Category Archives: freedom of expression

University of the Arts President defends Camille Paglia’s freedom of speech after she makes controversial statements

I’ve seen Camille Paglia speak in person once (I barely remember what she said), and haven’t followed her work, but what I do remember is that her scholarship is larded with an alarming amount of self-promotion.  (She’s a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.) But I plead ignorance and may be wrong. […]

Williams College moves further down the road toward Evergreen State

Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts has been considered one of the best places in America to get an education. As Wikipedia notes: “The college was ranked first in 2017 in the U.S. News & World Report‘s liberal arts ranking for the 15th consecutive year,  and first among liberal arts colleges in the 2018 Forbes magazine ranking of […]

University of Chicago Police remove pro-Palestinian protestors from talk that they disrupted

This is the way a pro-free-speech University should deal with people who try to disrupt or shut down a talk on campus. A lot of schools would have simply let disruptive protestors continue their disruption and eventually stop the talk, but, in accordance with the University of Chicago’s policy on free expression and the specified […]

A Sarah Lawrence professor describes the cowardice of his fellow faculty

About a week ago I described the situation of Samuel J. Abrams, a professor of politics at the swanky and expensive Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York. Abrams, a conservative, had penned an op-ed in the New York Times giving the results of his survey of the political leanings of 900 American college administrators. […]

Court rules that flipping someone off is free speech

If you had asked me before this story broke whether giving someone the finger counts as protected free speech, I would have said, “Yes.” After all, it’s an expression that doesn’t hurt anyone physically and is simply a gesture that expresses one’s feelings. If burning an American flag is considered free speech, as it is, […]

U of C minority law students boycott “admitted students weekend” after University fails to condemn professor who used “n-word” in class as an example; students further call for restrictions on free speech

I’ll try to be brief here, but there’s a new series of incidents on my campus that has wound up with some law students calling for restrictions on free speech, and free speech is a flagship principle of the University of Chicago. The incident involves Professor Geoffrey Stone of the Law School, who was the […]

Is there a cogent argument against free speech?

I’m not 100%, set-in-stone wedded to the American courts’ interpretation of free speech and the First Amendment. I think it’s the best interpretation going, but I’m always looking for viable arguments that it should be modified. Here’s what purports to be one, but in the end proves limp and toothless. The argument is given in […]

Censorship at Harvard Law school: A lawyer disinvited for views irrelevant to his proposed talk

The article below, from the station WGBH in Boston, is by Harvey Silverglate, a co-founder of FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), a former member of the Massachusetts board of the ACLU, and a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. And the story he tells is both unbelievable and chilling, for it relates […]

U of C President opposes Trump’s proposed executive order requiring universities to support free speech

Among Trump’s ways to obviate Congress is his spate of “executive orders” that may well be unconstitutional. The most ridiculous is his “national emergency” order to fund the Big Wall. Now, as many venues report (e.g., here and here), Trump is proposing to sign an executive order directed at colleges and universities. This one, he […]

What are America’s worst colleges for free speech?

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has awarded 10 American colleges its anti-kudos for being the worst colleges for free speech in the last year. You can read about them at the link below (click on screenshot); I’ll just give the list and say a few words about why each college was chosen.  […]