Lawyerly law stuff that's interesting


That’s like, your opinion, dude.

Many people consider civil rights to be the subset of rights that protect groups from discrimination.

For example:


Well, ok then. I tend to think of them as the same since rights and liberties are synonyms.


Understandable, and civil rights activists are usually on the same side as civil libertarians.

But occasionally they clash head-on. For example, in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, which concerned a cross-burning incident on the front lawn of a black family.


From speech.

Are you fucking serious?

So if say Hillary Clinton shows up to a college to speak and someone is going to protest her, the college needs to cancel the event? Because that’s what you’re saying: that all speech is automatically trumped by people who disagree with it.

Because that’s what happened. The college had an unpopular speaker. People protested said speaker. Someone got shot. Her contention is that’s the fault of the college for having the speaker. That’s just bullshit.


I’m saying that the courts have already established that a speaker can literally be pulled off the podium if the speech may result in immediate violence among the audience and/or protestors. And it is a fact that Milo’s speech resulted in immediate violence among the audience and/or protestors.

Whether the university is to blame for inaction will surely be hashed out by the inevitable lawsuits. I don’t think either side’s argument is obvious bullshit.

And I think the more important question is this: Now that universities have evidence that inviting people like Milo can result in shootings, are they obligated to change their policies regarding speaker invitations? Again, the answer is not obvious.


Only if they’re inciting. I’m fairly sure Milo wasn’t standing up there telling people to shoot other people.


Obligated? No. Will it have an effect? Probably.


No, you are incorrect here.

Free speech can only be limited for INCITING immediate violence.


There are lot more exceptions that incitation.

To take just one example, there are laws that limit where anti-abortion advocates can protest. It doesn’t matter if they are “inciting” or not, the law limits their freedom of speech because of the risks posed by putting anti-abortion advocates in proximity to patients.

See also “Free speech zones” in DC yesterday.


I do not believe you are going to be able to find legal precedent supporting the notion that your right to free speech can be limited on the basis that other people are going to commit violence in the area while you are speaking.


Timex, see Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District.

Three kids wore t-shirts with American flags to school on Cinco de Mayo.

School officials said they couldn’t wear those shirts to school because of the risk of violence.

Kids said wearing the shirts was protected by their first amendment rights.

Kids sued.

School won.


Elementary and high schools have MUCH more leeway when it comes to rights than anywhere else.

Most rights don’t actually exist there, so I’m not sure that’s a good example.


We are talking about a university, which also has a duty to act in loco parentis. In fact, the very first tweet you quoted made this point.

I’m sure some lawyers will try to draw a distinction between high schools and universities when it comes to their responsibility for protecting students from shootings. But don’t take for granted that they will prevail.


The Supreme Court considers college students adults. Probably because they mostly are.

Lawyers didn’t have to make the distinction, the Supreme Court did it back when they first ruled on these things.



Please don’t selectively quote. We can both read what that paragraph says, and we both know that it is much more equivocal about how the courts view universities.

If you want to pretend that the matter is already settled and FIRE is already obsolete, then go ahead. I’m not buying it.


That was a fairly terrible decision, at odds with previous precedent. In its reasons to the dissent, they even amended their ruling, although they didn’t actually fix the issues.

As the dissent in that ruling clearly laid out, it supports the notion of a heckler’s veto. It creates a “perverse incentive” for violent threats. I can threaten you with violence, and then employ the STATE to support my bullying of you, and silence your opinion.

Again, you are supporting a short sighted, authoritarian view, thinking that oppression is on as long as the right people are oppressed. But this is wrong headed, and will inevitably result in that authoritarian disregard for rights to be used against opinions you hold.


I’m not supporting this decision. I agree with some, maybe most of your points.

But I am pointing out there is no reason to laugh at this professor as an ignoramus on first amendment issues. For one, it’s not her specialty. For another, it’s arguable (though not given) that judicial precedent is on her side, and we are the ones out of touch with legal realities.

In short, it’s a complicated issue.


I’m not selectively quoting anything. But whatever, you’re not willing to actually talk or listen.




I mean there are like… dozens of these kinds of things every week. But cops and their friends are magical beings that exist outside the law.