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First Amendment

My Misery

Allen Schmertzler | Posted 09.04.2015 | Politics
Allen Schmertzler

Please God, say something, anything, maybe, use your cell phone, which I know can never run low on battery power. Call our secular-elect religious leaders. Call Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and the rest. Only you can steady these lunatics, who claim a war against Christianity is being waged. But first, call Kim Davis, she is in Kentucky, but you already know that.

Kim Davis: Canary in the Coal Mine Called Theocracy

Rev. Susan Russell | Posted 09.03.2015 | Religion
Rev. Susan Russell

Whether it's denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples or denial of reproductive health care to women, the trend of conflating individual religious beliefs with public policy decisions is a slippery and dangerous slope to the erosion of genuine religious liberty

Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America

John W. Whitehead | Posted 09.03.2015 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

With every passing day, we're being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called "government speech."

Difficult Legal Issues Surround Anti-Panhandling Ordinances

Brad Reid | Posted 09.02.2015 | Business
Brad Reid

It is possible that some panhandlers view it as their profession and do not meet a "truly-needy" test that critics of panhandlers in general discuss. However, to the extent that panhandling reflects unmet human needs, it is one piece of much broader social issues that have no simple solutions.

Lord Hanuman and the Ten Commandments on State Grounds - What's a State to Do?

Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. | Posted 09.01.2015 | Religion
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.

Is that what our Founding Fathers, as influenced as they may have been by the 10Cs, intended when they prophetically drafted the First Amendment as a foundation for our secular democracy? I'm fairly confident most freedom-loving Americans would say no.

Off Their Front Porch: Protesters Have No Free-Speech Rights On Supreme Court Plaza

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 08.30.2015 | Politics

The Constitution doesn't apply in the area just outside the main court that interprets the Constitution. A federal appeals court ruled on Fr...

Experts Can't Agree On Whether Voting-Booth Selfies Will Destroy Democracy

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 08.25.2015 | Politics

A recent ruling out of New Hampshire has election-law experts wondering out loud whether the ballot selfie is the next great threat to American democ...

St. Louis County v. The Press: Round 1 Begins Without The Reporters

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 08.24.2015 | Politics

The showdown between St. Louis County and the two reporters who were charged with essentially doing their jobs in Ferguson, Missouri, last A...

A Dozen Things 'The New Yorker' Gets Wrong about Free Speech (And Why It Matters)

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 08.24.2015 | College
Greg Lukianoff

The article likens free speech advocates (like me, I assume) to "gun nuts," claims that campus speech codes have mostly been repealed (which is completely false), then bizarrely questions if people can believe in a diversity of belief. Those of us who are big fans of the concept of pluralism found the latter particularly mystifying.

Signs Point to More Freedom: How a Recent Supreme Court Decision Strengthens the First Amendment

Evan Bernick | Posted 08.20.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Those who believe, with Abrams, that "the First Amendment is about liberty" and that "we all lose by reading it narrowly" should welcome the ruling in Reed and pay no heed to Post's parade of horribles.

The Story Behind An Iconic Picture Of Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 08.19.2015 | Politics

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How the Lyrics of Two Violent Rap Songs Could Redefine Your Online Free Speech Protections

Student Press Law Center | Posted 08.17.2015 | College
Student Press Law Center

Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man in the midst of losing his job and his wife, turned to Facebook to write violent rap lyrics under the pseudonym Tone Dougie. He was subsequently arrested in December 2010 after his estranged wife and law enforcement found his lyrics were threatening.

3 Quick Notes About 'The Coddling of the American Mind'

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 08.11.2015 | College
Greg Lukianoff

I hope you'll read the whole article, which defies a quick summary, but there are three additional things I need to say about the piece.

FBI: When It Comes To @ISIS Terror, Retweets = Endorsements

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 08.07.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The FBI's best informant has played a role in dozens of terrorism cases over the past several years and provided endless intelligence on...

Court Says No To Gagging Those Who Reveal Farm Animal Abuse

The Huffington Post | Arin Greenwood | Posted 08.05.2015 | 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.