August 31, 2015
The Right to Never Be Offended Isn’t in the Constitution
Hush Rush: Once Again the Intolerant Left Works to Censor Independent Voices in the Media
The Left does not tolerate diversity of opinion. Taking cues from the George Soros-funded slander shop Media Matters for America, its thuggish activists have been successfully waging a war against talk radio, one of the few sectors of the media that is not dominated by liberals and progressives. They use the Internet to scold and intimidate advertisers while portraying mainstream conservatives as dangerous extremists. The strategy hasn’t had much impact on the size of talk radio’s audience, but it has scared away many companies that advertise on talk radio shows. The highest-radio talker, Rush Limbaugh, can weather the storm, but shows lower on the industry’s totem pole are struggling.
March 13, 2015
Bob Nelon, a leading resource on Media and First Amendment Law issues, looks at First Amendment issues regarding OU President David Boren’s attempt to clamp down on student’s First Amendment rights !
December 8, 2014
True Threats and the Limits of First Amendment Protection
The federal circuit courts of appeals disagree over the correct mens rea requirement necessary to prove a violation of the federal threat statute. The Supreme Court of the United States will have the opportunity this term to settle that disagreement in Elonis v. United States. That case involves the conviction of Anthony Elonis for the crime of transmitting in interstate communications a threat to injure someone else, in violation of the U.S. Code. The case directly concerns what intent the statute requires for conviction and whether that proof is sufficient under the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. Ultimately, there is a reasonable argument that, as a matter of statutory construction, Section 875(c) should require proof of a subjective intent.
October 23, 2014
Congress Must Stop Yet Another Attempt to Muffle Free Speech
The National Science Foundation is a powerful federal agency. With an annual budget of $7.4 billion, it is “the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.” So when it decides to fund a major study aimed at reducing the diffusion of “subversive propaganda” on social media and tracking such Twitter hash tags as #teaparty, the American people have a right to be concerned about political bias and partisanship in the federal bureaucracy. The NSF hands the money to social scientists who claim that conservatives have built an advantage in using social media for “astroturfing” and “misinformation.” The U.S. Congress should safeguard the liberties of all Americans by including language in the next Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations that prohibits the NSF from carrying out such studies and, more generally, looking into whether the entire federal bureaucracy has become overly politicized.