Well, they can all be cited under a Madison city ordinance if they choose to opt out of engaging in expression or helping to celebrate events or ideas that would violate their deeply-held beliefs. Seems like a pretty terrible law, yeah? Students on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus agreed. Well, until we got to the Christian photographer.More
Richard Epstein looks at recent on-campus controversies involving Charles Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos and examines what can be done about the increasingly hostile environment in American higher education.More
Unfortunately, it isn’t an easy undertaking deciding which schools belong on FIRE’s “10 worst colleges for free speech” list every year. This year was no exception.
This morning, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) published our annual “worst of the worst” list, which can be read with detailed descriptions of each school’s misdeeds at The Huffington Post.More
The assault on the First Amendment continues. On December 22, more than two years after it heard our appeal of a lower-court ruling, a sweet-time-taking three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued a ruling in the Mann v. National Review case. The case stems from this July 15, 2012 Corner post in which Mark Steyn, quoting in part from something Rand Simberg had posted on the Competitive Enterprise Institute website, laid into global-warmist Penn State prof Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” graph, Mann himself, and his Penn State bosses.
On the ruling’s upside: The court tossed out Mann’s defamation claim against National Review and Rich Lowry over his August, 2012 “Get Lost” NRO piece replying to Mann’s lawsuit threat.More
…And except if your expression “disturbs the peace and/or comfort of person(s).” And for only about 18 hours during the week. Otherwise … free speech! So it is at one college.
Alliance Defending Freedom sued Georgia Gwinnett College Monday on behalf of Chike Uzuegbunam, a student who sought to politely share his faith on campus. Despite jumping through several unconstitutional hoops in order to get permission to speak, Chike was nonetheless accused of “disorderly conduct.”More
In the United States, we have typically had an expansive view of religious freedom. Behind the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment is a powerful argument against tyranny. As religion presents an authority higher than the State, there is a sense of judgement on even popularly supported laws and moral principles. Castro […]
Today my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), released our annual “Spotlight on Speech Codes” report, a rundown of the speech policies at 449 of America’s largest and most prestigious colleges and universities. The report contains both good and bad news about the state of free speech on campus.More
Richard Epstein describes the dramatic failure of the federal government’s attempts to balance anti-discrimination laws against religious liberty protections.More
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed,—That […]
That’s what she means when she says she’ll appoint justices to the Supreme Court that will overturn Citizens United. More
Read the amendment. Laws cannot pass through congress that will infringe on the freedom of the press. If laws like this are passed then the president should not enforce them and the courts should strike them down. More
Whether one is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump or whether one detests the man with every fiber of their being, as Americans some basic principals must be agreed upon by all. Starting with all must agree that the First Amendment must not be infringed. Freedom of speech must be held sacrosanct in order for […]
Today is April 22nd. It is also V.I. Lenin’s birthday. It is also, not coincidentally, the day specifically chosen for the grand-daddy holy day of the great state/world religion of Eco-Marxism – Earth Day. It is also the day when I ponder most on when a First Amendment lawsuit will finally be filed which claims (correctly) that […]
At this point, I expect Donald Trump will likely be the nominee, and — if he can overcome his huge negatives and is as good at demolishing Hillary Clinton as he was his Republican competitors — he may well be our next president. My point here is that he might be, counterintuitively, more successful on religious liberty and culture war issues than Senator Ted Cruz would be.
Why? Well, as a devout Christian, Cruz would be a lightning rod for the Left as was John Ashcroft, and any attempt to defend or restore 1st Amendment rights to Christians would encounter fierce opposition. Conversely, the more profane and socially-liberal Trump’s apparent indifference to issues like traditional marriage might give him an advantage if he plays it right. That is, he could say he has no problem with gay relationships but simply opposes punishing Christians who merely don’t want to be coerced to be involved in activities that violate their beliefs. His lack of a record of opposing gay rights might make his defense of religious rights more palatable — or at, least, harder to attack — politically.More
I spoke with OAN host Liz Wheeler about the allegations that Twitter is silencing many of its users. Milo Yiannopoulos, editor of Breitbart Tech and frequent guest of Ricochet’s own Radio Free Delingpole, revealed that the financially troubled social platform is using a technique called “shadowbanning” to limit the reach of accounts that promote a non-PC message:
According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favoured Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines.
The signs of the institutional terminal illness of the American university are increasingly plentiful. The stories out of Missouri and Yale and a half-dozen other places in recent months might be easily dismissed as the grumblings of an entitled generation—and they are that—but something far more insidious is entangled with this “movement.” More
Students at Yale and the University of Missouri have been exercising their First Amendment free speech right to protest—well—the right of others to exercise their right to free speech. Textbook irony. More
When I got to that point in the Ricochet sign-up I had to stop and think. You see, I know how the Internet works. Every single employer I get from now to forever will google my name and see it associated with right wing ravings. Never mind that I don’t actually rave often; employers are […]
In modern America, much evil may be committed in the name of “justice” or “equality” or, ironically, “freedom.” All of us believe in some version of those precepts. Thus, to oppose a strain of totalitarianism that gallops into town under a banner bearing the name of so noble an ideal would make one a monstrous bigot. More
A young photojournalist tried to do his job today and take pictures of a protest movement roiling the University of Missouri. The protest, named #ConcernedStudent1950, complains of institutionalized racism at the Mizzou campus and society at large. Their disruption has gotten so bad, the university president decided to resign earlier today. Since this is obviously news, sympathetic reporters are there to spread the protesters’ progressive message. Unfortunately for the journalists, Mizzou doesn’t seem to teach its students about the First Amendment.More
Totalitarianism is a function of technology. Prior to recent times, governments might claim to be absolute, but they did not have the record-keeping, administrative capacity to make good on that claim. Now they can do so far more easily than ever before — without hiring armies of spies. All that they have to do is follow the population on the Internet and use computers to collect and analyze the data. What Google can do, governments can do — and in Xi Jinping’s China that is what they are going to do. As The Weekly Standard reports,
China’s Communist government is rolling out a plan to assign everyone in the country “citizenship scores.” According to the ACLU, “China appears to be leveraging all the tools of the information age—electronic purchasing data, social networks, algorithmic sorting—to construct the ultimate tool of social control. It is, as one commentator put it, ‘authoritarianism, gamified.’ ” In the system, everyone is measured by a score ranging from 350 to 950, and that score is linked to a national ID card. In addition to measuring your financial credit, it will also measure political compliance. Expressing the wrong opinion—or merely having friends who express the wrong opinion—will hurt your score. The higher your score, the more privileges the government will grant you.
“Moral values, and a culture and a religion — maintaining these values are far better than laws and regulation.” — Swami Sivananda
Playboy Magazine announced to its readers (viewers?) that they will no longer publish nude photos of women. While the announcement states that “times have changed,” Playboy’s CEO Scott Flanders made a more detailed comment to the New York Times about what exactly changed with time: taste. He conceded that Americans now have a taste for things more lurid and graphic:More