Tag Archives: Free speech

The Purchased Primary: Did Citizens United Work?

I think I speak for all Democrats when I say, I’m going to miss Rick Santorum. (Though odds are he’ll be back.) For all of John Stewart’s mockery, Rick really was an improbable candidate — as is Newt Gingrich, still. So improbable in fact, that… Well, how the Hell did it happen, anyways? The answer seems to be money. […]

A Quick Note on Santorum & Porn

Rick Santorum’s pledge to enforce U.S. obscenity law in a new fight against pornography — widely reported and debated on conservative sites — ought to raise questions. First; why? Second, and more importantly; what laws? As a capstone on America’s sordid history of pornography laws, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union makes clear that banning adults from viewing pornography […]

The Effective Boycott and “Freedom”

Friend-of-the-site Evan at Truth Wins Out just won a fantastic victory: reacting to a successful petition, spearheaded and originated by his site, Apple pulled from the Apple Store an iPhone “app” by the extremist Christian organization “Exodus International.” The app would have provided, one imagines, a convenient way to dehumanize gay Americans “on the go.” […]

Has the Marketplace of Ideas Failed, or Just the Metaphor?

Andrew Sullivan (through co-bloggers) flags a question that must occur to any witness of the past two years: Justice Holmes said a long time ago that the best test of the truth is its ability to get accepted in the marketplace of ideas. Glenn Beck has gotten very far in the marketplace of ideas. If […]

The Necessity of Public Radio

In last week’s Journal, a conservative commentator makes the “free market” case for defunding NPR, not because it’s “liberal” (read: fires bigots for being bigots), but because government funding presents an insurmountable barrier to entry to other, would-be “quality,” for-profit broadcasting providers. Safe to say this guy isn’t getting Carl Kassel’s voice on his home […]

NPR Was Right

To the exact opposite of Huckabee’s point, isn’t there a problem with a government-funded media entity ratifying groundless fears about American citizens, based only on the color of their skin and their dress? It’s a problem that people are afraid to see Muslims on airplanes — a fairly common problem, from my conversations with others […]

A Victory for Transparency

Politico buries the most important lead, from a political perspective, to come out of the WikiLeads document dump: Obama’s not fighting it. Gibbs has said the disclosure has the “potential to be very harmful.” But he’s engaging on the merits, not trying to bury them. Compare this with the certain reaction of the Bush administration, […]

Regulation & the Search for Truth

Why do we have a First Amendment — and, particularly, the “freedom of speech” (whatever that means)? Because the Amendment is vague, thus permitting (and requiring) judges to consider policy when applying it, different answers to this basic question compel different legal results. If we conclude that the Amendment exists to vindicate freedom for its […]

Free Speech, Coexistence, and “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”

I support this self-congratulatory blogosphere holiday begrudgingly and therefore omit any drawing. As someone who knows the history, and just how thoroughly Islam saved much of what we today call “The West,” while my erstwhile co-religionists were trying their hardest to destroy it, I bear the utmost respect for Islam. I am fully cognizant of  […]

In Animal Cruelty, a Bizarre Reaffirmation of Separation of Powers Doctrine

The Roberts Court just can’t help but make ridiculously unpopular decisions — most recently, overturning the conviction of a man jailed for violating a federal statute banning the depiction of animal cruelty. U.S. v. Stevens, No. 08-769 (Apr. 20, 2010) (pdf). Tragically, the decision is probably right — the right to criminalize conduct needn’t always […]