Buzzfeed News profiles Marc Randazza and explores his high-profile, controversial cases

November 1, 2018

Marc Randazza, the lawyer working to protect First Amendment rights of people spewing socially undesirable speech, recently opened up to Buzzfeed News about his devotion to the First Amendment and how representing neo-Nazis, trolls, and Satanists helps him uphold what he believes is one of the most important ideals this country was founded upon.

The First Amendment guarantees United States citizens a constitutional right to freedom of speech. Government cannot infringe upon this right, although certain types of speech such as incitement, obscenity, and defamation do receive less protection. Protection can be based on the place in which speech occurs. For instance, speech that takes place on the campus of a public school has high First Amendment protection but speech in a private workplace receives little protection. Between court rulings and interpretation of the Constitution, protections of free speech have become pretty well defined over the last several decades. However, there’s one grey area that is polarizing First Amendment advocates today – speech on the Internet.

That’s where Randazza focuses much of his effort.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) protects technology platforms from liability based on their users’ content, but despite this protection, tech giants are restricting their users’ speech. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube claim they can take down any content they consider inappropriate or objectionable. Moreover, these platforms claim they have the right to ban undesirable members. Randazza believes that the Internet is a de facto public space, meaning it is privately owned yet publicly accessible, and therefore, online platforms must be more tolerant of such speech, especially given that they are afforded immunity through the CDA.

One group that claims they are a target of such discrimination are white nationalists. While their rhetoric is seemingly experiencing a wave of popularity, it’s also publicly despised and tech giants are being accused of suppressing it. Scratch the surface of Jared Taylor’s lawsuit against Twitter or Alex Jones’ lawsuit against PayPal and you’ll understand why Randazza thinks white nationalists are one of today’s most vulnerable groups in regard to the suppression of free speech.

Randazza has received heavy criticism from his peers not so much for his position, but more so for representing extremists like Taylor and Jones. But, he believes that protecting First Amendment rights is a matter of principle, not message.

“Sometimes we have to take people on who we find unsavory, but that’s what a commitment to the First Amendment means,” said Randazza.

Read the full article about Marc Randazza on Buzzfeed News.


Note for the Legal Satyricon Blog: Marc Randazza on Alex Jones’s defamation case

September 11, 2018

marc at infowars August 2nd

Marc Randazza is protecting the rights of Alex Jones, a host on InfoWars and a journalist.

Alex Jones faces several defamation lawsuits in different states filed by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Alex Jones at one point questioned the official narrative of the story, but now believes the shooting happened.

“Even though overwhelming – and indisputable – evidence exists showing exactly what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, certain individuals have persistently perpetuated a monstrous, unspeakable lie: That the Sandy Hook shooting was staged, and that the families who lost loved ones that day are actors who faked their relatives’ deaths,” the suit filed by lawyers from the Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder law firm claims, reports Connecticut Law Tribune.

Marc Randazza is defending Alex Jones in Connecticut.

“If you are a First Amendment lawyer and you hesitate in defending someone because of allegations of what they said, then you are not a First Amendment lawyer,” Randazza said.

Recently, Marc Randazza appeared as a guest on Alex Jones’s show InfoWars to discuss First Amendment issues. Randazza and Jones discussed a plethora of topics, including defamation lawsuits, free speech rights violations, and the growing impact of censorship by social media companies.

“You see this with people on the right being systematically ‘no platformed’, not just from media sites, but from YouTube, from Facebook, from Twitter and now from PayPal and Stripe. If any company decides that it doesn’t like the kind of thing you have to say, then you are off.”

Now, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify, Stitcher, and Pinterest have banned Alex Jones and InfoWars. How does this ban affect freedom of speech and the First Amendment rights of US citizens? Marc Randazza shared his opinions on the ban here:
https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2018/08/06/empire-strikes-back-right-wing-media-defend-alex-jones-after-infowars-banned-several-major-platforms/220912


Marc Randazza at Alex Jones Show: The most intriguing moments of the latest interviews

June 7, 2018

Over the past few weeks, Marc Randazza has been appearing on Info Wars. You can take a look at the video interviews on the Randazza Legal Group YouTube channel.

Marc Randazza discussed various issues related to the First Amendment and freedom of speech and expression.

In the interview (titled) Marc Randazza at Infowars: freedom of speech, well-known First Amendment cases, and censorship, Marc discussed defamation and free speech in the United States. According to Marc Randazza, there will always be people trying to use censorship to influence the marketplace of ideas. But the First Amendment allows all kind of speech, so Americans should let the marketplace of ideas flourish.

5:48 – 6:05
“… what troubles me is anytime I see anybody coming after that, I have a problem with it. The First Amendment is there for Nazis, for Clansmen, for Westboro Baptist Church, for anybody. It’s there for the speech you hate.”

15:15 – 15:41
“I don’t really care whose free speech it is that is being trampled. I will stand up to protect them, whether it’s Randa Jarrar who I find to be one of the most reprehensible human beings in America, whether it’s the Nazi party or the KKK, or whether it’s the communist party. Every one of them has an equal right to be there and the intellectual texture of America, the strength of America, the idea of America erodes and begins to grow a cancer if we don’t protect that.”

In this interview [titled], Marc Randazza commenting on the First Amendment rights protection at the Alex Jones Show Marc Randazza shares his point of view on several well-known free speech lawsuits and helps Alex Jones to figure out his own charges.

2:32 – 2:44
“What you can do is continue to educated people on what the First Amendment is because I’ve just been delighted over the past few years at how much more awareness there is now about First Amendment rights…”

Also, Mr. Randazza commented on a case involving a Scottish comedian named Mark Meechan, who taught his girlfriend’s dog to raise his paw every time he said “Sieg Heil”. Now Meechan is facing up to a year in prison for hate speech. Randazza also discussed this case on his CNN column.

According to Marc, “[censorship] looks much more like the purview of the left, at least in the West.

14:58 – 15:17
“You see this with people on the right being systematically ‘no platformed’, not just from media sites, but from YouTube, from Facebook, from Twitter, and now from PayPal and Stripe. If any company decides that it doesn’t like the kind of thing you have to say, then you are off.”

Watch the full interviews to understand the complete picture and catch up with the latest First Amendment insights from Marc Randazza.


Marc Randazza on the Nazi-salute dog video and hate speech in Europe and the US

April 13, 2018

In his recent CNN article, Marc Randazza shared his opinion regarding a Scottish comedian, who made a horrible joke that could now have criminal consequences.

A Scottish comedian named Mark Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire taught a pug named Buddha to raise his paw any time he said “Sieg Heil.” Meechan posted a video of the pug on YouTube. Meechan said that he made the video and taught the dog to give Nazi salutes as a joke on his girlfriend.

In the video Meechan said that his girlfriend annoyed him by always saying how cute her pug is and he decided to get her back by teaching the dog something that’s not cute.

But authorities arrested Mark Meechan and he is now facing up to 6 months in prison for a hate crime.

The court found him guilty under the Section 127 of the UK Communications Act which prohibits “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, or menacing” electronic communications. Mark shared his video on social media and YouTube which was offensive because of it being “anti-Semitic and racist in nature”.

Marc Randazza imagines how this case would proceed if it had happened on the other side of Atlantic, and notes that even though the United States has the First Amendment, Canada has adopted hate crime laws. For example, when Ezra Levant republished “Mohammed cartoons” in Canada, he faced a complaint before the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

In the US, Marc Randazza believes that the First Amendment protects such freedom of expression, but he fears that more hate speech prosecutions, like the ones in Europe, could be in our nation’s future. “With our growing tolerance for intolerance, I fear, UK-style prosecutions may be on the horizon for us. Even without them, the forces of censorship may simply make them unnecessary by suppressing all speech that someone might whine about.”

Marc Randazza says that if Mark Meechan were a US college student, he probably would be disciplined for such a speech. Marc Randazza recalls an instance when he was accused of hate speech at the University of Massachusetts for putting up a poster of the punk band the Dead Kennedys. The poster featured a swastika covered by a red circle and a line through it, but even though the swastika was crossed out some people were offended.

Today social networks are beginning to take down  “offensive speech” if someone thinks that it is inappropriate. However, different people may determine that the speech is humorous but not offensive.

Even though Marc Randazza agrees that the Nazi salute dog is offensive, Marc Randazza thinks that free speech should be protected, including speech that may be deemed “offensive”.


Randazza: The Legal Battle Over Andrew Anglin Continues

December 5, 2017

An article about one of Marc Randazza’s most controversial and groundbreaking cases  – a case involving the founder of a Neo-Nazi website Andrew Anglin – was published in the December issue of the Atlantic magazine.

The article, “The Making of an American Nazi”, tells the story of the founder of The Daily Stormer: the site that is arguably the leading hate site and neo-Nazi platform on the internet. Anglin is now being sued for allegedly harassing Tanya Gersh, a Whitefish, Montana, real estate agent, and orchestrating an anti-Semitic online trolling campaign against her family.

In April, she filed a lawsuit claiming that anonymous internet trolls started bombarding her family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin wrote a post blaming Gersh for engaging in “extortion” regarding a property sale from Sherry Spencer, whose son is another white nationalist and arguably the face of the alt-right movement. In that post, Anglin shared personal details, including photographs of Gersh’s family and other Jewish citizens of Whitefish, and called on his supporters, the “Stormer Troll Army” – to “hit ’em up.”

Currently, Gersh is suing Anglin for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of a Montana anti-intimidation statute. Marc Randazza is representing Anglin in this case. Anglin is also accused of unleashing a campaign against other Jewish residents of Whitefish, as well as “cyberstalking” and aggressive online trolling of other people, whose identity or views are not in line with his beliefs as a white nationalist.

It’s also reported that apart from committing the aforementioned activities, encouraging his followers and fellow nationalists to share his views online and participate in cyber trolling campaigns; Anglin allegedly continued to grow his audience and supposedly urged them to take their hate from the online to the real world.

Marc Randazza, the managing partner of the Randazza Legal Group, is representing Andrew Anglin. This lawsuit has attracted the attention of legal experts and the public not only due to Anglin’s notorious personality, but because it’s the first time that an internet troll is being sued for his actions.

However, according to Marc Randazza, a well-known First Amendment attorney and a fighter for free speech, restricting Anglin’s online trolling may set a dangerous precedent for the American legal system. As Mr. Randazza commented, Anglin “has every right to ask people to share their views, no matter how abhorrent those views are…this is the shitty price we have to pay for freedom.”


Marc Randazza’s most recent CNN column analyzes U.C. Berkeley’s decision to silence Ann Coulter

April 27, 2017

See Dear Berkeley: Even Ann Coulter deserves free speech.

There has been a wave of violent outbursts against conservative speakers during the 2016 election season, including violent protestors at Berkeley driving Milo Yiannopolous off campus a few months ago.

Berkley’s reaction? When the Berkeley College Republicans invited Coulter to speak, Berkeley canceled it, citing the recent violent outbursts as the reason. Marc Randazza explains that Ann Coulter suggested disciplining the students that engaged in violence, but Berkeley decided instead to reschedule the speech on a day when no students were on campus.

This is censorship.

Marc Randazza says that some people on the left feel, “emboldened by a view that ‘we’ are right and the Right (is) wrong,” and goes on to scold the left: “Shame on the Left for tacitly condoning this culture of violent suppression of views it disagrees with.”

Marc Randazza reminds us that we don’t need a First Amendment for speech that neither challenges, nor offends, because sometimes that very challenging and offensive speech fosters growth.

Marc Randazza points out that the left used to be beacons for free speech, and credits a few well-known liberals for defending Coulter’s right to speak in the column:

“Are we living in an alternate reality, one in which Bill Maher and Bernie Sanders are sticking up for Ann Coulter?

What could have caused this rip in the space-time continuum?

The so-called birthplace of the free speech movement, the University of California at Berkeley, has once again engaged in liberal censorship, this time of Ann Coulter, using the fear of violence as cover to suppress a voice it did not like.”

Read the rest here.