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Free Speech

The Civil Rights Fight of the Information Age

Laura W. Murphy | Posted 07.28.2014 | Politics
Laura W. Murphy

Very soon the Federal Communications Commission will either empower minority voices on the Internet and help close the digital divide, or it will make it easier for communications giants to silence and exclude those communities from the free or low-priced content now on the web.

Free Speech and the Bible Museum

Richard J. Rosendall | Posted 07.24.2014 | Gay Voices
Richard J. Rosendall

An effort by the pro-LGBT group Truth Wins Out (TWO) to block the opening of a private Bible museum in the Nation's Capital is a misguided assault on constitutional protections that properly protect everyone, including LGBT Americans and their opponents.

Hear Our VOICES

Corey Gottlieb | Posted 07.22.2014 | Politics
Corey Gottlieb

The state of mainstream political discourse is broken -- only those backed by large amounts of money or a major party apparatus, truly have their voices heard.

Constitutional Rights in the Digital Age

Nancy Leong | Posted 07.19.2014 | Technology
Nancy Leong

Just as cell phones are different from ordinary physical objects, the Internet is dramatically different from earlier speech mediums. And the Court should acknowledge those differences in determining the scope of First Amendment protection for speech.

Telling the Police to F*** Off: Risky First Amendment Business

Clay Calvert | Posted 07.10.2014 | Crime
Clay Calvert

Before you administer a little dose of "F You" to the man, you might think twice about whether you want to fight it out in court.

Supreme Court to Women: Father Knows Best

Nan Aron | Posted 07.09.2014 | Politics
Nan Aron

These three decisions, taken together, are an assault on the rights, health, and economic well-being of women in every corner of this country. But they are also a challenge to President Obama, to Congress, to the political system, and to the American people to take the action necessary to undo the damage.

Fantasy Or Forecast? A Progressive Agenda For The Supreme Court

Peter Dreier | Posted 07.04.2014 | Politics
Peter Dreier

Progressives can surely add to this list of issues that a Supreme Court with a liberal majority should address. Unfortunately, presidential candidates won't directly address these issues or the views of candidates they would appoint to the Supreme Court when vacancies arise

In Mideast, Media Caught Between Two Extremes

Rana F. Sweis | Posted 07.03.2014 | Media
Rana F. Sweis

Since the 2011 Arab uprisings, there has been little doubt that enhanced access to information and news contributed to political and social activism, pushing the boundaries of free speech. Today, however, there has been a regression in media growth and censorship shows little signs of receding.

238 Years Later, Would Americans Still Choose Freedom Over Slavery?

John W. Whitehead | Posted 07.01.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

Imagine the shock and outrage these 56 men would feel were they to discover that 238 years later, the government they had risked their lives to create has been transformed into a militaristic police state in which exercising one's freedoms is often viewed as a flagrant act of defiance.

Cyberbullying Law Violates Free Speech, Top Court Rules

Reuters | Posted 07.02.2014 | 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 06.27.2014 | 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 06.26.2014 | 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 06.24.2014 | Gay 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 06.23.2014 | Gay 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 06.21.2014 | 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 06.18.2014 | 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 06.17.2014 | 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 06.09.2014 | 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'

HuffingtonPost.com | 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.