Chris Machold has a warning for state implementing laws to protect free speech, handle with care. While these bills have great potential to move the meter towards more speech on campuses, instead of less, they can implemented in a way that backfires. Machold joins the Young Voices Podcast to discuss his piece in TownHall and talk free speech.
Flying Dog Brewery terminated its membership with the Brewers Association over free speech concerns on June 1, marking the first time that a craft beer manufacturer split with the powerful trade group. The move was made in protest of a policy the Brewers Association announced in April aimed at cracking down on “sexually explicit, lewd, or demeaning brand names, language, text, graphics, photos, video, or other images.”
Flying Dog, who produces a popular Belgian IPA called Raging Bitch, is no stranger to censorship challenges. In 2009, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission barred the sale of Raging Bitch in the Wolverine State, claiming that the label is “detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare.” Oddly enough, the label was designed by renowned artist Ralph Steadman, who is best known for illustrating many of Hunter S. Thompson’s best-known works, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Three University of Texas at Austin professors filed a lawsuit claiming that letting people carry firearms on their campus would have a chilling effect on speech. Last week, District Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed the suit claiming the professors could present “no concrete evidence to substantiate their fears” and that their fears rest on “mere conjecture.” Although it’s certainly refreshing to see professors using First Amendment justifications with such vigor, it’s even better that Yeakel dismissed their ludicrous arguments and protected campus carry.
In 2015, the Texas legislature strengthened their commitment to gun rights at public universities. Senate Bill 11, which came into effect in August 2016, permitted campus concealed carry in campus buildings within reasonable guidelines. Those guidelines vary from school to school. At UT Austin, guns must stay out of sight, and individuals professors can choose to make “gun-free zones” in their offices, provided they post their rules clearly.