Rhetoric v. Rhetoric

Nancy, isn’t Danielle’s article trying to use rhetoric against rhetoric? It seems to be that one side of this debate makes its case (rightly or wrongly) using the rhetoric of free speech. Danielle’s article tries to make its case (rightly or wrongly) by countering this rhetoric using the rhetoric of civil rights. Or to put it another way, one side of this debate sees free speech under assault; the other side sees civil rights as under assault. Or so it seems to me.

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2 Responses

  1. Yes, but I’d phrase it slightly differently.

    People usually think of free speech as a civil right. So the civil-rights rhetoric is designed to neutralize that, by coming up with a counter-right to override free speech, in the same “dimensions”.

    Think of it as a liberal version of the conservative law-and-order rhetoric of “A criminal’s civil-rights? What about _my_ civil-rights to walk in safety?”.

  2. Orin Kerr says:


    Yes, that seems about right.