This episode considers the phenomenon of "cancel culture" in light of the recent case of Wilson v. Houston Community College College System Board.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that Wilson, a trustee of the Board, stated a viable First Amendment claim when the Board passed a censure resolution against him for his public comments about the Board's activities. The Board sought en banc review from the full court, which tied 8-8 on whether to consider the case again.
The arguments in Wilson illuminate the concerns that drive what is sometimes called "cancel culture," and may help us think through when healthy debate can become an overreaching desire to silence the other side of a debate.
If those questions seem hard, the fact that a team of very sophisticated judges split 8-8 may give us some reassurance that they really are challenging.