Free Speech

The Left’s War Over #CancelColbert, And Mine

By on 3.29.14 | 5:51PM

Yesterday, I weighed in on the controversy surrounding comedian Stephen Colbert, who is under fire over a tweet many have suggested was insensitive to Asians. I particularly singled out fellow conservative blogger Michelle Malkin--who, let me say again, is not only brilliant, but a personal inspiration--for her support of a wrongheaded Twitter protest against Colbert which is using the hashtag #CancelColbert. In my post, I explained why it is a bad idea to push for those whose speech we find disagreeable to lose their jobs. Judging from the comments, some of you missed the point. And like Malkin, you are, well, wrong.

The comments of one reader, who posted under the name Lockstein13, are a pretty good encapsulation of the arguments against me. He wrote:

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A Harvard Crimson Columnist Rails Against Academic Freedom. You Won’t Believe What Happens Next.

By on 2.20.14 | 1:25AM

I was interested to read Robert Stacy McCain's post yesterday on the free speech defense that he and many other conservative media figures are mounting against convicted bomber cum legal terrorist Brett Kimberlin. (If Brett hasn't already printed a novelty t-shirt that says "Lawfare: It's the Bomb!", he is missing out.) But why should mad bombers have a monopoly on the suppression of speech? As usual, our most elite institution of higher education shines light on the path forward.

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Brett Kimberlin Lawsuit Threatens Free Speech Rights, Attorney Says

By on 2.19.14 | 12:53PM

Convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin's federal lawsuit against bloggers and journalists is "an attack on free speech," a prominent First Amendment attorney said Tuesday, announcing that he would represent an anonymous blogger who is a defendant in the case.

Paul Alan Levy of the non-profit group Public Citizen noted that he had once represented Kimberlin, at the time a federal prison inmate, in a case where Kimberlin's First Amendment rights were at stake. However, Levy said, Kimberlin is now threatening the rights of others in his attempt to use a federal lawsuit to obtain the identity of the popular conservative blogger known as Ace of Spades: "Among the defendants in the action is an anonymous blogger whom Kimberlin sued for allegedly 'imputing' that Kimberlin was involved in SWATting. . . . Because the blog post said nothing of the kind, I agreed to represent defendant 'Ace of Spades' in opposing Kimberlin’s request for judicial permission to pursue discovery to identify Ace of Spades."

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Writer’s Bloc

By on 1.14.14 | 5:37PM

If you can't trust the Russian government, who can you trust? This must be the question running through the mind of David Satter, a longtime journalist who now posesses the dubious and unfortunate distinction of being the first American scribe denied entry to the land of nesting dolls and Ivan Drago since the fall of the Soviet Union. The journalist has been barred from visiting Russia for at least the next five years.

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Hating free speech is a McCain family tradition

By on 10.5.11 | 10:28AM

Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain, actually hired a lawyer to send a "cease and desist letter" to a blogger who had written (fairly obvious) parodies of her. And lo, this is the response she elicited from Christopher Scott Badeaux, an attorney representing the satirist (click through and read every word. It is the letter every wannabe attorney dreams of writing):

Of course, you also have no recourse against my client individually, as his actions were clearly a parody of your client, a well-known public political figure. This activity is protected by the First Amendment from state law suits, including false light invasion of privacy. See generally, Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), which is of course directly on point here. ...

My client will not be bullied out of exercising his First Amendment right to make clear his belief that your client is a spoiled, brainless twit who is cheapening the political discourse in this country.

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Liberals Finally Cheer for Free Speech for Corporations

By on 6.28.11 | 2:45PM

Video games are part of protected speech under the First Amendment according to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, but the best part is that it doesn't seem to be drawing the same sort of criticism and hyperbole as the Citizens United ruling. And why not? After all, video games are produced by corporations. Julian Sanchez makes a fantastic point:

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Google’s Hard Line on Free Speech Violations in China

By on 1.12.10 | 5:51PM

Today Google announced on its blog that it had been the target of a China-based cyberattack in mid-December. David Drummond, a senior vice president of the firm, wrote the hackers succeeded in stealing some intellectual property seemed to be aimed at accessing the GMail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. The unwritten assertion is that the Chinese government backed the attack in some way. Google is responding by refusing to continue censoring search results in China and preparing to cease operations in China entirely if necessary to maintain that policy:

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