Ed. note: Early wishes for a happy July 4th weekend! We’ll be back on Wednesday, July 5 (barring unforeseen news). * I don’t know that free speech is under cultural attack, as this post argues. But I do think people are using lawsuits to bash speech they don’t like. Instead of lecturing people about the sacred right of Nazis to intimidate people on Twitter, I’d rather the First Amendment crowd came up with a real regime of sanctions for people who bring lawsuits against clearly protected speech. I just don’t know that the Deplorable fanboys would recognize that as a sufficient way to fight for their freedom to talk out of their asses. [Popehat] * The Fifth Circuit has now conferred qualified immunity on expert witnesses, deployed to spout whatever nonsense the government thinks will help them gain a conviction. The Democrat who runs on a criminal justice reform platform that included changing the rules around qualified immunity would probably get my vote. Instead they’ll probably run a Goldman executive with an innovative plan to retrain bigoted hill people for the hi-tech jobs of the future. [Simple Justice] * What Trump is actually trying to do with his voter fraud investigation is horrifying. But Professor Rick Hasen says it won’t work, and I’m going to trust him because I do not want to get pissed off about a whole new thing this close to a long weekend. [Slate] * Texas isn’t sure that same-sex marriage means that same-sex couples get marriage benefits. Sigh. Look, Texas is going to lose its fight against gay people, eventually. YOU HEAR THAT YOU HAT WEARIN’ COWBOYS? Gay people are going to kick your ass and have sex in your Alamo. [Texas Tribune] * Based on the settlement data, The Root came up with a methodology to calculate the worth of a black life. Ballpark, the state pays about $3,364,875 per family for the right to kill us without criminal accountability. If you’ve got thoughts about how the state spends too much money in settlements, keep them to yourself. [The Root] * Stay safe out there this long weekend. The Texas Law Hawk has some fireworks safety tips. [Texas Law Hawk] * Checking in with the Alt-Right, I could go with all the stories about how people have called Kellyanne Conway “ugly,” which is apparently the Alt-Right defense for the president mocking Mika Brzezinski? But this headline is just too good: “Germany Surrenders to Trump, Waters Down G20 Climate Plan #Winning” They’re making water puns, y’all. They are defiant. You can’t even blame the Earth for trying to kill all of us. [Breitbart]

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