Category
Commentary and Analysis

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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).

Read More

Will a Supreme Court Decision Bring Clarity to the Government Speech Doctrine?

A pending case before the United States Supreme Court about flags and flagpoles could determine two crucial questions for First Amendment law: (1) who is speaking—the government or an individual; and (2) when does the government create an open forum for freedom of expression.  

Read More

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Devin Nunes’ Defamation by Implication Claim

Congressman Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) defamation lawsuit over an Esquire article about his family’s dairy farm was reinstated in part on September 15th by a three-judge panel of the Eighth  U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel reasoned that Nunes’ complaint stated a plausible defamation by implication claim that should survive a motion to dismiss.  

Read More

Catherine and Book

One “Vulgar” Cheerleader Vindicated—But Other Students May Still Face Discipline for Off-Campus Speech

The Supreme Court's ruling in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. was a big victory for cheerleader Brandi Levy. Still, George Washington Law Professor and student speech expert Catherine J. Ross warns that the decision left unanswered many questions regarding school's authority to regulate off-campus speech.

Read More