Tagged Speech

Pope Francis Blunders

I actually like the pope. But this is just awful commentary: Pope Francis said there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith, in comments that the Vatican later said Friday did not mean justifying the attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines on Thursday, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good. But he said there were limits. By way of example, he referred…

Quote of the Day

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) systematically limited the ability of individuals and groups to criticize the people who run the government. It was a Draconian law, severely capping the amount of money that could be contributed to political candidates, spent by candidates and campaigns, and even by individuals and groups totally independent of any candidate. The annual limit of $1,000 on “outside” spending made it a federal crime to sponsor a quarter page ad in The Times criticizing the president of the United States during an election year. The whole purpose and effect of FECA was inconsistent with the…

Quote of the Day

Universities should be citadels of open debate, even when the views expressed make people uncomfortable. Get over it. Respond with a better argument. Make your own sign. Hold your own meeting. Great universities are built on free speech, free inquiry and spirited debate. So are great countries. —Charles Lipson. Alas, the piece is behind a paywall, but if you can get through to read it, be sure to take the time to do so.

The First Amendment Wins a Round

I am happy to report that passing out the Constitution on Constitution Day has been deemed protected speech “in all ‘areas generally available to students and the community,’ which include ‘grassy areas, walkways, and other similar common areas.’” I was worried that perhaps the law, in its majestic equality, might forbid the Constitution from falling under the protection of the First Amendment, but fortunately, we appear to have been spared this absurdity, at least in part. Hooray for small victories; they seem to be in short supply these days. Additionally, all hail the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which does…