Speech

Newseum’s Lata Nott on Facebook, Hate Speech, Fake News, and Data Privacy

Newseum’s Lata Nott on Facebook, Hate Speech, Fake News, and Data Privacy

Executive Director of the First Amendment Center at the Newseum Institute, Lata Nott, reviews the the evolving landscape that social media giants must now navigate with the increasing scrutiny and pressure being placed on them.

April 17, 2018 Fake News, Privacy, Speech, Top Stories
Should Advertisers Shun Fox’s Laura Ingraham For Her Polarizing Comments or Was She Exercising Her Free Speech?

Should Advertisers Shun Fox’s Laura Ingraham For Her Polarizing Comments or Was She Exercising Her Free Speech?

April 7, 2018: Liberal Bill Maher opposes Ingraham Boycott On his HBO show, Bill Maher defended Laura Ingraham exercising her First Amendment right to free speech by stating that David Hogg is an activist promoting a policy position and that is “fair game” for debate and engagement. Boycotting is then a counterproductive measure for free discussion. March 31, 2018: Fox[Read More…]

April 9, 2018 Speech, Top Stories
What is the State of Academic Freedom As More Professors Face Increasing Backlash?

What is the State of Academic Freedom As More Professors Face Increasing Backlash?

April 4, 2018: What Free Speech Rights Do Professors Have to Speak Without Retaliation? An NPR report finds that “across the country, in the past year and a half, at least 250 university professors…have been targeted via online campaigns because of their research, their teaching or their social media posts.” In an highly charged political environment, professors find that retaliation[Read More…]

April 5, 2018 Campus Speech, Speech, Top Stories
Discrimination or Free Speech? What’s At Stake in the Wedding Cake Conflict

Discrimination or Free Speech? What’s At Stake in the Wedding Cake Conflict

Jack C. Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakeland, Colorado, refused to design and create a wedding cake for a celebration of a same-sex marriage. He claims that creation of the cake is artistic expression protected by the First Amendment’s free speech and free exercise of religion clause. But the same-sex couple and Colorado argue that Phillips’ work on the cake is not expressive conduct according to the law and that the state has a significant interest in preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation. What will the Supreme Court say when it hears the case?

April 2, 2018 Artistic Speech, Below the Fold, Speech
Lessons from Berkeley on Campus Free Speech

Lessons from Berkeley on Campus Free Speech

Free-speech watchdog FIRE’s mission is more important than ever on the nation’s college campuses.

March 31, 2018 Below the Fold, Campus Speech, Speech
Screenshot taken from National Constitution Center video

FAW’s Stephen Solomon Joins Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Others To Discuss Hate Speech

March 29, 2018: National Constitution Center Hosts U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Constitutional Scholars Including FAW’s Stephen Solomon in a Discussion on Hate Speech  First, National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen engages in a wide-ranging conversation between U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. Then, a discussion on the First Amendment includes the following featured speakers: Jud Campbell,[Read More…]

March 30, 2018 Offensive Speech, Speech, Top Stories
Are Student Walkouts Protected By the First Amendment?

Are Student Walkouts Protected By the First Amendment?

After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students around the country quickly began to protest gun violence. One way gaining much attention: student walkouts. School administrators have responded both positively and negatively to these demonstrations. Now various advocacy groups are calling for  a national walkout for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. March 14 in solidarity with the victims of the Florida tragedy. Are these protests protected by the First Amendment?

March 29, 2018 Assembly, Below the Fold, Speech
Catherine Ross on Student Walkouts: “What is at stake in teaching young people how to live liberty—particularly how to exercise their expressive rights—is nothing less than the future of our democracy.”

Catherine Ross on Student Walkouts: “What is at stake in teaching young people how to live liberty—particularly how to exercise their expressive rights—is nothing less than the future of our democracy.”

Our guest writer and constitutional law scholar, Catherine Ross, speaks out about the student protests rocking the nation from the March 14 walkouts to the March for our Our Lives movement and looking ahead to the next planned protests on April 20th. Her book, Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights, excerpted on FAW looks at important free speech issues relevant to today’s movement.

March 29, 2018 Assembly, Below the Fold, Speech
Did White House Staff Sign Away Their First Amendment Rights?

Did White House Staff Sign Away Their First Amendment Rights?

The Washington Post reports that senior White House staffers in President Trump’s administration were asked to sign long-term nondisclosure agreements which would prevent them from revealing confidential information. These agreements extended beyond the normal confidentiality obligations around classified information or attorney-client privilege and included fines if they were broken. What exactly is the law that would govern NDAs? Heidi Kitrosser of the University of Minnesota told Reuters that “These NDAs strike me as clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment” because the First Amendment protects free speech from government restriction, and White House personnel are employed by the government not by President Trump. This is not absolute in all cases. In Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled public employees can be fired or otherwise disciplined for speech connected to their jobs. Several scholars suggested that President Trump does not need NDAs at all – he can just fire employees who have divulged confidential information.

March 21, 2018 Secrecy, Speech
Mural Photo by Robert Morris, included in ACLU's complaint

A Provocative Mural in Louisiana Stirs Artistic Expression Debate

  March 16, 2018: ACLU Files Lawsuit To Protect Controversial Mural When real estate developer Neal Morris commissioned local street artist Cashy D last November to create a wall mural using a quote from President’s Trump’s Access Hollywood taping, he did not expect the onslaught of letters from New Orleans officials claiming he could face jail time for commissioning the piece. Now the[Read More…]