Colorado: Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, was targeted by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding but, eventually, won his case before the Supreme Court. The baker’s lawsuit accuses the Commission of violating his constitutional exercise of free speech, due process, and the right to equal protection.
Facebook banned California Republican congressional Candidate Elizabeth Heng’s campaign video ad about communist crimes that led her parents to flee mass murder by communists in Cambodia in the 1970’s. Facebook says it does not allow “shocking, disrespectful, or sensational” content. [Does anyone actually believe that? Can you imagine Facebook banning a leftist campaign video that showed Nazi crimes against communists in Europe? Neither can we.] See the banned video here.
The University of Minnesota has proposed a policy that could punish students by expelling them, and professors by firing them, if they do not use someone’s preferred gender pronoun. Students are allowed to choose from a list of personal pronouns on the campus website: He/him/his, none, prefer not to specify, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, or ze/zir/zirs. They can also specify their gender as follows: Agender, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, man, nonbinary, prefer not to specify, two spirit, woman, or they can enter their own. This policy is dangerous because it goes beyond censorship and actually compels speech.
The Supreme ruled that mandatory union dues for people who work in the public sector violate workers’ right to free speech, as it compels them to subsidize speech and political action that they may strongly oppose. Unions will be left to convince workers to join and pay dues voluntarily. Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
The Association for Library Service to Children just renamed its Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award because, apparently, the books promote racism and sexism. Melissa Francis, who hosts a business show on Fox News, played a character on the Little House on the Prairie TV show in the 1970s and said that the leftist librarians did not read the books. History should be preserved so that we can understand our past mistakes and the strengths of our founding.
A California judge ruled that Twitter can be sued for advertising free speech and then banning users with whom they disagree. Twitter has frequently promised not to ban accounts on the basis of viewpoint or political affiliation, but it has frequently violated this promise, especially targeting conservatives. Twitter lost its argument that it has a first amendment right to ban whoever it likes from its platform, for whatever reason, and the case will move forward to set a precedent for social media.