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First Amendment Rights

On Cat Videos and Human Rights

Christina Gagnier | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Christina Gagnier

Throughout its history, the U.S has positioned itself as a beacon of democracy, free speech and freedom of expression. It is essential that we lead in the preservation of human rights online.

Obama Is Becoming the Most Anti-Privacy President Ever

Bob Jacobson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Bob Jacobson

In an apparent application of PATRIOT Act principles, the FBI is seeking the unimpeded right to request Internet records without public notice of any type, and ironically, without it being required to keep a record of the FBI's request.

Does Free Speech Mean Free to Offend?

Terry Kelhawk | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Terry Kelhawk

Obviously life is full of offense. We can't legislate good taste or make everything that offends everyone illegal. Freedom of speech entails the freedom to offend. But that doesn't mean we have to offend.

Suburban Woman Jailed Over 'Offensive' T-Shirt

Lake County News Sun | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago

A Round Lake Park woman was held in contempt and jailed for two days for the message on her T-shirt. The message was: "I own the (female body part...

Freedom To Tweet: The First Amendment Gets A Makeover

Huffington Post | Lindsay Gellman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media

Just in time for the Fourth of July, a new national advertising campaign reminds Americans that the First Amendment protects not only their freedom to...

Amazon Says Data Disclosure Will Invade Privacy on 'Massive Scale'

Leslie Harris | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Leslie Harris

Religious affiliation, mental and physical health issues, sexual orientation, political ideology is all information that could likely be gleaned from the contents of a person's Amazon shopping cart.

Muzzle Tov, Southwestern College & Your 'Free Speech Patio'!

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 05.25.2011 | College
Greg Lukianoff

Congratulations to the administration, and President Raj K. Chopra, of Southwestern College (SWC) in Southern California for being awarded a 2010 Jefferson Muzzle Award for achievement in censorship!

Evanston Wants To Ban Saggy Pants...Is It Constitutional?

Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago

Municipalities trying to outlaw the wearing of sagging pants is nothing new. In 2004, the entire states of Louisiana and Virginia both tried to pass l...

Reproductive Fraud? Sham Pregnancy Centers Face Pushback

Jacob M. Appel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jacob M. Appel

It's increasingly difficult to figure out which of the numerous organizations claiming to offer "reproductive health services" actually provide termination referrals and which are merely sham clinics established by right-wing religious activists.

Jennifer LaPenta Contempt Charge: Judge Holds Woman In Contempt Because She Was Offended By Her T-Shirt

Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago

Jennifer LaPenta did not even have to be in court the day she was held in contempt and jailed. The 20-year-old woman had left the gym and accompanied ...

Lesbian Prom Decision a Huge Failure to Uphold Constitutional Rights

Emma Ruby-Sachs | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Emma Ruby-Sachs

A judge in Mississippi ruled that the high school refusing to host a prom because a lesbian student might show up with her date would not be forced to reinstate the dance.

Campaign Finance Outrage: Democracy for the Highest Bidder

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Wallis

Corporations can now directly intervene in campaigns with candidate-specific ads. The only requirement remaining is that they not be coordinated with a campaign. But that's a requirement more of form than substance.

Congress: Protect American Writers and Publishers from Being Sued Overseas

Judy Platt | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Judy Platt

Your book's been published in the United States for an American audience. Someone who's mentioned in the book doesn't like what you've written and sues you for libel, but he doesn't sue you here, where the book has been published.

The Court's Cross to Bear

Jay Wexler | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jay Wexler

The government should surely honor our fallen war heroes, but erecting a massive, stand-alone symbol of Christian faith is not the way to do it.

Murder Threats and the First Amendment

Martin Garbus | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Martin Garbus

The increasing number of threats that emanate from right-wing media present important First Amendment issues anew. Whichever case goes to the Supreme Court will undoubtedly create new law.

The Campus Culture Wars in Two Videos

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Greg Lukianoff

In fighting free speech battles on campus, I have been caught up on the front lines of our country's bizarre and cantankerous culture wars.

Wrong Lesson from McCain's "Town Hall"

Coleen Rowley | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Coleen Rowley

The McCain campaign event, mishandled from start to finish, also furnished the worst lesson imaginable for those Lakeville high school students on how our country's constitutional democracy is supposed to function.

Supreme Court To Decide How Much and How Often Government Can Violate Your Civil Rights

Cristóbal Joshua Alex | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Cristóbal Joshua Alex

The Supreme Court next week will hear a case that may allows police officers to do essentially anything unless courts have expressly told them that they couldn't.

Baton-Bashed In Denver! Is This Really What Democracy Looks Like?!

Linda Milazzo | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Linda Milazzo

IS THIS WHAT DEMOCRACY REALLY LOOKS LIKE?! There are characteristics essential to being a member of the peace and social justice organization, ...

Subcontracting the First Amendment

Leslie Harris | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Leslie Harris

The First Amendment doesn't allow the FCC to function as an Internet board of review. The real question is why would such a proposal even be put out for comment.