Friday, January 08, 2021

Letting The Libertarians Weigh In

Eugene Volokh, who I have considerable respect for, gives both a legal and a personal opinion on Donald Trump's recent words. 

Update: I should note that I am guilty of not stopping to remember there is is a difference between what people ordinarily mean by the word "incite" and the legal standard for such a description. The legal standard is much higher - surprisingly high, actually - and I should be cautious about how I frame everyone's words, and be clear which version I am using myself.


GraniteDad said...

"Trump's failure was a failure not as a speaker, of the sort that strips speakers of First Amendment protection. It was a failure, a massive and unjustifiable failure, as a public servant."

This is a great summation. Volokh's a great writer and gets to the meat of it nicely.

Jonathan said...

"Donald Trump: (01:12:43)
So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.

"Donald Trump: (01:13:19)
So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you."

This is incitement to riot? The media don't quote Trump, merely allude to his supposed encouragement of violence. Reading what he actually said, it seems to me that only in hindsight might we accuse him of speaking unwisely. Hindsight isn't a reasonable standard.