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First Amendment

Court Says No To Gagging Those Who Reveal Farm Animal Abuse

The Huffington Post | Arin Greenwood | Posted 08.04.2015 | Politics

A hard-to-watch video, filmed in 2012 by undercover investigators with Mercy for Animals, shows Idaho dairy farm workers viciously abusing cows....

#TruthTrending

Rev. Susan Russell | Posted 07.31.2015 | Gay Voices
Rev. Susan Russell

News Flash: There is a critical difference between feeling excluded because you're disagreed with and being excluded because of who you are.

Why American Journalism Is in a State of Crisis

S. Kumar | Posted 07.31.2015 | Media
S. Kumar

Will McAvoy, in the HBO drama The Newsroom, tells a colleague: "I don't believe in censorship, but I'm a big believer in self-censorship." It's a simple principle that guided generations of journalists and news organizations in America for decades, but one that the press now seems to have forgotten. In an age of 24-hour online news driven by ad sales and page views, responsible journalism seems to be hard to find.

Meeting First Amendment Standards: In 2015, More Universities Are Making the Grade

Azhar Majeed | Posted 07.30.2015 | College
Azhar Majeed

Yet year after year, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), finds that the vast majority of colleges and universities -- both public and private -- maintain speech codes that severely restrict or overly regulate the expression of students and professors.

Being Christian Doesn't Give You The Right To Discriminate

Dale Hansen | Posted 07.27.2015 | Politics
Dale Hansen

The fight here is not about religious freedom. The courts have already determined what is and isn't covered, and arguments like the one presented by Jeremy Tedesco show an ignorance to the facts in order to feign oppression.

Michigan Needs a New Voice: Challenging Censorship in the Wolverine State

Neel Swamy | Posted 07.24.2015 | Education
Neel Swamy

The issue of censorship is one that we as Americans often associate with images of backwards political bodies in third world nations, mass protests dripping with the sweat of revolution and the historical burning of books, magazines and other literary works during the early 20th century.

A Big Victory in Georgia Points the Way to Ending Abuses of Freedom of Speech on Campus

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 07.23.2015 | College
Greg Lukianoff

Today marks the official end of an eight-year legal odyssey for one student who was kicked out of his college for clearly protected speech back in 200...

1st Amendment Punctures Secrecy Surrounding Cosby Transcript, Police-shooting Videos

Peter Scheer | Posted 07.21.2015 | Media
Peter Scheer

For lawyers who specialize in helping clients suppress information that could prove embarrassing or worse, several recent developments just made their job a lot harder -- which is, of course, a good thing from the standpoint of the public interest.

Celebrating Freedom Of -- And Freedom From -- Religion

Rev. Susan Russell | Posted 07.17.2015 | Religion
Rev. Susan Russell

Your personal opinions and beliefs about who should or should not be getting married has absolutely no bearing on who you issue marriage licenses to as a county clerk. Period.

Boy Scouts of America Deserves Condemnation -- Not Praise

Peter McGraith | Posted 07.17.2015 | Gay Voices
Peter McGraith

Robert Gates is not to blame that the ban on homosexual adult leaders was not addressed years sooner, but he must answer for the current plan that seeks to devolve anti-LGBT discrimination to all of those faith-based chartered organizations that might prefer to exclude LGBT parents. This is wrong and divisive.

Freedom of Speech and the Learning Economy: Skills When We Need Them

Blair Forlaw | Posted 07.07.2015 | Education
Blair Forlaw

Here we are in the season to celebrate our nation's founding principles, and 33 percent of Americans can't name any of the five freedoms of the First Amendment. That's the latest finding from the Newseum Institute's annual survey on the State of the First Amendment.

Ballot Selfies, Perverts and Censorship: Presenting the 2015 New England Muzzle Awards

Dan Kennedy | Posted 07.06.2015 | Politics
Dan Kennedy

At the heart of the Muzzles is a simple but powerful idea: "Congress" -- and all levels of government, thanks to the 14th Amendment -- "shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."

The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech

John W. Whitehead | Posted 06.30.2015 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use. In totalitarian regimes--a.k.a. police states--where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used.

Two Kansas Universities Are in Legal Dispute Over Supervising Student Speech Off Campus

Student Press Law Center | Posted 07.04.2015 | College
Student Press Law Center

Kansas State University and the University of Kansas are butting heads over how heavily universities can and should supervise student speech off campus under the guidelines set by Title IX to govern sexual harassment.

How to Defeat 'Revenge Porn': First, Recognize It's About Privacy, Not Revenge

Mary Anne Franks | Posted 06.22.2015 | Technology
Mary Anne Franks

That so many states are taking this issue seriously is tremendous progress. It is crucial, however, to ensure that the laws being passed truly protect victims and that they are clear, principled, and constitutionally sound. Unfortunately, many of these state laws do not fulfill these criteria.

Texas License Plates, the Confederate Flag and the Supreme Court

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 06.20.2015 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

Why are people willing to pay for the right to put their message on a license plate, rather than just put it on a bumper sticker? Justice Breyer suggests that it is because they want the state's endorsement of their message. The problem, though, is that this is about the state discriminating among private speakers based on whether it approves or disapproves of the message. This, the First Amendment does not permit.

Friday Talking Points -- Racist Domestic Terrorism

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.19.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

It's been a rollercoaster week in the political world, beginning with Hillary Clinton shifting the gears of her campaign by holding her first big rally, which was immediately followed by the man we're going to call "Jeb! Bush!" finally officially announcing his own candidacy.

Supreme Court to Government: No, 'Good Intentions' Don't Give You a License to Censor Speech

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.18.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

In Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, a unanimous Court invalidated a town sign code that subjected certain signs to harsher restrictions than others, depending upon what messages they conveyed.

Nick Wing

Church And State Are Separate In The U.S., Except When They're Not

HuffingtonPost.com | Nick Wing | Posted 06.16.2015 | Politics

Any decent, red-blooded American politician loves the Constitution. It seems fair, then, to expect these politicians to respect the very first right e...

The Spirit of Nero Lives in the Tar Heel State

Byron Williams | Posted 06.16.2015 | Gay Voices
Byron Williams

Senate Bill 2 is a reactionary law; and the history of reactionary laws is a sketchy one. Often times these laws are enacted in response to an event or action to prevent further acts from reoccurring.

Why Andy Cuomo Attacks the "Wall of Separation"

Alan Singer | Posted 06.12.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

Andrew Cuomo is attempting a backdoor effort that tries to avoid the "wall of separation" by offering tax credits to individuals who make donations to religious schools for scholarships. Not only is his plan a threat to basic constitutional principles, by it is a threat to public education.

The Cider House Rules -- and a Supreme Court Ruling

Joseph Cooper | Posted 06.05.2015 | Books
Joseph Cooper

For those birthing presidential campaigns and those conceiving runs for legislative power and those lusting for criminal court judgeships, The Cider House Rules and Griswold v. Connecticut should be required reading.

Religious Stereotyping Is Bullying

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 06.03.2015 | Religion
Warren J. Blumenfeld

Fortunately, many good people of Phoenix -- Muslim and non-Muslim alike -- intervened against the stereotyping and the bullying perpetrated by Ritzheimer and his malevolent and misguided followers.

Outrage of the Month: Industry Lawsuit Threatens FDA's Regulation of Drugs

Michael Carome, M.D. | Posted 06.02.2015 | Politics
Michael Carome, M.D.

On May 7, Amarin Pharma filed an unusual lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), arguing that the agency's drug regulations violate the company's First Amendment free-speech rights. If Amarin prevails in its litigation, the repercussions for patient and public health will be dire.

My Testimony in Front of Congress About Free Speech on Campus (LIVE STREAM)

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 06.02.2015 | College
Greg Lukianoff

Blinn is a public college bound by the First Amendment, but when a student wanted to protest in favor of her Second Amendment rights she was told that she had to limit her free speech activities to this tiny zone.