For John, BLUF: Free Speech is bout protecting the stupid, the ignorant, the offensive, because at one time or another most ideas were viewed as stupid, ignorant or offensive. Let them live or die on their merits. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Adam Liptak, 30 June 2018.
Here is the lede plus:
On the final day of the Supreme Court term last week, Justice Elena Kagan sounded an alarm.If Progressives manage to make Free Speech go away, there may come a time when they miss it, unless they turn into the full fledged fascists they are, under the surface. In that case they will be comfortable with restricting free speech and denying it to those who disagree with them.
The court’s five conservative members, citing the First Amendment, had just dealt public unions a devastating blow. The day before, the same majority had used the First Amendment to reject a California law requiring religiously oriented “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide women with information about abortion.
Conservatives, said Justice Kagan, who is part of the court’s four-member liberal wing, were “weaponizing the First Amendment.”
The two decisions were the latest in a stunning run of victories for a conservative agenda that has increasingly been built on the foundation of free speech. Conservative groups, borrowing and building on arguments developed by liberals, have used the First Amendment to justify unlimited campaign spending, discrimination against gay couples and attacks on the regulation of tobacco, pharmaceuticals and guns.
Regards — Cliff