free speech

  • In China, Illegal to Mock National Heroes

    Since March, a new law has been used at least 15 times to prosecute Chinese who "slander" heroes of the Communist Party's official historical narrative. Experts attribute the crackdown to the fact that slowed economic growth no longer guarantees the party's widespread legitimacy.

  • A Wakeup for the Left on Free Speech?

    by Jonathan Zimmerman

    Liberals who seek to restrict hurtful speech shouldn't be surprised when conservative lawmakers apply that principle to regulate what can be taught in history classrooms. 

  • We Disagree on a Lot of Things. Except the Danger of Anti-Critical Race Theory Laws

    by Kmele Foster, David French, Jason Stanley and Thomas Chatterton Williams

    Political Philosopher Jason Stanley is part of an ideologically diverse group of writers who, regardless of their view of antiracist politics and discourse, condemn the passage of laws restricting the teaching of "critical race theory." 

  • It’s Time for an Overhaul of Academic Freedom

    by Emily J. Levine

    The idea of academic freedom doesn't account for the present precarity of most university teachers, and doesn't rest on a positive concept of what professors should do with students and the public. 

  • Race, Free Speech, and the Purge of Campus Blasphemers

    by Jonathan Zimmerman

    An adjunct literature instructor at St. John's University has fallen victim to an adminstration's desire to make complex teaching challenges – like how to evaluate Twain's use of racial slurs in the context of satire – into simple rules. 

  • America's First Peaceful (Just Barely!) Transfer of Power

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    While the selection of Thomas Jefferson as the third president in 1801 (after an electoral college deadlock) is touted as a crucial peaceful transfer of presidential power from one party to another, the transition was far more fraught with peril than most realize. 

  • Campus Cancel Culture Freakouts Obscure the Power of University Boards

    by Asheesh Kapur Siddique

    The real power at American universities lies with their boards of directors, which are increasingly drawn from the ranks of corporate America and have shown themselves willing to enforce ideological restrictions on teaching and research. 

  • “Gimme an F!” Supreme Court Mulls the Case of the Cursing Cheerleader

    by Garrett Epps

    As the Supreme Court considers whether a school district has the authority ot punish a high school cheerleader for a profane social media rant made off campus, the author wonders if legal arguments about schools' authority are overshadowing schools' obligations to prepare students for citizenship. 

  • When Will Liberals Reclaim Free Speech?

    by Jonathan Zimmerman

    "When speech can be suppressed, the people with the least power are likely to lose the most. That’s why every great tribune of social justice in American history—including Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. —was also a zealous advocate for free speech."

  • When Academic Bullies Claim the Mantle of Free Speech

    by Jennifer Ruth

    It's past time to look at controversies over "woke" campus culture by considering the frequency with which faculty harassment follows from the exposure of alleged left-wing excess in the outrage-driven news media. 

  • A New Group Promises to Protect Professors’ Free Speech

    Princeton's Robert George hopes that the new organization Academic Freedom Alliance can influence university administrators to resist online outrage campaigns from the right and left and protect the right of scholars to speak freely on controversial subjects. 

  • Rush Limbaugh and the Nineties Roots of “Cancel Culture”

    by Alex Pareene

    Rush Limbaugh's career ended in a siloed media environment where the right occupied its own channels. But it began in a mainstream media that was eager to profit by marketing his brand of down-punching reactionary grievance. 

  • A Fraught Balancing Act

    Questions of free speech and incitement, plus the demonstrable falsity of many claims made by pro-Trump student activist groups, makes for complicated choices for university administrators who may decide on disciplinary actions against students believed to incite violence.