Free Speech Wins (Again) at the Supreme Court
David French writes:
… Given existing First Amendment jurisprudence, there would have been a constitutional earthquake if SCOTUS hadn’t ruled for Tam. The Court has long held that the Constitution protects all but the narrowest categories of speech. Yet time and again, governments (including colleges) have tried to regulate “offensive” speech. Time and again, SCOTUS has defended free expression. Today was no exception. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Alito noted that the Patent and Trademark Office was essentially arguing that “the Government has an interest in preventing speech expressing ideas that offend.” His response was decisive:
[A]s we have explained, that idea strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”
Quick, someone alert the snowflakes shouting down speeches on campus or rushing stages in New York. There is no constitutional exception for so-called “hate speech.”
Indeed, governments are under an obligation to protect controversial expression. Every justice agrees. The ruling is worth celebrating, but when law and culture diverge, culture tends to win. The law protects free speech as strongly as it ever has. The culture, however … (read more)
Source: National Review
In two First Amendment rulings released this week, the justices argue they’re saving would-be censors from themselves.
Matt Ford reports: The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two notable victories for free-speech advocates on Monday as it nears the end of its current term. The two First Amendment cases came to the Court from starkly different circumstances, but the justices emphasized a similar theme in both rulings: Beware what the free-speech restrictions of today could be used to justify tomorrow.
In the first case, Matal v. Tam, the Court sided with an Asian-American rock band in Oregon named The Slants in a dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The PTO had denied band member Simon Tam’s application to register the group’s name as a trademark, citing a provision in federal law that prohibits the office from recognizing those that “disparage” or “bring … into contempt or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” Read the rest of this entry »
…One of the more frustrating and fruitless conversations in modern politics is with a Trump supporter who just insists that Trump can be trusted. But trusted to do what? If you want boots on the ground in the Middle East, Trump’s your guy. If you want America to stop sending its soldiers to die on foreign soil, Trump’s your guy. If you want higher taxes, Trump’s your guy. If you want lower taxes, Trump’s your guy. The list goes on…
Read more at NRO.
Source: National Review
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 6, 2016
[The vital article: Wisconsin’s Shame: ‘I Thought It Was a Home Invasion’]
Advocacy for Terrorists Masked in the Language of Compassion: The Evil Sentimentality of the Pro-Hamas LeftPosted: August 1, 2014
Rarely has civilian death been so propagandized by so many of our fellow Americans. Oh, now, I know they’ll protest this characterization. They hate — just hate — the horrific loss of life in Gaza. They hate it so much that they’re moved to wax as eloquently as they can about the horror of death in schools, in mosques, in hospitals — all the places where people are supposed to be “safe,” supposed to seek “refuge.” They can’t stop writing about this death, emoting about this death. And they write and emote until you can almost see the splash of their crocodile tears on your computer screen.
They love peace, you see. They love it so much that they attempt to use every one of their God-given gifts to make you feel what a Palestinian widow feels, to make you stand in the shoes of a man weeping for his lost son. Feel the ultimate anguish. Hear the wailing. Don’t look away from the blood or the rage or the tears.
Have hundreds of thousands of parents and children and aunts and uncles shed similar tears in Syria? Look away from that. No, look away. I mean it. I need your eyes to focus back where they should — on that dead Palestinian child…
For NRO, David French writes: Not for the first time, the radical Left is moving rapidly away from any respect for free speech and pluralism and is decisively throwing itself into creating a self-righteous culture of intolerance and intimidation. It’s playing a dangerous game, one that is already alienating its own allies.
I don’t often type this, but I agree with every word Andrew Sullivan says here about Mozilla ridding itself of its independent-thinking CEO:
As I said last night, of course Mozilla has the right to purge a CEO because of his incorrect political views. Of course Eich was not stripped of his First Amendment rights. I’d fight till my last breath for Mozilla to retain that right. What I’m concerned with is the substantive reason for purging him. When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance. If a socially conservative private entity fired someone because they discovered he had donated against Prop 8, how would you feel? It’s staggering to me that a minority long persecuted for holding unpopular views can now turn around and persecute others for the exact same reason. If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society.
And I say this even less, but I also agree with Michelle Goldberg, writing in The Nation about a different leftist intimidation campaign — the move to cancel Stephen Colbert’s show after he made a lame racial joke:
Call it left-wing anti-liberalism: the idea, captured by Herbert Marcuse in his 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance,” that social justice demands curbs on freedom of expression. “[I]t is possible to define the direction in which prevailing institutions, policies, opinions would have to be changed in order to improve the chance of a peace which is not identical with cold war and a little hot war, and a satisfaction of needs which does not feed on poverty, oppression, and exploitation,” he wrote…
David French writes: I’m virtually certain that David Frum was simply trolling Twitter (a popular pastime) when he tweeted on Saturday: “Hypothesis: the people who most want to carry are the very last people on earth who should be allowed to carry.”
In the remote chance that an otherwise-thoughtful person was actually arguing that the people who most want to exercise a constitutional right are the “very last people on earth” who should be allowed to exercise that right, I thought I’d take a moment to explain why a person carries.
David French writes: Last weekend AEI’s Arthur Brooks published an interesting piece on happiness in the New York Times’ Sunday Review. I’d encourage you to read the whole thing, but this observation (taken from the comprehensive work of the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey) was particularly interesting and runs counter to perceptions fostered by pop culture:
For many years, researchers found that women were happier than men, although recent studies contend that the gap has narrowed or may even have been reversed. Political junkies might be interested to learn that conservative women are particularly blissful: about 40 percent say they are very happy. That makes them slightly happier than conservative men and significantly happier than liberal women. The unhappiest of all are liberal men; only about a fifth consider themselves very happy.
Fascinating. While I’ll let others comment on the happiness of conservatives, let’s address liberal men. Why are they so much less happy?
A core component of modern leftism is its comprehensive attack (and accompanying redefinition) of masculinity. This attack poisons how men experience their own nature, relationships, and purpose.
David French writes: As I type this post, Senator Ted Cruz’s filibuster is winding down, and while the leftist outlets (and, sadly, some Republicans) spew forth their vitriol, I can’t help but think that moments like this and Senator Rand Paul’s “Stand with Rand” filibuster represent key turning points for the conservative movement. I’m far less interested in the Washington inside baseball of who’s mad at whom and far more interested in the effect of passionately demonstrated conservative conviction on our culture. Read the rest of this entry »
- Rebel through conformity
- Feel virtuous without acting virtuous.
- Your sexual self-expression is brave
- Feel morally superior to people who exhibit actual virtue