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WSJ: The ACLU Has Abandoned First Amendment..

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The far left no longer believes in the First Amendment and says so openly. They denounce “hate speech” as something that should not be allowed anywhere for exactly the same reasons the ACLU memo has outlined, i.e. it is counter to their commitment to social justice. While the ACLU is still a long way from throwing in the towel on free speech, I think this memo indicates that the far left is exerting an influence on the left in general. As the far left moves away from classic liberal values, even the ACLU is beginning to acknowledge that shift, albeit quietly in a memo they asked not be distributed to anyone.

Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor, said in an interview Thursday that “the ACLU has totally disappeared” and that civil libertarians have "forgotten what they have been preaching for 50 years because it’s Donald Trump that they are after.”
(Rogelio V. Solis/AP)
American Civil Liberties Union leaders are denying a claim from attorney Alan Dershowitz that they are silent on civil liberties issues involving President Trump because they oppose his policies.

Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor, said in an MSNBC interview Thursday that “the ACLU has totally disappeared” and that civil libertarians have "forgotten what they have been preaching for 50 years because it’s Donald Trump that they are after.”

Dershowitz said that group should be concerned about the reported wiretapping of Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s phone weeks before April 9 raids of his office and residence, and that they should not trust authorities and judges to restrain a sprawling probe of possible crimes connected to Trump.

A column in the Wall Street Journal argues that the American Civil Liberties Union has given up on defending free speech.
Just consider the ACLU’s stance on speech that allegedly denigrates “marginalized” groups. New guidelines recently published by the group make it clear that certain types of speech impede on progress.

The American Civil Liberties Union has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm “marginalized” groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,” the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.”’

The group still claims to defend speech rights. However, they include the disclaimer that they are only “committed to defending speech rights without regard to whether the views expressed are consistent with or opposed to the ACLU’s core values, priorities and goals.” They go on to write that they will refuse to work certain hate groups based on “the extent to which” the group’s “speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values.”

The ACLU famously defended the First Amendment rights of a Ku Klux Klan leader in the Supreme Court case Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969). The ACLU persuaded the court to reverse Clarence Brandenburg’s conviction on the basis that his bigoted speech did not directly incite violence or imminent illegal action.

The Wall Street Journal column argues that the ACLU would likely turn away such a case today. Between the increasing distaste for the First Amendment within the organization and the immense pressures from the public, it’s highly unlikely that the organization would even begin to entertain taking on such a case in 2018.

Perhaps the ACLU should remember professor Noam Chomsky’s perspective on protecting the right to express ugly thoughts. “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked,” Chomsky famously said. “So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” Source

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