blog postsWill the Supreme Court soon be policing your speech?Nov 20, 2020 11:00 am3504 views Last week Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered a politically-charged speech to the conservative Federalist Society. He denounced same-sex marriage, bemoaned the loss of religious freedom in America, complained that the Covid-19 pandemic gave government unprecedented control over our lives, and lashed out at experts influencing public policy. Justice Alito also reminded his sympathetic audience of the dangers to the First Amendment posed by the “growing hostility to the expression of unfashionable views” on campus or in the office. His one example: “You can’t say that marriage is the union between one man and one woman.” In June, Alito dissented from a Court opinion upholding the rights of gay and transgender employees. In a section of his dissent headed “Freedom of Speech,” he attacked laws and regulations targeting language discrimination, citing what he considered two blatant First Amendment violations: a New York City’s human rights law that makes ignoring someone’s pronoun a punishable offense; and unspecified college regulations that require the use of singular they or coined gender pronouns like xe, zie, and hir. These rules encourage the use of inclusive language, but Alito implied he would welcome litigation asserting the First Amendment defense, “You can’t make me say your pronouns.”Who defines marriage?Jul 1, 2015 12:45 pm1427 views On June 26, in the landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court extended constitutional protection to same-sex marriage. The Court’s action redefined marriage, delighting supporters of marriage equality—according to surveys, that’s most Americans—and infuriating opponents. It also raises an important question about making legal meaning: who are the definers?