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First Amendment

The Changing, Militarized Face of Policing Shatters Public Trust and Confidence

Gary Pieters | Posted 08.21.2014 | Black Voices
Gary Pieters

I am still trying to deconstruct why the Ferguson community's outpouring of grief, loss and anger was met with such an impersonal, aggressive and unrelenting show of militarized police use of force uncharacteristic of peacetime policing.

Honor Journalist James Foley: Don't Watch the Video

Clay Calvert | Posted 08.20.2014 | Media
Clay Calvert

If the early reports are correct and journalist James Foley was, in fact, executed by ISIS, you can honor him -- and not play into the terroristic hands of that organization -- simply by not watching the video of his murder.

Christine Conetta

Missouri Lawmaker Reminds Police, ‘We Have A First Amendment Right'

HuffingtonPost.com | Christine Conetta | Posted 08.19.2014 | Politics

FERGUSON, Mo. -- Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal strongly believes in the rights to free speech and assembly. "We have a First Amendment ...

Hustler Magazine Turns 40, Parties In L.A.: A Peak Behind the Scenes as Larry Flynt Celebrates in Style

Clay Calvert | Posted 08.13.2014 | Media
Clay Calvert

The black-and-gold JPEG invitation arrived in my inbox back in June, miraculously dodging the spam filter. "You and a guest are invited to join us as we celebrate our 40th anniversary." It was from Hustler magazine.

Colleges: Drop Your Speech Codes

David Moshman | Posted 08.08.2014 | College
David Moshman

If you are a college official responsible for administering a speech code, here are four reasons to eliminate that code immediately.

Rap Music Scores Big Legal Win in New Jersey: Now on to the Supreme Court

Clay Calvert | Posted 08.07.2014 | Politics
Clay Calvert

If the Supreme Court of New Jersey's August 4 decision is any indication, 2014 could prove to be the year when courts finally recognize rap as an artistic form of expression and social commentary.

Federally Funded Discrimination -- Did Obama Go Far Enough?

Shayna A. Pitre | Posted 08.03.2014 | Politics
Shayna A. Pitre

Religious organizations receiving federal contracts can no longer discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Some question whether President Obama has gone too far. Others question whether he has gone far enough.

Florida Court Tells Doctors To Shut Up About Guns

Clay Calvert | Posted 07.29.2014 | Politics
Clay Calvert

It is pitted as a battle between the First Amendment right of free speech and the Second Amendment right to bear arms, christened by court observers as the "Docs v. Glocks" case.

Floor Pizza and the New Mediocrity

Joseph A. Domino | Posted 07.28.2014 | Business
Joseph A. Domino

As the quality of life continues to decline in America, I've been wracking my fevered brain for the single, perfect image to represent our downward spiraling dystopia. Like the "Grand Unification" theory sought by physicists.

Free Speech and the Bible Museum

Richard J. Rosendall | Posted 07.24.2014 | Gay Voices
Richard J. Rosendall

An effort by the pro-LGBT group Truth Wins Out (TWO) to block the opening of a private Bible museum in the Nation's Capital is a misguided assault on constitutional protections that properly protect everyone, including LGBT Americans and their opponents.

Constitutional Rights in the Digital Age

Nancy Leong | Posted 07.19.2014 | Technology
Nancy Leong

Just as cell phones are different from ordinary physical objects, the Internet is dramatically different from earlier speech mediums. And the Court should acknowledge those differences in determining the scope of First Amendment protection for speech.

What I Don't Like About Life in the American Police State

John W. Whitehead | Posted 07.16.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

I don't like being treated as if my only value to the government is as a source of labor and funds. I don't like being viewed as a consumer and bits of data. I don't like being spied on and treated as if I have no right to privacy, especially in my own home.

When Chevron Subpoenas an Amnesty International Activist

Paul Paz y Miño | Posted 07.16.2014 | Green
Paul Paz y Miño

In an unprecedented legal move, 17 U.S.-based civil society organizations - among them Amnesty International, Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, and Friends of the Earth - have just filed an amicus brief in federal appeals court defending their First Amendment rights from attack by Chevron.

Expansive Government Threatens Religious Liberty, the First Freedom

Doug Bandow | Posted 07.16.2014 | Politics
Doug Bandow

Americans should be protected from interference with their faith as well as attempts by others to impose their beliefs. The institutions of government and church should be kept far apart, while the political realm is left open to arguments of all sorts, whether based on theism, humanism, or something else.

Snowden, Go Home

Peter Scheer | Posted 07.15.2014 | Politics
Peter Scheer

Snowden has portrayed his accessing, copying and distribution (to selected journalists) of NSA records as acts of conscience-and so they may have been. Civil disobedience is a time-honored form of protest, particularly in a democracy. But civil disobedience is not painless; it is not a get-out-of-jail free card.

Religious Tests For Public Office And The Constitution

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 07.14.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

It is, one would hope, highly unlikely that the religious test issue will ever again come before the Supreme Court. But if it does, who knows what these five justices will do?

Paparazzi Down: George Clooney's Anti-Paparazzi Laws Just Might Save Civilization

Stacy Slotnick | Posted 07.11.2014 | Entertainment
Stacy Slotnick

If the paparazzi exist to alert us when Kim Kardashian passes through LAX, we are indeed a troubled civilization that can only be saved with the passage of meaningful anti-paparazzi laws that have killer-whale teeth.

Telling the Police to F*** Off: Risky First Amendment Business

Clay Calvert | Posted 07.10.2014 | Crime
Clay Calvert

Before you administer a little dose of "F You" to the man, you might think twice about whether you want to fight it out in court.

Iowa Students Stand Up Against Censorship of Marijuana Legalization

Catherine Sevcenko | Posted 07.09.2014 | College
Catherine Sevcenko

Iowa State University invites its students to craft their own educational "adventure" as they obtain a college education. Erin Furleigh and Paul Gerlich are students at ISU whose adventure has included censorship and, now, a federal lawsuit.

What the Founding Fathers Really Learned from the Puritans About Religious Freedom

MOMocrats | Posted 07.09.2014 | Religion
MOMocrats

In the days of the New World, the earliest leaders of the colonies were often the reverends and other church leaders. The rule of law was God's law, as interpreted by the church leaders.

New Video: More Shocking Details at College That Tried to Quarantine the Constitution

Susan Kruth | Posted 07.09.2014 | College
Susan Kruth

Plainly ignoring the guarantees of the First Amendment, campus security and a member of the MJC staff told Van Tuinen that he could hand out his written materials only in a small "free speech zone" and only with prior permission.

Supreme Court to Women: Father Knows Best

Nan Aron | Posted 07.09.2014 | Politics
Nan Aron

These three decisions, taken together, are an assault on the rights, health, and economic well-being of women in every corner of this country. But they are also a challenge to President Obama, to Congress, to the political system, and to the American people to take the action necessary to undo the damage.

In 2014, Still Not Independence Day for Women

Irene Monroe | Posted 07.07.2014 | Women
Irene Monroe

America's need to showcase her indomitable spirit of heroism this July 4th celebration arrives mired by the two recent Supreme Court -- both highlighting a "war against women."

Republicans Are Stripping Away Rights That Others Fought So Hard to Obtain

Mark Baer | Posted 07.07.2014 | Politics
Mark Baer

Since the Supreme Court issued its decision, many people have suggested boycotting Hobby Lobby and other such businesses. While I support such a decision, it misses the bigger issue.

The Free Exercise of Religion for Whom?

Norma Cook Everist | Posted 07.02.2014 | Politics
Norma Cook Everist

Monday's Supreme Court ruling that the Hobby Lobby crafts store chain does not have to provide all forms of birth control for its employees marks the ...