Mark Hemingway of NRO brings some wonderful news from Canada . The odious Hate Speech provisions which were used in an attempt to muzzle Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant have been declared unconstitutional.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Section 13, Canada's much maligned human rights hate speech law, is an unconstitutional violation of the Charter right to free expression because of its penalty provisions.
The decision released this morning by Tribunal chair Athanasios Hadjis appears to strip the Canadian Human Rights Commission of its controversial legal mandate to pursue hate on the Internet, which it has strenuously defended against complaints of censorship.
It also marks the first major failure of Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, an anti-hate law that was conceived in the 1960s to target racist telephone hotlines, then expanded in 2001 to the include the entire Internet, and for the last decade used almost exclusively by one complainant, activist Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman.
Mark Steyn shares his experiences and concerns about the Canadian thought police and the significance of this ruling:
This is the beginning of the end for the Canadian state's policing of opinion: Judge Hadjis has repudiated the "human rights" regime's entire rationale as well as a couple of decades of joke "jurisprudence".
I confess I wasn't optimistic when the thought enforcers decided to pick a fight with me, but Ezra Levant persuaded me that the thing to do was go nuclear on this disgusting racket and re-frame the debate. We succeeded. There's a lesson here for American conservatives, particularly as the president and his allies, with the "fairness doctrine" and bills to control the Internet and whatnot, are tempted down a very Canadian path.
This should give us courage as we must prepare to do battle with the Administration's likely effort to reintroduce some version of the Fairness Doctrine by another name and to impose other free speech restrictions on their opponents.