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First Amendment

Unplug WikiLeaks? Enact a Federal Shield Law Instead

Peter Scheer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Peter Scheer

How would a shield law -- a version of which has passed the House and awaits a vote by the full Senate -- put WikiLeaks out of business? The answer is that it would remove the need that WikiLeaks fills.

Gay Pride, Straight Pride -- What's the Difference?

Steve Nelson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
Steve Nelson

As the head of a school, I occasionally deal with student matters where Constitutional rights are invoked as a defense. Sometimes I invite them to do a little research on rights of secondary school students.

Academic Freedom is Not Protected by the First Amendment

David Moshman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
David Moshman

We should be clear from the start that academic freedom is not simply a First Amendment right. Academic freedom is intellectual freedom in academic contexts.

Colorado Campaign Finance Law Ruled Unconstitutional By 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals

AP | P. SOLOMON BANDA | Posted 05.25.2011 | Denver

DENVER — A federal appellate court ruled Tuesday that requiring small groups who promote ballot initiatives to file campaign finance reports is ...

Supreme Court Wrestles Over Religious Scholarship Program

Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Is a state law that allows tax credits for donations to scholarship programs unconstitution...

The Political Marketplace

Jay Mandle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jay Mandle

Political ideas that do not attract wealthy advocates are effectively marginalized -- not because they are banned, but because they are not heard.

Why Do Ken Buck and the Republican Taliban Hate America?

Michael J.W. Stickings | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Michael J.W. Stickings

Ken Buck, the Colorado Republican who thinks that gays are like alcoholics, said last year that he objected to a fundamental principle of American con...

The Separation Of Church And State In American Politics

Nomi M. Stolzenberg | Posted 05.26.2011 | Religion
Nomi M. Stolzenberg

While there is broad agreement that the prohibition on state "establishment" of religion implies some sort of separation between religion and politics, it has always been open to interpretation just what form of separation is required.

Don't Know Much About the 1st Amendment? A Civics Primer

Kenneth C. Davis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Kenneth C. Davis

Who is the Vice President? How many Senators are there? How many Supreme Court Justices? A new online survey suggests many Americans can't answer tho...

Witch's Brouhaha: Is Christine O'Donnell Right about the First Amendment, Mice and Men?

Dr. Jonathan David Farley | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Dr. Jonathan David Farley

"Where in the Constitution is 'separation of church and state'?" The laughter erupted in the lecture hall, as if this were the studio of the comedy s...

Separation of Church and State Invoked Over Christian Flags in Tennessee and Classrooms in America

Grant Lyon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Grant Lyon

The separation of church and state is good for both liberals and conservatives. It doesn't just prevent creationism from being taught in science class. It also prevents evolution from being taught in Sunday Church services.

First Amendment Be Damned, Christine O'Donnell Is Staying on Message

David Paul | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
David Paul

O'Donnell is not running for office because she believes that she has a better idea about how to fix the economy, or anything else for that matter. Hers is a platform of platitudes and resentments.

China's E-Book Protectionism

Gary Shapiro | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Gary Shapiro

If China wants to be an international superpower it should act like one, or it will overplay its hand and see the free markets of the United States and other countries less welcoming of its products.

Judge Rules Teachers Do Not Get First Amendment Rights When It Comes To Curriculum

Education Week | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education

Teachers have no First Amendment free-speech protection for curricular decisions they make in the classroom, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday...

The Pulpit of Bullies

Michael Winship | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Michael Winship

Politicians and politics as usual have given voters much about which to be mad; furious, in fact. But bullying is different. It comes from insecurity and fear, and lashes out with tactics of intimidation.

Joe Miller, the "Irrational Blogger," and the Right's Even More Irrational View of Free Speech

Michael Keegan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Michael Keegan

Right-wing candidates have been promoting a curious inversion of the right of free speech in a democracy. We're living in a world where candidates don't speak, but corporations do.

Cross-Country Walk Opposing Corporate Personhood

Robert Koehler | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Robert Koehler

I applaud the effort of two citizens, Laird and Robin Monohan, to draw attention to the ghastly absurdity known as "corporate personhood," which a Supreme Court ruling last January advanced.

Liberty and Learning: Academic Freedom as Intellectual Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
David Moshman

The aim of this new blog is to explain and promote academic freedom, which provides schools with academic integrity, maximizes the quality of education and research, and protects students from indoctrination.

Snyder v. Phelps: Does Hate Speech Trump the Right to Mourn with Dignity?

Dorian de Wind | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Dorian de Wind

Using free speech to intentionally and maliciously inflict pain, harm and emotional distress on others, should have legal consequences.

A Muslim's Defense of Geert Wilders

Melody Moezzi | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Melody Moezzi

I'm disgusted by the bigoted ideology of Islamophobes like Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. But to try someone in a court of law, just for running his mouth, is inherently abhorrent to me.

Only About the Law?

Jim Lichtman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Lichtman

In Snyder v. Phelps, what of the grieving families? Are they not entitled to the respect, privacy and dignity accorded individuals at a time of great anguish?

Atheist House Candidate Up Against Pillar of Prayer Caucus

Barrett Brown | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Barrett Brown

There are probably a great many atheists and agnostics in Congress, and most of those keep their religious opinions secret; polls routinely show that atheists are mistrusted more than any other group.

Funerals and Free Speech

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

A funeral is an occasion at which mourners should be free to grieve without having to confront offensive messages. As a matter of common sense, this is reasonable. As a matter of First Amendment law, however, it is flat-out wrong.

Censored Books

Salon.com | Laura Miller | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

Main's book describes a long-standing and rancorous dispute over eminent domain seizures in the town of Freeport, Texas, and her defense is spearheade...

Attention Left, Liberal and Radical Groups - Pennsylvania Has Been Monitoring You

Bill Quigley | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Bill Quigley

Thank you, Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), for reminding us how many bad-ass, dedicated, and creative groups we count as allies i...