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First Amendment

Elonis v. US: Are 'We the People' Useful Idiots in the Digital Age?

John W. Whitehead | Posted 11.26.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

We would do well to tread cautiously in how much authority we give the government to criminalize free speech activities and chill what has become a vital free speech forum. If free speech is not vigilantly protected, democracy is more likely to drift toward fear, repression, and violence.

Professors' Rights to Free Speech at Risk Nationwide

Susan Kruth | Posted 11.26.2014 | College
Susan Kruth

For free speech advocates, the university's decision to renege on its agreement to hire Salaita reached its nadir with Chancellor Phyllis Wise's half-baked invocation of "civility" as some kind of justification for ditching the professor.

Warning to Police at Ferguson Protests: Protesters Win Millions for Police Misconduct

Bill Quigley | Posted 11.22.2014 | Politics
Bill Quigley

Police officers should approach Ferguson protesters with caution and fully respect their constitutional rights. That is the clear message from recent court awards and settlements against police force abuses against demonstrators.

Public Health as Political Prisoner

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.18.2014 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

The surgeon general, whatever his or her views on gun control, has no political authority, and will do absolutely nothing about gun control in office. Even if the position did allow for that, why would that unsettle anybody?

Civility, Free Speech, and Israel

David Moshman | Posted 11.18.2014 | College
David Moshman

A recent letter provides university officials with excellent advice on free speech in connection with issues of Israel and Palestine. The bottom line is this: Political speech, regardless of its civility, is protected by the First Amendment.

Race, Religion and the Search for Equality in a Post-Obama America

Nick Desai | Posted 11.17.2014 | Politics
Nick Desai

The worst part of the racist backlash to Obama's presidency isn't seen in comments such as these, made on Fox News' web site recently. The breakdown...

KKK To Ferguson Protesters: 'You Have Awakened A Sleeping Giant'

The Huffington Post | Lilly Workneh | Posted 11.15.2014 | Black Voices

Members of a Missouri-based Ku Klux Klan chapter sent a chilling message in Ferguson claiming they will use “lethal force” to defend themselves fr...

Broken Windows, Broken Trust

Lana J. Lee | Posted 11.07.2014 | Crime
Lana J. Lee

Twenty years after his son was fatally shot by a police officer, Nicholas Heyward Sr stares out the kitchen window of his Brooklyn apartment, one hand distractedly placed on a stack of newspaper clippings related to the death of then-13-year-old Nicholas N. Heyward Jr, an honors student who loved to play basketball.

Citrus College: Campus Speech Codes Used to Stifle Anti-NSA Speech (VIDEO)

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 11.06.2014 | College
Greg Lukianoff

Imagine: a student trying to oppose the NSA's Orwellian spying program is told by an official on the campus of public university that he cannot do so ...

5 Important Points About the Bill Maher-UC Berkeley Controversy

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 11.04.2014 | College
Greg Lukianoff

Expressive activity of any kind should be considered part and parcel of free speech, and thus deserves protection from viewpoint-based censorship. And just because students won't be allowed on stage to debate Maher point-by-point doesn't mean he isn't participating in an exchange of ideas.

What Professors Shouldn't Teach

Steven Shiffrin | Posted 10.30.2014 | College
Steven Shiffrin

Generations of students have rejected my views. Would I like to persuade some? Sure. But that is far from my primary goal.

Professor Suspended for Game of Throne T-Shirt Fights Back and Wins

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 10.28.2014 | College
Greg Lukianoff

Schmidt, an art and animation professor, posted a picture of his young daughter wearing a T-shirt with the Game of Thrones quote, "I will take what is mine with fire & blood" to Google+. The dean found this picture of a child doing yoga so terror-inducing that she reported him to other BCC administrators.

Friday Talking Points -- McConnell For Sale!

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.28.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Pennsylvania's pornography scandal just keeps getting worse. So far, four people employed by prosecutors' offices have been forced out. Next in line is a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Justice Seamus McCaffery.

The Right to Write: How the Disciplinary System Comes down on Incarcerated Writers

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 10.23.2014 | Crime
Christopher Zoukis

While I might not be able to protect myself, you, the American people can. I'm nothing but an inmate. That I know. But I'm an inmate who is willing to force an issue in the public sphere.

The Single Greatest Civil Rights Threat of Our Time

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez | Posted 10.22.2014 | Religion
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

We live in a time where the very freedom to express our respective faith values stands threatened -- a road we have never been down before.

Understanding an Important Nuance in Teaching About Religion

Murali Balaji | Posted 10.16.2014 | Education
Murali Balaji

I always strongly urge teachers to avoid having parents (of any faith group) of their students come in and universalize a religion based purely on their experiences.

Nat Hentoff: Jazz, Edward Snowden and the Eternally Radical Idea of Free Speech (VIDEO)

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 10.13.2014 | Politics
Greg Lukianoff

Whether you care about jazz, civil liberties, freedom of speech throughout history, or the First Amendment on campus, be sure to check out this new interview with jazz critic and civil liberties legend Nat Hentoff.

Sam Levine

Georgia Reporter Served With Stay-Away Order After Writing Critical Profile Of Candidate

HuffingtonPost.com | Sam Levine | Posted 10.08.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A Georgia reporter was served Monday with a temporary protective order barring him from "stalking" a GOP candidate after he wrote a leng...

Supreme Court Lets Terrorism Conviction Stand

AP | Posted 10.06.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has left in place the terrorism conviction of a Massachusetts man who argued that his online activities were fre...

'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 11.26.2014 | 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 11.25.2014 | 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.