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First Amendment

Sheriff Hanlin Is the Kim Davis of Gun Control

Allen Schmertzler | Posted 10.06.2015 | Politics
Allen Schmertzler

In the letter to Joe Biden, an emboldened, defiant, and lawless Sheriff Hanlin declared his opposition to any gun control legislation and his commitment as sheriff to disobey any such laws. Simply stated, the sheriff went on record saying he would break the law by ignoring the law, because that law violated his First Amendment personal beliefs

Ten Commandments Momument Removed From Oklahoma Capitol Grounds

Reuters | Sam Levine | Posted 10.06.2015 | Politics

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Speaking Freely of Guns

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.04.2015 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

For now, we have an endless litany of tragedies to which we react with collective pathos and impotence, knowing for certain that we await the next. We have a bizarre double-standard, in which the First Amendment is spared the tortured literalism imposed upon the Second by those with ulterior motives.

We Will Not Be Silenced: Resisting Repression of Student Activism for Palestine

Omar Zahzah | Posted 10.02.2015 | Politics
Omar Zahzah

After three years of being involved with Students for Justice in Palestine, my incredulity at the repeated attempts of those in power to suspend freedom of speech when it came to Palestine gave way to an almost jaded nonchalance.

The Zax Are Back

Jim Moore | Posted 09.29.2015 | Politics
Jim Moore

In a bit over a year, on election day, we will have the opportunity to build a highway of consensus over those stubborn Zax, and drive far beyond the Beltway of Prax. Just watch out for the Sneetches on your way.

Every University in the Country Should Adopt the University of Chicago's Academic Freedom Statement

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 09.28.2015 | College
Greg Lukianoff

The statement, which can be adapted to all universities -- not just the University of Chicago -- guarantees "all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn." Most importantly, it makes clear that "it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive."

A Life in America Without Religious Freedom

DaShanne Stokes | Posted 09.24.2015 | Religion
DaShanne Stokes

They say that America is the land of the free. It's a principle upon which our nation was built, enshrined in the First Amendment and the national anthem taught in schools. But as I hiked into the woods to find a place to hide my sacred eagle feathers out of fear of being arrested, I wondered how free we really are.

College Newspapers and the Uncomfortable Necessity of Dissent

Michael Darer | Posted 09.23.2015 | College
Michael Darer

This is not to say that opinions cannot or do not hurt. That would be equally ridiculous. However, to confuse one's own emotional response to an opinion with a factual assessment of the piece's value or intent is dangerous and irresponsible.

Teaching About Religion in Schools Need Not Be Daunting

Murali Balaji | Posted 09.23.2015 | Religion
Murali Balaji

Here are just a few of the organizations that are working to make sure that classrooms become better equipped to teach about religion, diversity and pluralism.

Donald Trump's Latest Cease-And-Desist Letter Looks Like A Big Loser

The Huffington Post | Igor Bobic | Posted 09.23.2015 | Entertainment

WASHINGTON -- The presidential campaign of Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened legal action against a politically oriented clothing outlet for using t...

Open Letter to Dr. Ben Carson on His Disregard for the U.S. Constitution

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 09.22.2015 | Politics
Warren J. Blumenfeld

As a highly educated person, as a candidate for the presidency, and as someone who has co-authored, along with your wife Candy, a book titled A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties, you should have a more enlightened understanding of our nation's foundational document.

Ben Carson Is Dead Wrong About A Muslim President And The Constitution

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 09.27.2015 | Politics

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After Kim Davis, A New Way Forward for Religious Freedom?

Dwayne Leslie | Posted 09.21.2015 | Religion
Dwayne Leslie

No matter what your particular religious or political views, I suspect everyone who watched the spectacle surrounding Ms. Davis' release from jail last week experienced some kind of strong emotion, whether it was empathy or outrage.

Religious Liberty and Spider Monkeys

Byron Williams | Posted 09.16.2015 | Religion
Byron Williams

What else could explain public support for Kim Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan County in northeastern Kentucky, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs?

Kim Davis And The Freedom of Religion

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 09.08.2015 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

The Kim Davis situation raises interesting questions about the meaning and practical effect of the freedom of religion. Although, for reasons that I will explain, the issue today is one of public policy, rather than constitutional law, the evolution of constitutional principles in this realm is illuminating.

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.