Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions Wades Into Debates Over Campus and NFL Speech

The attorney general says the Justice Department will be more active in free speech cases on college campuses.

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Patrick Irelan/newzulu/Newscom

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced at Georgetown University today that the Justice Department will take on a greater role in free expression battles on college campuses.

In a speech denouncing what he characterized as an ongoing assault by illiberal administrators and students, Sessions said the Justice Department will file a Statement of Interest in a free speech case at Georgia Gwinnett College college this week, with more such statements likely in the coming weeks. A Christian student at Gwinnet filed a lawsuit against the college after he was told he could distribute literature only in two tiny areas approved by the college.

"Starting today, the Department of Justice will do its part in this struggle," Sessions said. "We will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students' free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come."

Battles over what kind of speech should be permitted on college campuses have been going on for years, but they've reached a feverish pitch in recent months as white nationalists and anti-fascist protesters fought in the streets.

As a large number of faculty and students protested outside the building, Sessions invoked America's long history of open debate and free expression, from the founding of the country to the civil rights movement, to argue that speech should not be subject to the whims of government officials.

"Freedom of thought and speech on the American campus are under attack," Sessions said. "The American university was once the center of academic freedom—a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas. But it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought, a shelter for fragile egos."

"The right to freely examine the moral and the immoral, the prudent and the foolish, the practical and the inefficient, and the right to argue for their merits or demerits remain indispensable for a healthy republic," he continued. "This has been known since the beginning of our nation."

Sessions cited cases of students being stopped from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution, which administrators deemed "provocative" literature, as well as the proliferation of campus speech codes and "free speech zones" that limit how and where students can exercise their First Amendment rights.

Such speech codes and zones have been the subject of many challenges by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which Sessions cited in his remarks.

"The First Amendment is the law of the land on public campuses, but for decades colleges have been treating that fundamental right as though it's optional," FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley said in a statement. "By supporting student litigation, the Department of Justice can help us ensure that all students can express themselves freely on campus."

Somewhat ironically, Georgetown designated three official "zones" for those protesting Sessions' speech. It is probably also worth noting that a woman is being prosecuted for laughing at Sessions during his confirmation hearing.

During a Q&A session after his speech, Sessions was asked about the ongoing controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, which has sparked a series of scathing tweets from Sessions' boss, President Donald Trump.

"The president has free speech rights, too," Sessions said. "So I agree that it's a big mistake to protest in that fashion, because it weakens the commitment we have to his nation that has provided us these freedoms. I would note, of course, that the players aren't subject to any prosecution, but if they take a provocative act, they can expect to be condemned."

The juxtaposition between Sessions' civic-minded calls for tolerance and the president's use of his bully pulpit to hurl insults at peaceful protesters was not lost on the students protesting outside Sessions' speech.

"I find it hypocritical for a member of the Trump administration to act as a champion for free speech while the president has consistently mocked and insulted those trying to exercise the very same rights," Richard Hand, a third-year law student at Georgetown, told CNN.

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  1. Trump, for now, is giving his opinion and saying what he would do if he was an NFL coach. The administration has yet to use actual government force to do any of these things. That is when I will begin to worry. Is he an immature asshole? Sure. But he can say what he wants as long as he doesn’t use his actual powers to do it.

    Same thing with his attacks on the press. So far, he just says mean things and embarrasses them at press conferences by not calling on them. Even with his history of absurd libel cases, he has yet to use actual government force to prevent any media outlet from publishing anything. He has yet to label a reporter co-conspirator for treason, like Obama.

    A president with a hostile relationship with the press is far less dangerous than a president in cahoots with the press.

    1. I too think he should keep running his stupid mouth. It’s not like he’s ever said anything that bad anyway. Not like that 57 states thing that you guys had the vapors over for 8 solid years.

      1. Who is “you guys”? I didn’t give a shit about that, although I do complain about the benefit of the doubt given to any Democrat when they have a gaffe and the media pile-on when it’s a Republican.
        Obama labeled a reporter a co-conspirator for treason, for Christ’s sake. That’s scarier than Trump’s mean words about CNN.
        Obama tried to use government force to change the Redskins’ name. If he just said “they should really change it”, that would have been fine.
        Trump is an asshole who says stupid things uses his bully pulpit. That is less dangerous than somebody who says nice things in public but uses actual government force to silence speech.

        1. Trump is hampered in his totalitarian instincts only by his monumental stupidity. In fat his gaffes are excused, but perhaps only because there are so many of them in rapid succession. Also, it’s very early yet.

          1. Such nonsense. Sessions has now definitively exposed the fake nature of the claims that the leader of our great nation in any way opposes the real free speech that we all need. No one needs to be afraid of our government, because while we fight for freedom, we will also ensure, for example, that students on our local campuses?great places like Berkeley, Georgetown and NYU?are not exposed to the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in America’s leading criminal “satire” case. See the documentation at:

            https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

            1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

              This is what I do… http://www.netcash10.com

      2. Tony,

        Obumbles not only SAID stupid things, he abused the powers of his office. Grossly. Trump may well do the same; he’s just getting started. But Obumbles had no reason to misspeak the number of States in the Union; it isn’t like it’s changed recently. Trump has plenty of reason to tee off on the Press, and to a lesser degree on the NFL players who are insulting the viewers whose politics don’t match their own.

        Trump may be an awful President. We’ll see. Obumbles set that bar pretty low, though.

        1. Take it from a guy who calls the president things like “Obumbles.”

          1. Terrific counter argument you retarded faggot.

            Let me know when Trump’s IRS targets your faggot activism groups for prosecution or leaks their donor lists to anti-faggot activists like Obama’s administration did.

  2. “I find it hypocritical for a member of the Trump administration to act as a champion for free speech while the president has consistently mocked and insulted those trying to exercise the very same rights,” Richard Hand, a third-year law student at Georgetown, told CNN.

    Very hypocritical – for consistency’s sake Sessions should impose right-wing speech codes. I’m sure that would make Dickhand much happier.

    1. A third-year law student upset by hypocrisy is like a 3rd year med student upset by blood.

      May be time for Mr. Hand to consider a profession more friendly to the hopelessly naive.

    2. Hypocritical is a very common these days to the point people don’t see it as bad as long as it justifies their believe.

      Liberals don’t care that Hillary lied 39 times to the FBI. But they are quick to condemn when Trump lies.
      They give Hillary a pass on everything then complain when someone else does it.

      They are so use to seeing the definition of hypocrite when they look into the mirror, that the term has lost its meaning.

      1. Not only do you believe an untruth, you still think teh emails is a big story. Even after everything. The thing is when liberals look in the mirror they don’t see Fat Rush Limbaugh with his hand up their asses doing their talking for them.

        1. Regurgitating Democratic Underground talking points without even changing the verbiage and then accusing others of being controlled by the media. Way to disprove that point about hypocrisy.

        2. They see Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert.

          Much better.

  3. “I find it hypocritical for a member of the Trump administration to act as a champion for free speech while the president has consistently mocked and insulted those trying to exercise the very same rights,” Richard Hand, a third-year law student at Georgetown, told CNN.

    How is it hypocritical for somebody who supports Free speech to utilize said right?

    As a large number of faculty and students protested outside the building

    Did dipshit find this hypocritical? Why or why not?

    Do you want faculty to protest free speech?

    It is probably also worth noting that a woman is being prosecuted for laughing at Sessions during his confirmation hearing.

    You’d be incorrect in that assumption. If you have an outburst during a hearing, you tend to get punished for the disruption. For good work trying to equate Sessions’ attempt to provide free speech on campus to anybody with a clown who cannot control themselves during a legal proceeding.

    Impressive to see Reason doing the wishy-washy treatment of a man who is trying to bring FREE SPEECH TO CAMPUSES.

    Libertarian moment and all, I suppose.

    1. “How is it hypocritical for somebody who supports Free speech to utilize said right?”

      That’s not the hypocritical part. The hypocritical part is the fact that Sessions is apparently butting the government’s big nose into the issue on college campuses to enable students to freely express themselves in a setting that they do not and should not control. For the US government to remain consistent, they would have to do the same thing in the NFL, protecting players’ ability to freely express themselves in a setting that they do not and should not control. But Trump has pretty clearly indicated that he would not do that.

      That’s why it’s inconsistent.

      1. That’s not the hypocritical part. The hypocritical part is the fact that Sessions is apparently butting the government’s big nose into the issue on college campuses to enable students to freely express themselves in a setting that they do not and should not control.

        He’s hypocritical for arguing that all adults enjoy 1st Amendment protections? How so? Isn’t one of the core jobs of the government, even amongst Libertarians, to protect the civil rights of people? If not, when did this change?

        For the US government to remain consistent, they would have to do the same thing in the NFL, protecting players’ ability to freely express themselves in a setting that they do not and should not control.

        I was unaware that the NFL was laden with government employees. Learn something new every day. These aren’t comparable. The NFL is a (barely) privately-owned institution. Colleges are funded, almost exclusively, by the government.

        But Trump has pretty clearly indicated that he would not do that.

        That’s why it’s inconsistent.

        So, because apples aren’t oranges, it is inconsistent.

        1. I don’t think those of us who value individual liberty above most other things should be OK drawing a big black line between private and public institutions when it comes to freedoms people enjoy. Private institutions should have to justify restrictions as well. Or else those of us who work for a private company or attend a private school suddenly find ourselves in a constitution-free zone for most of our waking lives.

          1. 1) The constitution is a restraint on government, not on employers.
            2) And it *should* be “constitution-free” if you and your employer mutually agree to work under those conditions.

            1. I’m just saying, freedom maximalists shouldn’t necessarily be content with people living most of their waking lives in freedom-free zones. I understand that to be a libertarian is to declare as many rights as possible invalid.

              1. How long have you been brain damaged?

              2. Did not understand this ……

              3. I’m just saying, freedom maximalists shouldn’t necessarily be content with people living most of their waking lives in freedom-free zones. I understand that to be a libertarian is to declare as many rights as possible invalid.

                Why should an employer be forced to pay for somebody who doesn’t abide by the rules they lay down? Do they have no rights?

          2. You’re a Stalin apologist who has explicitly said that you don’t believe in individual rights, so go fuck yourself with a rake and then drown yourself in some Obama cum.

            1. Q. What is the difference between Tony and a rake?

              A. A rake is actually useful. And it’s not a fucking dumbass.

        2. “He’s hypocritical for arguing that all adults enjoy 1st Amendment protections? How so? Isn’t one of the core jobs of the government, even amongst Libertarians, to protect the civil rights of people? If not, when did this change?”

          That’s not what the first amendment protects. The first amendment protects citizens from being persecuted by the government for speech. If the employer stops an employee from saying something as a condition of his job (or if a college administrator stops a student from saying something as a condition of his attendance), then the first amendment is not violated. In neither case is the first amendment violated.

          So when the US government steps in and tries to force the employer (or college administrator) to behave a certain way, it’s not on behalf of the first amendment. It’s simply government intervention, pure and simple.

          And to address your stance that it’s ok for the government to intervene when a portion of the funding comes from the government — I should point out that a significant portion of the NFL’s revenue comes from direct or indirect public funding. So Sessions isn’t the only one here being inconsistent.

          1. The issue is the blurred lines between public schools and the government. They take an awful lot of money from the feds and have agreed to a number of behavior restrictions in doing so. Sessions has a lot of leverage to go after public schools without at all being a hypocrite. private schools, yeh, far less.

            1. Re: blurred lines… this is a fascinating topic of discussion.

              Just how much public money they’re taking is related to whether you view student loans as federal money. On the one hand, the debtor owes the money to the bank (it has to be paid back, so it is ultimately the debtor’s money). On the other hand, if it’s a Federal loan, the loan is guaranteed mostly by the federal government. My view is that tuition comprises the majority of most universities’ funding, and that this is mostly the debtors’ money. In the case of state schools, where reduced tuition costs are due to state sponsorship, then it’s probably more government-funded, but certainly not entirely so.

              The reason this is important is because we need to also compare the money and resources provided to the NFL. The direct money is obvious. The indirect services, which include MASSIVE enforcement of IP, infrastructure, and exclusionary communications standards mean that the government is funding and exerting its influence on a lot more than most people think.

              It’s dangerous to go down this road because most large industries accept and even rely on huge amounts of government intervention and funding. And as soon as we start saying that the government can stick its nose in because of that, then we’re basically adopting Mussolini’s fascism.

              1. State-funded and state-operated agencies have a different obligation than private entities, even when those private entities accept money from the state you consummate fucking retard. Google is not the FBI. The Red Cross is not HUD. And the NFL is not a state college.

                1. So you would treat state universities and private non-profit universities completely differently? That’s actually a fair point, your juvenile insults notwithstanding.

                  Perhaps this is one more reason to separate school from state though.

                  1. Dear god, learn to read.

                    “They take an awful lot of money from the feds and have agreed to a number of behavior restrictions in doing so”

                    The key criteria is “agreed to a number of behavior restrictions”. In many of the Federal grants and assistance that schools take are requirements that they abide by specific rules of behavior. Title IX is the classic example at it only applies to schools accepting Federal assistance. Title IX has no relevance to schools that do not take Federal assistance. There are a multitude of other restrictions. The issue isn’t solely whether some takes Fed money….it’s what restrictions they agreed to in accordance with that.

                    1. But what you’re missing is that they haven’t agreed to all of the restrictions that have been placed on them, including this one. This has been chronicled (pardon the pun) by Chronicle of Higher Ed for years.

      2. I wasn’t aware the the NFL was a state-funded and state-operated institution with an obligation to abide by the 1st Amendment.

        1. So you’re suggesting that the school administrators and school faculty are agents of the state then? They’re basically like the DMV or any other government office? And you’re also suggesting that the DMV employees be allowed to express themselves at work in whatever way they wish, and that this falls under their first amendment rights?

  4. The funny thing with Trump, the NFL, and taking a knee, is that when CK was doing it, it was about racial disparity. Everyone else in the NFL is doing it now not join with CK and his protest, but to protest Trump’s position. Trump haters have hijacked CK’s disparity protest and turned into an anti-trump thing. Disparity is pushed aside and now it’s all about Trump.

  5. Don’t forget Sessions is the guy prosecuting a women for laughing during his confirmation hearing. Just another oblivious hypocrite on his high horse.

    1. But he’s not. That is the DC police, and it has nothing to do with him.

      1. And it wasn’t due to laughter but to an outburst in a legal proceeding, which all courts would prosecute.

        But he did try hard there, didn’t he?

        1. Wrong asshole while judges have pretty much unchecked power to define contempt only the shittest asshole types would use that power in this way. You’re such a fucking bootlicker.

          1. My understanding is that it was not the laugh that got her charged. It was her conduct afterwards.

            1. That won’t slow down the narrative.

      2. I’m pretty sure it’s DOJ prosecuting.

        1. Maintaining your perfect record of being wrong about absolutely everything.

    2. The author of the article already beat you to the podium in the retard olympics. Try actually reading next time.

  6. So I agree that it’s a big mistake to protest in that fashion, because it weakens the commitment we have to his nation that has provided us these freedoms.

    Sessions first became aware of it during the physical act of love; a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily he was able to interpret these feelings correctly: loss of commitment. Rest assured it has not recurred. Women, er, women sense his power, and they seek the life commitment. Sessions does not avoid women, but he does deny them his commitment.

  7. Somewhat ironically, Georgetown designated three official “zones” for those protesting Sessions’ speech.

    The irony isn’t that Georgetown designated “free speech zones” for protesting Sessions’ speech. It’s that Sessions’ speech was closed to the Georgetown Law community at large, and was instead only open to a hand-picked audience of students and faculty predisposed to agree with him. Georgetown originally let any student RSVP, then revoked the invitations to the community at large and replaced them with people who were (1) student fellows of Randy Barnett’s Georgetown-affiliated think tank or (2) students enrolled in Randy Barnett’s classes.

    1. “only open to a hand-picked audience of students and faculty predisposed to agree with him”

      rather,

      “only open to a hand-picked audience of students and faculty who were unlikely to cause an embarrassing, juvenile scene disrupting a speech by the friggin AG at friggin Georgetown”

      I’m sure Georgetown very much wanted to avoid the clownish behavior seen at other campuses.

  8. This bullshit like he’s just speaking as private citizen is total fucking bullshit.

    1. Few people are saying Trump “is speaking as a private citizen”. Most people are saying that there is no first amendment violation for Trump to speak, argue, promote, scream, heckle, pester, whine, condemn, or any combination thereof regarding entertainers making an unfavorable political statement. The first amendment is very clearly focused on laws made by congress, not the executive branch. Most would probably agree that Trump actively going after ‘speech’ would be a bad thing….but he has not, nor has he given any indication he will.

      1. It’s definitely not a law or executive order restricting speech but it is presidential power of another kind that Trump is using in an attempt to silence speech that triggers and offends his delicate snowflake feelings. The people listening to Trump may be more compelled to act against the economic interest of the NFL because of their respect for the office of the presidency. I think suing Trump personally and as agent of the govt wouldn’t be a bad idea if only to chill this type of behavior in the future.

        1. Like Obama going on television and saying he was going to kick the asses of oil company executives?

          Fuck off you pathetic subhuman piece of shit partisan shill.

  9. RE: Jeff Sessions Wades Into Debates Over Campus and NFL Speech
    The attorney general says the Justice Department will be more active in free speech cases on college campuses.

    Here’s a way to defend free speech on campus.
    Withdraw any federal funds to any school that does not tolerate or impedes free speech.
    I wonder how many of these snowflakes are willing to deny and/or harass anyone who opposes their viewpoints once their tuition rate goes up 500% percent in one year.

    1. Here’s a way to defend free speech in the NFL.
      Withdraw any federal funds to any league that does not tolerate or impedes free speech.

      1. Which federal funds did congress allocate to the NFL again?

        1. 1) The ones sent to the NFL to promote patriotism.
          2) The ones sent to states to support infrastructure via the USDOT.
          3) The ones sent to states to assist in stadium construction and renovation.
          4) The ones that are used by federal prosecutors as well as the FBI to protect and enforce IP restrictions against the NFL, free of charge to the NFL.
          5) The ones used by the FCC to enforce communications standards that protect the NFL’s interests and exclude competing broadcasters.

          The NFL is vitally reliant on the US government, its interventions, and its money. The web site of the Minnesota Vikings even explicitly mentions the “federal infrastructure funding” that was allocated to NFL stadiums.

          In exchange, the NFL has directly donated money to the federal government and to its head honcho. Why would they do that if they weren’t getting something in return?

        2. The feds put money into everything in some way or another. The money is not what matters. What matters is what was agreed to when the money was accepted. Most Fed funding has restrictions on behavior. Usually these restrictions are selectively enforced, but not always. Title IX is the classic example, but there are many more similar situations.

          I have no idea what the NFL agreed to when they accepted Fed funding on a half dozen different things. It would be very interesting to see what the agreements required from them. Fed money is almost never given without some sort of obligation in return..

  10. Georgetown law trying to silence Sessions to prove their for free speech. do they not see the hypocrisy

  11. “The juxtaposition between Sessions’ civic-minded calls for tolerance and the president’s use of his bully pulpit to hurl insults at peaceful protesters was not lost on the students protesting outside Sessions’ speech.”

    Actually, it HAS been lost. They seem to think that being dissed by the President is somehow comparable to prior restraint of speech. This clearly shows that they should sue their grade-school teachers for malpractice. Their level of understanding of civil rights is about on a seven-year-old level.

    Dear, sweet little snowflakes, the price of freedom to express your political opinions in public is that others get to disagree with you in public. Loudly.

    Deal. With. It.

    1. To be consistent, one must take the following stance:

      1) You believe the NFL has the right to tell their employees that they can’t express their political opinions at the venue, and that government should not intervene to enable the employees to do so.
      2) You believe a college has the right to tell their students that they can’t express their political opinions at the venue, and that government should not intervene to enable the students to do so.

      OR

      1) You believe that NFL players have the right to freely express their political views at the venue and the government should intervene and protect them.
      2) You believe that students have the right to freely express their political views at the venue and the government should intervene and protect them.

      Sessions chose to pursue an option from the second group while defending Trump’s choice from the first group. That’s why it’s inconsistent, and that’s why the juxtaposition is noteworthy.

      1. By the way, I’m not advocating that the NFL *should* tell their employees not to express their opinions, nor am I advocating that college administrators should tell their students not to express their opinions. What I *am* saying is that the government should not interfere in any shape or form.

        1. Whether a nominally public or private concern. Universities should be havens for free expression regardless, and sports should be venues for protest. Both are proud American traditions with no good to come from presidents or other government agents meddling.

          1. Universities should be havens for free expression

            Lol, except when they’re shutting down gay, black-cock-loving “white nationalists”, right faggot?

              1. He wants to suck cock

      2. No, fucking moron, that’s still wrong.

        See, fucking moron, the NFL is not a state institution, fucking moron. Public colleges, fucking moron, are state institutions, fucking moron, so they have a different obligation to their students, fucking moron. Do you understand, fucking moron?

        To make it clearer, fucking moron, your employer does not have any obligation to allow your political speech. The 1st Amendment, fucking moron, is a restriction on government. Since state colleges are an extension of the government, fucking moron, they are subject to the restrictions placed on government, fucking moron. since the NFL is not an extension of the government, fucking moron, they are not subject to the restrictions placed on government, fucking moron, anymore than any other employer would be.

        The only thing noteworthy is what a fucking moron you would have to be to make the comparison.

        1. Your anger issues are absolutely hilarious.

        2. Now, now. I can understand getting a little heated by the argument, but there’s no call to cuss like a gandy-dancer who’s mashed his own foot with a sledgehammer. It detracts from your points. Furthermore, it’s tiresome.

      3. I cannot agree with you. The NFL players are employees of the teams, wearing employee uniforms. Their employers have the right to say “While you represent me, do not say thus and so.”. PRIVATE colleges can restrict student speech as much as they damn please. They can also be mocked for doing so, their pretensions of teaching in the tradition of “free exchange of ideas” exposed as so much eyewash. PUBLIC colleges and universities, OTOH, should fall unde rthe same restrictions as other government institutions. The cases are not parallel.

        1. I’d argue that private universities cannot do so either.

          The Citadel had to allow female cadets due to them taking federal monies.

          If you take any federal money — and they all do — then you have to abide by the rules.

        2. If someone is peddling Christianity or Satanism or whatever else on Capitol Hill property, are they free to do so wherever and whenever they want?

          1. And perhaps more importantly (bringing it back to libertarianism…), do we want the state to be dictating policy and behavior to universities, public or private? Libertarians are very clear on their positions re: the role of the state (and especially the Federal government) in education at earlier levels. Why do some people insist on throwing that all out the window when it comes to universities?

  12. “Sessions finally does something good.”

    Got a better headline for you.

    Sessions seems to think that it is not what comes out of a man (speech) which makes him impure, but what goes into him (dope).

  13. The juxtaposition between Sessions’ civic-minded calls for tolerance and the president’s use of his bully pulpit to hurl insults at peaceful protesters was not lost on the students protesting outside Sessions’ speech.

    It is indeed a stark juxtaposition if you are so incredibly fucking retarded that you mistake “tolerance” for “freedom from criticism”.

    1. Suck that cock! Suck it reeeeel good

  14. Of course, some of those signs in that little corner where they were allowed to protest had the usual “hate speech isn’t free speech” mantra.

    Neither side has clean hands.

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