New York State Senator Introduces Unconstitutional, Anti-Free-Speech Legislation

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

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Perhaps the greatest irony of this past year has been the mind numbing and irrational anti-free speech wave that swept across facets of so-called “liberal” America.


This regressive movement was most readily apparent on college campuses, where hordes of sheltered and emotionally stunted students demanded restrictions on free speech in order to prevent themselves from being offended by an ever expanding list of unhappy thoughts and words. However, what is far more troubling, albeit much less public, are attempts by two fascist academic authoritarians, to convince the American citizenry to relinquish their First Amendment rights in the name of fighting ISIS. One of these men is a close advisor to President Obama.


– From last year’s post: Glenn Greenwald Confronts American “Liberals” Trying to Destroy Free Speech

It seems everywhere you turn, U.S. politicians at all levels of government are incessantly scheming to figure out ways to further erode the civil liberties of the American public. Earlier this month, a particularly egregious example emerged from the state of New York. It relates to an anti-First Amendment executive order issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, followed one day later by similar legislation introduced by a state Senator. In case you aren’t up to speed on the issue, here’s a little background.

From The Huffington Post:

Over the past year, several attempts in the New York legislature to pass laws protecting Israel against the boycotts, divestment and sanctions collectively known as “BDS” have failed. BDS punishes Israel for its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. In an unprecedented end run around the legislative process, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order this month that would accomplish just what the legislature has refused to do.


Cuomo’s order directs all agencies under his jurisdiction to discontinue all dealings with companies and organizations that support BDS. It also mandates that Cuomo’s commissioner compile a list of institutions and companies that support a boycott of Israel. The blacklist will be publicly posted. The burden of proving that these entities do not support the boycott is on the companies and institutions themselves.


In 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu excoriated BDS during his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the powerful United States-based organization that lobbies for Israel. Cuomo now walks in lockstep with Netanyahu. In his executive order, Cuomo declared, “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”


An Unconstitutional Executive Order 


Cuomo’s order is also unconstitutional. “The Supreme Court has made clear [that the] government can’t penalize people or entities on the basis of their free expression, and political boycotts are a form of free expression,” the New York Civil Liberties Union declared. “Creating a government blacklist that imposes state sanctions based on political belief raises serious First Amendment concerns.”


“Gov. Cuomo has decided that his moral compass points in the direction of Joseph McCarthy rather than Rosa Parks,” said Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke, who chairs the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). 


The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement was launched in 2005 by representatives of Palestinian civil society. They called upon “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era … [including] embargoes and sanctions against Israel.”


More than 100 churches, human rights groups and legal organizations signed a letter to the New York legislature opposing the pending legislation, saying “it would chill and deter constitutionally protected speech by intimidating people from engaging in political actions for fear of being blacklisted … These measures are dangerous and unconstitutional. No legislation should restrict the rights of New Yorkers to engage in efforts to bring sanctions against a nation engaged in human rights violations.”

Not content with a mere executive order, a New York state Senator consequently introduced legislation mirroring Governor Cuomo’s imperial decree.

FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) reports:

On June 6, New York state Senator Jack M. Martins (R-Nassau County) introduced Senate Bill S8017. The bill would bar state universities, city universities, and community colleges from funding any student organization that “promotes, encourages, or permits” boycotts against certain nations or permits “intolerance” or “hate speech.” The bill as written is flatly unconstitutional, and it is unlikely that any amendment would salvage it from infringing upon the First Amendment rights of college students in New York. The vaguely-written bill would prohibit funding for students who merely advocate for boycotts of some countries, but not others. As best as I can divine, these are the countries:



So, feel free to boycott Africa, the Vatican, Greenland, most of Asia, and Belize. But do not call on the president to reconsider our relationship with Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, or Cuba.


Senator Martins’ bill is the latest in a series of concerted efforts by elected New York officials to pressure university administrators to crack down on student speech critical of Israel. In March, New York’s state senate threatened to cut millions of dollars in funding to the City University of New York (CUNY) over concerns about “anti-Semitic” speech. Meanwhile 35 members of the New York State Assembly signed a letter calling on university officials to suspend chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, a student organization critical of Israel. 

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order creating a statewide blacklist prohibiting funding to organizations that “promote others” to engage in a boycott of Israel—an order vague enough that it may well apply to student organizations.

Senator Martins’ bill, introduced the day after Governor Cuomo’s executive order and containing language similar to that order, provides, in relevant part:

The [State University of New York (SUNY), City University of New York (CUNY), or state community colleges] shall adopt rules that any student group or student organization that receives funding from [SUNY, CUNY, or community colleges] that directly or indirectly promotes, encourages, or permits discrimination, intolerance, hate speech or boycotts against a person or group based on race, class, gender, nationality, ethnic origin or religion, shall be ineligible for funding, including funding from student activity fee proceeds.




“Boycott” shall mean to engage in any activity, or to promote or encourage others to engage in any activity, that will result in any person abstaining from commercial, social or political relations, with any allied nation, or companies based in an allied nation or in territories controlled by an allied nation, with the intent to penalize, inflict, or cause harm to, or otherwise promote or cast disrepute upon, such allied nation, its people or its commercial products.


The bill defines “allied nation” as including any “member” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), any signatory state of the Southeast Asia Treaty of 1954, any signatory state of the Rio Treaty of 1947 (except Venezuela), Ireland, Israel, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (meaning South—not North—Korea.)


The bill’s language is broad, encompassing both actual boycotts and merely encouraging others to boycott, and would compel New York universities to distribute their funding in a viewpoint-discriminatory basis. That is, New York universities could fund groups that discourage boycotts of Israel (or other “allied nations”), but not those that encourage it. As the Supreme Court has made plainly clear, viewpoint-discriminatory funding of student organizations is not permitted at public universities and colleges. In fact, the Supreme Court has held that, “When a university requires its students to pay fees to support the extracurricular speech of other students, all in the interest of open discussion, it may not prefer some viewpoints to others.”


Worse, the definition of “boycott” is so vague that it would prohibit student organizations from calling on “any person”—including the President of the United States and other elected officials—to abstain from “political relations” with an allied nation. That means that if your student organization wants to call on Congress to reconsider its relationship with the state of Turkey, it will be ineligible for funding, because Turkey is a member of NATO.


The bill is also viewpoint-discriminatory in that it prohibits boycotts of some states, but not others. It’s nearly impossible to figure out which states can be criticized, and which cannot:

  • What does it mean to be a member of NATO? Does it include members of the Partnership for Peace, like Austria, Finland, and Sweden? Perhaps not, as Ireland is also a member of the Partnership for Peace, but the Senate Bill explicitly names Ireland as an ally—which it wouldn’t have to do if membership in NATO’s Partnership for Peace were sufficient to count as an “ally.”
  • What if your organization thinks it was wrong for the United States to end its trade embargo against Cuba? Can you call on the next president to reverse course? Cuba is a signatory to the Rio Treaty, but it was suspended during the Cold War.
  • Does the restriction on boycotting apply to any state which signed the Southeast Asia Treaty of 1954, but later withdrew, like Australia and Pakistan? What about Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, which were protected by the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, but prohibited by another treaty from signing the 1954 treaty?
  • Do territories of the United Kingdom that gained independence after the United Kingdom entered into a treaty count? 

These difficult questions might be at least capable of resolution—if university administrators and student government representatives consult with scholars of international law. I am, admittedly, not such an expert, so the map above is only an educated guess.


Some of the bill’s other provisions, meanwhile, are so subjective that they can’t be objectively defined. The bill would bar funding for any student group that “directly or indirectly promotes, encourages, or permits […] intolerance [or] hate speech.”


First, “hate speech” is not an exception to the protections offered by the First Amendment. Definitions of what might constitute “hate speech” vary widely, almost always falling upon a subjective definition of what constitutes offensive speech—which is protected by the First Amendment. This bill doesn’t even bother to attempt to define “hate speech.”


Second, even if “hate speech” were capable of objective definition, the bill could be read to require student organizations to actively prevent “hate speech” and “intolerance,” lest they be be seen to “permit” such speech. Didn’t do enough to prevent someone on your campus from making an offensive remark? No more funding.


And these are just the problems with the explicitly speech-restrictive parts of the bill. Even assuming that the state could deny funding to those who actually engage in a boycott—a highly dubious proposition—it cannot punish students for taking a position and voicing it.


While FIRE takes no position on the Israel-Palestine dispute or on the merits of the boycott, divest, and sanction movement (except to the extent that such a boycott would be incompatible with the canons of academic freedom), those opposed to it should not do so by restricting the ability of students and faculty to organize, debate, and, if they so choose, encourage such actions by others.


Senator Martins should withdraw his bill. If it is not withdrawn, and if the state of New York unwisely adopts it, FIRE and others will continue to oppose it.

Whether you agree with BDS or not is irrelevant. The question is whether the government should be able to threaten organizations that decide to exercise their rights to free expression via boycotts. I think the answer to this is obvious: No.

Even more worrisome, as FIRE points out, it appears the bill introduced in New York essentially states that an organization’s boycotting rights are dependent on consistency with U.S. government foreign policy, which as we all know is hyper-aggressive, murderous and hypocritical.

This is just another way of neutering the American public, and gradually ensuring that all effective forms of dissent are ultimately stymied. It is a very scary precedent and must be resisted vigorously.

Of course, what applies to the peasants, never applies to the politicians. Recall:

Kentucky Politician Files Lawsuit Claiming a First Amendment Right to Accept Bribes

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture


<The greatest psyops EVER is the one Israel has pulled/still pulls on the US.>

Troy Ounce's picture



His mother was an alcoholic

lakecity55's picture

So he obviously suffered brain damage, which is not an impediment to a political career....

Supernova Born's picture

New York walked all over the Second Amendment with the Safe Act and they have moved on to abrogating the First.

johngaltfla's picture

NY, NYC, all shitholes full of people stupid enough to vote for thugs, communists and not haul out the Federal Reserve member banksters and leaders with torches, tar, and pitchforks.

knukles's picture

Neo-Liberal Nazificaiton under Liberty and Justice for All.  Especially Muslims.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Knuks, I mean at some point the regular guy, plays by the rules, (mostly) does what he's told, just wants to breathe and eat and work and maybe screw every so often, is absolutely FORCED by these fascists to grab a pitchfork.

Reminds me of the farmers and free-thinkers who took the risk, sailed across the Atlantic, just wanted to work hard and grow corn and fight Indians, who VERY RELUCTANTLY just decided they HAD NO CHOICE but to band together and fight tyranny.

I mean WTAF. Hello, billionaire? You there? You've squeezed and squeezed and squeezed some more, you've got a YUUUGE pile, more than your kids and grandkids could ever spend...and you've just gotta squeeze that little bit more? That's your final answer? Ok then fucker, here it comes.

Son of Loki's picture

Cuomo may be The Only Person alive who has been injected with moar Botox then Nancy "Botox" Pelosi.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Son of Loki Jun 17, 2016 7:57 PM

Cuomo is proof that the Zika virus has been around much longer than scientists now believe.

True Blue's picture

Interestingly, cosmetic Botox use may impair a person to such a degree that the FAA forbids its use by pilots.

Yet the people running the entire country? -not so much.

santafe's picture

To allow tyranny they're trying to turn us all into Pavlov dogs.

BarkingCat's picture

Do not forget that this is the state that was dumb enough to send a carpet munching carperbagger to DC as a senator.

Arnold's picture

Don't start that CD.

It may be accurate, but it is beneath you.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I never discuss the subject. Nor am I denigrating the subject in my post above now that I have. But I will call a spade a spade. The Israeli's openly discuss tactics they can, and do, use to manipulate/control/influence US politics and the US population. If they can discuss it openly, so can I.

WillyGroper's picture

the harder they crack, the louder it will be.

folks be wakin' up or the capo here would have no need for such a display.


Arnold's picture

You imply that we WASPs are inferior slugs.


AnonG-Man's picture

More accurately, however, not all Israeli's are 'for' the crimes their government commits.  Many are against them, but lack true power to defeat them.  It is the same in America where people lack power and are against Neo-Con and Neo-Liberal War Crimes.  That is the crux of the issue for them and others.

There are plenty of Jewish people that are against Zionism today, and are highly appalled by the crimes committed by Israel.  That much can be said.  There are Jewish groups in Israel that openly try to protect Palestianians in the most literal sense - an example; some Jewish groups act as sort of 'bodyguards' or human shields for Palestianians that live in places like Tel Aviv, for simple things like going to a marketplace to prevent Zionist gangs from beating them up or throwing bags of shit at them.  Zionists in Israel have been known to also call for the death of Jewish people that are against them.  In the past, people like Einstein likened them to Nazi's - that is, the Hitlerian-kind.

So yes, Israel's government and institionalized Zionist racism/corruption is a big problem.  A problem that non-Zionists will have to confront in that country, especially for the image they want to impress upon the world if they want anything resembling a future.  It is predicted Israel may well be bankrupt within the next decade or so if they continue their path as an Apartheid State, as a growing number of people and Nations are boycotting them and slowly tanking the Israeli economy to the point where not even Big Daddy U.S.A. will be able to bail them out anymore.  Israel today is the equivalent of Saudi Arabia, a state that is run by once minority Extremist groups that won and gained control, and now use religion as an excuse to suppress others.  After all, it was said in the words of War Criminal Netanyahu:  "Don't worry about the Americans, we easily maneuver them."

SuperRay's picture

Another moron bowing to the 'antisemite' bullshit that the Zionists have created to stop criticism before it ever starts.  Beneath him.  What's beneath him, you dolt? Pointing out the truth? Is that beneath him?  Maybe you think criticizing the Zionist-backed Federal reserve is beneath him too.  Go take your dredle, Arnold, and shove it up your ass.  

SuperRay's picture

Just saw CD's response.  Disappointed to say the least.  You of all people, CD, should recognize a psyop when you see one. Why the fuck are you justifying criticizing the most vicious, nasty group of people on earth, who have take total control over international, western central banking, and having been taking 6% of every dollar created since 1913.  Where's the outrage about that?  There were 15 million Jews in 1939.  There were 15 million Jews in 1949.  Wake the fuck up.



Billy the Poet's picture

I want to see the documentation from a reliable source but I gave you an upvote anyway in support of your freedom to speak your mind.

Dormouse's picture

Congress should pass a law that forbids members of congress from expressing their ideas as free speech. They should be required to only speak FOR the citizens they represent, never AT them--under penalty of financial forfeiture and a stint in ass fuck prison.

Billy the Poet's picture

Yes, but that's impossible because "The People" is a fictional entity. There is no such thing as "the will of the people." A constituency of hundreds of thousands or millions can't speak with a single voice. In other words, representative democracy is a sham from the get-go.

newdoobie's picture

Great idea, now add in legislation forbidding global warming deniers...

Gadfly's picture

Hell, they've pulled it on the entire world.  The whole debt-based private central banking system is a hustle and a scam.  One giant con job.  Come to think of it, so is our "democracy," our "free" press, the EU, NATO, and many other things we've been brainwashed to believe in.

thinkmoretalkless's picture

Andrew Cuomo is the definition of "butt ugly".

froze25's picture

Who knows but his face does look like "Dads old baseball Mit from his youth" 

Handful of Dust's picture

He's another far-left-wing "tolerant" liberal Democrat. he probably saunas with Anthony weener, Huma's very popular-on-the-internet spouse.

Dormouse's picture

How? Huma is married to Carlos Danger.

Son of Loki's picture


Abedin is of Indian and Pakistani descent. She practices the Muslim faith.[47][48][49] In addition to English and Urdu,[50] Abedin also speaks fluent Arabic.[51][52]

On July 10, 2010, Abedin married then-Congressman Anthony Weiner. Former President Bill Clinton performed the wedding ceremony.

Huma Mahmood Abedin (Urdu: ??? ????? ??????‎; born July 28, 1976)[1] is an American political staffer. She has been a long-time aide to Hillary Clinton, and was U.S. Secretary of State Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department. Prior to that she was traveling chief of staff and served as assistant for Clinton during Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election.[2][3][4] She is married to Anthony Weiner, a former U.S. Representative from New York. Abedin serves as vice chairwoman of Clinton's 2016 campaign for President.[5]

J S Bach's picture

The only good thing about the tribe's unparalleled hubris is that it's becoming more and more obvious what an alien species they really are.  Keep it up, sheenies... your days of unbridled rule are numbered.

Billy the Poet's picture

The problem people are a subset.  I know a Jewish couple who are more pro-Palestinian than I am. Actually Dan died this past year. He was a damned good human being.

Row Well Number 41's picture

I think people conflat Judism and Zionism.  They are seperate things, but I  believe the confusion has been created intentionally.  It's a problem on both sides of the divide, and it is used to stiffel debate.

Billy the Poet's picture
Zionism and Anti-Semitism


Zionist reliance on Anti-Semitism to further their goals continues to this day. Studies of immigration records reflect increased immigration to the Zionist state during times of increased anti-Semitism. Without a continued inflow of Jewish immigrants to the state of "Israel", it is estimated that within a decade the Jewish population of the Zionist state will become the minority.

In order to maintain a Jewish majority in the state of "Israel", its leaders promote anti-Semitism throughout the world to "encourage" Jews to leave their homelands and seek "refuge".

lincolnsteffens's picture

Cuomo is a heavy handed treasonous son of a .... ( you fill in the expletive ). He would be as bad as Obama but he is only a Governor. He would be dangerous as a Dog Catcher.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


Andrew Cuomo is the definition of "butt ugly".

Skeletor after the application of what amounts to every plastic surgery treatment Joan Rivers received in her life, all done in one session.

Blankenstein's picture

He looks like a criminal on The Rockford Files.

fishpoem's picture

As Swartznegger said to Predator, I'll say to Cuoumo: "you are one ugly motherfucker!"

Supernova Born's picture

NY exempted itself from the Constitution a long time ago.

Squid Viscous's picture

the Cuomo clan strikes again, what an epic blight on humanity

i'm gonna find this little prick Chris in the eastern hampsteins I know his wife's friends and... stop

just kidding!!

froze25's picture

Definitely give him a piece of your mind and remind him of his oath to the Constitution including the 1st amendment.

lincolnsteffens's picture

He doesn't give a shit about the National or State Constitutions except in discovering more ways to tear them up.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

Cuomo is a piece of shit.

lakecity55's picture

The whole family looks like a bunch of greasy, wop mafioso.

bornlastnight's picture

HA HA HA...(I'm laughing in Italiano if you didn't notice)

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) i_call_you_my_base Jun 17, 2016 6:15 PM

(((Andrew Cuomo)))