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Knight Institute Urges Facebook To Change Policy To Create “Safe Harbor” For Journalists And Researchers

Knight Institute Urges Facebook To Change Policy To Create “Safe Harbor” For Journalists And Researchers

August 7, 2018: Knight Institute Requests And Suggests Amendments To Facebook’s Terms Of Service In Letter To Zuckerberg In a letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, The Knight First Amendment Institute called on the platform to amend its terms of service to allow journalists and researchers to safely operate on the platform. The letter, sent on behalf of three journalists[Read More…]

August 9, 2018 News Gathering, Press, Top Stories
United States Supreme Court Building

Bloomberg Law Looks Ahead At 1A Cases In The Next SCOTUS Term

August 8, 2018: First Amendment Cases That May Be Seen In The Next SCOTUS Term The Supreme Court decided on 5 high-profile free speech cases in the most recent term. Bloomberg Law looks ahead at the next term to the one free speech case on the docket and other pending cases with First Amendment arguments.  

August 8, 2018 Speech, Top Stories
Ballard Spahr: D.C. Circuit Holds That Transit Authority Is Permitted to Reject Religious Advertisements

Ballard Spahr: D.C. Circuit Holds That Transit Authority Is Permitted to Reject Religious Advertisements

Reprinted with Permission from Ballard Spahr The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled earlier this week that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) did not violate the First Amendment when it refused to run an advertisement from the Archdiocese of Washington. The court’s decision—in particular, the reasoning it employed—may have significant ramifications for how[Read More…]

August 7, 2018 Censorship, Speech, Top Stories
Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz walks back in court as his attorney Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill (L) looks on in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. April 27, 2018.      Taimy Alvarez/Sun-Sentinel/Pool via REUTERS

Florida School Board Wants To Hold Newspaper In Contempt For Publishing Parkland Shooter’s Records

August 15, 2018:”I find it shameful”: Judge Reprimands Newspaper For Publishing Redacted Material A Broward County judge lambasted the Sun Sentinel for publishing disclosed information contained in a redacted report that the paper says it obtained legally, because the information was already made public.  In response to the judge’s claim that she was under the impression that the newspaper would[Read More…]

Lubomir Jastrzebski (L) and Nancy Nembhauser (R) pose with their adult son in front of the house with the "Starry Night" mural painted on it in Mount Dora, Florida, U.S., January 29, 2018 in this handout photo provided July 18, 2018.  Courtesy of Pacific Legal Foundation/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY   NO RESALES, NO ARCHIVE

Starry Night House Gets The “Gogh” Ahead From Mayor

July 18, 2018: Family Wins Lengthy Fight Over Painted Home A Florida couple whose house is painted with murals of the famous painting of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” reached a settlement with their city council after they were told last year that their house violated a city signage code. The couple faced over $10,000 in fines and were told that[Read More…]

August 4, 2018 Artistic Speech, Speech, Top Stories
County Judge Charged With Misdemeanor For Threatening Sheriff Over Critical Tweet

County Judge Charged With Misdemeanor For Threatening Sheriff Over Critical Tweet

A County that empowers its (department heads) more than their elected officials only divide the effectiveness and full potential of that counties abilities. — Williamson County Sheriff (WilCo) Texas (@SheriffChody) July 13, 2018   July 31, 2018: Hearing Against Judge Over Social Media Spat Is Reset A hearing has been set for September 14. July 18, 2018: Judge’s Alleged Threat[Read More…]

August 2, 2018 Speech, Threats, Top Stories
Gene Policinski, Chief Operating Officer, Newseum Institute and First Amendment Center of Newseum Institute

Gene Policinski Commentary: The First Amendment Was Meant For Times Like Now

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Gene Policinski, originally published this commentary on August 1, 2018, on the Newseum blog, and has given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint.           Donald Trump is working the old political shell game again — one that journalists must refuse to play and that every citizen should take as a[Read More…]

August 1, 2018 News Gathering, Press, Top Stories
Is The ACLU Retreating On Free Speech? The Controversy and Debate

Is The ACLU Retreating On Free Speech? The Controversy and Debate

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non-partisan civil rights organization, has recently been criticized for allegedly retreating from their stance on free expression, as a result of a leaked memo outlining the adoption of new case selection guidelines. A vigorous debate regarding the balance of free speech ideals with the values of equality played out in the pages of[Read More…]

Lawyers Argue In Appeal That Text Messages Sent In Suicide Case Were Protected Speech

Lawyers Argue In Appeal That Text Messages Sent In Suicide Case Were Protected Speech

July 9, 2018: She May Be The First U.S. Person To Be Convicted Of Involuntary Manslaughter By Words Only Lawyers for Michelle Carter have filed an appeal in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to overturn the ruling in her involuntary manslaughter conviction, saying the text messages she sent encouraging her boyfriend’s suicide back in 2014 were protected speech. Her attorneys[Read More…]

July 11, 2018 Speech, Top Stories
Louis Michael Seidman

First Amendment Watch Roundtable: Louis Michael Seidman on “Can Free Speech Be Progressive?”

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 his essay and will follow in the coming days with challenging commentaries by leading scholars. We invite readers to join the discussion: send us your thoughts at fawroundtable@gmail.com.

July 10, 2018 Seidman Roundtable, Speech, Top Stories