Another Washington-Inspired Assault on Free Speech

The Obama administration is currently embroiled in two political scandals, and a third, understandably overshadowed by Benghazi and the IRS, is brewing on our campuses. The Civil Rights offices of both the Education Department and the Justice Department have issued a flabbergasting and clearly unconstitutional assault on free speech, ruling that colleges must eliminate and punish “verbal action” (better known as speech) touching on sexual matters. Rumors (true or not), “unwelcome” requests for dates, off-color jokes and virtually all sexual discussion will now be (selectively) punishable as sexual harassment under orders from the Education Department. Here two well-known civil libertarians react to the ED and DOJ’s assault on speech and common sense: Harvey Silverglate, co-founder of FIRE (above, writing with Juliana DeVries) and Eugene Volokh of the UCLA law school and the blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, below.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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