April 24, 2014
Re "Lying is free speech too," Editorial, April 20 As a free-speech advocate, I would probably agree with your editorial opposing the criminalization of false political speech if politics was a level playing field. Unfortunately, it isn't. Imagine if the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List - with millions of dollars contributed by corporate ideologues - was able to purchase massive amounts of television and newspaper advertising falsely accusing a candidate of voting for "taxpayer-funded abortions.
April 20, 2014 |
Does the 1st Amendment allow states to make it a criminal offense to disseminate false statements about a political candidate? Should citizens who fear that their free speech will be chilled by such a law be permitted to challenge it even if they aren't in danger of imminent prosecution? Only the second question will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, but it is inextricably linked to the first one. If the court rules that the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group, may not challenge Ohio's criminalization of false political speech, that law and similar ones in other states will remain on the books.
April 15, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court next week will consider for the first time whether states may enforce laws that make it a crime to knowingly publish false statements about political candidates. The justices will hear an antiabortion group's free-speech challenge to an Ohio law that was invoked in 2010 by then-Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Democrat. He had voted for President Obama's healthcare law and was facing a tough race for reelection. The antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List launched a campaign to unseat Driehaus, preparing to run billboard ads saying, "Shame on Steve Driehaus!
April 11, 2014 |
LAS VEGAS - With a flash of comedic timing, Hillary Clinton dodged the first controversy of her not-yet-declared 2016 presidential run after a heckler threw a shoe and a nearly half-century-old political document at the former first lady and secretary of State during a speech here. Shortly after Clinton began a keynote speech Thursday night at an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries convention, a woman walked down the aisle and threw the items. She then turned around, put her hands in the air and walked away as security officers took her into custody.
April 11, 2014 |
The earth did quake; the rocks rent, and the graves were opened. Then peace was made with God as Jesus' body came to rest. That peace, and with it the ability to notice beauty in all things, is expressed in the last aria of Bach's "St. Matthew Passion," which begins with the text, "Make thyself clean, my heart. " This aria is among the most sublime gifts given in all of music, a vision far better suited for the soul than the stage. Yet Peter Brook tailors it meticulously to "The Suit.
April 10, 2014
Re "Mozilla CEO resigns after Prop. 8 outcry," April 4 If former Mozilla Chief Executive Brandon Eich had made a contribution - however long ago - to, say, an anti-Semitic group or even one of the organizations trying to sell the message that a woman's place is in the home after all (in short, any cause that seeks to infringe on the civil liberties or equality of any specific social group), we wouldn't be having this conversation. Why is it, among all the other "antis," anti-gay attitudes are somehow singularly defended as expressions of free speech?