Recent links of note:
The ACLU Yields to the Heckler’s Veto
Walter Olson, The Wall Street Journal
Last week, we noted an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education that points out the unconstitutionality of the “heckler’s veto,” i.e., the shutting down or prevention of public speech through disruptive protest. The matter is of frequent concern on college campuses, where the “progressive” reaction to controversial or conservative lecturers is typically, as their frequent refrain goes, to “shut it down.” The most recent target of these campus radicals? The American Civil Liberties Union (itself a left-wing organization, but one ostensibly devoted to individual rights such as free speech) for its non-partisan legal defense of far-right and white supremacist organizations such as the one that infamously gathered at Charlottesville in August. Predictably, when leaders of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU travelled to the College of William and Mary, they were shouted down from the stage by W&M’s Black Lives Matter group. More unsettling, however, was the ACLU’s reaction to this direct attack on their own free speech by enemies of the First Amendment. After initially issuing a statement critical of the protest, the ACLU rescinded and removed clauses that denounced the vigilante practice of the “heckler’s veto.” We couldn’t have said it better than Walter Olson at the conclusion of his review of the events: “America needs an organization single-mindedly devoted to civil liberties. For decades it had one—the ACLU. It may need a new one.”
Interview, Alex Katz: “Ultimately, content is not important. The style is what is important”
Anna McNay and Alex Katz, studio international
Alex Katz, at the age of ninety a member of modern figurative painting’s old guard, recently sat down with Anna McNay of studio international for a discussion of his career, studio process, and thoughts on painting and art in general. Katz shares a number of gems in the interview, which comes in advance of his exhibition of drawings, paintings, and sculptures at Timothy Taylor, London. For a more in-depth peek into the mind of the great painter, read this autobiographical essay by Katz, featured in these pages in December 2002.
Yesterday, C-SPAN released a preview clip of an interview with Allison Stanger, the Middlebury professor who was hospitalized in March after being attacked by a mob that was angry at her for interviewing Charles Murray. In it she discusses her injuries, as well as her thoughts on the students and professors who agitated the disorder. The full interview, which promises more insight into her experience as the target of campus radicals, airs on C-SPAN Sunday, October 29, at 8 PM.
From our pages:
Sultan of sales
From the archives:
“The Kennedy phenomenon”
James Piereson, March 2014.