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First Amendment

'One Small Candle of Truth Dispels a Lot of Darkness'

The University of Central Florida Forum | Posted 10.01.2014 | College
The University of Central Florida Forum

The words punch the elevator button in our memory, and trolley up freighted meanings and classroom images from our innocent years in fourth grade.

It Doesn't Matter What Your Reason Is for Not Having Sex -- Unless You're at Michigan

Susan Kruth | Posted 10.01.2014 | College
Susan Kruth

This is utterly unconscionable, and, frankly, insane. It is the absolute last message we should be sending to college students. It is especially surprising considering many advocates' recent focus on the importance of obtaining enthusiastic consent.

Pseudo-Events Clash

Martin Marty | Posted 10.01.2014 | Religion
Martin Marty

More than a half century ago, historian Daniel J. Boorstin -- a Ph.D. dissertation-adviser of mine -- taught us to distinguish between events and pseudo-events.

How Free Should Speech Be?

Lindsay Hoffman | Posted 09.30.2014 | Media
Lindsay Hoffman

It's worth reconsidering such normative questions in the face of disputes over freedom of expression and censorship, whether they regard Hollywood photo scandals or threats toward national security.

7 Things Cracked Got Wrong About Free Speech

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 09.26.2014 | College
Greg Lukianoff

1. Free speech and the First Amendment are not the same thing. In fact, free speech is a much bigger, older, bolder cultural idea.

Watch Lists and the First and Fourth Amendments

Peter Van Buren | Posted 09.25.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

Ray McGovern was put on the State Department's Diplomatic Security Be On the Look Out list-- one of a series of proliferating government watch lists. What he did to end up on Diplomatic Security's dangerous persons list and how he got off the list are a tale of our era, Post-Constitutional America.

High School Students Show Strong Support for First Amendment

Larry Magid | Posted 09.24.2014 | Technology
Larry Magid

If people grow up believing in something, they're more likely to continue to hold those beliefs as they get older. So, I'm especially pleased that high school students are even more supportive of free speech than adults, according to a new survey from the Knight Foundation.

Confronting My Temptation To Ban Books

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush | Posted 09.25.2014 | Religion
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

We all know that banning books is wrong. So why is it so tempting?

Teacher, Editor Suspended for Banning Use of 'Redskin' in School Newspaper

Evelyn Lauer | Posted 09.19.2014 | Education
Evelyn Lauer

As a journalism teacher, I'm appalled by the clear neglect of First Amendment rights to this student publication. As a citizen, I'm appalled by this administration's desire to keep a racial slur as a mascot because of tradition.

News For High Schools: Digital Media Plus Teaching Equals Support For Freedom

Eric Newton | Posted 09.17.2014 | Education
Eric Newton

This year, for the first time, American high school students show a greater overall appreciation for the First Amendment than do adults.

Religious Crimes and Free Speech: From Pussy Riot to Fellatio with Jesus Statuary, the Controversies Keep on Coming

Clay Calvert | Posted 09.16.2014 | Crime
Clay Calvert

Whenever religion becomes involved, sophomoric stunts by 14-year-old boys become no laughing matter to the offended.

Must a Business Tell Consumers About Competitors?

Brad Reid | Posted 09.16.2014 | Business
Brad Reid

Regulating false and deceptive advertising generally comes under a rational basis standard. Courts, however, consistently write of protecting consumers and not competitors. Hence, generally a business has no legal obligation to tell consumers about competitors.

An Unbearable and Choking Hell: The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11

John W. Whitehead | Posted 09.16.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

Ironically, just a short week after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we find ourselves commemorating the 227th anniversary of the ratification of our Constitution. Yet while there is much to mourn about the loss of our freedoms in the years since 9/11, there has been little to celebrate.

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

Laura W. Murphy | Posted 09.11.2014 | Politics
Laura W. Murphy

This is a tough issue, but the desire to do something should not lead us to abandon core free speech values that have served us so well for more than two centuries.

Freedom of Speech or Freedom From Speech: 50 Years After the Berkeley Free Speech Movement

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 09.09.2014 | College
Greg Lukianoff

Free speech has always been the harder road for any society. It isn't always nice and it isn't always civil, but I hope we continue to see both the value in maintaining the right to dissent, joke, and challenge as seen fit, and the real peril of trying to enforce a dreary conformity on our marketplace of ideas.

Paul Blumenthal

Is Washington The Only Place Where Campaign Finance Is A Partisan Issue?

HuffingtonPost.com | Paul Blumenthal | Posted 09.09.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Monday to debate a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision and allowing ...

The Rift in the ACLU Over Free Speech

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 09.09.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the views of the super-rich, this state of affairs is an unmitigated disaster for American democracy. Not only does it distort our electoral process, but it corrupts our elected officials and disillusions our citizens.

Metal Music, First Amendment Under Attack: Man Jailed for Posting Exodus Lyrics

Clay Calvert | Posted 09.09.2014 | Crime
Clay Calvert

A man from Kentucky was arrested and tossed in jail late last month for allegedly making terroristic threats and supposedly threatening to kill students at a school when he posted lyrics by a metal band on his Facebook page.

No Sex Please: We're Californian

Robin Koerner | Posted 09.08.2014 | Politics
Robin Koerner

In the best case, California's affirmative consent rule does nothing; in the worst, it punishes decent, sexually active adults and compromises natural rights. Either way, it is dangerous.

This Academic Year, Colleges Should Eliminate Speech Codes -- Or Prepare for Their Day in Court

Azhar Majeed | Posted 09.02.2014 | College
Azhar Majeed

The majority of our nation's colleges and universities are not faring well when it comes to respecting freedom of speech.

Academic Freedom at the University of Illinois

David Moshman | Posted 09.02.2014 | College
David Moshman

I hope there will be justice for Professor Salaita, but we must distinguish his First Amendment right to free speech from the more general question of academic freedom.

Sen. McConnell Makes the Case

Miles Rapoport | Posted 08.28.2014 | Politics
Miles Rapoport

Sen. Mitch McConnell, long known as a champion of big money in politics, has made a stunningly compelling case for a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress and the states to restore sensible limits on political spending. We appreciate his help and his clarity.

Docs v. Glocks Case Fires Up in Florida: ACLU Files Brief on First Amendment Speech Rights

Clay Calvert | Posted 08.27.2014 | Politics
Clay Calvert

Florida physicians are caught in the National Rifle Association's crosshairs of censorship. That's the gist of the ACLU Foundation of Florida's argument in a brief filed this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in the case of Wollschlaeger vs. Governor of Florida.

Obama Blasts Afghans for Expelling Reporter -- So Why the Continued Pursuit of 'NYT' Reporter James Risen?

Peter Scheer | Posted 08.26.2014 | Media
Peter Scheer

The Justice Department's relentless pursuit of James Risen, and its refusal to recognize a qualified, first amendment-based, testimonial privilege for journalists, are serious mistakes. Now would be a good time for President Obama to correct those mistakes.

Ferguson and America's Love Affair With Violence

Derek Flood | Posted 08.25.2014 | Politics
Derek Flood

It can be comforting to think that the police protect us from the "bad guys," unless of course you are profiled as that "bad guy." Violence is most dangerous when it masquerades as good.