To the Editor:
I subscribe to Justice Black’s absolutist views of the First Amendment, and I am also an admirer of John O. McGinnis, but his tirade against leftist efforts to have government regulate speech is so shrill, and his historical errors so significant [“The Left vs. Free Speech,” October 1994], that I am not sure he has advanced the argument. . . .
Mr. McGinnis singles out for attack three leftists who argue that the government should regulate speech: Morton Horwitz, Stanley Fish, and Cass Sunstein. He recognizes that these three men are quite different, and he even acknowledges that the first two are well out of the political mainstream. He nonetheless attributes common motives to each of them. “Elements on the Left,” Mr. McGinnis argues, “have begun to oppose a free market in ideas for the same reason that inefficient, failing companies favor government regulation of their product market: they fear competition and hope to retard it.” All I can say to this is that Mr. McGinnis has apparently not read much of any of the men he criticizes, for whatever one might say about them, the idea that they fear debate is preposterous.
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