The First Amendment does not give carte blanche to intimidation and harassment, writes Ilya Shapiro.
I’m very grateful for this excellent review of what’s free speech and what’s not. These distinctions have gotten completely lost since 2020, including the fundamental concept of “time, place and manner“ restrictions being legitimate under the first amendment.
I suspect that many of the 2020 “peaceful protests” had no permits or exceeded them--which would’ve made arrests simple, without getting into hairsplitting or waiting for violence to occur.
When the world was new, my oldest and best friend was a second-year law student. We had a long discussion about "hate speech" and more specifically, "hate crime" legislation that was currently proposed.
I'll never forget his take on it: This is the worst thing ever to happen. The foundation of the law is that it regulates what you may DO, not what you THINK. These laws enhance punishments for whatever the Court thinks you might have been thinking when you committed your particular crime - say assault, for example. And since nobody can read minds, the Court can say that you were thinking anything it wants if it has already decided to lock you up, "essentially punishing you for thought-crimes."
“Don’t these students have the same right to chant Hamas slogans as the neo-Nazis did to march in 1977 in Skokie, Illinois—a town then inhabited by many Holocaust survivors?”
There’s a legal doctrine called ‘ample alternative channels’. They did not have the right to march specifically in Skokie. That was just made up by some judges who were probably communists.
There are other neighborhoods. There are public parks. You can go there. Same with BLM and Antifa. We do not have to let you do that shit in the middle of the street.
Obviously the universities should just expel everyone with a Palestinian flag in their bio because they all 100% know they are supporting terrorism. But they won’t and we will be back to the two-state solution horseshit in a month or two and the cycle continues because everyone is a pussy.
As I read this I note how much of a pass these thugs are given to harass, foment hate, harass, attack, assault and do the work so the terrorists don’t have to. Then juxtapose that with the J6 people, who themselves are harassed and imprisoned for speech, the film shows us how they were invited in, the government wants to smash them. The former are lauded by the media and the dems, the latter are political prisoners - where is their free speech?
MIT won’t expel foreign students not because they’ll be deported, as they should, but because they’ll lose the money. Yet the J6 people can’t even get legal representation or bail!
A well written article that even the skulls full of mush in our current universities just might grasp. Thank you, Free Press and Mr. Shapiro.
I’m all for more free speech to counter someone else’s awful speech, but realistically what can the Jews say? What can people like me say to a pro Hamas student tearing down posters of hostages? We are dealing with crazed, brainwashed people hell bent on violence. Call them the new KKK, call them domestic terrorists, deport them, arrest them and prosecute them under our anti domestic terrorism laws. Please, stop kowtowing to them.
Not surprisingly, this was excellent. Thank you.
Isn't it time for the word microaggession to be retired and in fact removed from dictionaries other than describing it as a quaint historical word used to bully others into silence?
Excellent work, Ilya. If you are interested in pursuing detailed links between SJP and Hamas, you might want to reach out to Jonathon Schanzer, a senior member of Federation for Defense of Democracies. He recently testified in a Congressional Committee hearing about this topic. His detailed research suggests that there is an organization, American Muslims for Palestine, that provides funding, materials, and direction to SJP along with funding to Hamas itself. Worth a phone call.
Excellent legal case against campus Jew-haters, but laws must be enforced. Now, with the weaponization of the justice system, that enforcement will only be against those who resist the tyranny of the state or the mob, and not against those calling for the extermination, yet again, of Jews.
I support free speech and I will use my free speech to say that leftists / progressives are a cancer on this country. Here's a recent fine example of them "just bringing awareness" :
The key phrase in this excellent article can be found in the opening paragraphs: who makes the rules. I would add one more similar notion: who enforces the rules as we have seen that those in charge at colleges , the DOJ and countless DA offices have a political bias when it comes to interpretation and enforcement. Intellectual hypocrisy at its finest.
“But Columbia professor Joseph Massad can write, as he did on October 8, that Hamas’s actions were “awesome.””
We 100% do not have to allow people to use government money to give material support to terrorist organizations just because of some dipshit utopian interpretation of the First Amendment.
If you’re wondering why people are saying liberalism has failed this is why. It’s because certain people have injected utopianism into liberalism, causing it to fail, with predictable disastrous consequences.
There is no slippery slope on the right because the right is not utopian or progressive. The left by definition IS a slippery slope because it is utopian and also progressive.
The answer to hate speech is more speech.
A reprimand "does not materially impair freedom of speech" Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1927. Stating further that the best way to counter speech one doesn't agree with is not with censorship but with more speech.
That said, true threats are threats that specifically target an individual or group for violence or harm. Fighting words are words that can elicit ONLY a violent response. These narrow categories leave many invoking the terms as a proxy for hate speech. But both require specific statements in a context that could lead to a specific act of violence.
It seems that academic leadership is having a hard time understanding where to draw the line for allowing students and faculty to speak openly about issues they disagree with and if/when they go to far with their messages that create a threat of physical safety & malicious harassment/intimidation (both are already illegal) to opposing groups/people. Unsurprisingly, the "safe spaces" academic leadership currently has that 'pig looking at a wristwatch' look on their face. Go figure.
Being a 1A absolutist, I'm for all speech until the speech calls for violence or is disruptive in private settings.
"But MIT declined to take action against demonstrators who prevented Jewish students from attending class, despite warnings that they were violating university policies, precisely because officials knew that many of the harassers were foreign students subject to deportation."
Foreign students are paying full price for tuition -- in cash. What university is going to turn away that cash cow? As always, follow the money.
Great article and thank you.
the Biden administration is surely loath to deport foreign students -- Can anyone say Cowards. This administration is nothing but cowards. The corruption stems from the top down. This administration is so out of their league it's actually scary. Deport people if they overstep their Visa's or permission to be here. Believe me it happens in other countries. We owe them nothing and that's exactly what most Legal Immigrants get when coming here. You have earned nothing IMHO and have no special status. You want to get hostile and all up in people's faces? Send them home to do it and guess what? They won't as they don't want to be dead or in some prison. They are also Cowards.
Our institutions of higher corrupted learning are also run by Cowards. Government can withdraw the funds given, but cowards won't do that. Everyone follow the laws or get out should be the mantra of all institutions. You want to disrupt and ruin other peoples education, then get out and no refunds sucker. Then other schools need to deny them admittance based on previous conduct.
For me, spent my entire life since 19 defending this country and free speech. But my definition of free speech is a little different. You want to get in my face and scream or threaten and disrupt my life; then my response is more likely a punch in the face. Don't care who, the skinny little rebel or the female that thinks she protected by that being a female thing. Look at the people doing it and they are not the cream of the crop and hopefully, please, please, don't reproduce.
Not until we start enforcing the laws and institutional policies will this crap stop. Send the colonizers back home and kick the ignorant having done and seen nothing of the world out, enforce your standards, and you will get real changes.