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First Amendment Rights

Celebrating Sullivan: The Central Meaning of the First Amendment

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 05.09.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, perhaps the most important First Amendment case in American history. In the words of the great First Amendment scholar Alexander Meiklejohn, the decision was "an occasion for dancing in the streets." Why was Sullivan so important?

Let Freedom and Cash Registers Ring

John Conway | Posted 04.29.2014 | Politics
John Conway

To deny service or business interaction to other American based on a religious objection is itself not a protection of religious freedom but a direct assault upon it.

Activists are fighting to speak. Are you willing to listen?

The Center for Constitutional Rights | Posted 04.05.2014 | Politics
The Center for Constitutional Rights

By Rachel Meeropol, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and lead counsel on Blum v. Holder, a first amendment challenge to t...

Stop Screaming 'First Amendment'

Neal Wooten | Posted 02.19.2014 | Politics
Neal Wooten

So let's clear this up: Phil Robertson was not deprived of his First Amendment rights. He was absolutely free to make the comments he made. He was not arrested or charged with any crime. In fact, the government stayed completely out of it.

5 Things to Remember When Discussing This Duck Dynasty Mess

Chris Boeskool | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices
Chris Boeskool

What is noteworthy is the conversation that is going to take place over the next couple of days on social media. I say "conversation," but really it's mostly going to be a bunch of angry people who are certain that God is on their side typing in ALL CAPS.

Why the University of Kansas Was Wrong to Suspend Tweeting Professor

Will Creeley | Posted 11.25.2013 | College
Will Creeley

Professor Guth accepted the suspension, apparently because he was receiving threats. But if he's receiving threats, it's the university's duty to protect him, not suspend him. In a free society, we can't allow those who threaten speakers with violence to win by silencing voices they don't like.

Learning From Europe's 'Right to Be Forgotten'

Eugene K. Chow | Posted 11.09.2013 | Politics
Eugene K. Chow

As the United States debates the precarious state of privacy rights in light of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs, American law could benefit from the underlying principle of the "right to be forgotten" -- dignity.

Trustworthy Journalism in a Fact-checking-free World

Craig Newmark | Posted 09.24.2013 | Media
Craig Newmark

Our social contract with the news business is that they hold the powerful to account. In return, we buy the products of news outlets, and give news professionals certain protections, like the U.S. First Amendment and shield laws.

The Separation of Church and State -- Then and Now

Mugambi Jouet | Posted 08.04.2013 | Politics
Mugambi Jouet

In the recurrent clash over the separation of church and state, both the religious right and the secular left invoke the Founding Fathers' original intent to justify their positions. In reality, neither side is completely correct on the historical dimension of the issue.

Freedom of the Press v. National Security -- A Tough Balance

Lanny Davis | Posted 08.03.2013 | Politics
Lanny Davis

I for one believe the bar should be very, very high -- that is two "very's" -- before any reporter should have to be subpoenaed to testify and required to reveal the source of a story.

Marijuana Publishers File First Amendment Lawsuit Against Colorado

Posted 05.30.2013 | Denver

Three marijuana publications have filed suit to block a provision of Colorado's new Amendment 64 law that requires pot magazines to be treated like po...

University Of Buffalo Professor Arrested For Profanity Use Against Student Pro-Life Display

The Huffington Post | Will Wrigley | Posted 04.17.2013 | Politics

A University at Buffalo professor was arrested after unleashing a profanity-laced tirade over a pro-life display on the university's campus, according...

Fox News Reporter Faces Jail For Doing Her Job On Aurora Shooting

FoxNews.com | Posted 06.05.2013 | Crime

Fox News reporter Jana Winter faces jail for doing her job too well. She's not been accused of any crime, only of protecting the identity of confiden...

Ward Churchill's Appeal To Reclaim CU Job Rejected By High Court

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 04.01.2013 | Denver

Former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill will not be teaching again at CU-Boulder anytime soon. The Associated Press reports that the...

Hustler v. Falwell: 25 Years of Protected Satire

Roy S. Gutterman | Posted 04.30.2013 | Media
Roy S. Gutterman

The landmark Supreme Court case Hustler v. Falwell turned 25 this week. When a Supreme Court precedent reaches this age, its legacy is either firmly developed or lost to the history books.

Our Freedom of Speech

Rachel Demma | Posted 04.30.2013 | Teen
Rachel Demma

Upon arrival at a Model United Nations conference, five classmates and I begrudgingly attended what we assumed would be an incredibly boring event: Opening Ceremonies. Much to our surprise, the event was not tedious at at all, but instead extremely controversial.

Censorship 1, Fun 0: U of Alabama Frosh Ticketed for Harlem Shake Video Shoot

Will Creeley | Posted 04.21.2013 | College
Will Creeley

The Crimson Tide was ready to Harlem Shake -- but then the police showed up and shut down a student's music video.

What's Still Missing From the Gun Control Debate

Jim Sleeper | Posted 04.09.2013 | Politics
Jim Sleeper

Certain kinds of "speech" don't deserve First Amendment protection because the "speakers" aren't the flesh-and-blood citizens -- and not even associations of free flesh-and-blood citizens -- that the amendment was designed to protect.

Burger King Settles With Texas Pentecostal Teen

The Huffington Post | Hunter Stuart | Posted 01.22.2013 | Business

A Burger King in Texas has agreed to pay $25,000 to a Pentecostal woman who wore a skirt to work, court documents state. The payment settles a laws...

Michael McLaughlin

Free Speech Or Blackmail? Mug Shot Websites Taken To Court

HuffingtonPost.com | Michael McLaughlin | Posted 01.14.2013 | Crime

When police broke up a Toledo, Ohio, party on a summer night in 2011, Phillip Kaplan was arrested on a charge of failure to disperse. Thinking the acc...

True Courage in Journalism

Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. | Posted 12.29.2012 | Media
Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr.

Tonight, the International Women's Media Foundation will hold its annual Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, honoring three women journalists for their courageous reporting and presenting its Lifetime Achievement Award.

John Celock

Group Targets 'Unconstitutional' Law

HuffingtonPost.com | John Celock | Posted 10.17.2012 | Politics

A conservative group that helped lead the legal battle that would eventually allow for the creation of super PACs is now working to overturn North Dak...

Yelling 'Fire' in a Crowded Planet

Frank J. Garcia | Posted 11.25.2012 | World
Frank J. Garcia

When every major Western liberal democracy except ours regulates certain forms of racist and hate-mongering speech, we can no longer simply assert that our approach is a non-negotiable liberal value.

Student Suing College For Denying His Poster Spot On Bulletin Boards

The Huffington Post | Tyler Kingkade | Posted 09.21.2012 | College

A criminal justice student at Rock Valley College in Illinois is suing his school over a bulletin board dispute, which he insists trampled on his free...

Churchill Loses Appeal To Win Back His Job At CU-Boulder

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 09.10.2012 | Denver

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision against former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill who had filed an ap...