Lawyer: De Blasio’s Trump Threat Endangers Free Speech


de-blasio1Civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel said he finds some things Donald Trump has said offensive, but he said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is wrong to threaten to cancel city contracts with his businesses over it.

“Some of the things Donald Trump has said are offensive. They’re wrong-minded, and they’re repugnant,” Siegel said Sunday on “The Cats Roundtable” on AM 970 in New York.

De Blasio said in July that he is trying to see if the city can legally get out of any contracts with Trump after the GOP presidential front-runner angered many by saying that some Mexicans entering the United States illegally are rapists and murderers. De Blasio added that if the city can’t cancel existing contracts it won’t be making any new ones.

But the mayor of the nation’s largest city can’t make such threats, Siegel told radio host Catsimatidis, because it is a threat to free speech.
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“What free speech is about is we let people say what they want. We don’t punish them. We don’t criminalize them. We don’t ostracize them in the sense that we’re going to punish them,” Siegel said.

“What we do is we confront them. A more free speech approach rather than self-censorship or censorship by the government,” he added. “I think that we are in a period now where if we’re not vigilant about free speech and the principles underlying free speech it’s going to erode, and once you lose it you don’t get it back.”


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  1. The mayor is right; free speech doesn’t mean you can just say things against minority groups. If they are offended it’s automatically hate-speech!

  2. Given the admiration that Trump has expressed for Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, I would worry about Trump restricting fredom, not De Blasio.

    Would Siegel insist that the city give contracts to David Duke? Or Louis Farrakhan? Trump is in their league.

  3. To the real Charlie Hall: You are a classic Liberal. You only apply “free speech” when it fits YOUR agenda. You are just like Hillary Clinton. You have 2 sets of rules. One that applies to YOU and one that applies to everyone else. THAT is not America. Funny how YOU were quiet, when the DEMOCRATS were calling Republicans Nazi’s and George Bush, Hitler. After all we may not like it but they were exercising their “free speech”. What a phony. Pheh!