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First Amendment

Why Religious Invocations at Presidential Inaugurations?

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 03.13.2013 | Politics
Warren J. Blumenfeld

Many of our framers, the chief architects of the United States Constitution, most clearly did not have these measures in mind.

Exposing Child Predators Without Defaming the Innocent

Eliyahu Federman | Posted 03.13.2013 | Crime
Eliyahu Federman

There is a need to inform the public of suspected sex offenders and empower victims on the one hand but also a need to ensure that innocent people aren't wrongly exposed. How do you balance those two interests when un-arrested individuals are accused of sex crimes?

Anniversary of School Censorship Case an Opportunity to Change

Adam Goldstein | Posted 01.10.2013 | Education
Adam Goldstein

This Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of one of the dumbest things the Supreme Court has ever done to damage the educational process: the decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier.

Unlearning Liberty: Hazelwood at 25

David Moshman | Posted 03.08.2013 | College
David Moshman

After 1988, as I anticipated, the news just kept getting worse. Although Hazelwood involved censorship of high school student journalists, the decision has been applied to a broad range of curricular contexts, to teachers as well as students, and to higher education.

Gun Owners Are Coming To Take Away Our Free Speech Rights

Judge H. Lee Sarokin | Posted 03.09.2013 | Media
Judge H. Lee Sarokin

A Westchester County, N.Y. newspaper, the Journal News, published a map showing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders. The information was public and there is no real dispute over the right to publish it. Nonetheless, the outcry from gun advocates was deafening.

Google's Antitrust Wrist Slap Is Right Result for Wrong Reason -- Right Reason: Google Search Results Are Free Speech

Peter Scheer | Posted 03.07.2013 | Technology
Peter Scheer

First Amendment considerations should have stopped the FTC's investigation at the outset. That freedom-of-speech is never mentioned in the agency's statement is, well, bizarre.

A Bad Week for the First Amendment

Mark Rice | Posted 03.06.2013 | Politics
Mark Rice

If supporters of the right to bear arms have been feeling threatened in recent weeks, supporters of the First Amendment may have even more cause for alarm.

The Founding Prophets

Emmett Rensin | Posted 03.04.2013 | Politics
Emmett Rensin

When we allow quoting the Constitution to stand in for a legitimate rebuttal, we diminish our ability to think critically about our nation and its laws.

Nursing Transparency in Former Soviet Republics

Kenneth F. Bunting | Posted 03.04.2013 | Home
Kenneth F. Bunting

In this email response to the director of a freedom of information NGO in the Republic of Georgia, Giorgi Kldiashvili, civic-minded and engaged Americans may see little that is new to them. But, perhaps, it will serve as a reminder about the derivation of some of our precious freedoms.

FBI Should Investigate Bankers, Not Protesters

C. Robert Gibson | Posted 01.02.2013 | Politics
C. Robert Gibson

It's offensive that it is now considered criminal activity to peacefully protest economic inequality. But it's disgusting that our government is letting real terrorists and criminals get away while going after the very people trying to make things right.

A Look Back At Media Coverage Of Islam And Islamic Law In 2012

Krystina Friedlander | Posted 02.26.2013 | Religion
Krystina Friedlander

This has been a big year for Islam and Islamic law in American media. As politicians vied for local and national office, anti-sharia messages -- and sometimes overtly anti-Islam messages -- were broadcast across the media, at times functioning to normalize anti-Islam discourse.

A New Second Amendment

Norm Stamper | Posted 02.26.2013 | Politics
Norm Stamper

The Second Amendment was apt for its day, a shrewd mix of freedom ("the right to keep and bear arms") and duty (the "well-regulated militia" clause). But it was meant for the realities of American life over two centuries ago.

Legal Issues in Self-Publishing: What Authors Need to Know

Bernard Starr | Posted 02.23.2013 | Home
Bernard Starr

Self-publishing continues its exponential growth. More and more authors are choosing this route for presenting their work to the public. But there is one domain that self-published authors rarely think about: legal issues.

ACLU on Campus Protests Against Israel

David Moshman | Posted 02.15.2013 | College
David Moshman

At the intersection of equality and liberty lie many hard cases that require careful consideration of complex evidence and subtle balancing of competing rights. But this is not one of them. If I were the OCR I would listen to the ACLU and uphold free expression at Berkeley.

Sexual Orientation Change Therapy and the First Amendment

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 02.13.2013 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

This line is not always easy to draw, but it is easy in Welch. What the state is regulating in the context of SOCE is not the speech of the therapist as such but the use of a method of therapy.

The Photo Controversy and the First Amendment

Roy S. Gutterman | Posted 02.12.2013 | Media
Roy S. Gutterman

The dramatic image of a man clinging to a New York City subway platform, struggling to lift himself from the tracks and the inevitable path of an oncoming subway train, is spurring an international debate about both journalistic ethics and just plain old ethics.

Military Commission Judge Rules Against Transparency in 9/11 Case

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.11.2013 | Home
Daphne Eviatar

Last week, Col. James Pohl, the military judge presiding over the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the five other men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, quietly issued a ruling ensuring the public won't learn any information about the men's torture at the hands of the U.S.

For The Separation Of Menorah And State

Eliyahu Federman | Posted 02.05.2013 | Religion
Eliyahu Federman

Taking a symbol like the menorah, which represents that struggle of adhering to faith in the face of an oppressive Greek culture that believed everything should be secular and rational, and redefining it as having secular connotations contradicts what the menorah represents.

Common Grounds and Common Sense

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 02.02.2013 | Politics
Jeff Schweitzer

We do not need a Church of America: what the founding fathers knew in 1776 holds true in 2011. In spite of right-wing Christian rhetoric to the contrary, that we are a secular nation cannot be denied.

Why Banning Offensive Speech on Campus Fails (VIDEO)

Will Creeley | Posted 01.29.2013 | College
Will Creeley

Censoring offensive speech is the wrong answer, particularly on our nation's college campuses. After all, the college campus has traditionally been an arena for debate and dialogue, and has been deemed by the Supreme Court to be "peculiarly the 'marketplace of ideas.'"

Overnight In Nashville

Joyce S. Dubensky | Posted 01.29.2013 | Religion
Joyce S. Dubensky

There were years when the Murfreesboro Islamic Center seemed like an unattainable vision, with vocal opposition, messages of pure hatred, arson and legal battles. But when I arrived with my colleagues, none of that was visible.

Private Lives, Public Surveillance

Alex Palombo | Posted 01.28.2013 | Education
Alex Palombo

While lawmakers fought over the economic and religious implications of hot topics like gay marriage, abortion, health care and cybersecurity, they were essentially deciding what level of privacy Americans should be entitled to under the law.

SCOTUS Inaction A Win For Cop Watchers

The Huffington Post | Radley Balko | Posted 11.29.2012 | Politics

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the enforcement of an Illinois eaves...

Post Election Day Social Media: Freedom of Speech or Intolerance?

Bryan Cain-Jackson | Posted 01.14.2013 | College
Bryan Cain-Jackson

The First Amendment protects our right to say what we wish freely without government interference, though this is typically when the comment does not come out in the form of a threat against the President of the United States.

Embassies Under Attack: An Open Letter to Muslims

Rafa Fernández de Castro | Posted 11.01.2012 | Home
Rafa Fernández de Castro

Muslim brothers and sisters, I urge you to unite and condemn the recent violent attacks on American embassies and consulates in the Middle East and to...