The Tully Center for Free Speech

Free Speech Zone

Why individuals, not governments, should safeguard free speech

By Lani Rich, November 12, 2020

In late May, as protests raged throughout the country and the coronavirus pandemic spread, President Trump signed a directive titled “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship.” It contains magnanimous pronouncements about the importance of free speech and First Amendment protections. The opening reads like the kind of declaration that should end up on a parchment scroll or the base of a statute: “Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy. Our Founding Fathers protected this sacred right with the First Amendment to the Constitution. The freedom to express and debate ideas is the foundation for all of our rights as a free people.”

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