Free Speech

‘Marginalized’ Students Demand Censorship, Big Money 

To recap: members of an organized movement that includes a half dozen activist communities are demanding unlimited funding for their narrow left-wing goals, mandatory re-education of those who disagree with them, and censorship of dissenters. I don’t know if these students can properly be described as “marginalized,” but if they are, everyone who values free expression at U. of A should hope they remain that way.

Via U. of Arizona Marginalized Students Demand Trigger Warnings, Censorship, Half a Million Dollars @ Hit & Run :

An Enemy of Free Speech 

But although Trump is unlikely to obtain the exact set of changes he outlines, the outburst is psychologically revealing. Donald Trump has been filing and threatening lawsuits to shut up critics and adversaries over the whole course of his career. He dragged reporter Tim O’Brien through years of litigation over a relatively favorable Trump biography that assigned a lower valuation to his net worth than he thought it should have. He sued the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic over a piece arguing that a planned Trump skyscraper in lower Manhattan would be “one of the silliest things” that could be built in the city. He used the threat of litigation to get an investment firm to fire an analyst who correctly predicted that the Taj Mahal casino would not be a financial success. He sued comedian Bill Maher over a joke.

Via Donald Trump’s Opinions — and Track Record — On Libel Law | Cato @ Liberty

Suing to Speak 

COLUMBIA, SC A University of South Carolina student who is an activist Libertarian sued the college Tuesday on freedom of speech grounds because it threatened to discipline him for posters used last fall during a free speech event.

Ross Abbott, 21, a USC senior studying business management, filed the federal suit because a university official told Abbott he faced discipline, up to expulsion, over complaints from three students about posters that campus Libertarian organizations displayed at a Nov. 23 “free speech zone” event intended to showcase First Amendment freedoms, according to Catherine Sevcenko, director of litigation for Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The posters included images of a swastika displayed at another campus and one that alluded to a suspension last year of a USC student over a photo showing a racial slur written in a campus study room. Shortly after the female student’s suspension, FIRE wrote to USC president Harris Pastides and asserted the suspension was improper and that what she wrote is protected speech.

Via USC sued by student over speech code @ The State.

California’s Intimidation of Donors

Campaign for Liberty has joined with 63 organizations in sending a letter to the California Attorney General’s office opposing a proposed regulation requiring non-profit organizations to disclose the names of their donors to the state.

This regulation is just the latest attempt by statists to use so-called “donor disclosure” laws to intimidate individuals  from becoming involved in the fight for liberty.

Campaign for Liberty will continue to oppose any demand that we hand over our supporters’ confidential information to any government agent.

Please support our efforts to defeat the IRS’s attempts to force us to divulge the names of our supporters.

 Here and below is the text of the letter to the California AG….

Via Campaign for Liberty to CA Attorney General: LEAVE OUR MEMBERS ALONE.

A How-To for Tech Firms

To help tech businesses of all sizes plan around these issues and implement strong practices, the ACLU of California is releasing a new edition of Privacy and Free Speech: It’s Good for Business.

This business primer(and its companion website) is packed with more than 100 real-life case studies and cutting-edge recommendations on everything from privacy policies to security planning to community speech standards. Together, the principles and examples show the business value in making privacy and free speech part of a company’s DNA.

Via A How-To for Tech Firms: Doing the Right Thing on Privacy & Free Speech @ American Civil Liberties Union.

We’re Really Worried Now…

Finest education money can buy:

Robert Weide, an assistant sociology professor at the California State University at Los Angeles, doesn’t think much of that school’s chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom. After the group announced it would host a speech by conservative author Ben Shapiro on “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” Weide posted on the group’s Facebook page, comparing them to white supremacists and saying the event would need police protection. When others began to push back, he challenged them to a wrestling match, but warned “I lift bro.”

Via Brickbat: I Lift, Bro @ Reason Hit & Run.

Liberty for Campus

On November 11, our chapter advocated for our First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech through free speech shirts. As students walked passed we asked if they loved liberty and if they wanted to sign our shirts. Many of them thought it was humorous, wrote down something they wanted to say, and we chatted about what YAL is.


Probable Nutcase

1481533914According to an official summary of Pitts’s legislation, a full version of which had yet to be posted on the South Carolina House website by Tuesday evening, its purpose would be “to establish requirements for persons before working as a journalist for a media outlet and for media outlets before hiring a journalist; to require the establishment and operation of a responsible journalism registry by the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office; to authorize registry fees; to establish fines and criminal penalties for violation of the chapter; and for other purposes.”

[Journalism Dean Charles] Bierbauer predicted that Pitts’s bill, a conspicuous violation “of the words and the spirit of the First Amendment,” would die “an appropriate well-deserved death” in the Labor and Commerce Committee, to which it was referred for consideration….

Via What’s Behind The Nutty Law to Register Journalists? @ The Daily Beast.

How Responsible?

  “Anti-abortion people who have accused Black Lives Matter of inciting violence against cops (tragically a lot of overlap with these two groups because most people decide their politics based on partisanship, not principles) should consider how they feel being blamed for a murder because of the rhetoric they deploy about an issue they deeply…

Baltimore Policing Protest

Those demands include ending Baltimore’s use of armored vehicles and refraining from use of riot gear unless extreme circumstances warrant, the AP said. A group spokesperson told the AP that protesters also want police to make wearing badges and name tags a matter of policy.

A handful of protesters remained at the building as of early Thursday morning, according to a Baltimore Sun reporter. The group leading the protest has called for a rally in front of City Hall early Thursday morning.

Via Grasswire.

Overbroad Speech-Reporting Requirements 

“Campaign for Liberty has joined a broad coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum on a letter to the Senate leadership expressing opposition to a provision of the Senate Intelligence Authorization bill that requires websites to report online comments to the government if the provider “has knowledge” that the commentary is involved in terrorist…

It’s Not a Crime to Criticize Local Officials


Willian Barboza was 21 years old when he, in frustration, crossed out the name of the New York town “Liberty” and wrote “Tyranny” on a payment form for a speeding ticket he received there and scrawled on it the words, “Fuck your shitty town bitches”….

Yesterday the NYCLU, which represented Willian along with lead counsel Stephen Bergstein, announced that a federal judge vindicated Willian by ruling that the prosecutor violated his First Amendment right to harmlessly express his opinions about the government without fearing he will be punished or arrested. The court also ruled that the Village of Liberty must stand trial on claims that it had failed to adequately train its police officers about the First Amendment….

Via When the Government Criminalizes Cursing, It’s the Real Lawbreaker @ ACLU Speak Freely Blog.

Madison, WI Federalists’ Live Stream @ 12:30 CT

Hans von Spakovsky is the manager of the Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative. He studies and writes on elections issues such as campaign finance restrictions along with voter fraud and voter ID issues. He is the co-author of the book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote At Risk.” Before joining Heritage, von Spakovsky was responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws as a member of the Federal Election Commission.

Encryption for free speech 

If we are going to continue to preserve our right to free speech in the electronic age, then we need to use tools like encryption,” says Ladar Levison, founder of the Lavabit, the encrypted email service used by Edward Snowden prior to the NSA leaks.