Free speech roundup

  • Massachusetts state lawmaker who introduced much-derided bill to criminalize the word “bitch” when directed at another person says he “filed the bill after being asked to do so by a constituent.” [Alex Griswold, Free Beacon]
  • Presidents have long used their power to retaliate against the press. When does the constitution direct or permit the courts to do anything about that? [First Amendment lawyer Robert Corn-Revere for FIRE, part one and part two]
  • After two students shout racial slur loud enough for others to hear, University of Connecticut arrests and charges them “under a rarely-used, unconstitutional state law prohibiting ‘ridicule.'” [Adam Steinbaugh, FIRE]
  • “May a company get an injunction to block a defendant from invoking the Streisand Effect?” [Paul Alan Levy]
  • How courts draw the line on when menacing language triggers the “true threat” exception to First Amendment protection [Federalist Society teleforum with Eugene Volokh, John Elwood, and Michael Dreeben]
  • “Should Congress Pass A ‘Deep Fakes’ Law? A few tentative thoughts.” [Orin Kerr, Volokh Conspiracy]


  • The President has free speech rights too–one of which is to decline to speak to any reporter. WH access is a trickier matter—my sense is that the President has the right to decline access since it is a place of his abode. Obviously, harsh criticism of the press is totally OK.

    Whatever one thinks of President Trump, it is painfully obvious that the MSM is completely biased against him, and the news coverage reflects that. In a democracy, he has the right to fight back on a personal level, and there are some levers of government he controls, e.g., access to AF 1.

    • Not certain the abode argument holds water. Most of the ‘white house’ is clearly official office space, like the west wing, and the areas of the house toured routinely by the public. And it is after all public housing he’s in.

  • I for one intend to ask Rep Hunt to file a bill that will require legislators who file obviously unconstitutional bills to be immediately tarred, feathered and drummed out of the legislature.

    Given my proposal, I for one look forward to him following through on his statement “Any time a constituent approaches me with something that is of concern to them, I follow through with it,” he said. “In this instance, someone asked me to file a bill that they deemed was important and I thought it was a good exercise to let that bill go through the process.”


  • I’d love to meet the constituent who was the motivation behind bill H.3719. I’ll bet she’s a real b*tch!