Featured on the front page of the Sunday edition, a New York Times article accused conservatives of “weaponizing” the First Amendment. After complaining that recent Supreme Court decisions were "victories for a conservative agenda," reporter Adam Liptak claimed, "Conservative groups, borrowing and building on arguments developed by liberals, have used the First Amendment to justify unlimited campaign spending, discrimination against gay couples and attacks on the regulation of tobacco, pharmaceuticals and guns."
Liptak goes on to write, “Now the progressive community is at least skeptical and sometimes distraught at the level of First Amendment protection which is being afforded in cases brought by litigants on the right. Many on the left have traded an absolutist commitment to free speech for one sensitive to the harms it can inflict."
In the midst of his tirade, Liptak quoted Ilya Shapiro, a lawyer with the Cato Institute, to support his argument. According to the article, Shapiro said, “The libertarian position has become dominant on the right on First Amendment issues. It simply means that we should be skeptical of government attempts to regulate speech. That used to be an uncontroversial and nonideological point. What’s now being called the libertarian position on speech was in the 1960s the liberal position on speech.”
Ilya Shapiro joined Stu Burguiere (in for Glenn Beck) on today's show to share his thoughts on Liptak's argument.
"The point of my quote is that those of us who are First Amendment acolytes, who think that the freedom of speech is foundational to everything else in a free society, that this has changed somehow. In the 60s, free speech was apparently a liberal thing -- and now it's a conservative thing? I don't know, I'm a classical liberal so this is all confusing to me. It really shouldn't change," said Shapiro. "The main problem isn't the nature of the speech or the type of speech, it's that government is infringing it ... government regulation of speech has been and always will be bad."
Watch the clip above to hear the conversation.
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