On Friday, April 15, 2016, a new policy published by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) took effect. It prohibits Texas inmates from "maintaining active social media accounts for the purposes of soliciting, updating, or engaging others, through a third party or otherwise" -- and raises serious First Amendment concerns.
The high-profile case of Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) against Gawker Media has prompted a flood of headlines, thinkpieces and blog posts characterizing the conflict between the two parties as "privacy versus free speech." This characterization misunderstands both concepts and obscures the important issues at stake in the case, whatever its ultimate outcome might be.
At a time when politicians and public figures have proposed interning Muslims, it is all the more troubling that the UC Regents are using a statement against intolerance as an attempt to keep UC campuses free of debate critical of Israeli policies regardless of the threats it poses to First Amendment Rights and scholarship.
The Constitution gives the Senate the power to advise and consent. That body is empowered to say no as well as yes. And the most important qualification for office is philosophical. Put simply: Does the nominee believe the Constitution means anything apart from the jurists' personal preferences? If not, then the Senate should reject the nomination.