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The New York Times is sad that free speech has become a weaponized 'conservative cudgel'

It looks like Adam Liptak, Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, has had a rough week covering SCOTUS. On Saturday, he published a piece about the Supreme Court “weaponizing free speech” and how conservatives are using free speech arguments to, say, overturn a California law compelling crisis pregnancy centers to provide women with information about abortion.


Liptak writes:

… liberals who once championed expansive First Amendment rights are now uneasy about them.

“The left was once not just on board but leading in supporting the broadest First Amendment protections,” said Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment lawyer and a supporter of broad free-speech rights. “Now the progressive community is at least skeptical and sometimes distraught at the level of First Amendment protection which is being afforded in cases brought by litigants on the right.”

Many on the left have traded an absolutist commitment to free speech for one sensitive to the harms it can inflict.

And those harms, we’ve been informed, include “cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” as well as eating disorders.

We know Liptak is responding to this week’s SCOTUS decisions, but this is nothing new … ever since Trump was elected, lots of papers have run pieces about how maybe liberals shouldn’t be such “absolutists” when it comes to free speech, considering all the “hate speech” out there now. Remember this from last summer?


And this?

So excuse us if we’re unmoved by Justice Elena Kagan’s warning that conservatives are “weaponizing the First Amendment” at the same time schools like DePaul are literally banning speakers like Ben Shapiro from stepping foot on campus.



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