Jonathan Turley Calls for Government to Take Action to Protect Free Speech – Opinion

Yes, it’s come to this. Renowned George Washington Law School professor and legal scholar Jonathan Turley is now calling for federal government action to protect free speech — particularly on the nation’s college campuses. Shocking? Is it shocking?

It is both profoundly and gravely alarming. Here’s another:

A recent email from The College FixTurley said:

There is a great danger that the government may not protect freedom of speech, but instead favor certain speech.

As I transcribed Professor Turley’s quote, I thought to myself: “Big Tech is already there; can the Democrat Party be far behind?” Then I thought, “It’s already trying like hell.”

At issue in Turley’s email was his July 9 article published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public PolicyTitle Harm and Hegemony – The Decline in Free Speech in AmericaIn this speech, he supported limited government intervention in protecting First Amendment rights. “My proposals are structured to confine government intervention to content-neutral measures that protect the diversity of viewpoints,” Turley told The Fix.

“Any effort to reinforce free speech values in the United States must focus on universities,” Turley wrote, “which play a vital role as enclaves for political and intellectual discourse.”

Campuses of higher education are the most notorious places for intolerance. The country’s erosion of freedom speech values is also their responsibility. […]Academics and journalists are responsible for supporting actions against people with opposing viewpoints or standing silent.

Multiple examples of irony exist in Turley’s observation. “Higher education” in today’s no-longer hallowed halls of academia is anything but. Open discussion and vigorous debate — and dare I say There is disagreement —have been replaced by groupthink threats of retribution against those who disagree.

The left’s definitions of tolerance and inclusion have been bastardized to now mean intolerance and ExclusionAnyone who is willing to accept and openly disagree with others. embraceThe leftist ideology. Moreover, Turley’s observation about those with opposing views remaining silent — in large part due to the realities of my directly above paragraph — couldn’t be more spot-on.

Among Turley’s proposals are several solutions to free speech limitations on campuses, including making federal funding to state universities conditional upon compliance with principles of free speech. Amen. 

Still, while calling for limited federal action, Turley also expressed reservations about taking government involvement too far, clarifying that “any measures to guarantee free expression must also balance the countervailing rights of groups and corporations, including their anti-free speech advocacy.”

Needless to say, America’s universities have turned the concept of free speech on its head. In contrast to college campuses of decades past, which were hotbeds of dissension from Berkeley to Wisconsin-Madison and allowed free speech, suppression of speech and open censorship today are the hallmarks of left-wing academia.

The Harvard article Observed Turley:

Today’s advocates of harm-based speech controls flip this concept on its head in treating censorship as a type of self-defense. The flawed logic behind campus’s common belief that interrupting or blocking speakers is a form free speech is this. […]

Although protests do not tend to be dialogic between the sides involved, they can help open up a wider dialogue about expressing opinions and positions. Today, protests are often focused on speaking out and blocking speech.

Is protest the denial or suppression of free expression?

“It also occurs when protesters block entrances to speaking areas,” wrote Turley.

This is a form protest. However, it also serves to restrict speech. These questions will become meaningless if the right to express them is not available. The model of tolerance is rejected by contemporary anti-free speech arguments, whether they are explicitly or implicitly.

Turley then told the story. Here’s the Fix

The freedom of speech is like water. It is part of our DNA. This is against our natural instinct to speak out and share our opinions.

Bottom line:

The dangers described by Professor Truly are already here; from college campuses to corporations, to Facebook and Twitter, the so-called “mainstream” media, Disneyworld,And beyond.

The idea of censorship, while a detestable concept to liberty-loving Americans is quite frightening, is the fact that many Americans are afraid of speaking their minds openly.

That last line, of course, has been the left’s intent from the beginning.

RedState Related:

In Attack Against Ben Shapiro, Progressive Columnist Shows Ignorance of Free Speech

MO and LA Suit against Biden Administration for Collusion With Tech Giants in Suppressing Free Speech

Glenn Greenwald Does Not Give Quarter to Leftist Reporter, Calling on Fox News to Lose its First Amendment Rights

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