Pomona_College,_Claremont,_CA,_USA.svgWe have been discussing the erosion of free speech on campuses with rising speech codes and ambiguous rules barring “microaggressions.”  A small percentage of students and faculty often push for such speech codes and regulation.  However, it is often difficult for students and faculty to object at the risk of being called intolerant or microaggressors.  Now there is a Gallup poll confirming that most students feel that they are no longer able to speak freely at college due to this minority of speech intolerant students and faculty. Ninety percent of Pomona students said that they did not feel free to speak openly or freely. It is an indictment of not just Pomona but many of our colleges. Continue reading “Gallup Poll: Ninety Percent Of Pomona Students Feel That They Cannot Speak Freely”

As The Supreme Court Considers Major Free Speech Case, Liberals Can’t Have Their Cake And Eat It Too

Freedom_of_SpeechBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on how liberals in New York are supplying the Supreme Court ample reason to rule for a Colorado cake shop owner in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.  As the Court decides whether a baker can refuse to bake a cake deemed offensive, many liberals are asserting the right to refuse to serve conservatives based on their political views or associations.

Here is the column: Continue reading “As The Supreme Court Considers Major Free Speech Case, Liberals Can’t Have Their Cake And Eat It Too”

SUNY Student Reprimanded Under “Unwritten Policy” For Criticizing Liberal Intolerance At Open Mic Event

SUNY_logoWe have been discussing the rapid erosion of free speech on our campuses and the increasing confrontations with students who bar speech with which they disagree.  (Here and here and here and here)  The most disturbing aspect of this trend has been the active support of academics and administrators, including defining the prevention of free speech as an exercise of free speech. The result is that schools are caving into academic demands made by students.  The latest example is the action taken by the State University of New York at Oswego administrator, who  reprimanded a student for making other students feel “uncomfortable” by raising liberal intolerance of free speech at an “Open Mic” event last month.  Nicole Miller was called out under an “unofficial policy” — thereby confirming the very point of her remarks.

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Utah Student Accused Of Cultural Appropriation After Posting Prom Pictures In Chinese Dress

View image on TwitterUtah senior Keziah Daum, 18, thought that she was sharing a pictures from a wonderful prom from Woods Cross High School.  The pictures show Daum in a beautiful Chinese Choengsam (also known as a qipao) dress, a creative and striking choice for this important event.  The posting however unleashed a torrent of criticism of Daum for “cultural appropriation” because she is not Chinese.  I have been a long critic of the “cultural appropriation” protests on campuses, but this case is particularly maddening and absurd. Continue reading “Utah Student Accused Of Cultural Appropriation After Posting Prom Pictures In Chinese Dress”

Turley To Give Keynote At Connect:ID Conference

TurleyI will have the pleasure today of serving as a keynote speaker at the Connect: ID 2018 conference in Washington. Connect:ID is an international conference on identity technologies including biometrics, mobile applications and secure credentials. I will be speaking on identity, privacy, and anonymity.  The speech will be at 8:30 am at the Washington Convention Center.

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Student Protesters Storm Columbia Library To Protest The Right Of Conservatives To Invite Conservatives To Campus

200px-ColumbiaNYUCoat.svgWe have been discussing the increasing practice of students interrupting classes or speeches to prevent others from hearing opposing views.  This has included protests where students have been prevented from studying as other students accuse them of privilege or racism.  Administrators at schools like Dartmouth have allowed such abusive conduct to occur without disciplinary action, even apologizing to the protesters.  Now, twenty students were allowed to storm the Columbia University library Wednesday to protest the fact that College Republicans were allowed to exercise their free speech in bringing conservative speakers to campus. It was a demonstration that not only sought to deny other students free speech but did so in a way to deny students their right to study.  Columbia has been silent on any effort to discipline the students.  The Liberation Coalition occupied the library staircase while holding signs proclaiming “Decolonize Columbia” and “Divest from White Supremacy Now.”

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Europe’s Invasive Species: We Should Keep Macron’s Oak And Send Back His Speech Limits

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U.S. House of Representatives

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.

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Federal Judge Rules Against Berkeley In Victory For Free Speech

Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgI 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.

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Turley To Give The 2018 Thomas M. Kerr, Jr. Lecture At Carnegie Mellon University

Turley-600x287I 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.

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