Speech

A liberty tree with effigies.

From Liberty Tree to Taking a Knee: America’s Founding Era Sheds Light on the NFL Controversy

Symbolic speech as a form of protest, like taking a knee at a football game while others stand for the National Anthem, enjoys a long history in America. It’s been a powerful form of political expression going back to the protests in the colonies in the 1760s against British oppression. Various forms of symbolic expression—liberty trees, liberty poles, effigies of hated politicians, even the use of the number 45—brought multitudes into the political sphere and was critical in building opposition to British rule. Much of this symbolic expression was controversial and even offensive but a powerful form of protest then and now.

January 25, 2018 Assembly, Below the Fold, Speech, Symbolic Speech
2017 Has Been A Year of Challenges For Artistic Free Speech

2017 Has Been A Year of Challenges For Artistic Free Speech

From comedian Kathy Griffin posing with a severed head of Trump to the Public Theater depicting the death of a Trump look-alike in Julius Caesar, 2017 has been a year where the arts have pushed the boundaries and come under fire. The threat of government censorship is not new. In 1873, under the Comstock Law a reported 194,000 “questionable pictures” and 134,000 pounds of[Read More…]

December 10, 2017 Censorship, Speech
Supreme Court Affirms Hate Speech Protected

Supreme Court Affirms Hate Speech Protected

June 19, 2017: Supreme Court and the “Freedom to Express ‘the thought that we hate’” First Amendment expert, Eugene Volokh writes that in Matal v. Tam, also known as the “Slants” case, the “justices made clear that speech that some view as racially offensive is protected not just against outright prohibition but also against lesser restrictions.” For example, Justice Samuel Alito[Read More…]

June 21, 2017 Offensive Speech, Speech, Top Stories