Freedom of speech leads a precarious existence in the best of times, and these are not the best of times. In many parts of the world, dissent from the majority views, particularly majority religious views, is a capital offense. Most Americans consider themselves fortunate to live in a bastion of liberty where vigorous and robust speech is allowed and encouraged, even if the speech disturbs others.
That is why it was disheartening to see in one 48-hour period last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction extends throughout the western United States and Alaska and Hawaii, deliver two stinging repudiations of freedom of speech. Continue reading