Below the Fold

The Enduring Impact of Jefferson’s Inaugural Address in 2019

The Enduring Impact of Jefferson’s Inaugural Address in 2019

By Stephen Solomon, founding editor of First Amendment Watch The most-visited page on First Amendment Watch during 2018 was not one of the many conflicts over freedom of speech and press that we covered during the year. It was Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, delivered by our third President on March 4, 1801. Jefferson articulated a message that resonates in our own time of[Read More…]

January 2, 2019 Below the Fold, History Speaks
Part of a series on the Pentagon Papers published by The New York Times in 1971. The Nixon Administration's attempt to stop publication was ultimately rejected in New York Times v. United States.

Harvard Historian Seeking To Unseal Documents From Probe Into Pentagon Papers Leak

December 19, 2018: The Public Needs More Insight Into The Landmark Pentagon Papers Case, She Argues  A history professor and writer is asking a federal judge to unseal the records from proceedings in two Boston grand jury probes into the leaks of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Jill Lepore, who is seeking the records, is a Harvard professor, writer for The New[Read More…]

December 19, 2018 Access, Below the Fold, News Gathering, Press
People gather on Bancroft Way during a demonstration against a planned speech by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California, U.S. September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Settlement Reached In UC Berkeley On-Campus Speaker Policy Suit

December 3, 2018: Both Sides Are Touting the Settlement as a Win UC Berkeley and conservative groups Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans have reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the groups against the university, claiming discriminatory practices that silenced conservative speakers on campus. Under the terms of the settlement, the university must make changes to its[Read More…]

December 10, 2018 Below the Fold, Campus Speech
Arkansas Student Newspaper Overcomes Censorship Dispute

Arkansas Student Newspaper Overcomes Censorship Dispute

December 6, 2018: The District Called the Article “Harmful”, “Divisive”  The controversy that ensued over an investigation published by student journalists—despite a state law protecting their rights—has come to a close. Student journalists at The Har Ber Herald were forced to remove a story from their website and had their operations suspended after they published a story questioning the school district’s approval to[Read More…]

December 6, 2018 Below the Fold, Censorship, Press
A police officer walks up the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington March 2, 2015. The Supreme Court will hear "King v. Burwell" on March 4, a challenge on whether residents in at least 34 U.S. states are eligible for federal tax subsidies to help them buy health coverage under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.    REUTERS/Joshua Roberts    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH BUSINESS)

SCOTUS Revives First Amendment Challenge to Mandatory Bar Membership Post-Janus

December 4, 2018: Case Sent Back for Reconsideration After Janus Ruling The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a North Dakota lawyer’s First Amendment challenge to a nearly 30-year-old North Dakota law that obligates lawyers to to become members of a state bar association. Currently, 37 jurisdictions require bar membership as a condition to practice,[Read More…]

December 6, 2018 Below the Fold, Speech
Nazi Salute in Photo is Protected by the First Amendment, Baraboo School District Says

Nazi Salute in Photo is Protected by the First Amendment, Baraboo School District Says

Wisconsin high school students went unpunished for appearing in a pre-prom photo in what seems to be a Nazi salute. School administrators say they are protected by the First Amendment. What are the students rights to free speech?

December 4, 2018 Below the Fold, Speech
A view of reclaimed land that is being utilized for cattle grazing is seen in the left of the frame, and a view of untouched land is seen in the right of the frame during a tour of Peabody Energy's North Antelope Rochelle coal mine near Gillette, Wyoming, U.S. June 1, 2016. Reclaimed land is land that is brought back to it's pre-mining use.  REUTERS/Kristina Barker

New Ground Rules: Judge Strikes Down Wyoming Data Trespass Laws

  October 30, 2018: The Laws Violate Free Speech Protections  A federal judge struck down two of Wyoming’s “ag-gag” laws that barred the collection of environmental research data on public and private land. The judge ruled that the recently passed “data trespass” statutes are unconstitutional and violate free speech protections, siding with two environmental groups and a photography association. The[Read More…]

November 5, 2018 Below the Fold, Speech
National Parks Service Proposal Would Compel Fees For DC Protests

National Parks Service Proposal Would Compel Fees For DC Protests

October 9, 2018: ACLU Fights Back Against Proposed Regs The ACLU of D.C. submitted a formal written comment expressing opposition to the National Park Service’s proposed regulation changes to protest rights in the nation’s capital. Arthur Spitzer the Legal Co-Director of the ACLU of D.C. writes that these changes would make events like MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech too expensive to[Read More…]

October 9, 2018 Assembly, Below the Fold
U.S. President Donald Trump introduces his Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh And The First Amendment: His Record, Views, And Controversies

In light of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, experts weigh in on his First Amendment record with mixed views. During the course of the confirmation process, Kavanaugh was questioned about reporter’s privilege and whether he would allow journalists to divulge the details of confidential conversations he had with them decades ago.

October 8, 2018 Below the Fold, Speech
Los Angeles Times Building (source: Wikipedia)

Deja Vu: LA Judge Challenged On Unconstitutional Court Order For Second Time This Month

October 13, 2018: The Times Once Again Challenged Court Order As A Prior Restraint On Free Speech For the second time this month, Superior Court Judge Gustavo N. Sztraicher rescinded a court order after he was challenged by the LA Times on two separate cases. Last week, the judge reversed an order two days after he prohibited journalists from describing[Read More…]

September 27, 2018 Below the Fold, Prior Restraints