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First Amendment

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 ...

Why Harris v. Quinn Is No Sweeping Victory for Conservatives

Capital & Main | Posted 07.02.2014 | Politics
Capital & Main

To understand what the Supreme Court did and didn't hold, you have to go back to a 1977 case called Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

Cannibal Cop and the First Amendment: Freedom for Thoughts and Fantasies We Hate

Clay Calvert | Posted 07.02.2014 | Crime
Clay Calvert

Cyberspace is awash in verbal vomit, offensive diatribes and morbid musings. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the sordid speech in question always falls outside the confines of the First Amendment safeguard of free expression.

To My Religious Friends Celebrating Hobby Lobby: Are You Sure?

David M. Abromowitz | Posted 06.30.2014 | Politics
David M. Abromowitz

Vast numbers of people hold sincere religious beliefs that I -- and maybe you -- consider vile. But they are entitled to their beliefs. What they are not entitled to in the USA is to impose those beliefs upon others just because they happen to be business owners.

Will SCOTUS Protect Political Campaign Lies

Steve Young | Posted 06.30.2014 | Politics
Steve Young

The used-car sales lobby must be licking its chops. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Susan B. Anthony List (an antiabortion group) may sue over an Ohio law that prevented it from making false statements about a political candidate.

Understanding the Supreme Court's Abortion-Protest Decision

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 06.27.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

In a very general sense, in evaluating the constitutionality of law restricting speech, the Court has drawn an important distinction between laws that restrict speech because of its message ("content-based" laws) and laws that restrict speech without regard to its message ("content-neutral" laws).

Abortion Buffer-Zone Ruling in McCullen: The Supreme Court's Facade of Unity and the Future of Abortion Rights

Clay Calvert | Posted 06.26.2014 | Politics
Clay Calvert

Thursday's Supreme Court ruling in McCullen vs. Coakley, despite the unified outcome and facade, makes it clear that abortion is and will continue to be a wedge issue dividing the justices for years to come.

First Amendment Ignorance: Survey Reveals Land of the Free and Uninformed

Clay Calvert | Posted 06.25.2014 | Politics
Clay Calvert

OK, "ignorant" may be too harsh a word, but how else do we label the twin facts that only 14 percent of adults in the United States know that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the press and that nearly 30 percent cannot name a single right guaranteed by that amendment?