Commentary and Analysis
Select Committee to Investigate January 6th

A Bitter Pill: Does the First Amendment Protect John Eastman’s Defense of the ‘Big Lie’?

Re-printed with permission by First Amendment News, constitutional scholar Stephen Rohde examines the First Amendment arguments made by John Eastman, former attorney for Donald Trump who is currently facing disciplinary proceedings in California that could lead to his disbarment.

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Legal Scholars Weigh In on the Lasting Significance of Dominion v. Fox

We asked five legal scholars — Samantha Barbas, Martin Garbus, Lyrissa Lidsky, Timothy Zick and Sandra Baron — to give their thoughts on Dominion Voting Systems' defamation lawsuit against Fox following the recent settlement reached in the case.

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Electronic Frontier Foundation’s David Greene Weighs In on Section 230 and Online Speech

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases pivotal to online speech: Gonzalez v. Google on Feb. 21 and Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh on Feb. 22. Both cases question the liability of social media platforms and search engines regarding speech hosted on their sites, and if recommendation algorithms could be responsible for aiding terrorist activity.

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Supreme Court

Supreme Court Needs to Clarify True Threat Exception; Case Out of Colorado Could Be the Vehicle

Today in this age of increased political polarization and the ubiquity of social media communications, the need for a clear definition of what exactly constitutes a true threat is even more important.

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First Amendment Scholar Timothy Zick Dismantles Trump v. CNN Lawsuit

Former President Donald Trump filed a $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN arguing the network has maligned him with “fake news” for the purposes of damaging his political future heading into 2024. First Amendment Watch asked First Amendment scholar Timothy Zick to annotate the 29-page lawsuit for the legal claims it made and the precedents it cited. 

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The social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn.

A Social Media Censorship Law is Upheld in Texas, Lyrissa Lidsky Weighs In

First Amendment lawyer Lyrissa Lidsky weighs in on a recently upheld social media censorship law in Texas that would bar platforms with more than 50 million users from removing content with political viewpoints. A different circuit court in Florida filed a preliminary injunction against a similar law. Since both federal appeals courts disagreed, only the Supreme Court can decide if the platforms have a First Amendment right to censor, or if they don’t.

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Jacob Mchangama on the Long History of Blasphemy Violence in Wake of Rushdie Attack

First Amendment Watch asked Mchangama, a free speech historian and scholar, his perspective on  the evolution of blasphemy laws and the context surrounding the vicious attack against Salman Rushdie, a Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.

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Punishing Disney for Opposing Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Poses Serious First Amendment Problems

Florida has placed itself at odds with the well-settled First Amendment rule prohibiting government officials from “subjecting an individual to retaliatory actions . . . for speaking out.” Hartman v. Moore, 547 U.S. 250 (2006).

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