Today in conservative media: a win for speech at the Supreme Court

Today in Conservative Media: Applause for a Free Speech Victory at the Supreme Court

Today in Conservative Media: Applause for a Free Speech Victory at the Supreme Court

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June 19 2017 7:49 PM

Today in Conservative Media: Applause for a Free Speech Victory at the Supreme Court

Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts talk outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

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There was praise across conservative media for the Supreme Court’s 8-0 ruling in Matal v. Tam, a case stemming from the government’s refusal to register the band name the Slants as a trademark given potential offense. “If you’re a lawyer arguing against free speech at the Supreme Court, be prepared to lose,” National Review’s David French wrote:

Given existing First Amendment jurisprudence, there would have been a constitutional earthquake if SCOTUS hadn’t ruled for Tam. The Court has long held that the Constitution protects all but the narrowest categories of speech. Yet time and again, governments (including colleges) have tried to regulate “offensive” speech. Time and again, SCOTUS has defended free expression. Today was no exception. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Alito noted that the Patent and Trademark Office was essentially arguing that “the Government has an interest in preventing speech expressing ideas that offend.”

The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro wrote that the court’s ruling in 1969’s Brandenburg v. Ohio, which found that the government’s ability to regulate speech is largely limited to cases of immediate incitement to unlawful action or violence, is being exploited by anti-speech partisans on both sides of the political spectrum. “If as a culture we begin to identify words with violence,” he wrote, “ if we begin to suggest that a production of Julius Caesar is an incitement to assassination, or if we state that Sarah Palin’s targeted district map is an incitement to violence, or if we explain that Charles Murray must be banned from campus because his research on IQ might lead to discrimination – we’re going to start banning words in the near future.”

Hot Air’s Allahpundit noted the case’s particular relevance for the Washington, D.C., NFL team:

The victorious petitioners here were the band “The Slants,” a group of Asian-Americans that chose a derogatory term for themselves in order to subvert the stigma of the word. In hindsight, that may have worked to the Redskins’ advantage: The Slants are a more sympathetic petitioner in that they’re average joes, not a well-heeled sports team, and the “disparagement” argument seems especially ridiculous in their case. No one adopts a slur for a racial group to which they belong for the purpose of “disparaging” themselves, after all. They do it to undermine the disparaging connotation. The Redskins didn’t adopt their name for disparaging reasons either—teams don’t name themselves after things they disdain—but the fact remains that the organization is an example of non-Native people using a mascot which some Native Americans find offensive.

In other news:


Many commentators criticized comedian Lena Dunham for tweeting over the weekend that people don’t necessarily need fathers. “So many families work so many ways,” she wrote.

“Dads matter,” RedState’s Amelia Hamilton responded. “Fathers Day seems like a weird day to say that they don’t.” The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo called Dunham a coward for later deleting the tweet and had an exchange with Dunham herself on Twitter.

“Overall, children who experience fatherlessness have lower achievement in school and higher levels of aggression and delinquency,” Prestigiacomo wrote in a post. “If Dunham truly cared about families, children and ‘feminism,’ wouldn’t it be in her best interest to advocate for more men to rightfully fulfill their duty to be present fathers? Apparently not.”

Several outlets took CBS’ Scott Pelley to task for questioning whether the congressional baseball shooting was “foreseeable, predictable and to some degree, self-inflicted” given heightened political rhetoric on all sides.

“Pelley devoted one short sentence to the GOP shooter’s support for Bernie Sanders before focusing exclusively President Donald Trump’s tweet referring to the media as the ‘enemy of the people,’ and recounting his response to reporters that language inciting violence did not ‘worry’ him,” the Daily Caller’s Will Ricciardella wrote.

Finally, the Resurgent’s Erick Erickson wrote that the political left is “becoming the American ISIS,” in a post titled “Let’s Consider Secession.” “Both the left and parts of the right are now all using the Alinsky playbook, which itself was dedicated to Satan,” he wrote.

Federalism should be the answer. Those who want gay marriage and kid killing should be allowed to do it in their state and those who want to live in state that does not allow gay marriage or the murder of children should be allowed to. The founders wanted us to solve those moral issues at the state level and allow each state its own values and ways. That is how it should work. That would be the cure for what ails us.
But let’s not kid ourselves. If Texas decided to end abortion on demand and prohibit gay marriage, three-quarters of the Fortune 500, the NCAA, and every professional sports league would boycott the state. It is not enough that each state should be able to set its own values, even here the left demands adherence to its beliefs and punishment for the beliefs of others. So there is no escape from the culture war.