Real pushback: School district immediately cancels ban on prayer when threatened with lawsuit

The First Amendment, becoming accepted once again
The First Amendment, becoming accepted once again

Bring a gun to a knife fight: When the officials at West Shore School District in Pennsylvania sent out a letter to the presidents of the various booster clubs at its schools ordering them to “halt prayers at future banquets, and at any other school-sponsored activity” and claiming falsely that “student-initiated prayers at school events are illegal,” two non-profit free speech legal firms, First Liberty and the Independence Law Center teamed up to immediately send a letter to the district challenging that order:

First Liberty and our friends at the Independence Law Center quickly sent a letter to district officials asking them to immediately rescind that threatening letter. Our legal team offered to help draft a new letter and policies to ensure the district would not illegally discriminate against students and staff.

We explained in our letter that the First Amendment prohibits a school district from acting in a hostile manner toward religious belief.

To my readers this story is familiar. What has normally happened next in the past few years — since censorship and blacklisting has become all the rage by those in power — is that the government officials either ignore the letter or publicly defy it. Sometimes they double down and actually fire someone for exercising their First Amendment rights. What follows next is of course a lawsuit, which almost routinely ends in a crushing defeat for the school that costs it significantly in damages.

This story however ended quite differently:
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Today’s blacklisted American: California city harasses Rabbi for having guests over for dinner

Beverly Hills: Where Jews are forbidden to pray
Beverly Hills: Where Jews are forbidden to pray

They’re coming for you next: The headline above is literally true, though you need to know a bit about Judaism, especially Orthodox Judaism, to understand what I mean exactly.

The story is this: Because Rabbi Levi Illulian, like all Orthodox Jews, routinely invites friends and acquaintances to join his family for Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch at his home during the weekly Saturday Sabbath, officials in Beverly Hills in California sent him a “notice of violation” on June 12, 2023, telling him that these dinners must cease, and ordered him to “terminate all religious activities” that included any “non-residents.” It also threatened him with civil and criminal proceedings if he didn’t stop praying with friends in his home.

It appears that the city’s actions were instigated by the complaints of one unnamed neighbor. As described in the letter [pdf] sent by Illulian’s lawyers to the city in response to its notice of violation, after receiving those two complaints in February and March about parking, trash, and noise, the city instituted an investigation that involved stake-outs of Illulian’s home and the use of drones over his property (without a warrant) in which city officials “not only tallied the number of individuals and cars coming and going from the Home, but also photographed Rabbi Illulian’s guests.”
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Democrats now favor oppression and censorship by almost 3 to 1

Key result from Pew survey
Click for original image.

Blacklists are back and the Democrats have got ’em: A poll released this week by the Pew Research Center has starkly revealed the dark oppressive mentality that now dominates supporters of the Democratic Party, and makes possible the enthusiasm for blacklisting and censorship by its leadership.

The graph to the right shows the big take-away from the poll, as indicated by the arrows and the red box. Democrats now favor censorship by 70 to 28 percent, a major rise since 2018, when their attitude towards free speech was almost identical to Republicans. Since then, while Republican support for the First Amendment and freedom has remained largely stable and strong, Democrats have almost entirely abandoned these American ideals. As Pew notes:

There was virtually no difference between the parties in 2018, but the share of Democrats who support government intervention has grown from 40% in 2018 to 70% in 2023, while the share of Republicans who hold this view hasn’t changed much.

There is a similar gap between the shares of Democrats and Republicans who say technology companies should restrict false information online. A large majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (81%) support technology companies taking such steps, while about half of Republicans (48%) say the same. The share of Democrats who support technology companies taking these steps has also increased steadily since 2018.

These partisan gaps persist when it comes to restricting extremely violent content online. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say that the U.S. government (71% vs. 48%, respectively) and tech companies (83% vs. 61%) should take steps to restrict violent content online even if it limits freedom of information.

I must add that this is not a poll of the politicians of the Democratic Party. It is a poll of that party’s supporters, its rank and file, its grass roots. And though the poll showed a rise in the willingness to censor across all age groups, the cause of that rise is clearly coming from Democrats. As noted by Alex Berenson,
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Pushback: Federal judge confirms and shuts down censorship campaign of Biden administration

The Bill of Rights, cancelled
Cancelled by the Democratic Party led by Joe Biden

Blacklists are back and the Democrats have got “em: On July 4th (an appropriate date), Terry Doughty, chief U.S. district judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, ruled that the evidence clearly showed that the Biden administration, in league with most big social media companies, had been running an aggressive censorship operation against conservatives for the past two-plus years, and issued an injunction banning “numerous top Biden administration officials and agencies from communicating and meeting with social media companies.”

You can read Doughty’s ruling here [pdf]. I strongly urge you to do so, as he is harshly blunt about the ugly actions of the Democrats running the federal government since 2021. His introduction sets the tone, beginning with this quote, “I may disapprove of what you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it,” and then getting more blunt from there:

This case is about the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The explosion of social-media platforms has resulted in unique free speech issues—this is especially true in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history. In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment’s right to free speech. [emphasis mine]

In his detailed review of the history, he begins by listing the number of examples of this attack against free speech by the Biden administration:
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The sad state of free speech in America illustrated by three top universities

Cancelling the Bill of Rights

Events in the last two weeks at three of America’s top universities, Stanford, Cornell, and Yale, have illustrated starkly how many young Americans and their teachers now either support censorship and violence against dissenters, or are too cowardly to defend the rights of Americans when their free speech rights are attacked.

At the Stanford Law School a 5th Circuit Judge, Stuart Kyle Duncan, was shouted down and then lectured by a dean at the school for daring to have opinions she disagreed with. Stanford officials have issued a weak apology, but have done nothing concrete to discipline anyone for enforcing a heckler’s veto at the school.

At Cornell, the promise of university officials to punish students who participated in a protest that shouted down Ann Coulter has apparently been put aside once the heat died down.

Cornell University’s media team has not responded to multiple inquiries in the past months on possible punishments for the student activists. The College Fix also emailed communications director Rebecca Valli on March 6 and asked for an update on investigations into the students involved and what Cornell planned to do in the future to prevent similar problems.

The silence comes despite an initial strong statement from university leadership that criticized the Nov. 9 disruption.

Finally, officials at Yale Law School have attempted to fix things after being badly embarrassed by a similar violent protest in March 2022, when students shouted down Kristen Waggoner, the president of the non-profit law firm the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). » Read more

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Religious pro-lifers prevented from viewing Bill of Rights because National Archives forbids free speech

The evil hat that Air & Space banned
An example of the evil pro-life clothing
banned by the National Archives

They’re coming for you next: Students and parents and others who had just attended the January 20, 2023 March for Life event in Washington were told by numerous National Archives security officials that day that they must remove or cover any pro-life shirts, jackets, hats, or buttons or they would be ejected from the museum.

From the lawsuit [pdf] filed by three of those pro-life individuals:

Plaintiff L.R., her mother, and her fellow classmates [about 35 people] were ushered through security and into the first group of visitors to enter the Rotunda where the Constitution and Bill of Rights are on exhibit.

…Approximately five minutes later, Plaintiff L.R. and her fellow classmates were suddenly approached by Defendant John Doe 1 who instructed Plaintiff L.R. and her classmates to remove all pro-life attire. John Doe 1 specifically instructed Plaintiff L.R. that she could not be wearing anything pro-life and that she must cover her shirt and not unzip it until she had left the National Archives. John Doe 1 also instructed Plaintiff L.R. and her other classmates to remove their pro-life buttons. John Doe 1 made other classmates standing near Plaintiff L.R. remove their pro-life hats. One such hat contained the inscription, “LIFE always WINS.” Another hat contained the inscription, “ProLife.” Plaintiff L.R. witnessed another guard participate in these instructions to her classmates and at no time did any of the other guards in the Rotunda intercede and provide contrary instruction.
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Today’s blacklisted American: Previously blacklisted Oregon professor sues university for being further blacklisted because he tweeted “all men are created equal.”

Bruce Gilley
Bruce Gilley of Portland State University

They’re coming for you next: Professor Bruce Gilley of Portland State University in Oregon, who previously had a peer-reviewed paper on colonialism withdrawn from publication because of death threats, has now sued the university because the former communication manager for its Division of Equity and Inclusion blocked him from an internal college Twitter discussion group because he had the nerve to tweet “all men are created equal.”

You can read his lawsuit complaint here [pdf]. Gilley not only sued the university’s Division of Equity and Inclusion, he also sued directly Tova Stabin, the communications manager who blocked him.

What makes the case interesting is that the day after he filed his lawsuit, the university unblocked him and its lawyer sent him an apologetic letter. Here is part of that letter, as quoted in the lawsuit complaint:
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Today’s blacklisted Americans: Catholic students kicked out of Air & Space museum for wearing pro-life hats

The evil hat that Air & Space banned
The evil hat that Air & Space officials banned

They’re coming for you next: A dozen Catholic students, having just attended the March for Life event on January 20, 2023 in Washington, found themselves being chased from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum because they were all wearing hats with a pro-life message.

According to their lawyer,

Once in the museum, they were accosted several times and told they would be forced to leave unless they removed their pro-life hats. The group all wore the same blue hat that simply said, “Rosary PRO-LIFE.” Other individuals in the museum were wearing hats of all kinds without issue.

The museum staff mocked the students, called them expletives, and made comments that the museum was a “neutral zone” where they could not express such statements. The employee who ultimately forced the students to leave the museum was rubbing his hands together in glee as they exited the building.

According to the students and their parents, the kids were all wearing the same hats in order to find each other in the crowds.

When asked by the press about this incident, the museum responded as follows:
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Pushback: Blacklisted Virginia Tech soccer player wins $100K settlement

Kiersten Hening, blacklisted by Virginia Tech
Kiersten Hening

Bring a gun to a knife fight: Kiersten Hening, a former Virginia Tech student and soccer player, has won a $100k settlement from the university and her former coach, Charles Adair, for blacklisting her from the team because she refused to kneel in support of Black Lives Matter during the National Anthem before a game.

In December Adair had lost in his attempt to obtain qualified immunity, and thus he became personally liable for his improper and discriminatory actions against Hening that violated her first amendment rights. Rather than allow the case to go before a jury, it appears Adair and the university negotiated a settlement. And while the settlement terms have not been made public, and Adair’s comments to the press try to imply that he got off scot free, this comment by one of Hening’s lawyer gives us a hint:

Attorney Adam Mortara tweeted in reply to Adair’s statement: “If by clarity you mean you are paying my client six figures in a settlement then you’re right that’s pretty clear. Honestly, Coach, read the Court’s opinion. You are paying. Defendants don’t pay in cases that have no standing.”

Mortara went on to thank Adair and his “bosses at Tech for paying the equivalent of several years of tuition.”

Whether this is a victory for free speech remains very unclear, however. Even if Adair did pay up, he remains the soccer coach at Virginia Tech, and clearly has the support not only of the administration but the women’s soccer community there:
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Cornell confirms its plan to punish students for disrupting Coulter speech

The modern dark age: Only days after a speech by Ann Coulter on November 9, 2022 at Cornell University was disrupted by protesters, the president of Cornell University, Martha Pollack, apparently confirmed the university’s stated public intention to punish the students involved.

Pollack confirmed during a Nov. 15 assembly meeting that the students, who were warned and escorted from the event for preventing Coulter from speaking, would be referred to the Office of Student Conduct” who would then assign “punishments.”

“I will just be honest, I think this was a really stupid move,” Pollack said of the protest in an audio recording obtained by The Cornell Review. “Ann Coulter’s basically irrelevant at this point… and this is exactly what she wanted.”

If you click on the link to the audio recording and go to 18:22, you can hear the question and Pollack’s answer. It is very clear that both she and the questioner want to support free speech and wish to prevent future such disruptions from silencing speakers at Cornell. As Pollack states:
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Pushback: University eliminates “bias reporting” option that allowed any student to anonymously squelch dissent

An afterthought at Southern Utah University
An afterthought at Southern Utah University

Bring a gun to a knife fight: After receiving a threat of legal action [pdf] for violating the first amendment rights of its students, South Utah University (SUU) eliminated a “bias reporting” option on its website that allowed any student to anonymously squelch dissent, simply because he or she did not like what the other person said.

Southern Utah University (SUU) removed a tab from its campus safety website where students and officials could report alleged “bias” or “hate” incidents after the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), a non-profit legal group, challenged that it violates students’ rights to free speech, SLF confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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Pushback: Catholics sue Michigan for imposing queers and the queer agenda in religious schools

Repealed in Michigan
Doesn’t exist any longer in Michigan

Bring a gun to a knife fight: A century-old Catholic parish based in Grand Rapids, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, is suing Michigan preemptively, anticipating that the state will soon require it to hire queers as well as teach the queer agenda in its school, based on the state’s very broad Civil Rights Act that forbids any discrimination based on sex.

The Michigan Supreme Court recently reinterpreted the prohibition on sex discrimination in Michigan’s Civil Rights Act and penal code to include sexual orientation and gender identity. That change requires Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish and its school, Sacred Heart Academy, to hire faculty and staff who lead lives in direct opposition to the Catholic faith, speak messages that violate Church doctrine, and refrain from articulating Catholic beliefs in teaching its students and when advertising the school to prospective students or job applicants.

Additionally, by preventing Sacred Heart from operating its school consistent with its beliefs, state officials are violating the rights of parents—including the three families who have joined the lawsuit—who specifically chose to send their children to Sacred Heart Academy because the school aligns with their values and religious beliefs.

You can read the lawsuit here [pdf]. It notes in detail the hostility to the Catholic Church by the Attorney General of Michigan, Democrat Dana Nessel, who appears eager to use the law to deny all Catholics their first amendment rights.
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Pushback: Blacklisting Virginia Tech soccer coach loses effort to get lawsuit dismissed

Kiersten Hening, blacklisted by Virginia Tech
Kiersten Hening

Bring a gun to a knife fight: Charles Adair, the soccer coach for the woman’s team at Virginia Tech, has lost in his effort to dismiss a lawsuit against him by former player, Kiersten Hening, who he blacklisted from playing because she refused to kneel in support of Black Lives Matter during the National Anthem before a game.

Hening filed a lawsuit against Virginia Tech and Coach Adair in 2021 but Virginia Tech immediately attempted to file a motion to have the suit tossed. The athlete stated that when she refused to take part in the kneeling, which at the time was a virtue signal statement indicating public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Adair began to insult and demean her as well as limiting her time to play during matches.

According to [U.S. District Judge Thomas T. Cullen], “Hening, who had been a major on-field contributor for two years prior to the 2020 season, also asserts that Adair removed her from the starting lineup or the next two games and drastically reduced her playing time in those games because she had engaged in this protected First Amendment activity. As a result, Hening resigned from the team after the third game of the season.” [emphasis mine]

You can read Cullen’s full decision here [pdf].

Cullen’s decision is intriguing not only because he not only threw out Adair’s effort to get the lawsuit dismissed, he also threw out Adair’s claim that he deserves “qualified immunity” as a public official. » Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: Judge orders Philadelphia to stop blacklisting Christopher Columbus

What Philadelphia thinks of Columbus
How Philadelphia wants Christopher Columbus honored

The modern dark age: A state judge has now ordered the city of Philadelphia to remove the plywood box that has covered its statue of Christopher Columbus for the past two years.

In her ruling, Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt said that if the city disagrees with the “message” the statue sends, it can add its own plaque with what it wants to convey. “More to the point, the City accepted the donation of the Columbus statue in 1876. It has a fiduciary duty to preserve that statue, which it designated an historic object in 2017. The Columbus statue is not City property as is, for example, a City snowblower,” the judge wrote.

On orders by the city’s Democratic Party mayor, Jim Kenny, the statue had been covered during the worst of the riots in 2020, with Kenny’s stated intention to remove it entirely at some point.
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Today’s blacklisted American: Massachusetts hospital network to deny healthcare to those who say things it doesn’t like

Mass General Brigham: hostile to free speech

They’re coming for you next: The Mass General Brigham (MGB) hospital network in Massachusetts has now established a policy that will deny healthcare to anyone who says something it doesn’t like.

The code covers not only “physical or verbal threats and assaults” and “sexual or vulgar words or actions,” but also “offensive comments about others’ race, accent, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other personal traits” or refusal to see staff based on those traits. It frowns on “unwelcome words or actions” as well.

While patients can give their side when accused of violating the code, MGB warns that it may ask them to “make other plans for their care” in response to some violations. They might also be banned from “future non-emergency care … though we expect this to be rare.”

The code of conduct can be read here. Moreover, a scan of MGB’s website shows it to be totally invested in the agendas of critical race theory as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. The top of its About page includes a link to a description of its “Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” which describes in careful terms the quota policies the hospital now follows, designed to choose minorities in hiring rather than those with better medical qualifications.

Apparently, if you go for treatment at MGB, you might not get the best or smartest care, but dammit! your doctors and nurses will be the right race or ethnicity!
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Today’s blacklisted American: Half of today’s students support the death penalty for some speech

The poll numbers, across all demographics
The poll numbers, across all demographics

This is no longer a land of the free: According to a new poll, half of today’s college students now believe that the death penalty is justified for some people should they dare express an opinion that offends.

Specifically, the students were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement:

Violence in response to offensive speech is not a new phenomenon. In some cultures, some types of offensive speech even merit the death penalty. Some speech can be so offensive in certain cases that it merits such harsh punishment.

As shown in the graph to the right, across the board, 43% to 55% of students from private and public schools, from all types of majors, from all levels of income, and from across the political spectrum, all agreed with this statement. The results were remarkably consistent. Tolerance was not their watchword, but oppression and dictatorship. If you say something that offends, half of today’s students feel justified in calling for your death.
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Pushback: Doctors sue to kill California law making it illegal to disagree with government

What the Democrats want to repeal
What the Democrats want to repeal.

I think today’s blacklist story about a lawsuit by five California doctors against a state law that was passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature and signed by Democrat governor Gavin Newsom, is a perfect blacklist story for today, election day.

Two years ago, at the beginning of the Biden administration, I noticed an immediate change in the behavior of Democratic Party politicians and their supporters. No longer were they whispering about their desire to silence their opponents. Suddenly they were open and aggressive about it, calling for blacklists and commissions, as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) enthused, “…to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.” Here is what I suggested they do:

Hey, Alexandria, I’ve got the perfect name for your congressional commission. Why not call it the House Un-American Activities Committee? You could subpoena right-wing writers and journalists to testify against their will in Congress, demanding to know their party affiliations. You could also set up lists of these proven conservatives so that businesses nationwide can blacklist them and keep them from working.

As it turned out, the Democrats did exactly this, though their commission was instead named the January 6th commission, supposedly focused on punishing anyone involved in the entirely legal demonstrations that occurred in DC that day. At no time in the past two years has that commission, or Biden’s Department of Justice, showed the slightest interest in investigating actual political violence. No, instead, the goal has been to persecute ordinary people and slander entirely innocent politicians.

Nor has the Democratic Party’s campaign against free speech and personal liberty been limited to this commission. I started my blacklist column at that time because the number of examples of blacklisting, censorship, and abuse of power by the left, both in and out of that party and among its supporters, had become so numerous I realized if I reported every case as it happened, my website would be swamped. Instead, I decided to cover one per day, to make it clear how much these thugs were normalizing this goonlike behavior. After two years, that column now lists more than four hundred examples of blacklists and abuse of power, almost all of which were done by the Democratic Party or its supporters on the left.

The law under dispute in California is a perfect example. Passed in September, 2022, it forbids any doctor from saying anything the government doesn’t like, or face the loss of their medical license for “unprofessional conduct.” Below is the bill’s specific but very vague wording, designed to allow the government to punish almost all medical professionals for anything they might say or publish, merely because someone in the government disagrees with it:
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Pushback: PA school board settles lawsuit and will pay $300K for censoring critics

Reaffirmed at Pennsbury
Reaffirmed at Pennsbury, despite its school board’s hostility

Bring a gun to a knife fight: The Pennsbury school board in Pennsylvania has now been forced to pay $300K and fire its attorney, Peter Amuso, because that attorney silenced three different individuals during the open comments period at a school board meeting, simply because they were criticizing the board’s policies.

More details here. This quote describes how Amuso shouted down one of those speakers, Doug Marshall:

Marshall was interrupted by solicitor Peter Amuso for referring to the equity policy as the “equity and critical race theory policy,” which, Marshall is told, isn’t what it is officially called. … Marshall is later asked to stop speaking for sharing “irrelevant” information and violating Pennsbury School Board Policy 903, which states that members of the public can be asked to stop speaking for “lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene or irrelevant” comments.

“You’re now being disruptive and disorderly, you’re done,” Amuso can be heard telling Marshall as he objects to being cut off.

The board’s defeat in court was certain because a federal court has already ruled [pdf] that the board’s actions were unconstitutional.
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Today’s blacklisted American: Lake Superior State University bans free speech

No first amendment allowed at Lake Superior State University
No free speech allowed at Lake Superior State University

The modern dark age: In June Lake Superior State University earned the Speech Code of the Month award from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) for having a vague and oppressive policy towards the placement of posters on campus.

Students wishing to put up posters on campus at Lake Superior State University better choose their words carefully, as the public university’s posting policy threatens “disciplinary sanctioning” over material deemed “offensive, sexist, vulgar, discriminatory or suggestive.” The trouble with this policy is that anyone, for just about any reason, can claim that someone else’s speech is “offensive” or “suggestive.”

Every month, FIRE highlights a university policy that hinders students’ free expression, and we’ve made Lake Superior State’s “Posting Policy” FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for June.

FIRE’s main complaint about the college’s poster policy is that it is “overbroad” and “vague,” and could be abused to ban almost any speech. Students are thus forced to self-censor out of fear that any proposed poster he or she wishes to post could be deemed “offensive” and not only be banned, but cause the school to impose sanctions against the student.

The policy however is far worse. Note the highlighted phrases from that policy:
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Pushback: Students win major settlement with college for denying them their free speech rights

Chike Uzuegbunam: winner against college censorship
Chike Uzuegbunam: A winner against college censorship

Bring a gun to a knife fight: Because the Supreme Court had ruled 8-1 in March 2021 that Georgia Gwinnett College and its officials could be held liable for damages for illegally denying several religious students their first amendment rights, the university last week finally settled the five-year-long case in favor of those students, paying nominal damages and attorneys’ fees totaling more than $800,000.

The case began when the university in 2016 twice prevented two students, Chike Uzuegbunam and Joseph Bradford, from talking to other students about their religious faith on campus. The first time the university claimed that, according to its speech zone policies, the students could only do so after getting permission from the school and then limiting their speech to a tiny free speech zone on campus. When Uzuegbunam followed this policy, school officials then banned him from speaking entirely because someone had complained. From the Supreme Court’s March 2021 ruling [pdf]:
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Pushback: HOA demands flag be removed; Neighbors rally and raise their own flags

Banned by Cumberland Crossing HOA
Free speech banned by Cumberland Crossing HOA.

Bring a gun to a knife fight: When the Cumberland Crossing HOA in Ohio demanded that resident Thomas DiSario take down the thin blue line flag he had been flying for five years to honor his son — who had been a policeman killed in the line of duty — he not only refused, all his neighbors rallied in support by raising their own flags throughout the neighborhood.

Some neighbors in a subdivision near Etna are making a statement after a resident was told to take down his “thin blue line flag” by the Homeowner’s Association. The HOA told him to remove it, calling it a political statement.

“I applaud them for it and it’s growing. You see more flags out every few days, you see a few more flags and blue light bulbs,” said Kathy Riddle, neighbor.

More and more neighbors in Cumberland Crossing are mounting thin blue line flags outside their homes. “We wanted to show respect for our neighbor. And we appreciate the service that his family member gave,” said Riddle.

It appears that the HOA demanded the flag’s removal after one complaint, and claimed the reason for doing so was simply because “It is a political statement.” The image below shows the text from the HOA letter, clearly indicating that its reasons for demanding the flag’s removal was an attempt by the HOA to ban political speech.
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Today’s blacklisted American: Teacher threatened with loss of license for expressing an opinion

Marissa Darlingh: Her free speech not allowed in Wisconsin
Marissa Darlingh at the April 23rd rally: Her free speech forbidden by Wisconsin

They’re coming for you next: A Wisconsin teacher, Marissa Darlingh, has been threatened with loss of her teaching license by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for speaking publicly — on her own time and as a private citizen — at a feminist rally on April 23, 2022 against the modern queer movement to introduce perverse sex instruction into elementary schools.

During that rally, Ms. Darlingh publicly expressed that she “oppose[s] gender ideology” in elementary schools and that young children should not be “exposed to the harms of gender identity ideology” or given “unfettered access to hormones—wrong-sex hormones—and surgery.” She argued passionately that she “exist[s] in this world to serve children” and “to protect children,” and does not support social or medical transition of young children. In the passion of the moment, Ms. Darlingh at one point said “[expleteive] transgenderism,” referring to the “gender identity ideology” that she believes harms children.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued Ms. Darlingh a letter on April 29, informing her that the agency opened an investigation to determine whether to revoke her educator license for “immoral conduct” at the April rally. The letter cites Darlingh’s use of profane language as well as her statements “oppos[ing] gender identity ideology from entering [her] school building” and her statements that she “do[es] not believe children should have access to hormones or surgery” as examples of her “immoral conduct.”

You can view the DPI letter here [pdf]. In threatening to take away Darlingh’s right to teach, it also gave her the option to end the public investigation if she would simply “surrender her license.” To do so DPI kindly included an agreement for her to sign.

In other words, “You sure have a nice looking resume. It sure would be a shame if something happened to ruin it.”

Darlingh not only did not surrender her license, she enlisted legal help from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), which immediately sent a letter to DPI [pdf] telling it to back off or face a lawsuit for violating Darlingh’s first amendment rights. The letter also took the offensive, closing with this demand:
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Today’s blacklisted American: Professor’s suspension for having an opinion now more than 100 days long, with no end in sight

Georgetown University: No free speech allowed

They’re coming for you next: The suspension by Georgetown University of Ilya Shapiro from his position as executive director for the Georgetown Center for the Constitution because he posted a tweet critical of Biden’s most recent Supreme Court nomination is now more than 100 days long, with no clear end date.

Shapiro’s tweet, now deleted, had noted the Biden administration’s decision to make race and gender more important than a judge’s legal qualifications in picking Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court was a bad mistake. For that crime, Georgetown University put him on administrative leave while it conducted “an investigation.”

It is now more than three months later, and the university not only has not completed this faux investigation, which really has nothing to investigate as all the facts are plainly visible for all to see, it apparently has no intention of telling anyone when the investigation will end:
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Today’s blacklisted American: Biden’s Labor Board attempts to silence conservative news outlet for making bad Twitter joke

Ben Domenech and The Federalist, blacklisted
Ben Domenech and The Federalist, censored by the federal government’s
National Labor Relations Board

Blacklists are back and the Democrats have got ’em: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is attempting to silence the conservative news site The Federalist for “unfair labor practice” because its publisher Ben Domenech sent out a bad Twitter joke in 2019 about unions, and two lawyers who had nothing to do with the company complained to the NLRB.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered Ben Domenech—publisher of the conservative website The Federalist…—to take down a June 2019 tweet in which he joked about sending employees who wanted to unionize to work in “the salt mines.” Domenech has refused, and the case is now making its way through the courts.

Domenech’s tweet came in response to news that employees of Vox Media Inc. walked off the job in support of unionization. No one at The Federalist had publicly expressed any interest in unionizing, and two of the website’s six employees filed affidavits attesting that they viewed the tweet as a joke. As far as I know, Domenech doesn’t own any salt mines.

The complainants, leftist lawyers Matt Bruenig (a former NLRB attorney) and Joel Fleming, have never worked for or been personally harmed by the Federalist and were clearly acting to silence their political opponents by taking advantage of NLRB’s overly broad regulations, which allow total strangers to file complaints against businesses they don’t like. The NLRB then moves to harass those businesses.
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Pushback against blacklists: Harvard students relaunch conservative newspaper

Among some of Harvard's students, freedom of thought might still exist.
Among some of Harvard’s students, freedom of
thought might still exist.

In an effort to push back against the effort by leftist students at Harvard to silence and blackball conservatives, a group of students have revived the publication of a conservative college newspaper, The Salient, that had folded sometime around 2010.

Harvard student Jacob Cremers, spokesperson for the Salient, said in an email to The College Fix on Nov. 30 that the revival of the paper is meant “to fill the vacuum and to encourage diversity of opinion on Harvard’s campus.”

“The Salient has traditionally served as a source and platform of independent and contrarian thought at Harvard; it seemed to us a shame that it had vanished without leaving another newspaper to take its place,” Cremers said.

About 5,000 copies of the new edition were distributed, he said, including under the doors of every student dorm and over 800 faculty offices on campus. The November 2021 edition was titled: “Revising America: The Deconstruction of the American Commonwealth and the Patriot’s Reply.” It featured eight articles written by students using pseudonyms.

“Pseudonyms are used in order to encourage freedom of expression and attract contributors who would otherwise be too shy of public exposure. The pseudonyms also allow readers to focus on the ideas communicated, rather than the writer behind them,” Cremers told The College Fix. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted quote should be translated: “We allow authors to publish anonymously because we know the intolerant left that dominates Harvard will immediately move to destroy anyone who writes for us, once they find out who they are.”

Significantly, it appears this effort is being funded by alumni and “others” who apparently want to encourage freedom of speech at Harvard while working to break up its monolithic and oppressive leftist culture. After years of sleepy disinterest, it looks like those dedicated to free thought have finally decided to fight.

Right now the plan is to publish The Salient two to three times per year. When the next issue is distributed throughout the college, do not be surprised if the leftist thugs who run Harvard to have organized a plan to steal and destroy all copies. It is the left’s playbook to silence all debate and opposition.

The publishers of The Salient had better be prepared for such thuggery, and arrange the distribution in order to defeat it.

Today’s blacklisted American: PJMedia banned by Twitter for calling a man a “man”

Cancelled Bill of Rights
Doesn’t exist at the Twitter.

The new dark age of silencing: The quite legitimate and major conservative news outlet PJMedia was locked out of its Twitter account this week because it had the audacity to state that just because the Biden administration’s assistant secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services likes to wear make-up and dresses, that does not make him a woman, even if he claims he is and the government and Twitter insist we accept that claim, no questions asked.

PJM’s Matt Margolis took issue with that claim in an article titled: “Rachel Levine Is Not the ‘First Female Four-Star Admiral’… Because He’s a Male.” He wrote:

Even if you believe that gender is a social construct and subject to how one feels and not dependent on biology, sex chromosomes determine whether an individual is male or female. Rachel Levine is 100 percent male, right down to his DNA. He is not a female. He may have grown his hair out and changed his name to a woman’s name, but that doesn’t make him a female.

Let me second Margolis’s position. If Levine likes to cross-dress, all power to him. However, he is still a guy, and that is what I will call him, to his face if I ever had the unlikely opportunity to do so. This would likely get me arrested and blacklisted also, as that is now what our present culture demands for anyone who dissents from the leftist agenda, even if that leftist agenda is utterly false and contrary to reality.
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Today’s blacklisted American: Professor who uncovered academic incompetence has been forced to resign from Portland State University

Liberty and freedom banned
No liberty at Portland State University. Photo credit: William Zhang

The new dark age of silencing: Peter Boghossian, one of three professors who revealed the incompetence and bad scholarship that now permeates academic culture by writing and getting published a fake paper in 2017 that claimed the penis was merely a “social construct,” has finally been forced to resign from his position at Portland State University in Oregon because of the never-ending harassment and slanders that he has been subjected to by both faculty and staff there.

“Administrators and faculty were so angered by the papers that they published an anonymous piece in the student paper and Portland State filed formal charges against me,” Boghossian wrote in his statement. ”Their accusation? ‘Research misconduct’ based on the absurd premise that the journal editors who accepted our intentionally deranged articles were ‘human subjects.’ I was found guilty of not receiving approval to experiment on human subjects.”

The school subsequently barred Boghossian from conducting research.

But according to Boghossian, he suffered far more abuse on campus than merely being sanctioned for his prank. “I’d find flyers around campus of me with a Pinocchio nose. I was spit on and threatened by passersby while walking to class,” he wrote. “I was informed by students that my colleagues were telling them to avoid my classes. And, of course, I was subjected to more investigation.”

…He also noted he was once the subject of a baseless investigation that tarred him as someone who commits violence against women. “My accuser, a white male, made a slew of baseless accusations against me, which university confidentiality rules unfortunately prohibit me from discussing further,” Boghossian wrote. “What I can share is that students of mine who were interviewed during the process told me the Title IX investigator asked them if they knew anything about me beating my wife and children. This horrifying accusation soon became a widespread rumor.”

Boghossian apparently had had enough. However, he is not running away, but instead leaving to form a new organization to specifically fight the close-minded and oppressive culture that now dominates most universities like Portland State.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: Leftist activist group wants Fox News banned

Fox News: Banned!

Blacklists are back and the Democrats have got ’em: A leftist activist veterans group aligned closely with the Democratic Party has begun a campaign to get Fox News banned from all military bases.

The group VoteVets, which works to elect liberal veterans to public office, took specific aim at controversial Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. Mr. Carlson has been at odds with Pentagon leaders in recent months after segments in which he seemed to suggest the U.S. military has become more concerned with diversity and political correctness than winning wars.

But the VoteVets petition steered clear of those issues. Instead, it took aim at Mr. Carlson‘s ambivalent comments about COVID-19 vaccines and specifically blasted a recent segment in which the Fox host said that Democrats want to make life difficult for the unvaccinated.

Essentially, this Democratic Party political organization wants to ban on military bases the speech of anyone who might express skepticism about any policy put forth by that party.

And why not? This tactic by Democrats and their ilk — of blacklisting and silencing their opponents — has been working like a dream. They are finding that Americans are afraid of them, and are willing to meet their every demand in order to avoid being attacked themselves.
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Today’s blacklisted American: Democrats introduce Senate bill demanding companies censor social media

Democrats: No soapbox free speech allowed
Democrats: No soapbox allowed! Photo: GeorgeLouis

Blacklists are back and the Democrats got ’em! Two Democrats, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-New Mexico), yesterday proposed a new law that would force social media companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to immediately remove any posts on their platforms that includes medical information those Democrats disagree with.

If the companies do not do so, they will be held liable for those posts.

As has become typical of Democrats, they label any information they disagree with as “misinformation.” To make sure their definition is sustained, their bill would have the federal government determine what is correct and not correct. That definition would then be used to justify silencing any other opinions.

Such a law would essentially repeal the First Amendment of the Constitution. Free speech will be banned. Only government-approved speech in connection with health will be allowed. If such a law was upheld by the courts (a very distinct possibility in today’s legal culture), it could quickly be expanded to cover all speech on any subject.

There is some irony in this Democratic Party proposal. » Read more

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Opponents of critical race theory in Virginia subjected to harassment campaign

Rick, stating the truth in Casablanca
Are Americans finally waking up?

They’re coming for you next: The parents in Virginia who are putting together a campaign to keep the teaching of the Marxist and racist program called “critical race theory” out of their local schools have been subjected to a harassment campaign that included hate mail, threats, and even slanderous letters sent directly to their employers.

One example cited in the article:

An anti-critical race theory (CRT) activist, Jessica Mendez, says that in June her employer was sent a flyer that called her an “active racist.” “You should be ashamed to employ a known and active racist!” the flyer, obtained by Daily Caller, read. The flyer added, “Yes, what is wrong with her? She’s a racist!!”

It further showed photos of Mendez at various anti-CRT rallies protesting the curriculum of Loudoun County Public Schools. Loudoun County has been at the center of a revolt against the implementation of CRT in school curricula that has spread across the country.

» Read more

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