Robby Soave at Reason reports Thursday on a leaked ACLU memo that suggests the ACLU’s defense of free speech might be weighed against the organization’s other commitments, such as social justice, racial equality, and women’s rights.

Soave writes:

It’s hard to see this as anything other than a cowardly retreat from a full-throated defense of the First Amendment. Moving forward, when deciding whether to take a free speech case, the organization will consider “factors such as the (present and historical) context of the proposed speech; the potential effect on marginalized communities; the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values; and the structural and power inequalities in the community in which the speech will occur.”

Soave notes that “the memo also makes clear that the ACLU has zero interest in defending First Amendment rights in conjunction with Second Amendment rights. If controversial speakers intend to carry weapons, the ACLU ‘will generally not represent them.'”

What a shocker.


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