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Monday, March 18, 2019

More right-wing snowflakes are outraged

This story about calls by some UC-Davis students and California Republicans for the firing of a Davis professor who called (on Twitter, several years ago) for the killing of police officers reminds me of a comment I made last summer about calls by the Broward County Police Benevolent Association to boycott the Miami Dophins for not forcing players to stand. The political right, on and off campus, has as little patience for objectionable speech as the political left and is as ready to call for boycotts and firing of speakers who say mean things they do not like.

The Davis situation and the Dolphin situation share another similarity (as does the ongoing controversy at Sarah Lawrence College, which has gotten far greater attention but is still a call to sanction a professor for "expressing his views"). As one person put it on Twitter: "[T]erms that absolutely no one in the media has used so far to describe this episode include snowflakes, call-out culture, victimhood culture, outrage culture, cancelled, coddled, PC run amok, censorship, self-censorship, fragility, identity politics, or micro-aggressions."

And just to head-off a response: The prof's speech, while obnoxious, is constitutionally protected and comes nowhere close to incitement.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on March 18, 2019 at 06:14 PM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Just correcting my comment:

Should be"imminent"of course,over"immanent".

Apologizing .....

Posted by: El roam | Mar 24, 2019 9:41:14 PM

By the way,new executive order,concerning free speech in campuses and so forth... , here:

" Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities "


Posted by: El roam | Mar 22, 2019 8:13:33 AM

"Hey, crowd of people with torches and guns outside my house where I have a particular officer tied up and defenseless, let's go inside and kill him."

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Mar 18, 2019 9:03:42 PM

Interesting, and important issue of course. Yet, a letter of 9 pages, bearing relatively hectic legal analysis, yet, amazingly, without any analysis of the wording of those tweets, which are the subject matter of course.

The real issue, is the " true threat " or, inciting for violence of course. For the rest, no debate almost, no issue(or too complicated right now).

Analyzing the wording or language, we deal with incitement per se. Such distinguished professor,has,or may have,great influence,and may legitimize the use of violence, here I quote one:

" People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed "

So, that is what an influential professor is preaching ?? They need to be killed ? Good thing is to kill ? Let alone cops ? Head on stated ? The status of the person, his level of influence, must be taken to account.That's on one hand, on the other:

The threat posed, is not immanent, that is an issue. Too vague and irrelevant in terms of time/place.

In the sixth circuit ( Kashiya v. Trump ) it was held that, I quote :

“The Brandenburg test precludes speech from being sanctioned as incitement to riot unless (1) the speech explicitly or implicitly encouraged the use of violence or lawless action,(2) the speaker intends that his speech will result in the use of violence or lawless action, and(3) the imminent use of violence or lawless action is the likely result of his speech.” Bible Believers v. Wayne Cty., Mich., 805 F.3d 228, 246 (6th Cir. 2015) (en banc) (footnote omitted). Under the Brandenburg test, only speech that explicitly or implicitly encourages the imminent use of violence or lawless action is outside the protection of the First Amendment.

One may reach the ruling here:



Posted by: El roam | Mar 18, 2019 7:58:36 PM

What would incitement sound like?

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Mar 18, 2019 7:08:36 PM

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