Saturday Free Speech Roundup

Law

Part the first: Mike Morgan was not a fan of Goldman Sachs. He started a web site called GoldmanSachs666, which was somewhat unflattering to the investment giant. Goldman Sachs' lawyers at Chadbourne & Park did what has, regrettably, become standard procedure for lawyers in these situations: they sent a threatening letter complaining of alleged trademark violation. (Because there are six or seven institutionalized people with occasional internet access who, in between their treatments, might get onto the internet and confuse GoldmanSachs666 with something by the actual Goldman Sachs.) But this time, the blogger getting the threatening letter did not back down — he sued for declaratory relief, and recently Goldman Sachs agreed to a settlement quite favorable to him. Hat tip: Mike at Crime & Federalism.

Part the Second: The FIRE reports on the defeat of another college speech code: the Alliance Defense Fund, headed by my law school classmate David French, convinces U.S. District Court judge George H. King to strike down the Los Angeles Community College District's vague and overbroad "offensive speech" ban. Continuing vigilance is warranted, though — if the District appeals, the Ninth Circuit has previously demonstrated a loathsome tolerance of viewpoint discrimination.

Part the Third: Box Turtle Bulletin, which devotes substantial coverage to same-sex marriage and related issues and is a strong voice in support of gay rights, offers a strong and principled argument against Canadian litigation seeking to force a church to accept an openly gay man as an alter server. The notion that most gays and lesbians seek to use the force of law to tell churches what to do remains propaganda.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Reuven  •  Jul 18, 2009 @9:33 pm

    The notion that most gays and lesbians seek to use the force of law to tell churches what to do remains propaganda.

    I agree. And sadly, anti-homosexual zealots in the United States will jump on this and use it in their big-budget ad campaigns against same-sex marriage that they're now running in NY and some other eastern states.

    This lawsuit is a bad idea.

  2. bw  •  Jul 20, 2009 @9:38 am

    This doesn't really speak to the validity of that notion. It merely points out that the question depends to some degree on the debatable question of whether the plaintiff or the publishers of the Box Turtle Bulletin have the stronger claim to speak for the demographic in question. There are many thoughtful, reasonable organizations run by thoughtful, reasonable, educated and intelligent people who claim to speak for large cross sections of humanity, while experience tells most of us that the vast majority of ANY demographic, or humanity as a whole, is neither thoughtful nor reasonable.

    Remember what Adlai Stevenson said when a supporter predicted he would get the vote of every thinking person – that it wouldn't be sufficient because what he needed was a majority.