John K. Wilson Read More
Excerpt: It’s always distressing during contentious times when neutral statements for free speech are twisted beyond recognition with false smears of bias and bigotry. In a November 27 essay in The Hill, Northwestern law professor Steven Lubet denounced the American Association of University Professors for a November 15 statement, “Polarizing Times Demand Robust Academic Freedom,” claiming that it has “a distressing anti-Israel bias.” I don’t work for the AAUP, and I don’t speak for the AAUP, but I think Lubet’s charge is completely incorrect and unsupported by any evidence.
Matthew Xiao Read More
Excerpt: A politically diverse group of 138 public figures recently signed and published the Westminster Declaration, a statement aimed at advancing a global free speech movement.
“We recognize that words can sometimes cause offense, but we reject the idea that hurt feelings and discomfort, even if acute, are grounds for censorship,” it states. “Open discourse is the central pillar of a free society, and is essential for holding governments accountable, empowering vulnerable groups, and reducing the risk of tyranny.”
Steven Lubet Read More
Excerpt: The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) quite rightly calls itself the “most prominent guardian of academic freedom” for faculty and students in the U.S. In a recent statement on the Israel-Hamas war, however, titled “Polarizing Times Demand Robust Academic Freedom” the AAUP displayed a distressing anti-Israel bias that sadly undermines its commitment to even-handed protection of free expression.
Ilya Shapiro Read More
The Free Press
Excerpt: Even antisemites have the right to free speech, as Nadine Strossen and Pamela Paresky correctly wrote in The Free Press. Since the Hamas massacre of October 7, they have been taking full advantage of that right. Especially on college campuses.
I would put my free speech bona fides up against anyone. I’m also a lawyer and sometime law professor who recognizes that not all speech-related questions can be resolved by invoking the words First Amendment. Much of what we’ve witnessed on campuses over the past few weeks is not, in fact, speech, but conduct designed specifically to harass, intimidate, and terrorize Jews.
Matt Hamilton Read More
Los Angeles Times
Excerpt: Until recently, USC professor John Strauss was known mostly for his research on the economics of developing countries, with decades of fieldwork in Indonesia and China. That changed Nov. 9, when Strauss stopped before students staging a walkout and protest calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and holding a memorial to thousands of Palestinian civilians killed in the Israel-Hamas war.
The economics professor’s interactions with students that day ended with the 72-year-old Strauss, who is Jewish, declaring: “Hamas are murderers. That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are killed.” Within a day, an associate dean told Strauss that he was on paid administrative leave, barred from campus, and that he would no longer teach his undergraduates this semester.
Joseph Goldstein Read More
New York Times
Excerpt: A prominent doctor is suing NYU Langone Health after he was fired as director of its cancer center over his social media postings about the Israel-Hamas war. The lawsuit could propel NYU Langone — a major New York hospital — into the center of a national debate over how much power private institutions have to fire employees over their online postings.
Laws protecting employees from being fired for what they say or do outside of the office vary widely by state. In New York, the law is somewhat unclear, lawyers say. But as tensions and protests escalate over the violence in the Middle East, the issue of what sort of speech is protected or acceptable has roiled American businesses and campuses.