The tyranny of t-shirts... or something.

The ACLU won a big First Amendment case at SCOTUS. Right-wingers completely miss the point.

Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who was punished by her school and kicked off the cheerleading team for writing “f*ck school f*ck softball f*ck cheer f*ck everything” (not writing it out because I worry that this will end up in your spam folder, but you get the idea). It was a big win for free speech. Great news, right? The ACLU, who represented the girl at the center of the case, posted a tweet thread in celebration.

Here’s a link to the SCOTUS ruling.

Later, the ACLU tweeted out a picture of some new merch they’re going to sell. In honor of the case, they posted the girl’s quote across the front of a shirt. When you clicked through, here was the message:

In America, students do not lose their constitutional rights “at the schoolhouse gate.” Unfortunately, schools continue to demonstrate a disturbing willingness to abridge students’ rights.

In a case from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, a then 14-year-old student and cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania, posted on the social media platform, Snapchat. One of her cheerleading coaches saw the post, which used an expletive, and suspended her from the team for a year – even though she had posted on a weekend and off school property. We argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that public school students should have the right to freely express themselves when they are off campus and away from school activities. 

Great, right? Yes, it has a curse word on it, but that’s the point.

The right-wing “free speech” brigade was not happy about this!

Dave Rubin has a bunch of tweets that say things like “The ACLU [was] once for free speech. Now it fights for biological boys to beat girls in sports” and regularly reminisces about back when the ACLU fought for speech instead of things like LGBTQ rights and racial equality (those “good old days” didn’t really ever exist). He constantly tweets about how much he loves free speech. So much, so much, so much.

How did he respond to the t-shirt tweet about ACLU’s win in this case?

“The ACLU has been whole infected. A terminal case of Woke. All we can now do is watch it slowly die…” he tweeted about an ACLU tweet celebrating a big win in a First Amendment case at the Supreme Court.

Andrew Sullivan, who like Rubin, has taken to railing against the ACLU for supporting trans people (in Sullivan’s case, he also promotes bizarre scientifically and factually bereft nonsense that trans kids are being forced to transition against their will because… uh… being trans is easier than being gay? [spoiler: it’s not]), also weighed in on the big free speech win at SCOTUS by tweeting, “These people are completely lost. Run by woke children.”

Ben Shapiro, who also uses his Twitter platform to complain that the ACLU cares too much about protecting trans people’s rights and not enough time focusing on civil liberties (yes, trans people’s rights are civil liberties), also had something to say about this case.

“The new ACLU: militant defense on freedom to say curse words, eh on freedom of religion and political speech,” Shapiro tweeted, moving the goalposts.

Others on the right had similar temper tantrums. There’s Jim Geraghty of the National Review, Tucker Carlson guest Darren Beattie, and many more.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a quick post to highlight the rampant hypocrisy on the right. Related, more detailed post to come.