Sometimes serving the public good means surrendering the desire to do so.
Wendy Kaminer, a lawyer and social critic, writes about law, liberty, feminism, religion and popular culture. Her latest book is “Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity and the ACLU.”
Latest by Wendy Kaminer
Speculating about the malevolent motives of our ideological opponents is increasingly common these days, on both left and right.
What’s shocking is the conviction of some students that free expression isn’t just an occasional obstacle to equality but an absolute evil to be exterminated.
My late uncle never talked to me at length about his wartime experience, but in his late 60s, he wrote a play about it. I regret never asking what was fact and fiction.
While I don’t feel elderly and remain reasonably well preserved, in the view of many young men engaged in customer service, I am no longer “miss” or “ma’am” but “dear.”
Speech deemed stupid, offensive or hateful is precisely what the First Amendment protects; inoffensive speech doesn’t need constitutional immunity.
Whether or not Republican leaders expect the defunding drive to succeed legislatively, they have reason to believe it will pay off politically.
Cosby enjoyed moral authority in real life because Cliff Huxtable exuded it, and that was entirely irrational.
Private citizens have the right to fly it. A state government should not.
On the subject of drug use, the mayor seems stupefied by unshakeable faith in the universal truth of his own experiences.
Why shouldn’t defense attorneys have been permitted to invoke the preferences of prominent survivors for a life sentence instead of death?
You don’t have to be an apologist for police brutality to speak up for the rights of the officers accused in this case.
Instead of regarding it as a source of embarrassment or bad publicity, why not use it as a part of a history lesson in the progress of an American family?
After the verdict, the real challenge begins.
When It Comes To Tempering Our Biases, Starbucks Has A Role — But It Has Nothing To Do With Stickers On Coffee CupsBy Wendy Kaminer
With “Race Together,” Starbucks misses the mark — but not entirely.
The bigoted questioning of a Jewish candidate for student government is a lesson in the dangers of abandoning a commitment to universal rights and liberties.
Two hundred years ago a smaller, simpler nation could, perhaps, have claimed a common culture. But that nation no longer exists.
Since its inception five years ago, the Supreme Court’s decision has been controversial and, according to Wendy Kaminer, widely misunderstood.
Protections for speech deemed hurtful or offensive are shaky at best.
Campus censorship is no longer news; it’s simply the new norm.
When law enforcement and security state agents are unleashed and unaccountable, they can’t be trusted to keep us safe or free.
The very idea of a so-called “safe space” on college campuses, intellectually and emotionally speaking, is anathema to what the academic experience should be: a vigorous exchange of ideas, even ones that might upset some people.
Why was Grisham’s criticism of child porn sentencing laws so widely and reflexively condemned? Why was he pressured into offering an apology?
Feminists who have long demanded that government stay out of the bedroom are now inviting it into the dorm room.
The decisions to use contraceptives…were the employees’ decisions alone, just as the burden of the Court’s decision will be theirs alone to bear.
Wendy Kaminer says the White House task force report reflects a presumption of guilt that practically obliterates the due process rights of the accused.
Social critic Wendy Kaminer says, for better or worse, it’s no longer an athletic event — it’s an icon.
A recent White House report found one in five female college students are sexually assaulted. Not exactly, says Wendy Kaminer. She takes issue with the language of the report, saying the Obama Administration is apparently, “oblivious to the difference between allegations, estimates and facts.”
The American Civil Liberties Union should not be in the business of lobbying against offensive speech.
National security officials offer general, unsubstantiated assurances that they’re keeping us safe without unduly invading our privacy. Does anyone actually believe that?
One lesson of the Obama presidency is the inevitability of presidential power grabs, especially in a high tech age of terror.
The debate over same-sex marriage isn’t ending. It’s morphing into a fight over religious freedom, as secular businesses and individuals claim constitutional rights to discriminate against gays.
Even as we lament problems of sexual assault in the military and restrictions on abortion rights, it’s worth remembering how far we’ve progressed.
Vigorously promoting the need to bear arms can have awful, unintended consequences.
Satire is the enemy of political correctness, which makes it a frequent target of campus censors and speech codes that prohibit offensive jokes.
ShotSpotter technology is part of a widening, warrantless surveillance system that puts everyone’s privacy rights at risk.