Napolitano Slams NYT Op-Ed Calling For Limits on Free Speech
Judge Andrew Napolitano slammed a New York Times op-ed written by a professor who said free speech should be restricted to protect "marginalized" people.
New York University Professor Ulrich Baer said free speech should be restricted with new "parameters" for marginalized people in society like illegal immigrants.
He said that therefore Ann Coulter's speech could and should be restricted by the University of California-Berkeley.
Napolitano criticized Baer, saying the First Amendment "absolutely does protect hate speech," and dismissed the professor's claim that Coulter's oratory is "hate speech."
He said the First Amendment was not intended to protect only like-minded ideas, and slammed former DNC Chair Howard Dean (D-Vt.) for also calling Coulter's words hate speech.
"Howard Dean is a physician, he's not a lawyer... or a Constitutional scholar."
"The listener gets to decide what he wants to hear and the speaker gets to decide what she wants to say. The government has no role in it-- that's not me [saying that], that's the Supreme Court of the United States," he said.
Napolitano said the New York Times previously criticized President Bush for his "free speech zones" idea in the early 2000s and now seems to be suddenly supporting such "zones."
He added that the First Amendment is unique in that by protecting hate speech, it is able to bring the "haters" into the light of society because it has not real restrictions on what can be said.