As the Citadel of Free Speech here in Cleveland, we work to protect and promote the basis of our democracy by sharing related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century. Here's what's making the news – and what you should know about – in the past week.
“The larger issue, Abrams said, ‘is everyone involved in this has First Amendment rights, including the president. That said, the notion of cursing [players] and demanding their being fired does reflect enormous contempt for the exercise of First Amendment rights.’”
Lawyers say Trump’s free speech shows contempt for free speech, The Washington Post
"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended President Donald Trump's comments calling for NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to be fired, saying, players ‘have the right to have the First Amendment off the field.’”
“Ultimately, ‘this is a contracts question, not a constitutional question,’ says Jessica Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Law School. ‘The issue boils down to whether or not NFL owners have the contractual right to fire players for this type of behavior. The answer is ‘likely yes.’’”
"During a speech at Georgetown Law School, Sessions said political correctness has transformed academic spaces ‘into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought.’ He cited the cancelling of speaking events due to fear of protests as an example, referring to such incidents as a ‘heckler's veto.’”
“When Trump speaks, it is as if the government were speaking. He can ordinarily say what he wishes. He can whip up frenzied opposition to Obamacare or NFL players. Yet there may nevertheless be judicially enforceable limitations.
If the president’s words are designed to trigger the legal suppression of citizen speech, he may likely be violating the First Amendment.”
“The First Amendment has allowed Trump to freely and widely share his own views, even those that are factually inaccurate, inflammatory or crude. But when others use that same freedom to question Trump or what he believes to be true, he is often quick to question their right to do so.”
A brief history of Donald Trump’s mixed messages on freedom of speech, The Washington Post