Breaking! Trump says he will sign a free speech executive order!

Trump made a big announcement at CPAC – he’s going to tackle free speech on college campuses.

From the Hill:

President Trump announced Saturday he intends to sign an executive order mandating colleges and universities take steps to guarantee free speech to attain federal research grants.

“We reject oppressive speech codes, censorship, political correctness and every other attempt by the hard left to stop people from challenging ridiculous and dangerous ideas. These ideas are dangerous,” Trump said. “Instead we believe in free speech, including online and including on campus.”

That is remarkable. Clearly this is a problem but I’m not sure that an executive order is the exact solution. I want to look at what constitutional experts say about this, especially conservatives and civil liberties people, before I make up my mind though.


“Today I’m proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research grants.”

The announcement came after he brought Hayden Williams on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Williams is a conservative activist who was punched in the face at the University of California at Berkeley last month while assisting the university’s chapter of the right-wing group Turning Point USA.

Trump threatened that refusing to abide by the executive order would impose a heavy cost on their budgets.

“If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many other great young people and old people to speak. Free speech. If they don’t, it will be very costly,” he warned.

If that’s all he’s doing, that seems pretty reasonable.

This is exactly how liberalism is biting liberals in the butt – they demand all these government handouts, but then forget that it means the fed can push them around. And they don’t like it when suddenly a Republican is in control of all that moolah….

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81 thoughts on “Breaking! Trump says he will sign a free speech executive order!

  1. The very fact that the POTUS feels compelled to sign an EO to force our marxist controlled college campuses to stop preventing conservative students, professors and staff members from expressing their first amendment rights is quite sad.

  2. Enforcing the First Amendment is totally unconstitutional, if you hate the guy doing it. Says so right in the Constitution, under the Bake the Cake clause.

    NeverTrump has it’s own, special copy of the Constitution to uphold. It looks a lot like the one Obama used.

  3. Bad Trump.

    I FULLY agree that College campuses are liberal bastions and Conservative principles are attacked, but any Executive Order can be undone by another Executive Order.

    Go to Capital Hill and meet with leadership and ask them to put a Bill together to sign that reaffirms the importance of Free Speech and would cut Federal tax dollars from Colleges that suppresses Free Speech.

    AN E.O. cannot strip funding for a College, and no doubt the American Criminal Liberties Union is ready to file a lawsuit challenging the E.O. the moment it’s penned.

  4. The executive can’t unilaterally add conditions to federal grants. They’ve already litigated and lost this.

    1. Yeah and judges are who run our country now.

      No point in electing our figureheads anymore, just make the courts our king.

      1. Again, this is a constitutional issue. And, deciding constitutional issues is what the courts have done literally since the founding of this country.

        1. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

          I agree wjth John Adams. Who knew that one day, the constitution would protect the slaughter of infants.

          Our culture is rotten, and the constitution will not restrain a people who no longer are taught to respect human rights like free speech.

          1. I’m not saying that the policy goal isn’t a good one, I’m just observing that he can’t do it like this. And this isn’t about substantive due process or penumbral rights, this is elementary separation of powers.

            1. I see what you’re saying, but it’s kind of frustrating to people when they saw how Obama’s administration created a whole new unconstitutional judicial process on college campuses with the “Dear Colleague” letter and its abuse of Title IX . With one policy twitch, Obama managed to obliterate Constitutional notions of due process for young men in our university system.

              That was in 2011. Isn’t it interesting how it took a change of the Executive branch to overturn that in 2017? Where was the court system enforcing “elementary separation of powers”? Nowhere.

              Fundamentally, the problem with our notions of “rule of law” are broken. They’re broken because of systemic societal corruption that allows tribalism to distort rules as long as the goals of the tribe are furthered.

              1. The courts did enforce separation of powers when Obama was president. Noel Canning comes to mind.

                1. I’m not saying the courts are totally useless. I’m just saying that they are useless often enough that I understand why Tracy is a bit upset about the lopsidedness of it and I don’t view Trump’s attempt to use the same tactics as out of bounds.

                2. These actually aren’t tactics that the Obama administration used though. This is actual lawmaking. We can argue about the where bounds of the administrative state should be, but the Title IX reforms were within power actually delegated to the executive. This… isn’t.

                  And the idea that we should toss the constitution when it suits us or when the democrats are in power is indefensible.

                3. “Title IX reforms were within power actually delegated to the executive.”

                  Fundamentally destroying due process for one gender is within the power of the executive? It’s blatantly unconstitutional.

                  “And the idea that we should toss the constitution when it suits us”

                  Meh, the Democrats are getting away with whatever they can whenever they can. The last hundred plus years have been a march by progressives to increase the power of the national government.

                  If the President wants to force court battles while supporting the most fundamental right in the Constitution, then I say more power to him. It’s an attempt worth making.

                4. Students at private universities have zero constitutionally guaranteed due process rights vis-a-vis their continued attendance at the school. None. At all. Under any circumstances.

                  Students at public universities are entitled to some degree of due process if you view their continued attendance at the university as an entitlement (i.e. a property right), which, ironically, most conservatives in the traditional legal schools of thought would reject. Even then, however, they have no guaranteed right to cross examination nor do they have the right to have a c&c evidentiary standard applied to disciplinary adjudications affecting them. Now, do I think they should have these things as a matter of policy? Of course I do. But saying that the dear colleague letter stripped students of any constitutional rights whatsoever misunderstands the entire debate. It was a piece of extremely bad policy designed to overcompensate for an admitted historical discounting of female victims undertaken to satisfy the whims of the mob. But congress delegated regulatory authority over Title IX to the executive, and the executive had the ability to do what it did without running roughshod over the basic constitutional order.

                  Imposing conditions on federal grant dollars that congress did not itself impose or authorize the executive to impose does run roughshod over that order. No amount of “well the Democrats did THIS” makes that an acceptable thing to support. Principles are only principles if you can stick by them when inconvenient.

                5. “Students at private universities have zero constitutionally guaranteed due process”

                  Isn’t it kind of interesting that the executive could strip a student of due process rights that they normally were given? But supporting the free speech rights of those on campus is somehow executive overreach. Right, I get your technical legalistic argument – but as I alluded to before, I’m talking about general fairness, not legal technicalities.

                  I mean, if Trump somehow wedged freedom of speech support under Title IX, would that make it make more okay? Maybe for legal wonks, but to citizens the end result is much more important.

                  “No amount of “well the Democrats did THIS” makes that an acceptable thing to support”

                  I disagree. Obama showed that he could implement illegal programs like DACA and get away with it. After enough time, those illegal programs are impossible to get rid of.

                  Conservatives always have the problem that they fight leftists by the rules and then leftists abuse that rule-following to their advantage. When so many systems like our media systemically support rule breaking where the ends justify it, you reach a point where breaking the rules becomes the game.

    2. I didn’t know that.

      But then, the EO is kind of meaningless in its vagueness. What does “guarantee free speech” even mean? Is it proactive or reactive?

    1. Adam Schiffless, Nancompoop Pelosi and Cuk Schumer are huddling together as we speak.

  5. Why couldn’t Obama,Clinton and the Bushes have done an Executive Order putting the Schools on notice regarding no Federal Funding for their biases on the First Amendment.

    1. 1) The order is illegal
      2) Free speech on college campuses didn’t really become a controversial concept until fairly recently

  6. Erick Erickson‏
    Verified account
    Forced insistence on free speech makes it not free.
    Somehow our constitution will be preserved, even though universities are teaching our kids to be fascist tyrants.

    1. Come again, George Orwell. How is insisting upon free speech making it not free speech? Do you consider the censorship promoted by a great many public (read state) universities “free speech?”

  7. Our Constitution guarantees free speech already. I can’t see how this can help, what might help is a requirement that faculties be politically balanced. But even that seems just to cement current politics, I don’t see how this allows for being human, sort of like most Democrat plans to command people to behave in certain ways.

    1. What would help is if we stopped robbing taxpayers and going into debt to profit private enterprises.

      1. Which has nothing to do with anything. Yes I see the deficit… it’s scary. I don’t have answers, but that really doesn’t have to do with speech, most schools are state schools.

        1. Those “state schools” are making big bucks on research in joint efforts with mega-corporations that you and I are paying for. It’s private enterprise, and we have no business taking from taxpayers to fund it. Plain and simple.

          First amendment issues are irrelevant. Of course students should have free speech on campus. But we shouldn’t be paying them regardless.

  8. I am continuously surprised by this president! God bless him. No RINO would do this! I didn’t vote last time around, but I intend to support and vote for him in 2020!

    1. So writing an Executive Order, which can be undone by another Executive Order sends you over the moon? Because the next president will rip Trump’s E.O. in half.

      If this issue really does need addressed, why not go to Capital Hill and demand a Bill on the matter?

      Don’t get me wrong, liberal Colleges like UC Berkeley need to see Federal Funds cut drastically until they stop silencing Conservative speakers, but an E.O. will be ineffective.

  9. Will he be signing the free speech EO before or after he gets around to signing the national emergency EO that he declared two weeks ago? Just curious.

    1. Trump signed the National Emergency Declaration. He didn’t authorize the correct code to be used to reprogram funds so nothing is happening.

  10. My husband goes to free speech zones at universities all the time. He hands out Bibles and speaks to the students about salvation through faith in Christ.

    1. “Free speech zones” is the problem. Any public space should be a free speech zone.

    2. That, in itself, IS the problem.

      The ENTIRE university campus should be a “Free Speech Zone.”

    1. Frankly, there should be NO federal funding of any of these private endeavors. There’s zero reason that tax money needs to be taken out of my pocket to enrich Harvard or Stanford. If they want my money, they can come to me and sell me on their project.

      1. Yeah. Using tax dollars to threaten free speech rights is constitutional and good for the republic. One day we will have a Democrat president and you won’t like when he or she does this for a cause you like.
        Go with that.

        1. So we’re forced to pay for those destroying free speech because of the Constitution?


    2. Not so fast there. The constitution doesn’t mention public funding for any private institution. The constitution does however cover freedom of speech.

          1. Congress proposes/enacts laws and the courts determine the constitutionality of them. Rule by decree is the last thing the framers has in mind considering the war of independence they just won over is monarch.

            1. Don’t waste your time.

              You are literally arguing with someone who is incapable of looking at Trump with even the slightest objectivity. To them, Trump can do no wrong.

              When Trump bashes E.O.s during the campaign saying “The country wasn’t based on executive orders,” the trumpsters yell “BRILLIANT! RIGHT ON! MAGA”

              Then, when Trump signs E.O. after E.O., the trumpsters yell “BRILLIANT! RIGHT ON! MAGA”

              In fact, Trump had signed 23 E.O.’s after only 87 days in Office.
              Again, and every one can be undone by the next President. Unless they’ve been written by Obama, then a liberal Judge will protect it (DACA).

              1. Trump supporters lack credibility when they go “all in” just as much as any Bernie or Obama supporter did. This is the “New Republican Party” and we kick the left for looking so completely in disarray right now but just wait until the Trump wing vs the “rest of us wing” actually collides at some point. It could make the Democrat fratricide look like a slumber party by comparison.

    3. I doubt it actually does anything. It’s probably just a symbolic EO proclamation that the White House values free speech on college campuses, etc. He did the same thing with his religious liberty EO in 2017.

  11. “Today I’m proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research grants.”

    I have no objection to that. I wish they’d do the same with abortion. Any facility that provides abortions gets zero federal funding.

    Well, OK, I have one objection. Stop government funding colleges/hospitals period.

    1. Taking all federal funding out of all private business activities would be a step in the right direction.

    2. But that would mean less money for Universities to have useless classes and less money to build and ultimately less for banks.

      1. And less overextended graduates that are finding out that the
        Liberal courses they’ve been force fed have no value in the real
        marketplace of life.

  12. So, now he wants to take credit for the 1st Amendment? I thought surely he had read the US Constitution by now.

    1. He doesn’t want to take credit for the First Amendment,
      he wants to enforce it. Do I detect a little TDS in your voice?

    2. Show me the part where the first amendment guarantees the right to suck at the federal teat??

  13. I’m glad these institutions of lower learning, like UC Berkeley, are being put on the spot. Especially, since our taxes subsidize the filth that emanates from the majority of the administration and faculty.

    I guarantee you the thug at UC Berkeley felt emboldened by the environment that has been fostering there for the past 40-50 years.

  14. Don’t know how that would have helped that guy that got punched in the face. He was punched by a passerby. The college didn’t stop him from doing anything as far as I know.

    That said, they need to extend the order to students that protest and refuse to allow someone in to speak. If they do that they lose their aid permanently. The schools are able to charge huge tuition because the government hands out money to people to pay it.

  15. I view the left as being extremely intolerant for the most part, they claim they are all about tolerance but in practice? Yea, it is a big joke. I’m not too sure about how constitutional a EO is about this but it can’t hurt, there really is a free speech problem at Universities and generally any area that the left has control of [mass media, tech companies etc].

  16. There should never has been a question, as to whether we should have free speech on campus or anywhere, this is America and our Constitution says we have the right to free speech.
    Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  17. It is truly a sad commentary on our country today that free
    speech has to be demanded of our schools under penalty.

    1. That’s the left for you Gino, slowly chipping away our Constitutional rights, and you’re right it’s truly sad what they are doing to America.

  18. I understand the concern over another EO. But let’s remember that the current, nightmarish state of affairs on US campuses, was granted the approval of Big Government by a “significant guidance document” colloquilally known as Obama’s “Dear Colleague” letter.

    Last year, Ed. Sec DeVos became public enemy #1 by formally rescinding the letter.

    Trump is now offering similar “guidance.” And I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve been warning for 18 months now that, unless Trumpism reaches into the campus, then 2 years after Trump leaves, it will be like he was never here.

    So kudos to el Trumpo.

    El mas kudos.

  19. I don’t know whether this is “constitutional” but the colleges and universities who stifle free speech are violating the Constitution so in that respect I totally agree with Trump

  20. That’s the only thing liberals understand, take away their binkie (free money) That can change quickly with a Democrat president so it’s a temporary fix We know we can’t count on Congress to do anything, republican or Democrat!

  21. You heard it from me first on the other thread!

    Now do the one about what he said about Never Trumpers. That was his best line! 😆

      1. @fr-paul He said the economy is doing great for everyone “except for the Never Trumpers, who are on Mouth to Mouth resuscitation.” 😆 😆 😆 😆

  22. Schools that promote suppression of free speech or favor one political party should have funding withdrawn from them. Forget the EO just use the funding as leverage…

    1. I think the funding is part of it and what he means by “costly”……….totally agree BTW

  23. Something has to be done… This may be a good first step. Too early for me to tell.

    Personally, I despise EOs in general.

    1. I get your point but when you have Dems that are sworn to “fundamentally transform” America – and are doing it every day, every way and refuse to budge an inch “the right way” I say why not? He has to do what he can, as long as it’s legal, which it is.

    2. It’s just a tool for formalizing enforcement activity. The real problem is the use of the judiciary to turn EOs into law.

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