• 1A Victory: SCOTUS Again Confirms ‘Hate Speech’ is Protected

    June 21, 2017

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America



    In the world we awoke to on November 8, 2016, a myth took hold among many progressive people that so-called “hate speech” — speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability — is not protected by the First Amendment. Even Howard Dean contributed to the falsehood.

    The Supreme Court just made it very, very clear that is wrong. Offensive and hateful speech is as protected as any other. It is vital to protect all speech, for the road of prohibiting speech one disagrees with is a slippery one. There is a right to offend; deal with it, snowflakes.




    A recent case, Matal v. Tam, focused on an all-Asian band called The Slants, who wanted to trademark their group’s name. “Slant” of course is one of a dictionary full of racist terms used to offend Asians, and the group wanted to push the word into the world’s face to disarm it, as gay men have done with the slur queer.

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office said no, the group could not trademark the name The Slants because of the disparagement clause, which denies federal trademark protection to messages that may offend people, living or dead, along with “institutions, beliefs or national symbols.” This same reasoning denied the Washington Redskins’ trademark renewal of their team name in 2014, seen as disparaging toward Native Americans.


    No more. The Supreme Court just ruled the government cannot use trademark law to stop people from promoting an (potentially offensive) name. That constitutes the government prohibiting free expression, a clear violation of the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment protects offensive speech, Justice Samuel Alito wrote in this unanimous decision. “The proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate,’” he said, quoting the classic 1929 dissent from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

    (Trump-era snowflakes usually misapply Holmes’ famous line — not shouting fire in a crowded theatre — to justify banning offensive speech by claiming it incites violence. They’re wrong; it doesn’t work that way at all. The whole thing is laid out here.)

    “The danger of viewpoint discrimination,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in The Slants’ case, “is that the government is attempting to remove certain ideas or perspectives from a broader debate. That danger is all the greater if the ideas or perspectives are ones a particular audience might think offensive, at least at first hearing. To permit viewpoint discrimination in this context is to permit government censorship.”

    The ACLU called the decision a “major victory for the First Amendment.”



    And… mic drop.

    The marketplace of ideas needs to be broad and deep, and awful people must be free to spew terrible words, into it, so they can be exposed and bad ideas shoved aside by good ones. That’s how the Founders intended the system to work, that is how it has worked through over 200 years of controversy, and the Supreme Court made it clear this week Trump, Howard Dean, Milo Yiannopoulos or your favorite nazi have no place in trying to change things.


    BONUS: And though the Court didn’t feel the need to remind people that it has long ago sorted out questions about whether hate speech inciting violence justifies restrictions, or the obligation of campuses to provide platforms to offensive speakers, or cities to protect them and their listeners, I will. It’s all explained here, children. Stop trying to use fascism’s tools to silence free speech. Let them speak.)

    DOUBLE BONUS: Five bad arguments the Left is using to restrict speech from the Right.



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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      We destroyed the Native American race and we celebrated that memory every time we cheered the Wasington Redskins. Hate speech is integral to our damn history.

      06/21/17 7:18 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Correction: Wasington Deadskins

      06/21/17 7:35 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Hate speech is big in Germany too. New football team planned to celebrate its racist history: Dachau Kikers.

      06/21/17 7:49 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      According to the new team’s owner, he has lots of Jew friends who take no offense at that name.

      06/21/17 7:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      None of his Jew friends live in Germany…cause the Germans exterminated them all in their concentration clubs.

      06/21/17 7:56 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      What is this PC world becoming? Yale just fired a dean who dared mentioned white trash.

      06/21/17 8:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      “White trash” is so passe. “Deplorables” is all the rage.

      06/21/17 8:29 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      Hate speech is all the rage in the UK. Demented Donnie has to wait for at least two years to visit the place because 90 percent of the people there want to voice their contempt for him. Of course, Trumpie wont be presidense in two years. Damn shame we cant witness that free speech.

      06/21/17 8:38 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      Bauer- I wouldn’t bet on Trump’s early demise as POTUS. We all should have learned that lesson watching the Clinton’s multi decades rebound from seemingly knockout blows. Trump is the only person who finally put Hillary on the mat for the count. She was determined to start WWIII so I owe Trump- unless he has become infected with a Biblical meme. Thanks a lot Christianity for blueprinting mankind’s early demise in the obscene and goofy book of Revelation. Trying to stop humans from fulfilling their strange god’s plan seems impossible now.

      06/21/17 9:32 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      JP,

      1. Hillary fucked herself

      2. We must get over the delusion that Trump or Hillarious call the shots. The MIC calls the tune and we have to pay for it. At least Trump has the honesty to admit giving the Pentagone total control over the fiasco.

      06/21/17 9:56 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      11

      I got off subject. Back now: Some of us don’t need officially sanctioned free speech protection. Political correctness does that for a Michael Brown stepdad type. “Burn this bitch down!” The city of Ferguson picked up the tab from the ensuing riot. Ferguson needs a bronze statue of the guy with his pants below his buttocks climbing on to the roof of a car shouting his now famous phrase. It would be in the new Freedom of Speech park.

      06/21/17 1:03 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      12

      Bauer- yes we know this. The MICC (add congressional) thingee does call all the shots. War is just too good a thing for the bottom line of American style capitalism. To self correct means admitting mistakes and errors were made. The proles might riot after knowing they’ve been led by clueless fools for decades. Better to stay the course (more troops and funds for a pointless war) than for the ruling class to have that mess on their hands.

      06/21/17 1:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      13

      If the world was just, it would declare US war criminals and quarantine the mad disease.

      06/21/17 3:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      More troops? We are as incompetent as F Troop. Unlike the Hekawis, we kill everybody.

      06/21/17 3:35 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      15

      I bet it is Russia that is making u.s. try to colonize Afghanistan (experience). Russia,Russia,the Commies,the Slants (How do they name kids? Dropping silverware on the floor). Have a nice day!

      06/21/17 4:16 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      16

      Did the U.S. ever pay someone to build caves and stuff there? Was there ever a Trump Tower there? Enjoy

      06/21/17 4:19 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      17

      Chuck: Afghanistan travel brochure by Rumsfeld. Though not a target rich setting for the standard tourist the land is ripe with caves to explore. Plan to stay at least a week to absorb the full impact of the delightful fragrance of the colorful poppy plant.

      06/21/17 4:31 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      18

      Production increased when we liberated it (from Vet friends there. U$A (repeat).

      06/21/17 4:43 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      19

      At least one part of the government… At least in this case…. Functioned as it is supposed to…

      If it is ever allowed…. That ANY speech… Is outlawed…. At that time we become outright slaves….

      Rich.

      If Ferguson… The people had a choice…. Take part… Or go home…

      Ron Johnson, he took part in the protests…. The RIGHT way…. If that bastard chief of police had not sabotaged the entire deal…. Peaceful protests would still be continuing….

      Instead…. Change the “narrative”… “Shape the facts”…. (also known as LYING)….

      Create a crisis…. And never waste a crisis….

      M

      Bonus….. Without searching it….. Tell me one name of the NINE people who died in the church…..

      Without droning on about how it was all about a “flag”.

      M

      06/21/17 10:44 PM | Comment Link

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