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U.S. President Donald Trump shows an executive order linking "free speech" efforts at public universities to federal grants during a signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

As Promised, Trump Signs Contentious Executive Order on Campus Free Speech

President Trump vowed to sign an executive order requiring American colleges and universities to protect free speech on campus, and would withhold federal research funds from schools that don’t comply.

“Today, I am proud to announce that I will be very soon be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research funds,” Trump said in his remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.

March 21, 2019 Campus Speech, Top Stories
Catherine J. Ross: Trump’s Latest Threat To Free Speech And The Academy

Catherine J. Ross: Trump’s Latest Threat To Free Speech And The Academy

Catherine J. Ross, professor of law at George Washington University Law School, explains the possible issues that could arise if President Trump signs an executive order requiring colleges to support free speech on their campuses in order to receive federal research funds.

“Ultimately, the central constitutional risk inherent in Trump’s proposed executive order is all too familiar: it will chill protected speech. What’s more, it will likely violate central tenets of the Speech Clause when enforced,” she writes.

March 21, 2019 Essays, Speech, Top Stories
Cop at traffic stop

Sixth Circuit: A Raised Middle Finger Is Free Speech

March 13, 2019: The Officer “Should Have Known Better,” The Court Said Giving the middle finger is protected speech under the First Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled. In a 3-0 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit sided with a Michigan woman who sued a police officer for violating her constitutional rights after he pulled[Read More…]

March 21, 2019 Speech, Top Stories
New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference

New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference

Every year, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) convenes a panel of journalists, judges, and lawyers to discuss a hypothetical case involving free speech, the freedom of the press, and citizens’ right to a fair trial. In October, 2018 the program explored a hypothetical case in which an incumbent Governor who’s running for reelection, is going through a contentious[Read More…]

President Trump’s Bid To Block Defamation Lawsuit By Zervos Rejected Again

President Trump’s Bid To Block Defamation Lawsuit By Zervos Rejected Again

March 14, 2019: The Court Ruled President Trump Can Be Sued In Civil Court While Still In Office A New York appellate court has rejected President Trump’s attempt to block a defamation lawsuit brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, ruling that suit can move forward while he is still president.  Zervos went public with her accusations of sexual assault[Read More…]

March 15, 2019 Essays, Top Stories
Clear and Present Danger: Episode 22: Fighting Words – Free Speech in 18th Century America, Part II

Clear and Present Danger: Episode 22: Fighting Words – Free Speech in 18th Century America, Part II

Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech is a podcast hosted by Jacob Mchangama, the founder and executive director of Justitia, a think tank focusing on human rights. Mchangama guides listeners through the history of free speech from the trial of Socrates to the Great Firewall of China.  In Episode 22 of the podcast, “Fighting Words – Free[Read More…]

March 8, 2019 Press, Speech, Top Stories
BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief and moderator Ben Smith asks questions of entertainment executives during the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy Inaugural Symposium in Los Angeles, California September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA)

Ben Smith, Editor-In-Chief of BuzzFeed News Discusses Free Press Issues

Ben Smith, the Editor-In-Chief of BuzzFeed News, discusses his decision to publish the Steele dossier, a controversial intelligence memo compiled by retired British spy Christopher Steele. Smith also talks about other issues such as President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, and journalism and the privacy rights issues that arose from the Hulk Hogan and Gawker case. The Steele[Read More…]

Ballard Spahr: Recent Ruling Invokes Colorado Press Shield Law To Absolve Reporter From Disclosing Unpublished Information

Ballard Spahr: Recent Ruling Invokes Colorado Press Shield Law To Absolve Reporter From Disclosing Unpublished Information

Reprinted with Permission from Ballard Spahr A district court in Boulder, Colorado, recently applied Colorado’s Press Shield Law to a subpoena for a reporter to testify at trial—even though the party issuing the subpoena only wanted to question the witness about published information. The court based its February 25 decision on the likelihood that the opposing party would seek to[Read More…]

March 8, 2019 Press, Subpoenas, Top Stories
Mary Beth Tinker holding her original detention slip after she wore a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War (with a replica on her left arm) during a speech at Textor Hall, Ithaca College, 19 September 2017.

Tinker Turns 50: Celebrating Half A Century Of Student Free Speech

February 24, 2019 marks 50 years since the Supreme Court made its landmark ruling in Tinker vs. Des Moines that protected the First Amendment rights of students in public schools.

February 25, 2019 Speech, Top Stories
Nicholas Sandmann, 16, a student from Covington Catholic High School stands in front of Native American activist Nathan Phillips in Washington, U.S., in this still image from a January 18, 2019 video by Kaya Taitano. Kaya Taitano/Social Media/via REUTERS

The Parents of the Covington Teen In The Lincoln Memorial Encounter Sue Washington Post For $250M

February 20, 2019: The Suit Says That The Post Made “False and Defamatory Accusations” In Its Reporting Of the Incident The family of the Kentucky teen at the center of a viral encounter with a Native American activist last month is seeking $250 million in damages from the Washington Post for their coverage of the conflict.  According to allegations outlined[Read More…]

February 21, 2019 Libel, Top Stories