Last week I argued that the legal outlook for free speech in America remains bright: the Supreme Court's defense of speech is consistent and robust. But the cultural outlook remains grim. Free speech, as a value, is under cultural assault — and feckless, politicized, and unlikely-to-be-effective legal assault — from across the ideological spectrum. Case […]
There are many very stupid ideas about free speech in academia. Perhaps the stupidest is this: free speech is a legal norm used to protect the powerful at the expense of the powerless, but exceptions to free speech will benefit the powerless. Nobody with a passing knowledge of the history of free speech takes this […]
The First Amendment had a pretty good week. In Matal v. Tam the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that a federal law prohibiting "disparaging" trademarks violated the First Amendment. Though the eight voting justices broke into two groups of four taking slightly different paths, their language was equally blunt. From Justice Alito: The Patent […]
I've got a piece up at NRO about about how nobody — even Trump-haters like me — should be comfortable with federal prosecutors' broad power to catch people not for underlying misconduct, but for reactions to the investigation.
Last night a popular alt-right troll disrupted a controversial modern production of Julius Caesar staged with a Trumplike figure in the lead role. Some people are incensed at this production and arguing that it depicts and encourages the assassination of Trump himself, and that fury has built to the point that random theaters with "Shakespeare" […]
The LA Times ran my column about cliches and slogans that obscure the free speech debate. Kudos to the Times for making me sound like even more of a choad with the headline.
Friday I wrote about Anthony Weiner's federal plea to transferring obscene material to a person under 16, and offered some comments on how it was unusual and notable. Since then, a site called "Who What Why" has published a story claiming that the minor in the case was 17, not 15, and that she initiated […]
Oh Ken . . . . What. I have . . . . [giggles uncontrollably] Oh Lord save me. I have a question about WEINERS. Is there any hope I can get a foil who's not twelve? Don't be an old grouch. Can you explain Anthony Weiner's guilty plea? Ugh. Why? It's tawdry. People are […]
By Marc J Randazza The Oregonian reports, delightfully, Man arrested after 'masturbating vigorously' in public because he 'hates Portland'. So would his rationale change this from just a run-of the mill date with Palmela Handerson into protected activity? It just might. After all, nudity can be so ennobled, so why not evicting the testicular squatters? […]