Whose Free Speech? Our Free Speech!

Marieke Tuthill-Beck Coon
Show Date
April 23, 2017
Civil Liberties

Last week, Andrei Illarionov warned us about the subtle disinformation tactics the Russian government uses to undermine trust in institutions like democracy and the rule of law. Accordingly, there has never been a greater need to educate the next generation in the founding principles of our country and its 240 year-old Constitution. Kevin Shaw was doing his part, handing out Spanish-language constitutions to his fellow community college students at Pierce College in Los Angeles, when a campus administrator informed him that he would have to relocate to a 616-square-foot “Free Speech Zone.” Shaw knew his rights, and got in touch with the only organization that knows how to fight back: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Since FIRE filed a lawsuit against the LA Community College School District, the L.A. Times has come out with an editorial in support of Shaw and his right to free speech at Pierce. Marieke Tuthill-Beck Coon is an attorney with FIRE, who joins the show to discuss the case. Assuming they win the lawsuit, FIRE will be one step closer to its goal in the “Million Voices” litigation campaign to free one million student voices from unconstitutional speech codes nationwide. One big question looms: will these voices exercise their freedom of speech to help preserve the Republic?