Since Donald Trump’s election victory, liberal hysteria has been in overdrive. While that is to be expected, the lengths liberals have gone to resist the new president have come with some troubling trends. Instead of debating conservatives on the issues, liberals have increasingly relied on silencing them. Despite being a cornerstone of liberal values, modern progressives have become downright hostile to free speech.This new trend has manifested itself in some pretty disturbing ways. Not only have anti-Trump protests turned violent, but so have protests of other conservative speakers. The violence has been so bad, that many speakers have been forced to cancel events in fear their safety.
Nowhere has this problem been more evident than on America’s college campuses. Despite being places where students are supposed to be engaged in open debate, campuses have been on the front lines of the movement to suppress conservative speech. If claiming the speech offends them isn’t enough, students have often resorted to destructive riots in an attempt to silence the opposition.Although college campus hostility to President Trump is well documented, a new lawsuit against the president started by a student group is turning heads. Ironically enough, the group alleges that it’s actually Trump who is violating the First Amendment.
From the Blaze:
A free speech group has sent a letter to President Donald Trump, demanding the tweeter-in-chief unblock dissenting Twitter users because, according to them, the practice violates the First Amendment.The @realDonaldTrump Twitter account has blocked a handful of users that have replied to the president’s 140-character posts with comments that criticized, mocked, or disagreed with his actions and rhetoric, according to a letter sent to the White House by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York.
The group claims that the president’s Twitter account is a public forum:
“This Twitter account,” the institute wrote, “operates as a ‘designated public forum’ for First Amendment purposes, and accordingly the viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional.However, not all legal experts agree that the students have a case:
“The question of whether the president’s Twitter feed is a public forum is a more complicated question,” Neil Richards, a professor at Washington University’s law school, told the magazine. “The law here is famously muddled, because it’s trying to prevent the government from discriminating against people who speak on public streets and parks, but it’s trying to fight the urge to make everything a public forum.”
Had Twitter been explicitly designed by the government as a line of communication between the president and the American people, Richards noted, the institute might have a better case. Additionally, the @realDonaldTrump handle predates Trump’s election and is not even his official government account, @POTUS, which was created and is maintained by the White House.Of course, blocking a Twitter account doesn’t prevent that user from speaking. The user is still able to Tweet whatever they want, it just won’t be in reply to Trump’s account.
Nevertheless, the group is pressing on with its threat to sue the president. In an ironic twist, the free speech debate has come full circle. Once at the forefront of silencing dissent, students are now upset that the tactic is being used on them.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]