We should thank heaven we live in the good old US of A, where everyone has a God-given right to be a jerk on Twitter. But we shouldn’t be complacent. Bear in mind the ominous example of Wisconsin’s John Doe prosecutions—a campaign finance witch hunt by rogue prosecutors against Republican political groups who were prohibited by gag orders from defending themselves or even explaining to their neighbors why their houses had been raided by armed officers in the middle of the night.
The John Doe cases were recently shot down rather firmly by Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, which declared that “the special prosecutor’s legal theory is unsupported in either reason or law” and that he “employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing.” Then again, the court was calling on America’s relatively strong interpretation of freedom of speech: “The special prosecutor has disregarded the vital principle that in our nation and our state political speech is a fundamental right and is afforded the highest level of protection.”
On the one hand, this is reassuring, particularly since the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision provides a convincing brief for the civil rights suit that will likely proceed against the rogue prosecutors. But the Canadian cases indicate how fragile freedom of speech is, the determination of today’s left to stamp out the speech of its enemies, and the Orwellian constructs they have created to crush free speech in the name of “human rights.”