Assembly

National Parks Service Proposal Would Compel Fees For DC Protests

National Parks Service Proposal Would Compel Fees For DC Protests

September 11, 2018: Advocates Are Calling It A “Protest Tax” Writing for the Washington Post, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Mara Verheyden-Hilliard and the group’s legal director Carl Messineo shed light on a recent National Park Service proposal to revise demonstration regulations in the National Capital Region. The two argue that the proposal is an attempt by the[Read More…]

September 12, 2018 Assembly, Top Stories
One Year Since Deadly Charlottesville Protests

One Year Since Deadly Charlottesville Protests

The violent clashes between protestors in Charlottesville were cloaked in First Amendment rights to free speech. But while the Constitution may protect hate speech, it does not protect incitement of violence.

August 10, 2018 Assembly, Speech
Fane Lozeman Wins Free Speech Case In Supreme Court

Fane Lozeman Wins Free Speech Case In Supreme Court

June 18, 2018: U.S. Supreme Court Sides With South Florida Activist For Second Time In a First Amendment victory, the United States Supreme Court will allow South Florida activist Fane Lozman to pursue his claim against the City of Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County. Lozman says that the city retaliated against him when he was arrested on November 15,[Read More…]

June 20, 2018 Assembly, Speech, Top Stories
In Alabama Town, Media and Non-Residents Banned From Meetings

In Alabama Town, Media and Non-Residents Banned From Meetings

June 12, 2018: In Contradiction to Alabama Open Meetings Act, Paint Rock Bans Media And Non-Residents From Council Meetings The Jackson County Sentinel reported that the 200-person town of Paint Rock, Alabama is trying to ban members of the media and non-residents from attending Town Council meetings without prior approval of the members. The rules also say that recording meetings[Read More…]

States Rush to Pass Anti-Protestor Laws

States Rush to Pass Anti-Protestor Laws

America was born in the protests of 1765 to 1776. Large crowds assembled around liberty trees and liberty poles, hanging British officials in effigy, and thousands of people paraded through the streets of colonial towns voicing loud dissent against British taxes and other measures they considered oppressive. Today’s lawmakers seem much more squeamish about the right to assembly, which is now enshrined in the First Amendment. Reacting to the demonstrations that have taken place throughout the U.S. over the last few years, many states have moved to restrict public demonstrations by a variety of means. Some measures that are enacted into law will surely be tested in court as violations of the First Amendment.

June 1, 2018 Assembly, Below the Fold
Bill to Increase Fines And Penalties For Protestors Vetoed

Bill to Increase Fines And Penalties For Protestors Vetoed

May 20, 2018: Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Imposed Stricter Penalties On Demonstrators Who Block Entry To Public Works “I believe that blocking access to freeways and airports is a matter of public safety for everyone involved,” Governor Mark Dayton wrote in a letter to the speaker of Minnesota’s House. “However, I do not support the broad transit provisions[Read More…]

May 30, 2018 Assembly
Lata Nott, Executive Director of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center

Lata Nott: These Two States Are Pushing Laws To Criminalize Some Protests

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Lata Nott, originally published this podcast on the Newseum blog, and has given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint.           Rightly or wrongly, certain First Amendment issues tend to dominate the national conversation more than others. Bring up President Trump’s tweets criticizing the news media, college campus protests of controversial[Read More…]

May 25, 2018 Assembly, Top Stories
Michigan State University’s Settlement with Gymnasts Could Set First Amendment Precedent

Michigan State University’s Settlement with Gymnasts Could Set First Amendment Precedent

The Michigan State University settlement with Larry Nassar’s victims came with a condition. The survivors may not advocate for two reform bills currently being debated and voted on in Michigan state legislature that are seeking to remove government immunity in cases involving childhood sexual abuse.

May 18, 2018 Assembly, 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