Free speech roundup

by Walter Olson on May 2, 2012

  • “People’s Rights Amendment” paves way for government control of media and trampling of many other rights. Is your Rep a sponsor? [Volokh, more, Somin]
  • Indian skeptic charged with blasphemy for revealing secret behind “miracle” of weeping cross [Doctorow] “Arab world’s most famous comedian” jailed in Egypt on charges of “insulting Islam” [Volokh]
  • “Is the Real Intent of Cyber-Bullying Laws to Eliminate Criticism of Politicians?” [Coyote]
  • Timothy Kincaid: why I oppose the California “don’t say ex-gay” therapy-ban bill [BTB]
  • More on unreasonable IRS demands of tea party groups seeking nonprofit status [Stoll, Anne Sorock/Bill Jacobson, Houston Chronicle, earlier]
  • Denmark Supreme Court, 7-0, strikes down conviction of Lars Hedegaard for criticizing Islam in own home [Mark Steyn] Institute of Public Affairs launches campaign to defend free speech in Australia [Andrew Bolt case earlier] Free speech in Britain looking the worse for wear [Cooke, NRO] Belgian court throws out lawsuit seeking ban on allegedly racist “Tintin” comic book [Volokh] Group files criminal complaint against Swiss magazine over cover story on Roma crime [Spiegel]

{ 4 comments }

1 Anonymous Attorney 05.03.12 at 2:38 pm

Just so everyone’s clear on National Review/NRO’s stand on free speech:

If a Brit is targeted by the British government for politically incorrect speech, that’s bad. But if Brit who writes for National Review/NRO — say, John Derbyshire — has something politically incorrect to say, he gets fired. In all likelihood by a collection of people who follow to the letter the politically correct advice he gave.

And if we’re going to make a government/private party distinction here, fair enough. Support free speech by dropping your subscription to National Review.

2 Anonymous Attorney 05.03.12 at 2:39 pm

Meant to say, “the politically INcorrect advice he gave.”

3 Walter Olson 05.03.12 at 4:09 pm

AA>Sorry, there’s no analogy there whatsoever. Government punishment of speech is wholly unlike a private magazine’s decision to run some writers but not others. Whether committed to free speech or not, if one refuses to subscribe to any publication that exercises its right to choose its roster of writers, one will need to unsubscribe from pretty much every publication.

4 Ron Miller 05.03.12 at 10:18 pm

I disagree with the idea that writers should be given pure academic freedom to write what they want in their employer’s publication. You write what your employer wants you to write. If you disagree and you get fired for it, feel free to stick it on the Internet.

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