Tag: freedom of speech

This smells like a frame-up to me

This smells like a frame-up to me: Judge is accused of using sexual language to advise assistant prosecutor on art of direct examination

This feels like entitled and opportunistic attorneys running amok in the name of “sensitivity.” This is a tale of how to ensure men and women will not work together.

Now before anyone goes off on me about my “endorsing” the use of crude language by judges and/or sexual harassment in the workplace, know that I do not (duh).

The point is, however, that free speech isn’t free, if and when you fear that what you say candidly—especially when you mean well—”can and will be used against you.”

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)

Even when a judge uses salty language, if a couple of grown women attorneys who seek his opinion and advice—off the record, no less—about how to improve as attorneys but then don’t want to listen to him, then all they had to do was either 1) tell him they don’t want to hear that kind of language and/or 2) get up a leave. But no. That wasn’t enough for these two. No, they had to file an ethics complaint against him. Speech codes (and that’s what these two attorneys were engaging in creating and perpetuating) discourage, if not outright kill, the free flow of ideas and thus impede, if not outright kill, learning and understanding and, ultimately, truth and justice.

“In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth … And that is what you should do … More power to you, as far as I concerned.” (Jordan Peterson)

To be exposed to different and opposing viewpoints is not to accept them. It is to learn of them. Whether they are accepted is up to each of us. And we cannot reject that which we do not learn.

When unpopular speech is punished it is not eliminated, it is merely driven underground and into the shadows where it is harder to identify and understand and where it becomes more subservsive. And when you marginalize and silence what “others” say it won’t be long (it can’t be) before certain things you say are marginalized and silenced as well.

Learning necessarily includes exposure to ideas and means of their expression that are foreign, at times unwelcome, even yes, even absolutely morally and ethically repugnant. Yet, we cannot know all this without being exposed to these ideas. Most importantly, as Galileo, Robert Goddard, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther (both the German and Dr. King), the Founding Fathers, Semmelweis, Judah Folkman, and countless “others” have shown us, we ignore the following at our peril: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” (George Bernard Shaw)

Could this judge have mentored these two attorneys differently? Of course. Does that mean that he commits an ethical violation because he didn’t? No.

To freedom!

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