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OpenMarket: Free Speech

  • Defending the Right to Donor Privacy

    June 13, 2016

    The campaign to safeguard the right to privacy for charitable donors is moving one step closer to reality. Last Friday was the deadline for members of the U.S. House to submit amendments to the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act (H.R. 5053), sponsored by U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.). The bill would eliminate...
  • Politically Correct Transgender Pronoun Mandates Violate First Amendment

    June 11, 2016

    The First Amendment is being violated by recent government demands that people use pronouns others than “he” and “she” to refer to their transgender peers.  The New York City Human Rights Commission has issued guidance saying that businesses may be fined...

  • A Complaint We Didn't Expect to Hear: Virgin Islands Attorney General Now Says We're Wasting His Time

    June 6, 2016

    Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker filed his opposition last week to CEI’s motions for attorney fees and sanctions. As you may know if you’ve been following this subpoena saga, on April 7 Walker served CEI with a massive document request, covering a decade’s worth of all our work on climate change and energy policy, including confidential information on our donors. This was a violation of both our First Amendment rights and those of our supporters—a view shared by many commenters regardless of their political leanings, and a position forcefully presented by our outside counsel, Andrew Grossman and David Rivkin of Baker Hostetler. Forty-three days after serving the subpoena, Walker withdrew his DC subpoena, though he graciously...

  • First Amendment Forbids Ideological Discrimination in Protecting Rallies

    June 3, 2016

    Anti-Trump demonstrators beat up Trump supporters outside a Trump rally in San Jose, California this week, while police initially did nothing but watch. As Buzzfeed News notes, “rallygoers simply trying to get back to their cars were chased down and beaten — often at the feet of San Jose Police, who stood by motionless. ... Police were present at the gathering, but took a hands-off approach to the crowd. In some cases, officers stood nearby as fighting and violence broke out. ... A police source told BuzzFeed News that officers were under orders to not break ranks.” “Video from the scene showed a self-identified Trump supporter being struck in the head by a protester. He later had blood streaming down his face. ... Another Trump supporter was attacked with...

  • CEI Asks Court to Sanction U.S. Virgin Islands AG for Baseless, Retaliatory Subpoena

    May 24, 2016

    On Monday, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker agreed to revoke a subpoena he obtained from the D.C. Superior Court last month, in which he demanded from CEI essentially every document and communication related to climate change policy that we created, sent, or received during the 10-year period from 1997 to 2007.

    His withdrawal follows a letter that CEI received on Friday, May 13, from his D.C.-based counsel Linda Singer on his office’s behalf, which purports to rebut some of CEI’s...

  • Muggles for Free Speech

    May 19, 2016

    J. K. Rowling made international headlines this week by defending free speech in an address to the PEN Literary Gala in New York. She referenced the much-discussed public petition that was circulated at the end of last year calling for Donald Trump to be banned from entering the UK over “hate speech,” arguing that someone like Trump should, if fact, have the right to say things she (and others) find bigoted or offensive:

    “His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot,” Rowling continued. “His freedom guarantees mine. Unless we take that absolute position, without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination. If you seek the removal of freedoms...

  • RICO 20 Ringleader's Implausible Denial of Intent to Silence Skeptics

    May 17, 2016

    After a recent victory in a FOIA lawsuit, Horner and CEI v. GMU, a Richmond court allowed the  Competitive Enterprise Institute to release records on Friday that showed George Mason University’s Ed Maibach and Jagadish Shukla, both taxpayer-funded instructors, organized a campaign calling for prosecution of those who disagree with their views on climate policy.

    In one of the many documents released, Shukla denies he and his collaborators were attempting to silence dissent on climate change.

    Some quick background. Early last September, Shukla, Maibach, and 18 other climate advocates sent a ...

  • Facebook's Alleged "Curation" of Conservative News Isn't the Government's Business

    May 11, 2016

    Facebook is under fire for allegedly manipulating its “Trending Topics” section to reduce the visibility of conservative topics and stories about the social media platform, according to a story published yesterday by Gizmodo based on interviews with several former Facebook contractors who were not identified. The company has categorically denied these allegations, but that hasn’t stopped many commentators from criticizing Facebook for secretly injecting bias into its users’ feeds. I have no idea whether Gizmodo’s scoop is accurate, but I can certainly sympathize with journalists and consumers who don’t want left-...

  • Bureaucratic Double Jeopardy: Feds Order University of New Mexico to Restrict "Unwelcome" Speech

    April 26, 2016

    Even if you convince one bureaucratic agency to leave you alone, another may come along and harass you. The possibilities are endless in an age of overlapping regulatory jurisdiction by a swarm of bureaucratic agencies. After the Education Department was criticized by civil-libertarians back in 2013 for trying to get the University of Montana to define all “unwelcome” speech on sexual issues as “sexual harassment,” it backpedaled. But now the Justice Department is doing the same thing (the Justice Department claims the authority...

  • CEI to AG Walker: Withdraw Un-American, Unlawful Subpoena or Expect a Fight

    April 21, 2016

    Yesterday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute responded to U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, who recently sent us a subpoena demanding we turn over essentially all of our documents on climate change policy during the 10-year period from 1997 to 2007. We told Mr. Walker that we object to his subpoena, as it’s a blatant attempt to intimidate us for advocating views that he opposes. Simply put, the subpoena is nothing more than attempt to punish CEI for our public policy views and silence our advocacy, under the guise of an...

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