Connecticut: Where Ridicule is a Crime
By Alan M. Dershowitz
Gatestone Institute, gatestoneinstitute.org
Saturday, November 2, 2019
o Among the most fundamental First Amendment rights is to
ridicule -- regardless of the reason. The same is true of
holding people or groups up to contempt. Were Connecticut's
absurd statute to be upheld -- which it will not be -- it
could be applied to comedians, op-ed writers, politicians,
professors and other students.
o And what about "creed"? Is being a conservative or a
Trump supporter a creed that cannot be ridiculed?...
[T]herein lies its greatest danger: selective prosecution
based on current political correctness. Precisely the kind
of unpopular speech which the First Amendment was designed
o Such hateful expressions [Anti-Semitic, anti-Christian
and anti-conservative] are not only tolerated, they are
often praised as "progressive" by some of the same students
and faculty members who would censor politically incorrect
hate speech. Under the First Amendment, such selective
censorship is intolerable.
o All who care about civil liberties, regardless of race,
should now join with the racist students in opposing their
criminal prosecution and demanding that the Connecticut
statute be struck down as unconstitutional.
o The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the
president of the university should lead the campaign
against criminalizing speech that ridicules. Now that would
take courage in our age of political correctness and at a
time when the hard left is demanding "free speech for me
but not for thee." But this is not an age in which courage
is widely practiced, especially on university campuses, and
most especially by administrators.
Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi