Campus Free Speech

Why Did It Take Stanford So Long To Recognize This Satirical Flyer As Protected Speech?

The university investigated a law school student for mocking the Federalist Society, putting his diploma on hold until yesterday.

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In 1983, Hustler magazine ran a Campari ad parody featuring Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell's description of his "first time"—a "drunken incestuous rendezvous with his mother in an outhouse," as the Supreme Court would later describe it. After Falwell sued Hustler for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress, the Court unanimously ruled that the magazine's obviously facetious description of the televangelist's sex life was protected by the First Amendment.

Although Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, decided in 1988, is a famous free speech case, it did not prevent the leaders of Stanford Law School's Federalist Society chapter from complaining that third-year student Nicholas Wallace had defamed them, their organization, and two Republican politicians by distributing a satirical flyer that mocked the group's ties to lawyers who participated in former President Donald Trump's vain attempt to stop Joe Biden from taking office. Nor did it prevent university officials from launching an investigation of Wallace, who was scheduled to graduate on June 12, and jeopardizing his career by putting his diploma on hold in the meantime.

The university reconsidered that decision after Wallace's predicament attracted national attention, drew bipartisan criticism, and provoked a detailed rebuke from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). "In cases where the complaint is filed in proximity to graduation, our normal procedure includes placing a graduation diploma hold on the respondent," a university spokesman told The New York Times last night. "The complaint was resolved as expeditiously as possible, and the respondent and complainant have been informed that case law supports that the email is protected speech."

It took the university more than two months to reach that conclusion, which FIRE thinks should have been obvious from the outset. "If 'normal procedures' and review by a university attorney let an investigation into political satire proceed, something is wrong with the procedures," it says. "It should not take outrage from Twitter and a United States Senator to protect political satire at any institution of higher education."

FIRE is referring to Sen. Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii), who called attention to the case on Twitter yesterday. "How is this taking any longer than 15 minutes for them to reverse and apologize?" he wondered. It's a good question.

Wallace's ersatz Federalist Society announcement, which he shared with other students via Stanford Law School's "law-talk" listserv on January 25, described an event featuring Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.), who played a leading role in the challenges to Biden's electoral votes on the day of the January 6 Capitol riot, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed a quixotic lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results and addressed Trump's supporters at the "Save America" rally that preceded the riot. The subject line of the email was "The Originalist Case for Insurrection," which was the first clue that it was a joke.

There were others. The Federalist Society event supposedly was scheduled for January 6, 19 days before Wallace distributed the flyer. Although Wallace used the group's logo (just as the Hustler ad parody featured a photo of Falwell), the email was not sent from a Stanford Federalist Society address, and it was not distributed on the "law-announce" listserv used to promote actual events. The flyer featured a picture of Paxton speaking at the January 6 rally and a notorious photo of Hawley raising his fist in support of pro-Trump demonstrators as he entered the Capitol that day. It said "riot information will be emailed the morning of the event," and "the first thirty students to RSVP will receive a $10 Grubhub coupon to be used the day of the event."

Here is how Wallace described the event:

Please join the Stanford Federalist Society as we welcome Senator Joshua Hawley and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to discuss violent insurrection. Violent insurrection, also known as doing a coup, is a classical system of installing a government. Although widely believed to conflict in every way with the rule of law, violent insurrection can be an effective approach to upholding the principle of limited government. Senator Hawley will argue that the ends justify the means. Attorney General Paxton will explain that when the Supreme Court refuses to exercise its Article III authority to overturn the results of a free and fair election, calling on a violent mob to storm the Capitol represents an appropriate alternative remedy.

The main premise of the Stanford Federalist Society's complaint about Wallace's phony flyer was that recipients would think this was a real event, an assumption that hardly reflects well on the organization's reputation or the intelligence of Stanford law students. "Wallace defamed the student group, its officers, Senator Josh Hawley, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton," one of the group's officers (whose name is obscured in the copy of the email posted by FIRE) said in a March 27 complaint accusing Wallace of violating Stanford University's "Fundamental Standard," a code of conduct established in 1896. "Wallace, impersonating the Stanford Federalist Society, wrote on the flyer that 'Riot information will be emailed the morning of the event,' insinuating that the student group was encouraging and hosting a riot. He also wrote that Attorney General Paxton advocates for 'overturn[ing] the results of a free and fair election' by 'calling on a violent mob to storm the Capitol.' And he wrote that Senator Hawley believes that violent insurrections are justified."

The author of the complaint seemed to have a weak grasp of how parodies work. "Wallace clearly impersonated the Stanford Federalist Society through his event flyer," the complaint says. "First, he included a line at the top of the flyer saying that 'The Stanford Federalist Society presents' the advertised event. Second, he included the Stanford Federalist Society's logo near the bottom of the flyer. Third, the body of the event flyer identified the Stanford Federalist Society as the host. Moreover, he used the same distinctive template that the organization uses to advertise its other (real) events. This template is easily recognizable to other students. Nowhere in his email, nor on his flyer, did Wallace explain that these representations of identity were false."

It is bad enough that a law school student representing an organization that believes "the state exists to preserve freedom" and supports "open debate about the need to enhance individual freedom" thought Wallace's political satire qualified as defamation, meaning it was illegal and a justification for court-awarded damages. It is worse that Stanford officials, who notified Wallace on May 27 that his diploma was on hold, took that claim seriously at all, let alone for more than two months.

In his June 1 letter to Assistant Dean Tiffany Gabrielson, associate director of Stanford's Office of Community Standards, Adam Steinbaugh, director of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program, notes that the university, as a private institution, is not bound by the First Amendment. But he argues that its unjustified investigation of Wallace violated Stanford's "commitment to freedom of expression."

The university's Fundamental Standard says "students at Stanford are expected to show both within and without the University such respect for order, morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens." It adds that "students are expected to respect and uphold the rights and dignity of others regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic status." But it also says "students are expected to uphold the integrity of the university as a community of scholars in which free speech is available to all and intellectual honesty is demanded of all."

As Stanford's Office of Community Standards explains, the university's commitment to free speech means that students cannot be punished merely for posting "something hurtful and offensive." Although "we sincerely hope that members of our community will express themselves in a respectful manner that does not cause harm to others," it says, "a commitment to academic and personal freedom means that many statements that may conflict with our ideals cannot be subject to discipline under the Fundamental Standard."

Even if the university's own policies allowed such punishment, the office notes, a California statute known as the Leonard Law "restricts Stanford's ability to discipline students for engaging in protected speech." That law, which Steinbaugh also mentions in his letter to Gabrielson, "holds private universities to the same [free speech] standard" as public universities.

In short, it should have been clear from the beginning that Wallace's satirical flyer was protected speech and that punishing him for it would violate both the university's promises and state law (whatever one might think of that law's merits). "That Stanford would initiate an investigation into a student for sending a satirical email to his peers would be laughable if the stakes weren't so high for a student on the cusp of graduation," Steinbaugh says. "Stanford's investigation into satire doesn't pass the laugh test. Satire is not defamation, and no university of any caliber should investigate whether it should be allowed."

NEXT: Abolish ICE? Actually, Biden's Budget Proposal Hikes Spending on America's Immigration Cops.

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  1. I cannot wait to see what happens when the shoe is on the other foot, and we have boatloads of students satirizing CRT.

    1. CRT? Cathode Ray Tube? Or maybe Critical Race Theory?

      Hmmm… The “Critical Race”, vitally essential to getting us to where we are today… Whites, for “liberal democracy” and ship-building and metal-working advancements? And data-driven science? Or Asians, for compasses, accurate clocks, gunpowder, and wheelbarrows? Or Africans, for some pretty cool music? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYbavuReVF4 … Egyptian King Tut music, for example!

      Accurately examining history to see which races were more “critical” for obtaining certain advancements? Who could object to that?

      1. Certainly not Sid Meier.

    2. Stanford will fly Antifa in to take care of it.

      1. I am glad the GOP got to blame Antifa for inciting the insurrection and then refused to investigate them for it. Which is proof that the GOP infiltrated Antifa in order to infiltrate the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys to shift the blame away from right-wing extremists.

        1. Can’t wait until the reckoning comes for you and your pedophile friends.

        2. lol the GOP is MI6

          1. more like MIA

            1. They really did have a responsibility as the minority party to launch an investigation into an unarmed group of protestors walking around taking selfies in the capitol building until one of them got shot in the face by a black cop.

              1. Chemleft thinks as if the haute bourgeoisie behaved like Jacobins. A radical bien pensant.

              2. 10 Capitol police officers still off work due to injuries received by “people walking around taking selfies”
                “More than 140 police officers injured”
                Estimated damage $30Million.

                Oh and thanks for pointing out that it was a ‘black’ cop. Your a racist shithead.

                1. Now do the injuries, deaths and damage cause by “peaceful protests” you leftist shill.

            2. More like “I’m a lying piece of lefty shit!”
              Thanks, asshole.

        3. Yeah, why didn’t those GOP congresspeople investigate Antifa for inciting the unarmed capitol “insurrection” after they had lost control of both chambers of congress. Those goddamn Republicans!

        4. How dare they not sign up for multi million dollar political investigations. Why didn’t liberals allow the committee to include the blm riots chipper? Or did those not happen?

          1. “PAy fur muH wiTcHunts, rePubLICans” – t. Chemleft

          2. Well, the Republicans signed up for the Arizona fishing expedition – that’s a few million there.

        5. “I am glad the GOP got to blame Antifa for inciting the insurrection and then refused to investigate them for it. Which is proof that the GOP infiltrated Antifa in order to infiltrate the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys to shift the blame away from right-wing extremists.”

          I’m more than happy to call lying lefty shits like chipper on his lefty shit lies.
          Stuff it up your ass, chipper; your head needs company.

    3. Different because hate.

  2. Yet your guy sleepy Biden who doesn’t tweet has new people in who say universities don’t have to follow your desires for justice, they must look at what whose feelings got hurt.

    1. Now, we are bitching that Biden doesn’t tweet?

      1. You really are confused.

  3. The Fed Soc should withdraw the complaint and its members should then push the boundaries of satire of leftists groups. Let’s see if they get the same treatment.

    1. Exactly my point (above). I thought Alan Dershowitz pretty much laid it out. You want to see if something is a problem? Use the ‘shoe on the other foot’ test. Then you’ll know.

      I actually hope someone does that here in the People’s Republic of NJ, at a state college.

    2. This ????????

      I’m amazed that Stanford even took a complaint by the Federalist Society seriously.

      Time to start trolling the sh!t out of these leftist groups.

      1. You can say shit here. And whatever the fuck else you want. Just don’t post links to kiddie porn like buttplug.

  4. The January 6 protest was the most left-wing I’ve ever seen the right behave.

    1. Just wait till they apply critical race theory to fetuses.

      1. The left will never let that happen. Fetal Lives Matter? They’d never allow that.

      2. What a hilarious non-sequitur. Especially in light of the face that 40% of abortions in this country are black.

        1. That’s what gets him off at night.

        2. Nothing proves your antiracism bonafides like a mountain of black baby corpses.

        3. Chipper hopes that an attempt to be ‘clever’ substitutes for an attempt at intelligence.
          Hey, lefty shit! It doesn’t.

      3. “Just wait till they apply critical race theory to fetuses.:

        Just wait until this pile of lying lefty shit tries to make a point!

    2. We know the left wingers are the ones really responsible.
      If only they gave the Trump Chumps what they wanted.

      1. Yep, your name fits. Now go away, and don’t come back until you finish middle school.

  5. Who says they won’t have anything to write about after Trump’s out of office?

    1. They can now write (with surprise!) about the entirely predictable results of their efforts!

      1. Why do that when they can blame conservatives for everything?

  6. As a control, someone should send a satirical email with a flyer about a seminar on how best to kill un- or recently-born babies, and see how long it takes the university to conclude its investigation and clear the student.

  7. >>if the stakes weren’t so high for a student on the cusp of graduation

    I’d entertain hiring the satirist on talent alone.

  8. …an assumption that hardly reflects well on the organization’s reputation or the intelligence of Stanford law students.

    Well…

  9. It’s defamation ONLY if it’s a lie.

    1. Whenever telling the truth is against the law, that law is wrong.

      EVERYTHING wrong about our civilization is the result of lying.

      Try to prove me wrong.

      1. who decides what’s wrong and who lied?

        1. Logic and science prove reality, which is truth.

          1. And that’s why you’ve been hiding under your bed with a load in your drawers and 4 cotton T-shirts strapped to your face because of a respiratory virus with a 1/10 of 1% fatality rate, right you Nazi piece of shit?

            1. You mean the respiratory illness that was the No. 1 killer as of December 7th? Beating heart disease.
              Fatality rate was about 2.1% – now about 1.5% Your numbers are utter bull.

              1. It saved thousands of lives that would have died of flu. There is that.

          2. “Logic and science prove reality, which is truth.”

            You’d be in jail, asshole.

          3. Hey Rob hows it going Rob 😀
            I heard youre a holocaust denier, Rob. Is that true, Rob? 😀

          4. Here’s some logic and science fuckwits.

            Don’t conflate being in a WW2 prison camp with being in “a holocaust”.

            The crucial event of the story is the cyanide gassing of millions of Jews. That never happened.

            Fuckwitness Jews wrote books illustrated with pictures of themselves shirtless dragging gassed bodies from the chambers to cremation ovens. This brings tears and shekels to every Jew.

            But cyanide is absorbed through the skin and NOBODY could have survived a single day of such activity much less collecting reparations into their old age reminiscing about it over a game of checkers.

            And so it goes with every bullshit story. The facts prove otherwise.

            Have you ever heard of the Bletchley park decrypts of the famous German enigma machines?

            It was credited for turning the tide of the war as allies knew what military actions the Germans were planning.

            Only released in the 1980s those translated messages included prison camp information, deaths, transfers and requests for medicines to treat illnesses. The numbers of dead don’t support a holocaust narrative which there was also No mention of.

            Are you willingly performing the feeble mental gymnastics required to believe, as the story goes, that Germans were communicating in code about prison camps while talking plainly about their military actions with their enigma machines?

            Let’s not forget another old timey favourite.

            The story of Babi Yar is a popular lesson in Jewish schools described as the single largest event of the holocaust.

            The lesson is that between 30,000 and 100,000 Jews were taken to a ravine in Ukraine where they were killed.

            The story is told by one Jewish
            survivor, Dina Pronicheva, an actress who testified that she was forced to strip naked and marched to the edge of the ravine. When the firing squad shot, she jumped into the ravine and played dead. After being covered by thousands of bodies and tons of earth she dug herself out, unscathed, when the coast was clear and escaped to tell the story.

            They were stripped naked to leave no evidence.

            She is apparently the only person in history to successfully perform a matrix bullet dodge at a firing squad.

            The soldier aiming point blank at her never noticed her escape. Never walked a few steps to the edge of the ravine to finish her off.

            Naked she had no tools to dig herself out from under 30,000 bodies and tons of dirt.

            Only after the deed was done, the nazis realized that so many bullet ridden bodies were evidence oops. So they brought more Jews and millions of cubic feet of firewood to dig them up, cremate them and scatter their ashes in surrounding fields.

            There has been no forensic investigation at the site. None of the bullets allegedly burned with the bodies have been recovered. Not one shred of physical evidence of this has ever been found.

            There are aerial photographs of the area at the time but they don’t show any evidence of the narrative, no people, no equipment, no firewood, no moved earth, no tracks of any kind.

            Simply stating these facts is a crime in Ukraine where the Babi Yar narrative is taught to students.

            1. So now you are calling the German NAZI’s liars? They documented each and ever person killed.

              1. The numbers of dead from German enigma decrypts aligns with Red Cross numbers.

                The Red Cross regularly visited all prison camps.

                It was their job to report the cause of all deaths. They recorded a grand total of 271,000 among all camps for the entire war. It is a matter of record.

                http://www.renegadetribune.com/international-red-cross-report-confirms-holocaust-six-million-jews-hoax/

                You believe that they were so incompetent that they were completely unaware of 95% of them or 5,629,000 deaths.

                You are a brainwashed feeble minded fuckwit to a false narrative.

            2. BTW, the gas used by the NAZI was never claimed to be cyanide. It was either Carbon Monoxide (easy to produce) or Zyklon B.
              So this is how stupid you are. Given a premise, you make up facts and then explain how ridiculous the facts are, therefor the original premise must be false.

              That doesn’t even begin to form a valid argument.

              As for shooting, I’m sure some where, but it is expensive and messy. There was an average of about 4 guards to 1000 prisoners. They each would have had to carry 250 rounds and never miss once.

              Oh, and in addition to calling the NAZI’s liars.

              Go lookup “Ohrdruf concentration camp” and you can see Patton, Eisenhower, and Bradly inspecting on of those non-existant funeral pyre.

              In this case, your ignorance makes you an ass.

              1. Fuckwit.

                Germany used Diesel engines which don’t produce carbon monoxide.

                Zyklon B is an off the shelf insecticide used among other places in Prison camps to delouse clothing and bedding to save prisoners lives by preventing typhus. The system used heating to release yes cyanide gas, fans to circulate the gas and more to exhaust the chambers to make the de loused articles safe to handle. Pictures of this equipment and the small de loosing buildings still exist in Aushwitz. But no evidence of any gas delivery system has ever been found in the shower houses where the bullshit holocaust allegedly occurred.

                Pictures of dead bodies are a dime a dozen in war.

                Are you going to continue to humiliate yourself?

                1. According to Martin Gilbert in his book, Holocaust Journey, the gas chambers at Treblinka utilized carbon monoxide from diesel engines. Many writers say that these diesel engines were obtained from captured Russian submarines, but according to the Nizkor Project, they were large 500 BHP engines from captured Soviet T-34 tanks. At the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi war criminals, the American government charged that the Jews were murdered at Treblinka in “steam chambers,” not gas chambers.

                  Gasoline engine exhaust contains between 7 percent and 12 percent carbon monoxide

                  On the other hand, a properly tuned diesel engine produces exhaust that contains about 1 percent carbon monoxide. This is the case because the fuel is burned much more efficiently, especially when the engine is idling. That is why truck drivers can leave their trucks on all night without fear and why diesel-powered vehicles and equipment are favored in mining or enclosed situations.

                  Germans weren’t a stupid as the Jew fuckwitnesses are.

                2. Carbon monoxide concentrations in diesel exhaust typically range from approximately 10 to 500 ppm

                  PPM CO Time Symptoms
                  35 8 hours Maximum exposure allowed by OSHA in the workplace over an eight hour period.
                  200 2-3 hours Mild headache, fatigue, nausea and dizziness.
                  400 1-2 hours Serious headache-other symptoms intensify. Life threatening after 3 hours.
                  800 45 minutes Dizziness, nausea and convulsions. Unconscious within 2 hours. Death within 2-3 hours.
                  1600 20 minutes Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 1 hour.
                  3200 5-10 minutes Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 1 hour.
                  6400 1-2 minutes Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 25-30 minutes.
                  12,800 1-3 minutes Death

                  Even if the Diesel engines were running at their maximum of 500 ppm, death would take several hours.

                  If zee Germans had used gas engines, death would have been in 3 minutes or so.

                  But in the revised bullshit holocaust narrative for treblinka zee Germans chose diesel.

                  Nuremberg charged that they were “steam chambers”.

                  Which stupid lie is more believable to a fuckwit like you?

                  You have to perform some feeble mental gymnastics to buy that.

      2. The senseless killing has occasionally gotten out of hand too.

        1. Killing based on lies.

          1. One wonders if the “lies” would be the same if the victors and losers were reversed. Perhaps if the people you support had won, for example, we’d be lamenting the Jewish lies that led to WWII.

            1. The only thing the bullshit holocaust narrative has in common with WW2 is that they were both the creation of Jews.

              These Jewish leaders are admitting it.. Are they lying?

              “We Jews are going to bring a war on Germany”.
              David A Brown, national chairman, united Jewish campaign, 1934.

              “The Israeli people around the world declare economic and financial war against Germany …holy war against Hitlers people”

              Chaim Weismann, the Zionist leader, 8 September 1939, Jewish chronicle.

              The Toronto evening telegram of 26 February 1940 quoted rabbi Maurice l. Perlzweig of the world Jewish Congress as telling a Canadian audience that” The world Jewish Congress has been at war with Germany for seven years”.

              You would conflate truth and lies with winning and losing you satanistic fuckwit.

              Reply

              1. Your lies are so easily debunked.
                In 1933, Jews in NYC agreed to a boycott. Israel didn’t exist. The name Israel for the “Jewish State” was not chosen until 1948.
                Best I care to research, May 14, 1948 – in part do to Ben Gurion.

                The “World Jewish Congress” was established in 1936 – for the math challenged that is 4 years before 1940.

                Keep in mind, the anti-Jewish laws in Germany started in 1933 (even if not heavily enforced).

                At least your not conflagrating truth with lies – from what I can see, its 100% falsehoods.

                1. The ignorance is all yours.

                  Jews have called themselves Israelis long before 1948.

                  Israel’s origins can be traced back to Abraham, who is considered the father of both Judaism (through his son Isaac) and Islam (through his son Ishmael).

                  The origin of the concept of the World Jewish Congress may be found in the early cooperative efforts by Jewish communities around the world in religious, legal, political, and relief matters. The origin of the World Jewish Congress can be traced to ideological developments within the American and European Jewish communities during and after World War I. In 1919 the *Comité des Délégations Juives was established , led by Leo *Motzkin ,

                  Do you want to continue to humiliate yourself?

          2. “Killing based on lies.”

            Lies denying mass murder, Nazi asshole.

          3. Hey Rob hows your day Rob 😀
            Are you a holocaust denier Rob? 😀

    2. All must witness the truth that none have refuted my statements.

  10. The woke liberal brain is incapable or recognizing satire. They had to wait until someone told them.

    1. What? Conservatives don’t get satire… That’s why they don’t get SNL or John Stuart’s Daily Show.

  11. The woke liberal brain is incapable or recognizing satire due to insane rage at anything and everything. They had to wait until someone told them.

  12. The woke liberal brain is incapable of recognizing satire due to their insane rage at anything and everything. They had to wait until someone told them.

    1. You can say that again.

    2. Sounds like they had to wait until they were told three times.

  13. There’s a good case to be made that falsely accusing a specific person or organization of inciting an insurrection that never took place is defamatory, but Reason won’t be able to come up with it until the Babylon Bee is getting sued by a “fact checker”.

    1. Reason has became a joke itself, a parody of libertarian belief. Reasons writers supported Biden in the election and can’t admit it was a big mistake. They color their stories with flowery words to hide how bad Biden really is, but can’t give up criticizing Trump though no longer in power (real TDS), not quite as bad as CNN but in some ways worse. CNN is a liberal sycophant propaganda site and everyone knows that. Reason is SUPPOSE to be an INDEPENDENT LIBERTARIAN site. Sickening.

      1. but can’t give up criticizing Trump though no longer in power

        If Trump had actually just gone away like the loser he is, then we wouldn’t have to talk about him. If he didn’t obviously have a great deal of power over the Republican Party, even after being voted out by several million votes, then few would care about him.

        Imagine an alternate reality where no one, not even Trump, had tried to cast doubt on the security of absentee voting in 2020.* A reality where the loser concedes once it is clear that recounts are done and won’t change the result. A reality where no more than a few crackpot House members and no senators would object to the counting of the EC vote (as is usually the case).

        In that reality, the Capitol insurrection never happens, because the losing side, angry and hurt as is always the case, wouldn’t actually think that the result could change. Instead, they might have been focusing on policy by now, rather than continuing to entertain conspiracy theories about a “stolen” election. Those conspiracy theories would be relegated to the actual fringe, rather than the mainstream of the losing party’s voting base.

        Such an alternate reality, of course, would have required Donald J. Trump to have been someone other than Donald J. Trump. If Donald J. Trump wasn’t who he has always been, he probably would have won, because he might have actually been a competent leader that would have been able to take advantage of how the economy had been doing well prior to COVID; he would have shown better leadership during the crisis and gotten support for that; all of that would have gotten more people in the middle to look at Biden and the Democrats for themselves, instead of thinking “anyone but Trump.”

        *Which, by the way, both parties spent the last 30 years making easier. Republicans did so because they believed they had a slight advantage in it. Trump was the first Republican I have ever seen cast doubt specifically on absentee voting, and then he only did so because it was clear that COVID was going to make it far more popular than usual. He said nothing at all about it in 2016. Then, it was the usual Republican obsession with ID that was the issue, with his 3 million illegals claim to match the margin in the popular vote Hillary had over him. Even though 25% of all ballots cast in 2016 were through the mail.

        I recall, and could find if I felt like it, all kinds of long-time GOP party officials and operatives expressing dismay at Trump’s attacks on absentee voting last spring. They were thinking about how stupid it was to basically sabotage himself and the party with him by discouraging Republican voters from voting by mail, figuring that some wouldn’t vote at all rather than risk showing up at the polls during a pandemic if they didn’t trust mail voting. It probably didn’t happen that way, as Republicans managed to make gains in the House and state races, but there’s little doubt that continuing to attack elections hurt the Georgia senate runoffs. All of the laws GOP states are passing now adding restrictions on absentee ballots that they had previously made easier might hurt them in the future, though, when Trump isn’t on the ballot himself to draw in his fans in person.

    2. Oh, I get it, Trump’s bitching about the election was ‘satire’

  14. “Wallace, impersonating the Stanford Federalist Society, wrote on the flyer that ‘Riot information will be emailed the morning of the event,’ insinuating that the student group was encouraging and hosting a riot.”

    Sounds like satire to me.

    “He also wrote that Attorney General Paxton advocates for ‘overturn[ing] the results of a free and fair election’ by ‘calling on a violent mob to storm the Capitol.’ And he wrote that Senator Hawley believes that violent insurrections are justified.”

    OK, it’s satire, but he did indeed use the format of satire to describe Paxton and Hawley as insurrectionists.

    Maybe the satirist if off the hook because it’s not actual malice – maybe he *really believed* these things were true – but even if so we’re not talking satire but a very real accusation made using the satire format.

    1. I’m curious about the two-month interval – they should have figured that their school doesn’t have the resources to investigate Jan. 6 and hence should have promptly dismissed the complaint on *that* ground.

      They might still have investigated the “insurrectionist” accusation against the campus Federal Society chapter. The accusation seems fairly plain. But again, actual malice. The Federalist Society is a public figure, and it it didn’t want to be be defamed it shouldn’t have been wearing such a short skirt.

    2. So? If Paxton or Hawley were complaining about this student, maybe you might have a point. (Maybe…) They were not. Only the student Federalist Society group had a complaint here.

      Also, standards like “actual malice,” etc. don’t necessarily have a role here. People keep confusing 1st Amendment actions against a government suppressing speech and civil lawsuits about defamation with something else. This is a “something else.” This was a PRIVATE university and the student Federalist Society submitted a PRIVATE complaint through the university’s procedures. The university has the right to resolve such things in any matter it wishes, as long as its procedures aren’t so obviously unjust or arbitrary that it could be perceived as a violation of some more fundamental legal principle. (And in that case, usually redress would have to be sought in a civil lawsuit, again not something that happened here.)

      So, I agree that private universities SHOULD uphold a standard promoting free speech on their campuses, and it’s absurd that it took them so long to make a ruling on this issue. But all of this speculating on “actual malice” and “defamation” and “public figure” is irrelevant — this was a private matter resolved among private parties, not a criminal or civil case, and not involving a government body that has an obligation to protect “free speech” according to all of the 1st amendment law. Stanford, to my mind, has a *moral* obligation to uphold principles of free speech on its campus, but how it chooses to do so is up to Stanford. If the Federalist Society believes it was actually defamed and could win a legal argument to that effect, they could file a civil lawsuit to seek damages. So far, they apparently have not.

  15. Why?
    Because any organization with an “Office of Community Standards” is incapable of rational thought on any subject.
    #defund Stanford

  16. > The author of the complaint seemed to have a weak grasp of how parodies work.

    Or the opposite.

  17. Uhh…because the post is not unquestionably parody, it contains elements of impersonation and fraud. Plus, given the audience and location, it was not all that unlikely to provoke a violent counterprotest by credulous coeds.

    1. “Uhh…because the post is not unquestionably parody,…”

      Try again.

      1. You have to consider the audience. Some 10%-25% of Stanford co-eds would easily be convinced that there was going to be a planned Trumpist riot.

    2. Sure parody has to be flagged as such now so the woke dipshits get it and don’t have to flee to their safe spaces and cry.

    3. How does parity not contain elements of impersonation?

    4. “Uhh…because the post is not unquestionably parody, it contains elements of impersonation and fraud.”

      Huh? It’s pretty “unquestionably” parody. Guess you missed this sentence:

      “The Federalist Society event supposedly was scheduled for January 6, ****19 days before**** Wallace distributed the flyer.”

      The fact that the “event” would only be open to those with time machines, and specifically referenced a past date with some other political significance is a pretty clear signal this couldn’t be referring to a real thing. (And if the prior date made anyone reading the flyer confused about whether such an event DID already transpire — setting aside the question of why someone would be emailing a flyer advertising a past event — they could easily figure out the location of the speakers supposedly at this event though a quick Google search, at which point they’d realize how this was clearly a parody.)

      Or do you have a time machine handy to attend events for things announced in the past?

  18. The Dean of Stanford Law has made her position on free expression crystal clear.https://twitter.com/mjs_DC/status/1400579012435628037/photo/1

  19. It is satire, but who wants a lawyer dumb enough to think these guys incited an insurrection?

    1. “It is satire, but who wants a lawyer dumb enough to think these guys incited an insurrection?”

      That is part of how satire works. Hawley and Paxton didn’t literally incite an insurrection, but they could be seen as having encouraged the thoughts that led those people to do what they did. The same is true of everything Trump said before and during his rally that day. Even if you don’t agree that Trump had incited them to violence in a legal sense of the term, he clearly did feed them the narrative that motivated them to act violently.

  20. What happened at Stanford is a microcosm of what’s been happening at every university and college. Freedom of speech is now considered as hate speech by the left in an effort to silence anyone who dares disagree with anything the left considers righteous.
    It means censorship, denying one groups right to bring in certain speakers as they don’t reflect the leftist dogma now being promoted at nearly every college and university, while allowing professor and instructors to take part in violent riots targeting cities such as Portland. It is perfectly fine to censor, shadow ban or even remove professors who may have offended one or two little snowflakes, who left the confines of their suburban homes for a quality education and degree in anything that ends with Studies.
    The snowflakery that is now embedded in every one of these higher education, along with the cultural Marxism, belies the very meaning of higher education. In fact just the opposite. They are nothing more than the continuation of Marxist dogma being fed to children in public schools.
    At that means censorship. After all, if you’re going to proceed to transform America into a socialist state, what better way than to begin by brainwashing children throughout education and making sure no voices opposing their views is ever heard.
    The fact that at times when certain speakers such as Milo Yanopolis or Dr. Jordan Peterson attempt to speak at a campus, there emits loud howls of protest and even threats of destruction and violence.
    Of course, this is permitted. It’s even encouraged. After all, to allow anyone with an opposing view on certain subjects, such as socialism, race, or any other subject dear to the hearts of the Marxists would to tantamount to violence. And we can’t have that.
    Funny how they tell us that silence is violence all the while BLM and ANTIFA have committed billions of dollars in destruction on public buildings and private businesses, many of them minority owned. The number of people injured and even murdered is appalling. Yet the backers of these groups seem to find nothing wrong with it.
    Does anything make any sense anymore?

    1. Stupid straw man argument.
      “backers of these groups seem to find nothing wrong with it”

      Says the Trump Chump

      How exactly did you come to your glorious conclusion? From PEW research, 55% show some support for BLM. So if you interview 10 random people, you should be able to prove that all supporters of BLM support rioting. Your statement.

      Here’s one, 100% of racist and 100% of fascist groups support D. Trump. Therefor Trump is a racist and and a fascist.

  21. What we all want to know is how many people signed up to attend the rally? I think the FS is just protecting its members that are dumb enough to believe this stuff.

  22. They reinstated him when they realized he was mocking the Federalist Society and not endorsing them.

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