The Wall Street Journal recently published an op-ed of mine on the First Amendment: Justice Holmes’s Free-Speech Lesson. The more certain you are, the more you should resist the temptation to silence those who disagree.
If you are absolutely certain that President Trump is or is not an idiot, that climate change is or is not the most pressing problem of our age, that abortion is or is not murder, that football players should or should not be allowed to kneel during the national anthem, that our nation needs more or fewer gun laws, welcome! Most of us feel the same way. Absolute certainty is common, as is the suspicion that anybody who is absolutely certain of the opposite view must be evil, ignorant or a gullible consumer of fake news.
Along with absolute certainty comes the understandable impulse to regulate or ban the speech of your opponent. Why allow evil and ignorant people to infect others with falsehoods and dangerous ideas? Why not take away the licenses of broadcasters whose news departments have the wrong slant? Why not make hate speech illegal? [more]
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