Interview: Challenges of Speech in a Free Society

By:  Dennis Baron

Question: What is the biggest threat to free speech in America today?

Ans: Conservative-led bans on divisive concepts and censorship in schools and libraries pose the biggest threat to free speech today.

Question: Can free speech laws keep pace with the transformative impact of the Internet and social media communication?

Ans: Laws struggle to keep up with evolving communication technologies, challenging efforts to balance free speech rights with public interests.

Question: How does the increased emphasis on Second Amendment rights affect citizens' ability to exercise their First Amendment rights?

Ans: The increasing presence of guns poses a potential threat to free speech, as the Second Amendment may override the First Amendment.

Question: Can you explain how powerful speakers weaponize free speech to suppress minority voices, and is this issue bipartisan?

Ans: Censorship from the right poses a greater danger to free speech in the US, while left-leaning efforts are comparatively limited.

Question: How has the ACLU's defense of controversial groups evolved, and is their position still viable today?

The ACLU's defense of free speech faced challenges as the "heckler's veto" clashed with armed demonstrators inciting violence in Charlottesville.