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Free Speech

Cyberbullying Law Violates Free Speech, Top Court Rules

Reuters | Posted 08.31.2014 | Politics

By Daniel Wiessner ALBANY N.Y. (Reuters) - New York's highest court said on Tuesday that a law designed to criminalize cyberbullying was...

Understanding the Supreme Court's Abortion-Protest Decision

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 08.27.2014 | 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).

Gary Oldman Doesn't Get Free Speech

James Peron | Posted 08.26.2014 | Politics
James Peron

Just because there are negative consequences to saying offensive, stupid or bigoted things, it doesn't mean First Amendment rights are under threat. It just means you can't have your cake and eat it too.

When Rights Collide

Richard J. Rosendall | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices
Richard J. Rosendall

When the rights of groups conflict, it makes little sense that the historically privileged should be deemed the aggrieved party. But courtrooms and legislatures are not our only ground. We must reach in honesty and clarity across the social divide.

"Speech Is Power" At Military's First Official Pride Month

Brian Stone | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices
Brian Stone

In a moment of defiance against the years of silence and abuse I was forced to endure, I finished my speech with the most powerful affirmation of our progress in history I could possibly think of.

Scott Walker and the Club for Growth: Coordinating Corruption

Howard Schweber | Posted 08.20.2014 | Politics
Howard Schweber

The case against Scott Walker's and his aides turns on the idea of unlawful cooperation. In Wisconsin as in a number of other states, it is illegal for campaigns to coordinate political activities with outside funding groups. That takes a little explaining.

The Dangerous Proliferation of the 'Right to Be Forgotten'

Zachary Graves | Posted 08.18.2014 | Technology
Zachary Graves

As western democracies find ways to limit content online, it gives more heavy-handed governments like Russia an excuse to jump on the global Internet censorship bandwagon.

Threats of Violence, Rap Lyrics and 'I Was Only Joking': The Supreme Court Weighs In

Clay Calvert | Posted 08.17.2014 | Politics
Clay Calvert

It's a federal crime to communicate a true threat of violence in the United States. Such speech is not protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free expression. But what exactly constitutes a true threat of violence in the age of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook?

The Troubling Rise of Thoughtcrime on College Campuses

Michael Shammas | Posted 08.09.2014 | College
Michael Shammas

I wish I could have expressed surprise at the Class of 2014's immature reaction to the possibility of hearing conservative opinions at their commencement addresses last month; but my own college experiences taught me otherwise.

Michael McAuliff

Ted Cruz Hammers 'Fahrenheit 451 Democrats' | Michael McAuliff | Posted 06.03.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) criticized the push for a constitutional amendment on regulating campaign cash Tuesday, deriding "Fahrenheit 451...

The Compact With Capitalism: Wheeler's Net Neutrality Dodge

Tracy Rosenberg | Posted 07.27.2014 | Politics
Tracy Rosenberg

Rhetoric and reality sometimes diverge. Right now, the future of the Internet is hooked like a fish between two different paths.

A Commencement Speech Isn't Free Speech

Lev Raphael | Posted 07.23.2014 | College
Lev Raphael

The First Amendment says nothing about people who are invited to speak somewhere and paid to do so. It specifically refers to government intervention in individual expression. That simply did not happen in her case or in any other case where a speaker was controversial and campus protests arose.

In Defense of Student Commencement Protests

Leonard Steinhorn | Posted 07.21.2014 | College
Leonard Steinhorn

These students are being told to swallow their concerns, sit on their hands, and silence their protests all in the name of free speech. Perhaps if they had money, their voice would be welcome.

How Smith College Turned Christine Lagarde's Cancellation Into a Win for Women's Voices

Penny Herscher | Posted 07.20.2014 | Women
Penny Herscher

It is still so new that we, as women, have a strong voice. It needs to be heard and not suppressed, no matter how much we may disagree with some of the voices. The movement to suppress women's voices is alive and strong.

McCutcheon et al. vs Federal Election Commission and Freedom of Speech

Constantine Tzanos | Posted 07.20.2014 | Politics
Constantine Tzanos

As it is recognized by the Court, political speech is not undertaken just for the sake of it, but to influence the opinion of others. And this influence has consequences not only for the speaker but also for others.

The Right to Remember

Stephen Balkam | Posted 07.16.2014 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

The European Union Court of Justice's recent ruling in favor of a "right to be forgotten" has roiled the Internet industry and observers alike. While on the face of it, the court's decision would appear to be a victory for individuals, it brings a host of other unintended consequences and considerable uncertainty.

What Our Condoleezza Rice Commencement Protests Were Really All About

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh | Posted 07.15.2014 | College
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

These protests are not about the individual speakers themselves. And they're most certainly not just about commencement speeches. This is our generation of young people sending a clear and strong message that racism, bigotry, civil and human rights violations receive no honor from us.

Cyberphysical Democracy: Online Platforms and Offline Action

Camille Crittenden | Posted 07.15.2014 | Technology
Camille Crittenden

Even as we celebrate and recognize the advantages of online tools for organizing and promoting civic dialogue, we must find ways to recognize the unique advantages of cyber and physical systems, and bring them closer together for promoting democratic values.

This Is What Happens When We Forget That Speech Has Consequences

The University of Central Florida Forum | Posted 07.14.2014 | College
The University of Central Florida Forum

I'm only advocating for a world in which -- no matter how many new social media portals open before I'm finished typing this sentence -- we recognize that the bottomless pit into which we throw our words does indeed have a bottom.

A Graduation Message to Students: Don't Use Free Speech to Suppress Free Speech

Judge H. Lee Sarokin | Posted 07.13.2014 | College
Judge H. Lee Sarokin

Should the university or college take a poll to make certain that everybody on the campus agrees with the speaker's views?

White House Task Force Fails To Properly Guide Campus Sexual Misconduct Policies

Azhar Majeed | Posted 07.07.2014 | Politics
Azhar Majeed

The White House task force is right to be concerned about the prevalence of sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus, and to attempt to create solutions to these problems. However, doing so must not come at the expense of students' due process and free speech rights.

Donald Sterling, Free Speech, and Privacy

Michael Meyers | Posted 07.01.2014 | Black Voices
Michael Meyers

Yes, Donald Sterling is a closet racist -- he voiced putrid attitudes about African Americans. But, we need more than that in our free society to take away an owners' team -- to strip from him his citizenship rights and business interest simply because his views about race and skin color offend us.

Courtesy Is Not Political Correctness

James Peron | Posted 07.01.2014 | Politics
James Peron

Manners are not political correctness. Trying to assure that those around you are comfortable is not political correctness. It is a value the Right lost with the rise of the likes of Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly.

Another University Stops Students From Passing Out Copies Of The Constitution

The Huffington Post | Clarke Reilly | Posted 04.26.2014 | College

Two students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo are suing the school, claiming their constitutional rights were violated when they were barred from...

Support Free Speech -- Even for NYU SJP

Nathaniel Zelinsky | Posted 06.25.2014 | College
Nathaniel Zelinsky

Students at an NYU dorm woke up to a rude surprise on Thursday morning: fake leaflets warned occupants to vacate the premises at midnight April 25 bec...