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Conversation on Free Speech and Inequality Between Prof. Nelson Tebbe (Cornell) and Me – Reason

It's from last month, but I inadvertently neglected to blog it when it was first put up on YouTube. Here it is, brought to you be the University of Texas Law School's Bech-Loughlin First Amendment Center:

Here's the UT summary:

Free Speech and Economic Justice: A Conversation with Law Professors Nelson Tebbe and Eugene Volokh

Join Professors Nelson Tebbe (Cornell Law) and Eugene Volokh (UCLA Law) for a conversation regarding how and whether current applications of free speech doctrines affect disparities in income, wealth, and other goods; whether those applications should be altered; and the disagreements and controversies arising from some of the proposed changes.

Moderated by Texas Law Professor Steven Collis, this promises to be a spiritedbut friendly!dive into one of the most important issues of our time.

It was indeed both spirited and friendly; I hope you find it to also be interesting!

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Conversation on Free Speech and Inequality Between Prof. Nelson Tebbe (Cornell) and Me - Reason

TTUs Sumner named to new national task force on campus free speech expression – KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

by: News Release & Posted By Staff | newsweb@everythinglubbock.com

Carol Sumner(Photo provided by TTU)

LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) The following is a news release from Texas Tech University:

Carol A. Sumner, chief diversity officer and vice president ofTexas Tech UniversitysDivision of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, has been named to a new national task force that will focus on free speech expression in higher education. TheAcademic Leaders Task Force on Campus Free Expressionhas been launched by theBipartisan Policy Center(BPC) to identify practices, programs and policies that foster robust campus cultures.

The task force led by former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, CEO of Challenge Seattle, and former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, Middlebury College executive in residence includes a diverse group of university presidents, professors, administrators and civic leaders with distinguished records of creating strategies to strengthen open exchange and tolerance at a wide range of higher education institutions.

Free speech is the hallmark, the bedrock of who we are in terms of culture; its the thought that we dont have to agree to share our perspective, Sumner said. It is through our ability to converse and share our perspectives that we truly learn. You cannot empathize with others if you are not exposed to experiences that are different from your own or you do not have the opportunity to share your own experiences.

Sumner said she first learned about the task force after her involvement in other BPC events on free speech and discourse on racial issues in higher education. Colleges and universities are searching for ways to create meaningful free-expression strategies that suit a changing higher education landscape while staying true to their institutions unique mission and their commitments to diversity and inclusion. Those who wish to create such an approach can lack a reliable roadmap for doing so.

One of the goals is to create a resource kit or manual that includes certain steps on ways to look at free speech and how to ensure it is a practice that continues on our campuses, Sumner said.

The task force will look at several issues including:

Higher education institutions have a special role in Americas democracy, preparing the next generation for civic leadership and principled debate, said BPC President Jason Grumet. Our democracy cannot succeed if we accept the false premise that free expression is somehow at odds with cultural diversity, inclusion and individual well-being.

The other members of the task force are:

This is going to bring together leaders from across education who have the scale and scope of experiences that allow us to see the topic of free speech from different perspectives, Sumner said. My goal is to contribute as much as I get out of the experience. It is through our shared knowledge that we can help create a set of resources that will benefit not just those on our campuses, but those who are in the communities where our institutions are located.

BPC will host thefirst panel event on the task forcefrom noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 1.Those interested in attending may RSVP online.

(News release from Texas Tech University)

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TTUs Sumner named to new national task force on campus free speech expression - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

Free speech stops at the boundary of giving offence to religion: Shanmugam – The Straits Times

We have all seen, and the spate of attacks in France and Austria tells us, that the threat of terrorism hasn't gone away.

French teacher Samuel Paty's head was cut off by an 18-year-old Chechen teenager. He had shown his classroom students, when they were discussing freedom of speech, cartoons that were put out by Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine.

French President Emmanuel Macron issued a statement paying tribute to Mr Paty and defending the right in France to publish such cartoons. He made a very strong speech, covering many different aspects.

That speech then got a very strong counter-reaction from Muslims around the world, and some described the actions of France as Islamophobic. Jihadists have jumped on it. They've called on followers to attack French interests, and to attack anyone who insults Islam and the way they define as insulting Islam.

As a result, there were follow-up attacks. There were attacks in Nice, Lyon and in Vienna, Austria. It shows that when jihadists make such calls, there are people who will follow, and a few others, and more terror.

We all have said, we all know, jihadists don't represent Islam. You have people like that in every religion who will resort to violence. It is not a problem with any particular religion, but you will always have people like this. The question is how we deal with them.

What has happened in France has restarted the debate on what freedom of expression means, how much you can say, and what is the boundary between free expression and your obligation not to offend someone's religion.

In France, secularism, the French call it laicite, means that the government will not intervene in religious matters or stop publications that attack religions.

Freedom of speech is quite absolute to the extent that it even includes the right to blaspheme, which means you can publish anything that is offensive to any religion.

This didn't happen overnight. If you go back some centuries... to the Middle Ages, the Church was extremely powerful. If a clergyman was walking on the streets and if you didn't kneel and pay homage, you could be whipped, you could be arrested.

But over the centuries, with the Renaissance, with the assertion of nationhood... the balance shifted. Along the way, but not before there were several religious wars between the Protestants and Catholics, and between the kings and the churches, and of course the French Revolution... the principles of separation of state and religion, and the secularity of the state, developed.

Post-World War, that became a stronger principle. At the same time, France, along with some other countries, faced greater immigration post-World War II.

There are two principles worth noting about the French experience. One, the French state, the establishment, assumed that new immigrants will accept the French way of looking at freedom of speech and that they will also accept the French approach to secularity, meaning you could say what you like about any religion and the state will not intervene. They expected that all the new immigrants will accept that.

The government and the state did not engage in any active efforts to integrate the new immigrants, to see how their values can be integrated with the French approach, nor did they look at whether the French approach needed to be reconsidered and recalibrated in the light of the changing population. The French simply assumed that everyone will accept their traditional values.

And laicite meant that the state couldn't actually intervene, or seriously interact with different religions. They left the religions to themselves and they couldn't help bring people together, mould a common viewpoint, while protecting freedom of religion. Something like MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) interacting with RRG (Religious Rehabilitation Group) to promote... unity, to promote a better understanding of religion, would not be acceptable in France, because that means the state is getting involved. But it's very difficult without the state getting involved. The state doesn't tell people what to believe in - that must be for religious leaders - but the state has resources that can be brought in to help, to assist.

What is the result when the state takes a hands-off approach and if we took a hands-off approach? You have publications like Charlie Hebdo, which publish repulsive, highly offensive cartoons and articles on religion, in the name of free speech. And the French expect all religions to accept this.

The French are shaped by their own tradition, their own history. For them, this is new, they don't realise it.

But looking at it as an outsider, some will say that if you insult my religion, I am not going to stand by and say this is your right to free speech. I'm not going to accept that free speech means that you can give offence to my religion.

So France will have to find a way to bridge this gulf between its principles of laicite and freedom, and the expectations and beliefs of its people who don't accept that their religion should be offensively caricatured.

Every now and then, we get debates in Singapore - why is the Government not allowing free speech, why is the Government so protective or so defensive when it comes to race and religion? This is why we are defensive when it comes to race and religion. Because if we take a hands-off approach, then people will say since the Government won't do something, I will do something, and people are going to be upset with one another.

National harmony will be affected and the majority of people will be affected. Some groups will be saying yes, free speech, it's okay, I don't get offended, you can say what you like about the Prophet, the Pope or God. But many other people would feel offended. So that is why we take a different approach.

We take a secular approach, so when the Government looks at policies, we are secular. We don't favour any particular religion and we guarantee freedom of religion. We are secular, France is secular; we guarantee freedom of religion, France guarantees freedom of religion. But how we achieve it is different. France says that it prefers to achieve it by taking a hands-off approach; we are interventionist, we intervene.

Because we take the position, that the right to speak freely goes with the duty to act responsibly, the two must go together.

And, as a secular government, we are neutral in the treatment of all religions. We also do not allow any religion to be attacked or insulted by anybody else, whether majority or minority. Same rules.

We guarantee freedom of religion, the right of every person to practise his or her religious beliefs, and we protect everyone, majority or minority, from any threats, hate speech or violence.

That is the assurance one gets in Singapore. It is also what we need to do to make sure that we preserve racial and religious harmony in Singapore.

Therefore, the Charlie Hebdo types of cartoons will not be allowed in Singapore, whether they are about Catholicism or Protestants or Islam or Hindus. Free speech for us stops at the boundary of giving offence to religion. There is a fence, and that fence protects religious sensitivities.

The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, if they were here, they would have been told to stop. If they didn't stop, ISD (Internal Security Department) would visit them, and they would have been arrested.

We believe that we can build a multi-religious, multiracial society based on trust, and only by taking a firm stance against hate speech, and dealing with all communities equally and fairly.

We have laws designed to ensure racial and religious harmony in Singapore. We update them regularly to make sure that they are relevant and effective as times change.

Many of you might know that we amended the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA) last year. One key amendment is that the minister can issue restraining orders to take effect immediately, removing the requirement for a 14-day notice period, because when it was introduced several decades ago, you had to give 14 days' notice. But today, if you give 14 days' notice, it goes around the world several times before 14 minutes are up. With social media and the Internet, a 14-day notice period doesn't work any more.

We've been noticing foreign groups intervening, using religion, not just in Singapore, but in many other countries. We didn't want to wait until that happened here, so we made amendments to the MRHA to say that foreign actors should not be exploiting our religious groups, imposing their values here.

Let Singapore Muslims, Singapore Christians, Singapore Hindus decide for themselves.

You can adapt the religiousbeliefs, but foreigners shouldn't intervene actively in the way wedo it.

Religious groups are now required to report all donations they receive from overseas, and we have rules. It doesn't prevent foreign leadership of our organisations, but we have rules restricting the number of foreigners who can be in committees in charge of religious institutions.

The Government can also issue a restraining order against religious groups to prohibit donations, or change the leadership, if we assess that foreigners are heavily influencing those groups.

In contrast to France, we maintain secularity, we guarantee freedom of religion by putting a limit to free speech. We'll say it cannot be used to attack religion, and actively intervene to put in policies which promote religious harmony.

I'm sharing this because France has been in the news, the French approach has been in the news, and in Singapore, the constant debate is about freedom of speech and the limits. So, we understand why 40 to 50 years ago, our first generation of leaders decided on these principles which are still valid.

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Free speech stops at the boundary of giving offence to religion: Shanmugam - The Straits Times

Cruz ’92 conversation ranges from lighthearted Princeton memories to free speech, the ‘shrill’ left – The Daily Princetonian

In a wide-ranging discussion earlier this week, Senator Ted Cruz 92 (RTX) discussed the 2020 Presidential Election, free speech on college campuses, and his own memories of Princeton.

Afterwards, his remarks drew both praise and rebuke from listeners. While some students criticized what they felt were softball questions, various organizers and attendees who spoke to The Daily Princetonian said they enjoyed the event.

Over 200 students attended the Wednesday-night event, which was hosted by Whig-Clio, College Republicans, and The Princeton Tory, a right-leaning campus publication. It was organized and moderated by Adam Hoffman 23, editor-in-chief of the Tory, president of College Republicans, and a former intern for Cruzs 2016 presidential campaign.

A prevailing topic of discussion was the state of free speech at Princeton and other college campuses.

There was a sense that we could disagree without hating each other, Cruz said of his time as an undergrad at Princeton. I worry at college campuses thats going away that people are afraid to speak out.

When the left tries to silence dissenting views, we should recognize that is a statement of weakness, Cruz continued. The censors are the ones who dont want to engage on the merits or substance.

This was in response to Hoffmans question of whether universities will be a place for open discussion and a hub of debate, or re-education camps of the soft totalitarian left. Hoffman prefaced this by claiming that classics professor Joshua Katz had been canceled by University administration after an op-ed regarding the Black Justice League, a Black student activist organization. He said that the University had shown in their response that unpopular opinions are to be met with top-down consequences.

While University President Christopher Eisgruber 83 told the Prince that he personally and strongly objected to Katzs characterization of the Black Justice League as a terrorist organization, Katz was not disciplined by the University for his comments.

Characterizing the political left as angry and shrill, Cruz encouraged listeners to defend free speech with a smile.

Hearing the questions framing and Cruzs response, Texas resident Kesavan Srivilliputhur 23 disagreed with Cruz and Hoffmans assessment of the left.

I voted for someone more liberal than Joe Biden [in the Democratic primary], Srivilliputhur said. But Im still willing to come to the table to talk. A lot of liberals were at this event to watch and to learn. I think thats something both Adam Hoffman and Ted Cruz ignored.

Rebekah Adams 21, a chemical and biological engineering concentrator who describes herself as openly conservative, found herself reassured after the advice Ted Cruz shared.

I think hes trying to say that you dont have to feel embarrassed about sharing your [opinions] and to have a sense of conviction behind them, she said.

Cruzs discussion was bookended with reflections on the election. Asked about the Democratic partys loss of House seats, Cruz felt the results showed a repudiation of the agenda of the radical left, and an indication that this country is fundamentally a center right country.

Later in the night, policy school concentrator Carson Maconga 22 asked Cruz when and under what conditions should Republicans acknowledge publicly that Biden had won the presidential election. Cruz has been criticized referring to a Trump concession as premature well after all major media outlets had called the election in Bidens favor.

Cruz answered by describing the moment he, as a 29-year old attorney working for the 2000 George W. Bush presidential campaign, had been the first to read and relay the implications of the Gore v. Bush Supreme Court decision to Bushs Chief Legal Advisor James Baker, who then informed Bush of his win.

The legal proceedings need to be over, there needs to be a clear, undisputed winner, he said. When the matter was decided, when the matter was concluded, thats when [Bush] became president elect.

I think he didnt want to answer the question so he started talking about Al Gore and Bush, commented Emily Dale 23, a sophomore majoring in computer science who attended the event.

He does have a point in saying wait until the lawsuits are over, wait until youre 100 percent confident. But [the 2020 election] is simply not the same as 500 votes in Florida, Dale added. Its now multiple states that the legal challenge would have to win.

Republicans, as of Nov. 19, have filed 30 legal challenges to contest the results of the election. Nineteen have been withdrawn, settled, dismissed, or denied.

In between discussion of the election, Matthew Wilson 24, publicity chair of Whig-Clio and author for the Tory, felt that Cruzs points on the influence that the Chinese Communist Party had on American universities stood out.

Cruz labeled this influence as from a nation-state with billions or even trillions of dollars behind it engaged in the systematic effort to steal intellectual property, to steal technology, to engage in global espionage.

Many universities have been hopelessly naive, Cruz summarized. Theyre not used to being targeted by a nation state for systematic infiltration and theft.

One student, granted anonymity by The Prince, questioned the Senators characterization of espionage.

I have a hard time believing the magnitude of the problem that Ted Cruz has said, the student explained. If its just based on specific examples or assumptions, I dont think that Chinese students, especially if theyre the same Princeton students we are, should have no less of an equal access to education as we do.

However, Wilson, who has written on the topic, felt Cruzs framing of the issue was fair, noting that when discussing China, you have to differentiate the Chinese people from the Chinese Communist government.

I think Senator Cruz did that quite well, he said. As a person of Chinese descent, I feel thats very important.

Cruzs conversation was also punctuated with lighter moments.

Abraham Waserstein 21, a Residential College Advisor in Butler Colleges 1915 hall where Cruz lived as an undergraduate asked Cruz if he remembered his room number. Cruz did not, but promised to text his former roommate, David Panton 92, and ask.

Jane Mentzinger 22, president of the Princeton Debate Panel (PDP), asked Cruz what his favorite debate topic was and how his understanding of those topics changed. During his time at Princeton, Cruz was the education director of PDP and was ranked as the top speaker at the North American Debating Championship.

Cruz responded to the question by recounting his time in collegiate debate. Coming from a high school that didnt offer debate, Cruz spent the next four years virtually every single weekend debating, and loved it.

Cruz then spent eight minutes breaking down the debate strategies hed formulated with his debate partner, Panton strategies which were later applied to litigating in front of the Supreme Court and political arguments.

Rebecca Han 22, current treasurer of PDP, remarked that being able to recognize his references was a very cool experience.

It was quite surreal to hear someone of his name recognition speak about these very mundane concepts like a Prime Minister Rebuttal Speech or a Leader of Opposition Constructive Speech that you imagine are limited to a quite niche college community, she said.

Han is a senior news writer for the Prince.

Offering advice to conservative students who were eyeing a political career, Cruz stressed the importance of being truthful.

Weve all seen too many politicians that lie, that just tell us what we want to hear, and break their word. I wanted instead to be able to run on a record where if you wanted to know what I thought, you could point to the record, he stated. He recommended that students go build a record fighting for an issue that matters.

When looking back on the night, Terrell Seabrooks 21, vice president of Whig-Clio, noted that the attendees hed spoken to really enjoyed the discussion.

We want to be that political hub where regardless of your political views, you can come and hear whats being said in Washington. So thats why were really happy with tonight; we brought that conversation down to the student body, he stated.

Srivilliputhur and Han agreed with Seabrooks sentiments about member reaction, but they also raised questions over the selection of pre-submitted audience questions by event organizers.

They complained about censorship, how you cant speak your mind anymore, but they picked pretty softball questions, Texas resident Srivilliputhur said. Both my roommate and I had questions about what Ted Cruz does for bi-partisanship as someone represented by Cruz Id like to have known his opinions on current events or specific policies.

It would have been interesting to hear him speak on COVID, Han added.

Srivilliputhur, reflecting on the experience, noted that he may disagree with Ted Cruz on a lot of issues.

But from a human to human standpoint, Princetonian to Princetonian, he continued, this event did a good job of humanizing Ted Cruz and showing that hes just a guy like other people.

Hoffman declined to offer comment for this story.

Editors Note: After publishing this piece, The Daily Princetonian granted one of the interviewed students anonymity, following personal concerns brought to our attention.

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Cruz '92 conversation ranges from lighthearted Princeton memories to free speech, the 'shrill' left - The Daily Princetonian

Stephanie Fox and Beth Miller: Pompeo Tramples on International Law, Free Speech, and Human Rights With His Support for Israeli Settlements – YubaNet

WASHINGTON, DC, November 19, 2020 In a blatant attack on free speech, human rights, and social justice movements, Secretary Mike Pompeo announced today that the State Department will designate the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as antisemitic and pledged to create a blacklist of organizations that support BDS. This comes alongside his visit to an illegal Israeli settlement and announcement that all goods made in illegal settlements will now be labeled as a product of Israel, reversing longstanding U.S. policy.

Make no mistake, this is not about Jewish safety. This is about shielding the Israeli government from accountability for its apartheid rule over Palestinians. Especially given decades of U.S. government complicity and unwillingness to hold Israel accountable, only global, grassroots pressure will force Israel to abide by international law. As a Jewish and proudly pro-BDS organization, we know that using our grassroots power to fight for equality, justice and freedom for Palestinians is a powerful expression of our own Jewish tradition. Working toward Palestinian freedom is not and never has been antisemitic.

This attack on the BDS movement made alongside the decision to label products from illegal Israeli settlements as being from Israel is a last ditch attempt from the outgoing Trump administration to give every gift possible to the far right in Israel and to white Christian Evangelicals in the U.S. Pompeo is creating an opaque blacklist to terrify organizations critical of Israel into silence. Every person who believes in free speech and in the rights of people to pressure their governments to end injustices should be speaking out against this authoritarian move by the Trump administration.

Jewish Voice for Peace Actionis an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)(4) political and advocacy partner organization of Jewish Voice for Peace. It is a multiracial, intergenerational movement of Jews and allies working towards justice and equality in Israel/Palestine by transforming U.S. policy.

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Stephanie Fox and Beth Miller: Pompeo Tramples on International Law, Free Speech, and Human Rights With His Support for Israeli Settlements - YubaNet

Unions Tell NLRB That Inflatable Rat Display Is Free Speech – Law360

Law360 (November 24, 2020, 7:35 PM EST) -- A 12-foot-high inflatable rat with red eyes and fangs is to unions "what the American flag is to United States citizens," three Illinois-based labor federations told the National Labor Relations Board, claiming a member union's display outside an RV trade show was protected by the Constitution.

In an amicus brief filed on Monday, the Illinois branch of the AFL-CIO, along with the Chicago Federation of Labor and the Chicago and Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, said the International Union of Operating Engineers was allowed to display "Scabby the Rat" outside the trade show, even though the company targeted by...

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know whats happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.

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Unions Tell NLRB That Inflatable Rat Display Is Free Speech - Law360

61% Agree with Athletes’ Right to Speak Out for Social Justice; But More than a Third Say It Hinders Desire To Watch Games, Ruins Sports as ‘Escape’ -…

While 61 percent of Americans say that athletes have a right to free speech and it is their decision to speak out for social justice, 35 percent call sports their "escape"and don't want to see any commentary other than sports. In addition, 36 percent say that athletes speaking out hinders their desire to watch games.

These were the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted November 13-16 among 1,506 American adults, geographically spread across the country.The Poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.

On the question of athletes exercising free speech and making their own decision to speak out, only 15 percent disagreed compared to the 61 percent who agreed that players held that right. Among self-described sports fans, those who agreed that players held that right to speech was 69 percent. On the question of sports being an escape and not wanting to see any commentary on subjects other than sports, almost an equal number agreed and disagreed. While 36 percent said they saw sports as an escape and did not want to hear commentary from athletes outside of sports, 37 percent felt otherwise. Among sports fans, however, 46 percent said they saw sports as an escape and would rather not see commentary outside of sports, while 34 percent felt otherwise.

Does Social Justice Commentary from Athletes Hinder the Desire To Watch Sports?

Does social justice commentary from athletes hinder the desire to watch sports? For 35 percent the answer was yes, but 39 percent said that athletes speaking out on social justice issues is not a hindrance. The rest - about a quarter of the population in each case - neither agreed nor disagreed.

"It marks a fine line for many sports fans, probably across the political spectrum,"saidProfessor Charles Grantham, Director of the Center for Sport Management within the Stillman School of Business, which oversees the Seton Hall Sports Poll. "What many Americans seem not to understand is that despite their fame, our black athletes, male and female, have their own histories and experiences with police, mourn the losses of those who look like them and feel the potential dangers of forthcoming encounters.They are committed to raising the consciousness of America with regard to systemic racism and social injustice."

"Leagues really need to note the fact, however, that about a third of the population is uncomfortable with these displays of free speech,"said Stillman Professor of Marketing and Poll Methodologist Daniel Ladik. "That's a minority, but it's sizeable if you are trying to sell a product. A number of the leagues have already taken some action but need to continue to explain to consumers why this speech is important."

Why Are TV Ratings Down?

Television ratings for both the NFL regular season and the NBA finals are and were down this year, and respondents were asked their opinion why. Twenty-eight percent said they thought that fans are turned off by the social justice efforts by athletes and their leagues, and 24 percent said it was because attention was focused on the November elections. Twelve percent said it was because too many sports were available while 35 percent had no opinion or did not know.

As To the Strange NBA Season

The shortened NBA season, with the playoffs staged before no fans and in a bubble, elicited fan reaction in the poll. Asked if the finals were just as entertaining as in previous years, only 22 percent agreed, with 21 percent disagreeing. Fifty-seven percent neither agreed nor disagreed, a large number perhaps reflected by the decline in viewership this year. Asked if the finals were dull with no fans in attendance, 25 percent agreed and 15 percent disagreed. Again, a large percentage of the respondents (59 percent) neither agreed nor disagreed. Asked if it was difficult to follow the NBA Finals because there were too many other sports on TV, only 15 percent agreed while 21 percent disagreed and 62 percent neither agreed nor disagreed.

Only 26% Think NFL Will Make it To Super Bowl

Asked if the they thought it doubtful the NFL will make it through the playoffs and complete the Super Bowl in this year of Coronavirus, 26 percent agreed. Among self-described sports fans the number of those who doubt that the NFL will successfully complete the season moved up to 29 percent; however, an equal number of sports fans (29 percent) felt the opposite and did not doubt the season will successfully conclude. The remainder neither agreed nor disagreed.

"It is a different kind of year,"said Grantham, the former executive director of the the National Basketball Players Association. "That which seemed certain in years past now is the subject of doubt. The Super Bowl is the most watched sporting and media event in the United States. The fact that 29 percent of sports fans think the Super Bowl itself may be in question is astounding."

About the PollThe Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted regularly since 2006, is performed by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. This poll was conducted online by YouGov Plc. using a national representative sample weighted according to gender, age, ethnicity, education, income and geography, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures. Respondents were selected from YouGovs opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S residents.This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornells Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to CNBC, NPR, Yahoo Finance, Fox News and many points in between.

Media: Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall University michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu,908-447-3034; Marty Appel,AppelPR@gmail.com

Click here for the results.

About Seton Hall UniversityOne of the country's leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Halls academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be among themost diverse national Catholic universitiesin the country.

During the past five years, the University has invested more than $165 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a School of Medicine as well as a College of Communication and the Arts. The Universitys beautiful main campus in suburban South Orange, N.J. is only 14 miles from New York City offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall's nationally recognized School of Law is located prominently in downtown Newark. The Universitys Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses the University's College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

For more information, visit http://www.shu.edu.

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61% Agree with Athletes' Right to Speak Out for Social Justice; But More than a Third Say It Hinders Desire To Watch Games, Ruins Sports as 'Escape' -...

Don’t allow First Amendment rights to be seen as ‘wrongs’ – The Record

When it comes to exercising your rights of free speech, assembly and petition in Tennessee, be careful. Setting up a tent for an overnight stay during a protest could land you in prison for up to six years.

A new law signed quietly into effect Nov. 5 by Gov. Bill Lee changes the crime of overnight camping on state property without a permit aimed at deterring protesters who have done that from a misdemeanor to the much more serious felony. It also provides for stricter penalties and minimum jail terms for such clear threats to the republic as drawing in chalk on state property or interrupting legislators or local officials who are in a meeting.

In recent years, police have resorted to sweeps during demonstrations that operate on the theory of arrest all and sort them out later, sometimes taking into custody non-protesters simply walking to lunch or shopping. The Volunteer States new anti-protest law advocates call it criminal justice reform requires a magistrates intervention to gain early release for anyone sooner than a mandatory 12-hour minimum stay behind bars.

A move in states to si-lence public protest began about a decade ago, around the time of the Occupy movement. The latest Tennessee statute was sparked by demonstrators who set up camp in Nashvilles War Memorial Plaza for nearly two months this year while seeking removal of a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, first leader the Ku Klux Klan, from the state Capitol building.

By some reports, as many as 40 states have considered or adopted direct or backdoor attempts modeled on a draft law prepared by a conservative alliance of legislators and corporations to restrain public protest. Some proposals include providing legal immunity for motorists who essentially absent a declaration of intent to injure or kill strike demonstrators standing in a public thoroughfare.

Some proposed laws have been deemed outright to be unconstitutional for targeting certain groups or simply for being too broad or too vague. But government officials can enact lawful restrictions on time, place and manner in how we protest. If upheld by the courts, such laws reasonably can limit the hours and locations of public demonstrations or individual protests, the size of signs or the number of people who can gather in public spaces or on sidewalks.

Such laws nonetheless can chill free speech in ways seemingly distant from the 45 words of the First Amendment. Being convicted of a felony also may mean forfeiting the rights to vote, carry a gun or obtain a professional license and negatively can affect your ability to get a job or obtain a mortgage.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently proposed not only felony charges on protestors, but also penalties on cities and towns deemed not to be taking appropriate law and order measures in response to demonstrations. If enacted and if the provisions survive court challenge Florida would have the harshest anti-protest laws in the nation.

DeSantis proposal, to be considered when the legislature meets in March, includes felony charges for obstructing traffic during an unauthorized protest or for toppling a monument; an initial no bail provision for those arrested during a demonstration, and a mandatory six-month jail term for anyone who strikes a law enforcement officer during a protest. Anyone who organizes or simply donates money to protesters would risk penalties under the states racketeering laws.

Tennessees chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said the new law in that state law requiring 12-hour holds upon arrest, putting in place mandatory minimums and enhancing petty crimes to felony-level offenses will send a message loud and clear that Tennessee is no place to exercise your constitutional rights if state or local government entities disagree with you.

U.S. Supreme Court decisions stretching back more than 140 years have upheld our rights to assemble and petition. In 1937, the US. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in De Jonge v. Oregon that the right to peaceably assemble for lawful discussion, however unpopular the sponsorship, cannot be made a crime. And in 1939 the court held in Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization that streets and parks ... have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens and discussing public questions.

Ten years later, Justice William O. Douglas, in Terminiello v. City of Chicago, wrote free speech is intended to ... invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger ...

It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea.

More recent court rulings echo Douglas in acknowledgement that protest is inherently disruptive, may well be offensive or cause anguish to some, but is protected because of a need for robust public discussion around public policy and practices.

Yes, democracy is messy and public demonstrations at times may well inconvenience, insult or infuriate you and me. But legislative acts designed to restrain, remove or chill our rights to protest are not just unconstitutional, but also unpatriotic.

As James Madison, author of the First Amendment, once observed about the new nation: The censorial power is in the people over the government, and not in the government over the people.

Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Institute and its First Amendment Center. He can be reached at gpolicinski@newseum.org or 202-292-6290.

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Don't allow First Amendment rights to be seen as 'wrongs' - The Record

Hate speech vs free speech: SC gives 2 weeks to Sudarshan TV to respond to Centre’s affidavit – The Tribune India

Satya PrakashTribune News ServiceNew Delhi, November 19

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave two weeks to Sudarshan TV and others to respond to the Centre's affidavit that indicted the channel for violating Programme Code.

A Bench, led by Justice DY Chandrachud, asked Sudarshan TV and the petitioner to file their responses and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

The Centre has indicted Sudarshan TV for violation of Programme Code and cautioned it for telecasting UPSC Jihad saying it was not in "good taste and offensive.

However, it allowed the channel to telecast the remaining episodes of the controversial programme after suitable modification and moderation.

In an affidavit filed in the top court, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry noted that the episodes telecast by the channel have the "likelihood of promoting communal attitudes.

If any violation of the Programme Code is found in future, stricter penal action would be taken, the Ministry said, asking the channel to file a compliance report forthwith before the telecast of the remaining episodes.

Cautioning the channel, the I&B Ministry said, The channel should review the contents of the future episodes of the programme Bindas Bol UPSC Jihad, and the audio-visual content should be suitably moderated and modified, so as to ensure that there is no violation of the Programme Code

The Supreme Court had on September 23 deferred hearing on a petition seeking a ban on Sudarshan News' controversial programme 'UPSC Jihad' after the Centre said it has issued a show-cause notice to the TV channel.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud that in the exercise of the power conferred upon it under the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 the Central Government has issued a show-cause notice to Sudarshan News.

The Bench had, however, made it clear that the notice shall be dealt with under law and its order restraining Sudarshan News from telecasting further episodes of its controversial programme shall continue. The programme had alleged Muslims were "infiltrating" civil services in a planned manner.

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Hate speech vs free speech: SC gives 2 weeks to Sudarshan TV to respond to Centre's affidavit - The Tribune India

Britain needs to take a lesson from the US in protecting free speech – Telegraph.co.uk

The sun is setting on the Enlightenment in the United Kingdom. Before its too late, we must take steps to protect our most fundamental of rights: the freedom to express ourselves.A hodgepodge of poorly designed laws and questionable court judgments have empowered the easily offended to censor speech.

Freedom of expression is fundamental to life in a free and democratic society. This includes the freedom to express ideas that others find loathsome and hateful. It allows us both to express our innermost thoughts, and to explore controversial and important topics in public debate. The UKs protection of freedom of expression, revolving around Article 10 of the European Convention, is woefully inadequate.

We can see the rapid slide in rights in the maltreatment of vlogger Count Dankula, the polices pursuit of conservative commentator Darren Grimes, and Bethan Tichbornes public order conviction for telling David Cameron that he had "blood on his hands" during an anti-cuts protest. Shockingly, over 400 people were arrested in London alone over the last five years for communicating in an offensive nature, sending an offensive message and/or sending false information

This would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. It is now becoming the norm.

British law infringes on freedom of expression. There is mounting evidence that longstanding legislative provisions including the Public Order Act 1986, Communications Act 2003, Terrorism Act 2000 and 2006, and the Malicious Communications Act 1988 are increasingly being applied in an overly broad fashion which was not contemplated by their drafters.

The imprecise drafting of existing law means that as social attitudes shift to narrow the confines of acceptable debate, broader categories of speech will be criminalised as offensive, distressing or hateful. This is placing power over public discourse in the hands of the easily offended.

Worse, new threats to freedom of expression lurk just over the horizon. These include the cowardly suggestion by the Law Commission that controversial speech which provokes terrorism, like the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, should be banned in order to prevent terrorism. It also includes the bizarre Online Harms proposal by the Government in Westminster which would put a quango in charge of policing legal but harmful political speech on the internet.

Meanwhile, the SNPs Hate Crime Bill is proposing broad new categories of speech crime in Scotland, including new offences where the drafting of private correspondence containing offensive thoughts between consenting adults, even before the correspondence was sent, would be an act to which criminal liability attaches. The law enters everyday life like never before, policing what you can say even in your own home. We are truly entering the realm of thoughtcrimes.

In my new report for the Adam Smith Institute, Sense and Sensitivity: Restoring free speech in the United Kingdom, I argue that Parliament should take a stand against state censorship and implement a UK-wide Free Speech Act, modelled on the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. This should protect all non-threatening political speech from state interference. The only exceptions being that of criminal threatening, harassment, malicious defamation, perverting the course of justice, or direct incitement already in law and unprotected anywhere in the world.

In addition the government should buttress free speech in existing law by removing all references to abusive or insulting words and behaviour from Parts I and III of the Public Order Act 1986. And they should replace Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 with a provision that limits the scope of the existing rule on electronic communication to threats only and bringing a new rule that addresses meaningful stalking and cyberstalking threats which cause or intend to cause substantial emotional distress.

Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having. The British people no longer have freedom of speech. The time is ripe for Parliament to step in to restore this most essential and ancient of our liberties.

Preston J. Byrne is a technology lawyer and Legal Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute. He is admitted in England and the United States.

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Britain needs to take a lesson from the US in protecting free speech - Telegraph.co.uk

Between hate and state – The Indian Express

Written by Pratap Bhanu Mehta | New Delhi | September 19, 2020 3:10:56 amThe issue is fundamentally political and we should not pretend that fine legal distinctions will solve the issue. The big lesson of the last two decades is that an over-reliance on legal instruments to solve fundamentally social and political problems often backfires.

In the case of free speech jurisprudence in India, history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as greater tragedy. The Sudarshan TV case, at one level, is very simple. In principle, Indian law allows prior restraint on broadcasting. This prior restraint should be used sparingly and must meet a high constitutional bar. Indian law also allows regulation for hate speech, which is different from offensive speech. Hate speech often targets and degrades a community. So, as the law is currently constituted, the issue seems to be simple: Was Sudarshan TVs programme, Bindas Bol, as clear-cut a case of hate speech as one can see? Certainly, the material available in the public domain suggests that the show is vile. The Court passed an interim restraining order and will presumably settle the matter based on a careful consideration of the content.

But whichever way this case turns out, it looks like dark days are ahead for both democracy and freedom. In some ways, cases like this one are a repeat of the tragedy of 1951. It has been pointed out (most recently by Tripurdaman Singh, in Sixteen Stormy Days), that Indias First Amendment, enacted by Nehru, was a betrayal of liberal values. But the underlying structure of the problem was similar.

The government feared that if it did not have the power to regulate speech, all kinds of communal and insurrectionary venom could spread through society. The defence of a fragile republic required the state to be armed with the power to regulate speech. The spectre of hate and violence got the state to betray its own liberal commitments. And then began Indias crooked journey on free speech. Liberals never acquired the confidence in the demos to let go of these crutches of state regulation in the name of defending the republic. The Right used such protections as it had to spread its hate and its dog whistles. And whenever it was questioned, it weaponised free speech arguments to expose liberal hypocrisy, even as it itself cracked down on dissent.

This uneasy equilibrium still allowed Indian democracy to survive so long as hate was within certain bounds. The use of state power, while sometimes unjustified, was also still within bounds that could be contested. What kept the republic together was not the consistency of principle or the majesty of law, but elements of a political culture and fragmentation of power. What makes the crisis of free speech deeper now is that both ends of the problem have intensified. The spread of hate speech and its political consequences are now infinitely greater. The precedents of a Rwanda-like situation, where communication mediums are used to target communities, are not outside the realm of possibility. It is for this reason we still have so many restraints on speech.

On the other hand, the spectre of authoritarianism is also greater. And here is the dilemma. Almost every regulation of speech, no matter how well intentioned, augments the power of the state. But now, in the current context, where to all intents and purposes most independent institutions have crumbled, empowering the state is a frightening prospect as well. In the Fifties, we arguably feared hate more than the state. But now, when we fear both hate and the state, to whom do we turn?

This background needs to be kept in mind when thinking about cases like Sudarshan TV. The issue is fundamentally political and we should not pretend that fine legal distinctions will solve the issue. The big lesson of the last two decades is that an over-reliance on legal instruments to solve fundamentally social and political problems often backfires. In the case of free speech, this is even more so. First, if you look at the larger politics, the game of the Right is to trap liberals into being the censoring party. They get more mileage and victimhood, and create more scepticism about constitutional first principles by showing that when it comes to the crunch no one believes in free speech. We can make all the fine distinctions we want between different forms of speech. But the blunt truth is that the more the state regulates, the more it politicises the regulation of speech, and ultimately legitimate dissent will be the victim.

Second, there is a whole bunch of laws and regulation already on the books, from the Cable Broadcasters Act to the ability to sue, that should in principle provide enough restraints on the most egregious forms of speech. These have been ineffective because of institutional dysfunction. But if our institutions are truly dysfunctional, does it make sense to create another set of institutions to regulate. Or should we not draw the lesson that any regulation is only as good as the political culture that supports it? Third, it is true that the structures of democratic deliberation are deeply broken. But there is a deeper political economy here. Social media operates on a set of monetising incentives. But broadcast media has also been the creation of a particular kind of political economy. The granting of licences has always been a political affair; the pricing structures set by the TRAI have perverse consequences for quality and competition. Our current media landscape is neither a market nor a state. The more the underlying political economy of media is broken, the less likely it is that free speech will stand a chance.

This is an area that does require serious thinking: Not post facto content regulation, but a market structure that can help provide more checks and balances, and not let bad media drive out good. But with all due respect to the Supreme Court, this is something for Parliament to think about. The Court suo motu setting up a regulatory framework does not inspire confidence. It is not its jurisdiction to begin with.

The need for more regulation for speech, the fear that it can incite, is also always a judgment on the people. When we regulate speech too much, we are not just targeting the speech. We are in effect saying: We cannot trust the people to make the right kinds of distinctions. The tragedy of our situation is that hate speech mongers think hate speech makes them popular in the eyes of the people, and the state by repressing them, unwittingly confirms the argument. If the people dont want to be saved from both the power of hate and the power of the state, the law will be a feeble instrument to save them.

The writer is contributing editor, The Indian Express

The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

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Between hate and state - The Indian Express

Letter: Don’t need to agree on issues, do need to respect free speech – Whidbey News-Times

Editor,

I am writing because a large number of Black Lives Matter signs on South Whidbey have been taken down or vandalized. I fail to understand the sense of entitlement it must take to steal from a neighbor and, at the same time, attempt to squelch free speech.

Taking someones BLM sign says way more about you than it does about your neighbors support of Black lives.

Speaking only for myself, I choose to display a BLM sign because I believe it is time for our country to take an honest look at the historical and current injustices imposed on and hurled at Black people our neighbors, friends, co-workers and co-citizens. It is a time of reckoning with who we are and who we want to be, and most important time to make some real changes!

An anonymous letter that showed up in my mailbox made the statement that All Lives Matter.

If All Lives Matter, then Black lives, by definition, would be part of that narrative.

If I noted something special about one of your children and commented how much she or he mattered, would you yell back at me that all of your children matter?

My question to the author of that letter is, where do Black people fit in your narrative of All Lives and why does my statement Black Lives Matter upset you so?

The Black Lives Matter movement is bigger than the Portland rioting that Fox News continues to portray as the real issue, as opposed to protesting the killing of Black men and women.

We do not have to agree on the related issues. We do need to allow each other our free speech rights, e.g., signs on our property. Removing or vandalizing your neighbors sign is criminal act. Wouldnt it be better to simply ask your neighbor to help you understand her or his intended meaning behind their posting of a BLM sign?

Barbara Dunn

Langley

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Letter: Don't need to agree on issues, do need to respect free speech - Whidbey News-Times

Opinion: The right to free speech doesn’t include hate speech – The Appalachian Online

Opinion: The right to free speech doesn't include hate speech The Appalachian

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Ella AdamsSeptember 12, 2020|262 Views

The extent of free speech is a debate happening across the country with the focus on hate speech. Hate speech is discriminatory speech, writing or behaviour that attacks religion, race, gender, sexuality and other factors of identity. With the rise of political polarization and an increased spotlight on social issues, people are quick to police each others language. This debate over the First Amendment is happening among students and administrators in Boone. People are not afraid to express their opinions and American universities have cautiously navigated free speech on campus, balancing between too much restriction and not enough. So where should we draw the line between free speech and hate speech?

It is App States responsibility to ensure students have a voice on campus. But, App State must ensure students feel accepted. Students have the right to express their beliefs, however, the line is crossed when free speech infringes on another students right to feel safe on campus.

A student reported to Black at App State an incident in which they and eight of their friends were verbally harassed by two white fellow students shouting racial slurs at them on campus. The student says in the Instagram post, I realized how unprotected Black students were in this community. It is unclear if the incident was reported to the university. But regardless of if incidents are reported to administration, fighting hate speech begins with App State students. Hate speech should not be accepted on App States campus. Free speech is a pillar of American ideals but shouldnt be used to alienate and harass fellow citizens in the name of freedom.

Americans are familiar with the First Amendment: Congress cannot make any law restricting freedom of speech, religion, the press etc. But, the First Amendment does not give Americans the right to say whatever they want: there are restrictions. Yelling fire in a crowded theater is not protected free speech because it falsely expresses clear and present danger. Additionally, reasonable threats against another person are not protected. Unregulated hate speech normalizes prejudice therefore, it is extremely dangerous. For example, the United States is currently experiencing a spike in hate crimes the highest numbers in 16 years. Hate speech encourages discrimination so App State is in its right to take action against students who use it.

Free speech is important on college campuses, but students freedom to exist on campus hate and harassment free is far more important.

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Opinion: The right to free speech doesn't include hate speech - The Appalachian Online

What Does the Education Department’s New Final Rule Mean For… – Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

September 16, 2020 | :

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education issued its final rule on religious liberty and free inquiry, which details protections for faith-based institutions and religious student groups at public universities and seeks to bolster campus free speech.

The rule reflects and sometimes contradicts a fraught, growing body of case law about religion and free speech in higher education.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

The final rule, which came after 17,000 public comments, requires universities to give equal treatment to religious student groups, which means equal access to university facilities, recognition and funding from student fees, among other things. The rule also defines what it means to be a religious higher education institution so that these schools can continue to be officially exempted from adhering to Title IX where it conflicts with a religious creed. Plus, it reaffirms that these institutions can benefit from department grant programs, so long as the funding isnt going to religious instruction, worship or proselytization.

Meanwhile, if a public university violates the First Amendment, thats grounds for the department to withhold federal cash, but only if the university receives a judgement against it in a state or federal court. Private universities can face the same repercussions if they violate their own institutional policies on freedom of speech and academic freedom.

This administration is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of students, teachers, and faith-based institutions, said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a statement. Students should not be forced to choose between their faith and their education, and an institution controlled by a religious organization should not have to sacrifice its religious beliefs to participate in Department grants and programs.

To Dr. Martha McCarthy, presidential professor of educational leadership at Loyola Marymount University, the new rule falls in line with the recent trajectory of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, at least in terms of ensuring government funding can go to religious institutions.

She cited Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, which ruled in favor of a church pre-school receiving federal grant money in 2017, and the 2020 case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which sided with parents who wanted to use Montana state government scholarships to send their children to religious schools.

These decisions make the clause separating church and state somewhat second-tier or maybe even impotent, she said. The new regulations conform in spirit with where the court seems to be going.

But the rule also conflicts with the Supreme Court case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, said Dr. Charles J. Russo, a research professor of law and Joseph Panzer Chair in Education at University of Dayton.

In 2010, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that allowed the University of California at Hastingss law school to deny recognition to a chapter of the Christian Legal Society. The student group wanted an exemption from the universitys non-discrimination policy on the basis that their umbrella organizations statement of faith prohibited sexual activity outside the context of marriage between a man and a woman.

Thats why Russo foresees legal conflict over the new rule.

Im pretty convinced that someone will bring a lawsuit challenging it, he said. I would just about bet that somebody will challenge this.

He personally likes the rule as a basic protective measure for religious student groups. For example, he cited another case, Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, in which the university wouldnt allow a religious student group to publish its newsletter using funding from a student activities fund in 1995. Here, the Supreme Court decided, in favor of the students, that this was viewpoint discrimination.

But regardless, the rule feels like a possible landmine to challenge Supreme Court precedent. Whether one agrees with the Christian Legal Society, the case in California, or disagrees, this certainly overturns it, he added. And I dont think the Department of Education has the authority to do that.

McCarthy predicts another kind of legal challenge. The final rule requires private institutions to follow their own self-determined guidelines on First Amendment rights and doesnt require them to have anti-discrimination policies. That means if, for example, LGBTQ students were barred from a religious student club at a private university, faith-based or otherwise, the institution would still be in full compliance with the rule.

In her interpretation, if [private colleges] have institutional policies that allow discrimination, thats what theyd be judged on, she said. That, to me, does not seem appropriate.

Meanwhile, public universities find themselves in a very difficult position with the impending threat to federal funding, according to Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson.

Freedom of speech on campus is an area of continuing difficulty [and] conflict within the law, he said, and different circuit courts interpret Supreme Court decisions on it differently. He thinks the fear of losing education department grants will force public universities to do one of two things: immediately fold to whoever files a free speech lawsuit against them or pour resources into fighting them because the financial stakes of losing a case are too high.

As a former president of Michigan State University, he thinks First Amendment rights are taken very seriously at public universities, he added, and he sees open and free speech as one of their core values. But putting their federal funding on the line shifts the scale of justice.

Granted, government putting requirements on funding is a common deterrent to encourage compliance to regulations, said Russo. But if the department actually withdrew a universitys federal funding over First Amendment litigation, that would be new.

The ultimate hammer that the feds have against a state, against a school, against an institution is that we can stop funding you if you dont get in line and follow this rule, he said. Im not aware of any case where thats actually happened. [Universities are] going to go to court before they let that happen. I dont think universities are going to roll over and play dead. I think theyre going to question the motivation of the federal government and its action.

Sara Weissman can be reached at sweissman@diverseeducation.com.

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What Does the Education Department's New Final Rule Mean For... - Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

New Freedom of Speech and Expression Statement released – The Record

With only one day left for student feedback, the Freedom of Speech and Expression Statement is nearing finalization.

The statement, which passed through multiple drafting and review phases before hitting students inboxes, lays out the institutions commitment to protecting and setting necessary boundaries around the freedom of communication within the Goshen College community.

The writing process began in the spring of 2020, when President Rebecca Stoltzfus asked LaKendra Hardware, director for diversity, equity and inclusion, and Jodi Beyeler, vice president for communication and people strategy, to draft a statement that would regulate campus norms and provide a groundwork for existing and new policies.

The statement is not a direct response to the hate speech incident that took place on campus around the same time last spring, said Hardware, but incidents like that one make it clear that articulating ground rules for communication on campus is important.

This is an opportunity for us to look at our campus and say, how can we ensure that all persons feel protected, but also empowered to stand in their freedom to speak and to express themselves, Hardware said.

The deadline for student feedback on the statement is this Friday, Sept. 18, and Hardware encourages as many students as possible to participate by responding with comments and questions.

Julia Schiavone Camacho, associate professor of history, offered her perspective on the importance of the first-amendment right of freedom of speech.

In United States history, freedom of expression has been closely linked to religious freedom, and the value placed on these freedoms have set us apart (as a nation), she said.

Schiavone Camacho believes dialogue between diverse people is crucial in institutions of higher education, like Goshen College.

In a healthy society, ideas, intellectual curiosity and debate flourish, she said.

The Freedom of Speech and Expression Statement encourages students, faculty and staff to act according to the principle that the best response to ideas that they find offensive is more speech, not censorship.

But it also clarifies that Freedom of speech and expression does not protect speech or behavior against individuals or groups that is discriminatory, slanderous, threatening, intimidating, harassing or incites violence.

Hardware understands that finding a balance between protecting free speech and setting boundaries to avoid harm is of utmost importance.

There is a time and place when freedom of speech can become problematic, she said.

Nathan Pauls, a senior communication and art double major, remembers a time he experienced conflicting ideas on the Goshen College campus.

His first year at GC, a disagreement broke out on his floor over politics and values. He remembers that the situation led to some tension and white-board writing that turned nasty.

When underlying trends of discrimination and oppression are added to the mix, there is potential for things to get even nastier, Hardware explained.

She used an example to illustrate this idea.

I can tell you, she begins, that I dont like your shirt. Its my freedom of speech [to say that]. But lets say, your shirt was your identity, and I said, I hate your shirt because your shirt is trash. Your shirt has always been trash. And lets say that that argument has been used historically for folks who have your shirt as their identity. So now Im not just attacking you, Im attacking you on the history of what has been said and done in the past. Im articulating it as freedom of speech, but its problematic because of the historical connection to the terrorization of others in that way.

I think the time and climate were living in calls for people to think about [language], Hardware said, Whether its political, whether its around racial or ethnic identity, whether its around sex or gender identity.

Mindfulness around language is what the Freedom of Speech and Expression statement is meant to encourage.

The final version of the statement will be re-presented to the campus community and adopted once student feedback is reviewed and final revisions made.

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New Freedom of Speech and Expression Statement released - The Record

Will Trump’s Herd Immunity Strategy Crash the Economy? – Free Speech TV

Donald Trump's plan for COVID-19 is herd immunity, and the effects of this dangerous policy could crash the remains of our economy, Richard Wolff joins in for this special and grim warning.

What effect will a disproven strategy like herd immunity have on our economy? Richard Wolff tells Thom Hartmann that it's a grim outlook.

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The Thom Hartmann Program covers diverse topics including immigration reform, government intrusion, privacy, foreign policy, and domestic issues. More people listen to or watch the TH program than any other progressive talk show in the world! Join them.

The Thom Hartmann Program is on Free Speech TV every weekday from 12-3 pm EST.

Missed an episode? Check out TH on FSTV VOD anytime or visit the show page for the latest clips.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Economy Herd Immunity Richard Wolff The Thom Hartmann Program Thom Hartmann

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Will Trump's Herd Immunity Strategy Crash the Economy? - Free Speech TV

Fed Troops In US Cities & HeatRay Machines : Is this real life or a Bond movie? – Free Speech TV

In this clip, Randi Rhodes discusses Bill Barr's most recent congressional testimony, the use of heat rays and more!

The Randi Rhodes Show delivers smart, forward, free-thinking, entertaining, liberal news and opinion that challenge the status quo and amplifies free speech.

Dedicated to social justice, Randi puts her reputation on the line for the truth. Committed to the journalistic standards that corporate media often ignores, The Randi Rhodes Show takes enormous pride in bringing the power of knowledge to her viewers.

Watch The Randi Rhodes Show every weekday at 3 pm ET on Free Speech TV & catch up with clips from the program down below!

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Fed Troops In US Cities & HeatRay Machines : Is this real life or a Bond movie? - Free Speech TV

Analysing the Effects of Turkey’s Social Media Regulation Bill – JURIST

Akshita Tiwary, student at Government Law College, Mumbai and JURIST Staff Writer, analyses the implications of the newly passed social media bill in Turkey...

On July 29th, 2020, the Parliament of Turkey passed a controversial bill to regulate content posted on social media platforms, which will come into effect on October 1st, 2020. The bill is expected to have a chilling effect on the freedom of speech and expression within the country. Several human rights groups are viewing it as a political tactic to curb criticism against government functionaries within the country, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The passing of the bill is a concerning development, especially amidst the pandemic when social media platforms exist as one of the few alternatives through which people can assess and denounce wrongful government actions.

In Turkey, print and broadcast media platforms are already under government control. In such a scenario, social media platforms are one of the few outlets through which citizens can voice their independent opinions. Under the new bill, social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are expected to have local representatives in Turkey. They are also required to comply with court orders over the removal of certain content. The bill demands social media companies to store user data within Turkey, which also raises privacy concerns. The new law could see companies facing fines, blocking of advertisements, or have bandwidth slashed by up to 90 percent, which could essentially block peoples access to their sites. All these measures are severely expected to increase censorship, which would be a major blot on the exercise of free expression within the country.

The bill goes against Turkeys international commitments to protect free speech and expression within the nation, which is reflected through its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19(2) of the ICCPR provides for the right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to seek, receive, and impart information of all kinds through any form of media. This right can be restricted only for the purposes of protecting the rights and reputation of others, national security, public order, health, or morals. General Comment No. 34 rightly states that the freedom of expression is the founding stone for every democratic society. It leads to transparency and accountability that further helps in the protection of human rights. Paragraphs 42 and 43 assert that the penalization of media outlets or restricting information dissemination systems, solely because they may be critical of the government, lies beyond the permissible restrictions on the exercise of free speech and expression. On account of these requirements, the passing of the bill in the present case cannot be justified.

In particular, Turkeys obligation to protect freedom of expression draws inspiration from Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In the judgment of Sunday Times v. United Kingdom, the ECHR demonstrated how any restriction on free speech and expression must be established convincingly and in keeping with a pressing social need. The absence of exigent circumstances prior to the approval of the bill makes its intentions questionable. Moreover, past instances of censorship portray how the bill merely seeks to stifle dissent to make people adhere to the governments notions of right and wrong.

Turkey leads the world in removal requests to Twitter, with more than 6,000 demands in the first half of 2019. By the end of 2019, Turkey had blocked access to 400,000 websites. A ban imposed on Wikipedia in 2017 was lifted only in January 2020 after a court decision. The organization, Reporters without Borders, ranks Turkey at 157 out of 180 countries in a global index for media freedom. In a nation where criminal proceedings are regularly instituted against the critics of the President, it is not difficult to imagine that such a bill operates according to the same objectives. This also goes against the spirit of Articles 26, 27 and 28 of the Turkish Constitution.

One cannot undermine the significance of the freedom of speech and expression in a democratic society. Given current tumultuous times, social media platforms act as important agents for bridging the gap between government directives and peoples assessment of the same. Popular criticism cannot be banned over alleged notions of immorality. Such draconian measures threaten to destroy the very foundation of a free and informed society.

Human rights organizations and activists around the world, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, have censured this move of the Turkish Parliament. International outcry, coupled with active efforts of civil society organizations, can ensure that the provisions of this bill are not used in a mala fide manner. Against this backdrop, there is an urgent need for the government to carefully deliberate upon this measure. This becomes imperative considering that the duty to uphold and protect freedom of speech and expression, first and foremost, lies with the government.

Akshita Tiwary is a 3rd-year law student at Government Law College, Mumbai. She serves as a Staff Writer for JURIST, and is keenly interested in international law, human rights, and constitutional law.

Suggested citation: Akshita Tiwary, Analysing the Effects of Turkeys Social Media Regulation Bill, JURIST Student Commentary, September 17, 2020, https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2020/09/akshita-tiwary-turkey-social-media-bill/.

This article was prepared for publication by Khushali Mahajan, a JURIST staff editor. Please direct any questions or comments to her at commentary@jurist.org

Opinions expressed in JURIST Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.

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Analysing the Effects of Turkey's Social Media Regulation Bill - JURIST

Instagram CEO, ACLU slam TikTok and WeChat app bans for putting US freedoms into the balance – TechCrunch

As people begin to process the announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce detailing how it plans, on grounds of national security, to shut down TikTok and WeChat starting with app downloads and updates for both, plus all of WeChats services, on September 20, with TikTok following with a shut down of servers and services on November 12 the CEO of Instagram and the ACLU are among those speaking out against the move.

The CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, wasted little time in taking to Twitter to criticize the announcement. His particular beef is the implication the move will have for U.S. companies like his that also have built their businesses around operating across national boundaries.

In essence, if the U.S. starts to ban international companies from operating in the U.S., then it opens the door for other countries to take the same approach with U.S. companies.

Meanwhile, the ACLU has been outspoken in criticizing the announcement on the grounds of free speech.

This order violates the First Amendment rights of people in the United States by restricting their ability to communicate and conduct important transactions on the two social media platforms, saidHina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Unions National Security Project, in a statement today.

Shamsi added that ironically, while the U.S. government might be crying foul over national security, blocking app updates poses a security threat in itself.

The order also harms the privacy and security of millions of existingTikTokand WeChat users in the United States by blocking software updates, which can fix vulnerabilities and make the apps more secure. In implementing President Trumps abuse of emergency powers, Secretary Ross is undermining our rights and our security. To truly address privacy concerns raised by social media platforms, Congress should enact comprehensive surveillance reform and strong consumer data privacy legislation.

Vanessa Pappas, who is the acting CEO of TikTok, also stepped in to endorse Mosseris words and publicly asked Facebook to join TikToks litigation against the U.S. over its moves.

We agree that this type of ban would be bad for the industry. We invite Facebook and Instagram to publicly join our challenge and support our litigation, she said in her own tweet responding to Mosseri, while also retweeting the ACLU. (Interesting how Twitter becomes Switzerland in these stories, huh?) This is a moment to put aside our competition and focus on core principles like freedom of expression and due process of law.

The move to shutter these apps has been wrapped in an increasingly complex set of issues,and these two dissenting voices highlight not just some of the conflict between those issues, but the potential consequences and detriment of acting based on one issue over another.

The Trump administration has stated that the main reason it has pinpointed the apps has been to safeguard the national security of the United States in the face of nefarious activity out of China, where the owners of WeChat and TikTok, respectively Tencent and ByteDance, are based:

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S., todays statement from the U.S. Department of Commerce noted. Todays announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.

In reality, its hard to know where the truth actually lies.

In the case of the ACLU and Mosseris comments, they are highlighting issues of principles but not necessarily precedent.

Its not as if the U.S. would be the first country to take a nationalist approach to how it permits the operation of apps. Facebook and its stable of apps, as of right now, are unable to operate in China without a VPN (and even with a VPN, things can get tricky). And free speech is regularly ignored in a range of countries today.

But the U.S. has always positioned itself as a standard-bearer in both of these areas, and so apart from the self-interest that Instagram might have in advocating for more free-market policies, it points to wider market and business position thats being eroded.

The issue, of course, is a little like an onion (a stinking onion, Id say), with well more than just a couple of layers around it, and with the ramifications bigger than TikTok (with 100 million users in the U.S. and huge in pop culture beyond even that) or WeChat (much smaller in the U.S. but huge elsewhere and valued by those who do use it).

The Trump administration has been carefully selecting issues to tackle to give voters reassurance of Trumps commitment to Make America Great Again, building examples of how its helping to promote U.S. interests and demote those that stand in its way. China has been a huge part of that image building, positioned as an adversary in industrial, defence and other arenas. Pinpointing specific apps and how they might pose a security threat by sucking up our data fits neatly into that strategy.

But are they really security threats, or are they just doing the same kind of nefarious data ingesting that every social app does in order to work? Will the U.S. banning them really mean that other countries, up to now more in favor of a free market, will fall in line and take a similar approach? Will people really stop being able to express themselves?

Those are the questions that Trump has forced into the balance with his actions, and even if they were not issues before, they have very much become so now.

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Instagram CEO, ACLU slam TikTok and WeChat app bans for putting US freedoms into the balance - TechCrunch

TikTok, WeChat ban: UM experts can discuss – University of Michigan News

EXPERTS ADVISORY

The Trump administration is adding more restrictions on TikTok and WeChat. University of Michigan experts are available to discuss its implications.

Mary Gallagher

Mary Gallgaher is the Amy and Alan Lowenstein Professor of Democracy, Democratization, and Human Rights and director of the International Institute.

Its well known that the Chinese government blocks many U.S. social media corporations from freely operating in China, including Twitter, Facebook and Google, she said. And many Chinese citizens do not support their governments restrictions on their access to information.

Rather than banning WeChat and Tiktok, which many Chinese are rightly proud of for their innovative technology, the U.S. government should highlight the lack of reciprocity in market access for U.S. firms and the Chinese governments inexcusable restrictions on free speech and expression for U.S. firms and Chinese citizens alike. We should protect our comparative advantage in openness and not fritter it away in a race to see which country can become more closed to the other.

Contact: metg@umich.edu, 734-358-0638

Nicholas Howson

Nicholas Howson is the Pao Li Tsiang Professor of Law. His areas of expertise include public law, regulatory policy and Chinese corporate law.

Parties seeking to enjoin the implementation of President Trumps executive order concerning WeChatwhether users or the platform itselfhave extremely robust legal arguments on their side, arguments that should be familiar from similar challenges to the presidents travel bans or new questions regarding citizenship on the U.S. census, he said.

Those arguments are grounded in U.S. constitutional law, including equal protection and First Amendment or free speech concernsthe power of the U.S. government to act in this way without a legislative mandate and pursuant to remarkably thin national security justifications, notwithstanding. Because this is directed at a platform associated with the Peoples Republic of China, there remains a question in my mind as to whether our federal courts are able to navigate an environment soaked in the China Threat hostility fanned by the administration in recent years, and properly enjoin the implementation of the executive order in its present form.

Contact: nhowson@umich.edu

Erik Gordon

Erik Gordon is a clinical assistant business professor. His areas of interest include entrepreneurship, venture capital, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and the biomedical, IT and digital marketing industries.

He thinks that Americas perception of Chinas actions has eliminated the ability of China or the companies to avoid the ban by making promises.

The powerful lever of credibility has been broken, Gordon said. It is unlikely that the U.S. will accept mere promises from a company controlled directly or indirectly by Chinese entities. The nominal location of the companys headquarters doesnt matter if the company is controlled by Chinese entities.

If a U.S. company has sole access to and control over data that never leaves the U.S., it might be possible for the U.S. to accept an arrangement in which Chinese entities derive revenue from operations in the U.S. It seems less valid for the U.S. to impose a ban if there is sufficient data protection and the sole purpose of the ban is to force the company to sell its U.S. operations to a U.S. company.

Contact: rmegordo@umich.edu, 734-764-5274

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TikTok, WeChat ban: UM experts can discuss - University of Michigan News


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