December 2, 2022

"I do sometimes delete comments, but I do it based on my own editorial judgment, not state command."

"Still, I’m being conscripted. By obligating me to do the state’s bidding with regard to viewpoints that New York condemns, the law violates the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has carved out several narrow categories of unprotected speech, but hate speech isn’t one of them.... The new law would force me to act on the state’s disdain for online speech that someone, somewhere believes can 'vilify, humiliate, or incite violence against' groups based on protected class, even if that speech is protected by the First Amendment. Does speech by Richard Dawkins comparing George W. Bush’s faith to that of Osama bin Laden’s vilify conservative Christians? Does speech condemning trans athletes who join women’s sports teams vilify or humiliate based on gender identity? Do harsh criticisms of Israelis or Palestinians vilify those groups? Do some feminist comments criticizing patriarchy humiliate men? Can your comment on any of the blogs, news sites or social-media platforms swept up in New York’s law be defined as hateful conduct? Nobody knows."

Writes Eugene Volokh, in "New York State Wants to Conscript Me to Violate the Constitution/A new law requires me to post a policy for dealing with ‘hate speech’ in comments on my blog" (Wall Street Journal).


mesquito said...

Anyone who who was a reasonably aware University student in the 1980 saw this coming. Thank God for SCOTUS and the Constitution.

Michael K said...

East Germany is closer every month.

Sebastian said...

"Nobody knows."

I agree with Volokh, of course, but that's a little disingenuous. Progs know. And even if they don't know exactly in advance, they're happy to pass judgment after the fact. You have to say it to find out.

It's not as if progs like the First Amendment or think law needs to give advance notice. The Constitution and the morality of law only constrain prog rule. No good.

RideSpaceMountain said...

You might think they're winning, but you're wrong. They're losing. This is what losers do. The signal is getting out. The speech they want shut down is the Lernaean Hydra, and while they think they're Heracles, they are but mere mortals.

Two heads for every one severed, and people are watching. Fuck them. War.

Dave Begley said...

I've written here before in the comments my little dust-up with a Note author at The Nebraska Law Review. The author uses her pronouns in her profile (she/her) and she is an out lesbian.

Her Law Review Note claimed that per the Bostock SCOTUS case that it is required under Title IX that transwomen be allowed to compete in athletic contests against real women. This is all part of the "transwomen are women" dogma. She cited studies that transwomen wouldn't have any real advantages over real women. That's absurd.

But she complained to LinkedIn that my comment was hate speech. LinkedIn agreed.

I made comments on the Law Review's LinkedIn page that the Note was poorly edited and was political.

I then wrote the Dean at UNL and complained, inter alia, that this Note was poorly edited.

He wrote me back and said, "I don't usually respond to emails such as this...." Translation: I don't respond to nutballs.

He then pulled the old civility bullshit tactic on me and wrote that I was "too aggressive" and he expected a civil comment from a member of the Nebraska Bar. When aren't lawyers aggressive?

Right now there is a speech code for lawyers pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court. Comments on Facebook or LinkedIn that deviate from "transwomen are women" dogma could result in the loss of a law license.

The Supreme Court has sat on this new proposed disciplinary rule for seven months.

I'm going to write an article in the Nebraska Bar magazine about this issue after the Supreme Court decides.

We are in a full Free Speech crisis. The Left wants to crush dissent. Anything the Left disagrees with is Hate Speech.

GatorNavy said...

Arm up

gilbar said...

since we EXIST, to Serve the State? What is the Problem?
People will continue to have unrestricted free speech; as long as their speech is government approved.
WHAT could be More Fair than that? Any criticism of Any Topic, is completely permissible..
(as long as that Topic is one, that the government has authorized criticism Of)
Just as the Purpose of the Right to Bear Arms, is a right For the State.. To Protect the State..
Freedom of Speech/Press/Religion/assembly is a Right OF the State.. For the State.

We DON'T want to live in Fascism Do We? And the ONLY Way to prevent Fascism.. Is All Power to the State

gilbar said...

Known Troublemaker Michael K said...
East Germany is closer every month.

That's the sort of fascist talk, that will have the Stasi* blasting down your door

the Stasi* "Shield and Sword of the Party".

Krumhorn said...

It would be interesting to see an enforcement action on a "violator" of this law. Who in Albany doesn't know for a certainty that they would look idiotic trying to enforce this against a California resident.

The lefties are rock-solid convinced that they have a monopolistic grip on truth and virtue. And they're more than willing to send us to re-edukation kamps until we learn to agree with them while begging for another.

- Krumhorn

Mountain Maven said...

Move to red states.

rcocean said...

So why isn't someone suing NY state to get the law overturned?

Yancey Ward said...

"You might think they're winning, but you're wrong. They're losing. This is what losers do."

While you might be right, it is also what people who no longer feel constrained by The Constitution do, too.

Rabel said...

It's a stretch to claim that the NY law applies to Volokh. A definition from the law:


Volokh is essentially a sub-contractor with, which is published by the Reason Foundation, which is a non-profit.

So his "blog" itself is not a "social media network," it hosted by one, and second, the social media network he works with/for is a non-profit.

Gospace said...

All hail Dictator Hochul!

Hmm… looks like I may have misspelled hang…

Readering said...

Dave Begley. Pronouns in signature just means she's younger than us. Not sure any significane to sexual orientation in 2022 either. Wonder when I last met an in lesbian.

Lance said...

Volokh is essentially a sub-contractor with, which is published by the Reason Foundation, which is a non-profit.

Eugene Volokh is not a sub-contractor. I don't know if or how he has incorporated his enterprise (I don't think he has), but his only relationship with Reason that I'm aware of is that Reason hosts the Volokh Conspiracy blog. I'd be very surprised if Reason is paying Volokh.

And there are ads at both and So I'm sure Hochul would consider both as "profit-making".

Also blog posts and comments would seem to fall under "any content", no?

So I agree with Volokh, it makes sense to preemptively sue NY.

Saint Croix said...

4:44 nails it

any discussion of censorship and the left looks like fascists

and cowards

fascist cowards

and mean-spirited and unfair fascist cowards

and people on the right look like lovers of liberty trying to fend off the Nazis

Saint Croix said...

Prediction: Kanye West regains his high status by preaching on the evil of race, and by saying he loves the Jews and they are children of God, like Jesus.

(he's smarter than you think)

PM said...

Kanye West wants to be the Ali Esquire cover.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Mountain Maven, while I agree, don’t get complacent. Read Begley’s comment.

Red states all have busy little activist bees chipping away at the legal and cultural protections we have. Pay attention. They’re counting on you not.

rhhardin said...

Hate speech without hate falls afoul of the reasonable man rule.

gpm said...

Gotta believe that EV would do the right thing here, whatever that might be under the circumstances.


NMObjectivist said...

Good for the WSJ for publishing this by Eugene Volokh. It’s an outrageous action by NY. More left wing anti-First Amentment troubmaking.

Rusty said...

"So I agree with Volokh, it makes sense to preemptively sue NY."
Eugene, Break the law.

AlbertAnonymous said...

What he needs to do is post this:

Hate Speech Policy. The law requires that any blog with a comments section post a “hate speech policy” complying with certain specified requirements. Here is our policy:

There is no such thing as “hate speech” and therefore we do not “police” it or respond to it or manage it. Speech is speech. If someone says something you don’t like, respond and dialogue with them, or don’t. You decide.