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.
Weaponizing the First Amendment: How Free Speech Became a Conservative Cudgel https://t.co/LNqtyfb3Rv
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) June 30, 2018
… 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?
Berkeley gave birth to the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s. Now, conservatives are demanding it include them. https://t.co/tw0fha1I3V
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 21, 2017
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.
Good God man.
— YourFiveHatsAreUp (@Popehat) June 30, 2018
it's so bad
— anxiety haver (@jaenarabelaerys) June 30, 2018
“To the contrary, free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice” – What a shameful and stupid thing to say.
— Slough of Despond (@sloughdespond) June 30, 2018
The answer is because conservative started using it and the leftists freaked out https://t.co/1VyKeoomXD
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) June 30, 2018
As horrible as Trump is, he still seems a much safer choice than the left who are now openly after the first two amendments of the Bill of Rights. https://t.co/AbnWOE1ZMA
— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) June 30, 2018
More than a little shocked that Liptak wrote this. Much more than a little. https://t.co/0jiqXcNj80
— Scott Greenfield (@ScottGreenfield) June 30, 2018
It's scary that ppl think free speech is something that can be weaponized, especially a Supreme Court justice. https://t.co/VVsel8dCvJ
— (((Aaron Worthing))) (@AaronWorthing) June 30, 2018
I always thought more Freedom was good. https://t.co/G69C3zeZ5V
— Inglewood Jack (@Inglewoodjack99) June 30, 2018
Washington Post: Liberals in 2017 taking a second look at that whole freedom of speech thing https://t.co/B2tJ7KHfLB
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) August 22, 2017