The Corner

National Review

Where Our Free-Speech Fight Stands

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Your help is needed, but first, you should know: Last week we learned that the SCOTUS justices had, for the third time this month, chosen to postpone for another two weeks a decision on granting (or denying) review in National Review v. Mann. What does this mean?

The vast majority of cert petitions are rejected by the High Court immediately, at the time when they are first scheduled to be considered. The fact that our petition has not been declined, that it persists, that it remains ripe for consideration, means, in the calculus of any seasoned high-court observer, that there is clearly some interest in the case among the justices.

Define “some.” We can’t. How about making odds: Does the delay (it looks like the Court will next formally consider the matter in the first week of November) mean that the case will be taken up? Not necessarily. But then, is there reason to see all this as measured good news? It’s fair to say: Yes.

Heck: The cert petition could have been denied immediately, as most are. So it is indeed good news that we are still in the fight — a fight not of our choosing, but one we intend to engage in with every ounce of institutional energy, every iota of institutional resources. After all, there is an unalienable right being messed with.

Whether SCOTUS takes up the case, or if it proceeds on its current track — a jury trial before the very liberal District of Columbia court system — the facts remain that National Review is

  • engaged in a consequential and expensive legal battle
  • that it is a battle for the protection of a fundamental right to free-speech
  • that even this process, of having the case be heard by D.C. jury, is a serious challenge to long-standing First Amendment protections
  • that this is as much your fight as it is NR’s.

Well over a million dollars have been spent in National Review’s defense since Michael Mann initiated this assault on the First Amendment in 2012 (we wonder: what cabal of liberal moneybags is paying his big tab?). Our insurance pays for much of our defense, but NR has had to pay boatloads of money for costs not covered by the insurer. That burden could be an institutional back-breaker, but as yet it hasn’t been, because so many generous people, good people, patriotic Americans — folks who abhor the thought that their own right to free speech is being monkeyed with (and is it ever!) — have stepped up (nearly 1,300 and counting since we launched this effort last week) to provide NR with real and meaningful financial aid.

Have you helped us out in this matter? If you have, thanks very much (feel free to help some more). The strife persists. Have you yet to help? You are under no obligation to do so, but remember: This fight is not our fight . . . it is our fight. NR does not own the First Amendment — it’s yours too. And so should be the fight to protect it.

Help us fight this fight by contributing to our 2019 Fall Webathon. Please note that contributions to National Review Inc., while vitally important, are not tax deductible. No amount is too small (or big!). If you prefer to fight by check, make yours out to the order of “National Review” and mail it to National Review, ATTN: 2019 Fall Webathon, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 1701, New York, NY 10036. Please know we look forward to having you alongside us at the barricade, where we can employ our free-speech right to assure you of our deep appreciation, and the thrill of your camaraderie.

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