"Patriots are not revolutionaries trying to overthrow the government of the United States.
Patriots are Counter-Revolutionaries trying to prevent the government from overthrowing the Constitution."
The Coach’s Team (TCT) offers the best in conservative essays along with articles taken from various internet sites. The victory of Donald Trump has provided a God-sent opportunity to reverse the years of willful damage done our nation by Barack Hussein Obama.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Justice Department Weighs In to Protect Free Speech on Campus
article appeared in the Daily Signal on July 25th
In the face of
Orwellian speech codes on campus—and with the help of advocacy groups like Speech
First Inc.—college students have been fighting to defend their First
Amendment right to free speech.
"Free Speech does NOT cover Hate Speech"
Now, they can count
the Justice Department as one of their strongest allies.
Earlier this year,
the University of Michigan passed a policy that could punish students for
making their peers feel offended. The Justice Department decided to weigh in,
showing just how different the Trump administration is from the one that
As Attorney General
Jeff Sessions recently told
students at the Turning Point USA High School Leadership Summit in Washington,
D.C., the University of Michigan has set an improper “limitation on the right
of Michigan students to be able to speak.” So last month, the Justice
Department filed a “Statement of Interest” in a lawsuit that seeks to
invalidate Michigan’s speech code. It’s the fourth
such document it has filed in the last 12 months in an effort to aggressively
defend college students’ free speech rights.
For example, the
Justice Department filed a Statement of Interest in a case
last year involving Pierce College in Los Angeles. There, free expression is
confined to a 616-square-foot “free speech area” (just 0.003 percent of the
campus), and even then, students are still required to get prior authorization
from campus administrators to enter it.
Department also criticized
Georgia Gwinnett College for permitting speech only in zones that covered just
0.0015 percent of the campus. Even then, no speech is allowed in that “free
speech zone” that “disturbs the … comfort of person(s).” In eight years, the
Obama Justice Department never once challenged such restrictions.
Hopefully, with the
Justice Department now intervening, the courts will finally start striking
critical blows to insidious university policies that impose a political
orthodoxy on students, and limit their basic First Amendment rights to engage
in vigorous debates on contentious issues.
As Sessions noted,
“State universities need to be objective and fair. They need to let both
people, both sides of an issue, have an opportunity to speak.”
It is not news to
most Americans that colleges have been restricting the speech—especially
conservative speech—of students, staff, and speakers. Sometimes this
suppression comes at the hands of students, such as the rioters at the
University of California, Berkeley, who prevented conservatives from giving
In these instances,
school administrators have been disappointingly complicit in condoning such
misbehavior and refusing to punish students and faculty who disrupt other
In other instances,
the schools themselves have restricted speech on social and political issues.
According to Sessions, the fact that university administrators are supporting
“groups who go in deliberately to intimidate, threaten, and block a person’s
right to freely discuss an issue is a threat to our freedom, and it’s contrary
to the Constitution.
The censor "Hate Speech" crowd
The University of
Michigan’s speech code prohibits any speech that a listener considers
“bothersome” or “hurtful.” A violation of the code can result in school
punishment, including suspension or expulsion. So the most sensitive student on
campus effectively can dictate the terms under which other students can speak
or, as the case may be, not speak.
If that wasn’t
enough, the university has organized so-called “bias response teams” made up of
administrators and law enforcement to investigate any student accused of
violating the speech code, whether on or off campus—and complaints can be filed
Picture that: a team
of campus officials and law enforcement officers patroling a college campus to
punish speakers who have been accused of offending some student’s
sensibilities. That sounds like something out of a TV show about a despotic
response teams are the University of Michigan’s version of the thought police
in George Orwell’s “1984.” It’s no wonder students claim they are afraid to
speak out about controversial topics like abortion, immigration, or racial
restrictions continue to be implemented because a powerful group of college
administrators and leftist elites have a growing contempt for the First
Amendment. They simply want to silence anyone who disagrees with their views on
politics and culture. They consider all speech they disagree with to be bigoted
speech that constitutes real harm—just like physical violence—and should
therefore be banned.
Many on the left
believe that those who disagree with them on substantive issues have genuinely
evil motivations and, therefore, are not entitled to the First Amendment right
Speech codes like the
one imposed by the University of Michigan, which allow a listener to determine
if the speech “feels” offensive, will inevitably be weaponized against those
who express disfavored political views.
Indeed, this is
exactly why the Justice Department felt the need to intervene. It wrote that
Michigan’s law “invites arbitrary, discriminatory, and overzealous
enforcement.” It also “does precisely what the First Amendment forbids—it
punishes speech merely because of the ‘listeners’ reaction.’”
The REAL reason for the end of Free Speech
It’s easier to be indifferent
about these speech codes when your own views are the ones being protected. But
liberal administrators should ask themselves: What if a pro-life student
claimed to be distressed by Planned Parenthood passing out flyers on a campus
quad? What if a Christian student felt persecuted by a public debate about the
existence of God? Would these students get the same support from the
university? Even if they did, it would only prove that a feelings-based
approach to free speech creates an endless mess in which no one’s speech is
ever fully protected.
Americans of all
creeds and political views should fight to oppose these restrictions. They are
truly Orwellian and un-American. The university of all places—especially the
public university—should be a place where free speech is defended, where open
dialogue and intellectual debate ought to be the modus operandi.
This is why the
Justice Department said that it could not “stand idly by while public
universities violate students’ constitutional rights.” Sessions and the Justice
Department should be commended for their readiness to defend our fundamental
The First Amendment
doesn’t lose its power when speech becomes offensive. It was actually written
to protect speech that could be perceived as offensive. After all, why do
popular speakers need the protection of law? No one threatens their ability to
The Bill of Rights
exists to protect the weak from the strong, the minority from the majority, and
the unpopular from the popular. The right of the 49 percent to speak out
against the 51 percent is what makes us a free country.
When a state school
can punish speakers for nothing more than hurting someone’s feelings, the First
Amendment has been utterly gutted—and students who are citizens protected by
the Constitution have been robbed of their fundamental right to disagree.