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First Amendment

Pennsylvania School Demands Students Keep Using Racial Slur

Adam Goldstein | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Adam Goldstein

What happens next? Presumably, either the school will see reason or they'll put the students in a position where they'll have to pursue legal options to defend their rights.

What Religious Liberty Is... and Isn't

Rev. Susan Russell | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Rev. Susan Russell

Here's a little reality check: Religious liberty is NOT the liberty to impose your religion on everybody else.

Supreme Court Considers Compulsory Prayer

Sally Steenland | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Sally Steenland

The Supreme Court is hearing a case today about whether the act of opening government meetings with official prayer is constitutional -- or if doing so steps on the First Amendment and unlawfully puts the government in the business of promoting religion.

Five Myths About the Federal Shield Law

Kurt Wimmer | Posted 01.23.2014 | Media
Kurt Wimmer

Blogs, tweets and Facebook posts couldn't have the profound influence they have rightfully earned in our new and diverse marketplace of ideas without a robust freedom to debate, to challenge, and even to be outrageous. So it's hardly surprising that when a congressional debate about protecting confidential sources mentions blogs, it touches a nerve.

Journalists Using Snowden's Documents Are Protected by the First Amendment. But What About Snowden?

Peter Scheer | Posted 12.22.2013 | Media
Peter Scheer

This double-standard -- exposing government leakers to punishment while insulating the journalists who publicize their leaks -- may seem unfair, arbitrary, even offensive. The double-standard is nonetheless necessary.

Lhota Stands By Orthodox Synagogue That Refused Female Reporters Entry

The Huffington Post | Jane Janeczko | Posted 10.17.2013 | New York

During a walking tour of the Borough Park section of Brooklyn Tuesday, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota took some time to stop at the orthodox S...

Keep Your Mitts Off the Internet

Robert Miraldi | Posted 01.23.2014 | Media
Robert Miraldi

A newspaper, a magazine and a cable wire coming into your house are all owned by private entrepreneurs. And the First Amendment guarantees that the government can't tell private people how they can speak.

Citizens Divided: The Supreme Court's Next Campaign Finance Test

Elizabeth B. Wydra | Posted 12.04.2013 | Politics
Elizabeth B. Wydra

While most Americans already think Congress is doing a bang up job preventing itself from solving the nation's problems, the Court will hear a case on the second day of its new Term that could make it even harder for Congress to address one particular issue: the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Town in Michigan Whacks Homeowners for Appealing Wal-Mart Decision

Al Norman | Posted 12.02.2013 | Detroit
Al Norman

A tiny community on the western edge of Michigan has placed a high price tag on the First Amendment in order to protect the Walton family.

Why the University of Kansas Was Wrong to Suspend Tweeting Professor

Will Creeley | Posted 11.25.2013 | College
Will Creeley

Professor Guth accepted the suspension, apparently because he was receiving threats. But if he's receiving threats, it's the university's duty to protect him, not suspend him. In a free society, we can't allow those who threaten speakers with violence to win by silencing voices they don't like.

Southern Baptist Leader Attacks Fellow Christians

Tom Carpenter | Posted 11.24.2013 | Religion
Tom Carpenter

This "crisis in the chaplaincy" is a self-inflicted wound caused by those who want special rights for service members and chaplains who share their particular conservative religious beliefs.

Obama's Justice Department: Trumpeting a New Victory in War on Freedom of the Press

Norman Solomon | Posted 11.23.2013 | Politics
Norman Solomon

While mouthing platitudes about respecting press freedom, the president has overseen methodical actions to undermine it. We should retire understated phrases like "chilling effect." With the announcement from Obama's Justice Department on Monday, the thermometer has dropped below freezing.

KU Prof's Tweet Attacking NRA Was Misguided, but Response to the Tweet Was Offensive

Christopher Lamb | Posted 11.22.2013 | Media
Christopher Lamb

The response to Professor Guth's statement demonstrates once again that Second Amendment zealots believe that the amendment supersedes everything else in the Constitution. His attack on the NRA may have been unnecessarily provocative, but it was protected by the First Amendment.

John Celock

GOP Lawmakers In Kansas: Fire Professor Or Face Consequences

HuffingtonPost.com | John Celock | Posted 09.20.2013 | Politics

Republican state legislators in Kansas are calling on the University of Kansas to dismiss a tenured journalism professor over a controversial tweet in...

Facebook 'Like' Protected By First Amendment

The Huffington Post | Dominique Mosbergen | Posted 09.18.2013 | Technology

A federal appeals court ruled this week that a Facebook "like" is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. "Liking" something on the social ...

Verizon's Plan to Break the Internet

Timothy Karr | Posted 11.18.2013 | Technology
Timothy Karr

Verizon wants to control your online experience and make the Internet more like cable TV, where your remote offers only the illusion of choice.

New Federal Shield Bill Is Last Best Chance for Meaningful Protection of Reporters' Confidential Sources

Peter Scheer | Posted 11.17.2013 | Media
Peter Scheer

For the first time since the post-Watergate era, the stars are aligned for Congress to enact-and for the president to sign-a "Shield Law" that would provide meaningful protection against the forced-exposure of journalists' confidential sources

Tax the Churches

Walker Bragman | Posted 11.16.2013 | Politics
Walker Bragman

If we are to maintain the separation of church and state we must adapt to deal with the problems that arise.

Debunking David Barton's Jefferson Lies (Because They Still Need to Be Debunked)

Chris Rodda | Posted 11.16.2013 | Media
Chris Rodda

Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen a number of articles about pseudo-historian David Barton's "comeback." My first thought upon seeing these articles was "what comeback?"

Controlling the Flow: Thoughts on the Free Flow of Information Act

Tricia Todd | Posted 11.14.2013 | Media
Tricia Todd

Selectively protecting some journalists, and not journalism as a whole, is detrimental to democracy and civil society. Why then do the majority of American mainstream media resources support this Act?

11 Student and Faculty Victories Over Campus 'Free Speech Zones'

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 11.12.2013 | College
Greg Lukianoff

What is a "free speech zone?" While the term might sound benign, free speech zones are used by our colleges and universities, our cities and towns, ...

Learning From Europe's 'Right to Be Forgotten'

Eugene K. Chow | Posted 11.09.2013 | Politics
Eugene K. Chow

As the United States debates the precarious state of privacy rights in light of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs, American law could benefit from the underlying principle of the "right to be forgotten" -- dignity.

California's Attempt to Avenge Revenge Porn

Suneal Bedi | Posted 11.09.2013 | Politics
Suneal Bedi

Although a good attempt at addressing a serious problem, the California statute goes too far and also doesn't go far enough, leaving it open to criticisms that it is too strong, as First Amendment protectors will claim, and that it is too weak, as potential victims of revenge porn will argue.

How We Respond To Protest

Radley Balko | Posted 09.09.2013 | Politics

In a post at the "Occupy Police" blog, former Madison, Wisconsin Police Chief David Couper writes . . . Since the days of the the labor and ci...

Florida Pastor Wins First Amendment Lawsuit

dearborn.patch.com | Daniel Lai | Posted 09.05.2013 | Religion

A U.S. District Judge ruled Friday that the city of Dearborn violated Florida pastor Terry Jones’ First Amendment rights by forcing him and represe...