Should there be Nazi or white supremacist speech bans? No!

“Compelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned,” he wrote. “Suppose, for example, that the State of Illinois required all residents to sign a document expressing support for a particular set of positions on controversial public issues — say, the platform of one of the major political parties. No one, we trust, would seriously argue that the First Amendment permits this.

Why Evolution Is True

I have to say that I’ve been pretty disappointed the past few days with those readers who have said that Nazi and white supremacist speech should be banned, and that the U.S. should enact “hate speech” laws, similar to those in Canada and some European countries, making certain sentiments simply illegal to express in public. Likewise with symbols like Nazi flags with swastikas. The reasons offered were that such “hate speech” is likely to cause violence, either now or in the future. These people were, in effect, asking for a reinterpretation of the First Amendment, which allows all public speech save that that constitutes personal harassment in the workplace, is defamatory, or is a direct instigation of violence on the spot: “fighting words”.

How quickly liberals become authoritarians and opponents of free speech when they hear speech that they consider vile!

Well, what happened in Charlottesville was not a violation…

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Ken White on free speech and hate speech

Things we call “hate speech” might occasionally fall into an existing 1st Amendment exception: a racist speech might seek to incite imminent violence against a group, or might be reasonably interpreted as an immediate threat to do harm. But “hate speech,” like other ugly types of speech we despise, is broadly protected.

Why Evolution Is True

Ken White, who’s identified as “a 1st Amendment litigator and criminal defense attorney at Brown White & Osborn LLP in Los Angeles” writes a lot at the legal website Popehat. One of his pet issues is freedom of speech, and I call your attention to his new piece in the Los Angeles Times, “Actually, hate speech is protected speech.” It’s a good piece and gives the proper legal responses to six comments that are often in the air from the authoritarian wing of our Left. I’ll show White’s responses to three particularly pernicious tropes (indented):

  • “Not all speech is protected. There are limits to free speech.”

This slogan is true, but rarely helpful. The Supreme Court has called the few exceptions to the 1st Amendment “well-defined and narrowly limited.” They include obscenity, defamation, fraud, incitement, true threats and speech integral to already criminal conduct. First…

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Science when it suits

Homepaddock

Anyone who dares to challenge the politically accepted view on climate change  is told to accept the science.

But  during Question Time last week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw, showed again he is prepared to accept only the science that suits:

. . . Todd Muller: Does he stand by his statement made on 4 March during an interview on Q+A that when it comes to the application of GE technology in New Zealand, he—and I quote—”will be led by the science on it.”?

Hon JAMES SHAW: Yes.

Todd Muller: Does he agree with the former Prime Minister’s chief scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, who said—and I quote—”I’ll go as far as to say that I cannot see a way that agriculture in New Zealand will be sustainable over the long run in the face of environmental change and consumer preferences without using gene editing.”?

Hon JAMES…

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