Speech

First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Can Public Officials Block Critics from Their Social Media Accounts Consistent with the First Amendment?

First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Can Public Officials Block Critics from Their Social Media Accounts Consistent with the First Amendment?

Prepared by Stephen D. Solomon, Editor First Amendment Watch, NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

Today’s students are growing up connected – tweeting, live streaming, posting on a seeming 24-7 cycle. The many controversies involving Facebook, Twitter, and other social media provide an excellent opportunity to teach First Amendment principles in a relatable way.

President Donald Trump’s blocking of some critics from his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, is one such opportunity to engage students in the First Amendment.

July 9, 2018 Speech, Teacher Guides
Ballard Spahr: A Five-Star Decision: Yelp’s Recent Victory Reaffirms Broad Protections of Section 230

Ballard Spahr: A Five-Star Decision: Yelp’s Recent Victory Reaffirms Broad Protections of Section 230

Reprinted with Permission from Ballard Spahr In a closely watched decision with significant ramifications for online speech, earlier this week, the California Supreme Court struck down an injunction requiring Yelp, a popular online consumer review platform, to remove two allegedly defamatory reviews from its website. The decision is important because it rejected a potential procedural end-run around Section 230 of[Read More…]

July 6, 2018 Libel, Speech, Top Stories
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks before swearing in Judge Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Supreme Court Justice in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S. on April 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

Institute For Free Speech Releases Free Speech Records For Trump’s Potential SCOTUS Nominees

Free Speech Records For Justice Shortlist Released  President Trump will have a second opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court judge to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Institute for Free Speech compiled the free speech records of some of President Trump’s list of potential nominees. The list can be found here.

July 6, 2018 Speech, Top Stories
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Second Lawsuit Filed By Former Ad Exec Over Allegations Made By Anonymous Instagram Diet Madison Avenue

July 1, 2018: Ex-Ad Exec Suing Instagram Account, Former Employer For Defamatory Statements And Wrongful Termination A former advertising executive sued the anonymous Instagram account Diet Madison Avenue for defamation last month and is now suing his former agency Crispin Proter & Bogursky and its holding company MDC Partners. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in the District[Read More…]

July 3, 2018 Secrecy, Speech, Top Stories
Louis Michael Seidman

First Amendment Watch Roundtable: Louis Michael Seidman Rejoinder

In his provocative essay forthcoming in Columbia Law Review, Georgetown Law Professor Michael Seidman writes, “Free speech cannot be progressive. At least it can’t be progressive if we are talking about free speech in the American context, with all the historical, sociological, and philosophical baggage that comes with the modern, American free speech right. … But the notion that our free speech tradition might be weaponized to advance progressive ends is fanciful.”

Freedom of speech pushed progressive causes forward in the second half of the 20th century—it protected civil rights demonstrators, shielded artists from suppression, and safeguarded antiwar protestors. But is it less aligned with progressive goals now? After all, the First Amendment was used to invalidate some campaign financing regulations in Citizens United v. FEC, for example, and protects hate speech.

We are devoting a First Amendment Roundtable to discuss Seidman’s question. Today, we present Louis Michael Seidman’s rejoinder to our five First Amendment scholars. We invite readers to join the discussion: send us your thoughts at fawroundtable@gmail.com.

June 28, 2018 Seidman Roundtable, Speech
People hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting for the Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees case which remains pending, in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Toya Sarno Jordan

Free Speech Ruling Deals Blow To Labor Unions

June 27, 2018: Supreme Court Rules in Janus v. AFSCME That Unions Can’t Compel Non-Members To Pay Fees In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court justices struck down an Illinois law that required non-union workers to pay fees that go towards collective bargaining costs. Last summer, public sector employee Mark Janus argued that the court should overrule a 1977 decision[Read More…]

June 27, 2018 Speech, Top Stories
It’s Happy Hour Somewhere: Lawsuit Challenging Happy Hour Ad Restrictions Will Proceed

It’s Happy Hour Somewhere: Lawsuit Challenging Happy Hour Ad Restrictions Will Proceed

June 15, 2018: Judge Rules That Virginia Restauranteur Can Move Ahead With His Lawsuit Chef Geoff Tracy can move ahead with his lawsuit against Virginia’s Alcoholic Control Board seeking to weaken happy hour advertisement rules in the state. Lawyers for the Attorney General’s office argued in federal court that the lawsuit should be dismissed, but U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga[Read More…]

June 27, 2018 Speech, Top Stories
140413, environmental portraits of Law School faculty, shot 04-10-14

First Amendment Watch Roundtable: Richard Delgado Responds to Louis Michael Seidman

In his provocative essay forthcoming in Columbia Law Review, Georgetown Law Professor Michael Seidman writes, “Free speech cannot be progressive. At least it can’t be progressive if we are talking about free speech in the American context, with all the historical, sociological, and philosophical baggage that comes with the modern, American free speech right. … But the notion that our free speech tradition might be weaponized to advance progressive ends is fanciful.”

Freedom of speech pushed progressive causes forward in the second half of the 20th century—it protected civil rights demonstrators, shielded artists from suppression, and safeguarded antiwar protestors. But is it less aligned with progressive goals now? After all, the First Amendment was used to invalidate some campaign financing regulations in Citizens United v. FEC, for example, and protects hate speech.

We are devoting a First Amendment Roundtable to discuss Seidman’s question. Today, we present Richard Delgado’s response. We invite readers to join the discussion: send us your thoughts at fawroundtable@gmail.com.

June 27, 2018 Seidman Roundtable, Speech
Anti-abortion rights demonstrators rally outside as the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the abortion case National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, in Washington, U.S. March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

SCOTUS Rules Against California Law In Free Speech Case

June 26, 2018: Forced Advertisements At California Anti-Abortion Crisis Centers Violate Free Speech, Says Supreme Court The Supreme Court sided with anti-abortion crisis centers and ruled that a California law requiring the centers to advertise state-funded services violated the facilities’ right to free speech. NIFLA v. Becerra concerned a California law that imposes disclosure requirements on pro-life pregnancy clinics. The[Read More…]

June 26, 2018 Speech, Top Stories
Ronald K.L. Collins (credit: Bruce Guthrie)

First Amendment Watch Roundtable: Ronald K.L. Collins Responds to Louis Michael Seidman

In his provocative essay forthcoming in Columbia Law Review, Georgetown Law Professor Michael Seidman writes, “Free speech cannot be progressive. At least it can’t be progressive if we are talking about free speech in the American context, with all the historical, sociological, and philosophical baggage that comes with the modern, American free speech right. … But the notion that our free speech tradition might be weaponized to advance progressive ends is fanciful.”

Freedom of speech pushed progressive causes forward in the second half of the 20th century—it protected civil rights demonstrators, shielded artists from suppression, and safeguarded antiwar protestors. But is it less aligned with progressive goals now? After all, the First Amendment was used to invalidate some campaign financing regulations in Citizens United v. FEC, for example, and protects hate speech.

We are devoting a First Amendment Roundtable to discuss Seidman’s question. Today, we present Ronald K.L. Collins’ response. We invite readers to join the discussion: send us your thoughts at fawroundtable@gmail.com.

June 26, 2018 Seidman Roundtable, Speech