Newsmaker Interviews

Every Tuesday, First Amendment Watch publishes a thought-provoking interview with a leading First Amendment expert or newsmaker that takes you to the front lines of the most pressing issues of the day.

Headshot of Amy Werbel

Author Amy Werbel on the Parallels Between the Comstock Era and Modern-Day Censorship

In an interview, Werbel expressed concerns over the threats of librarian prosecution and the importance of children’s access to reading materials.

Read More

person typing on computer

EFF’s Mario Trujillo on Age-Verification Laws and the First Amendment

Trujillo discussed age-verification laws, the First Amendment issues they raise, and the potential dangers of passing such legislation.

Read More

Headshot of Rebecca Vincent

Rebecca Vincent of Reporters Without Borders on the Prosecution of Julian Assange

Vincent described the U.S. government's handling of the case against Assange as "concerning" and one that "will set a very dangerous precedent for journalism."

Read More

Headshot of Mike Laux.

Attorney Mike Laux on Challenging the ‘Indoctrination’ Provision in Arkansas

In an interview, Laux said the law's effect on the AP African American Studies course in the state creates a "lesser product," which he contends is a form of viewpoint discrimination.

Read More

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani departs defamation lawsuit at the District Courthouse in Washington

Could Defamation Law Combat the Spread of Political Disinformation?

Attorneys Michael Gottlieb and Meryl Governski spoke about political disinformation, the impact of social media, and the hope that large damage awards will deter future bad actors.

Read More

TV host George Stephanopoulos appears on ABC TV's "Good Morning America" in Central Park in the Manhattan borough of New York

George Freeman on Trump’s Defamation Lawsuit Against ABC, Stephanopoulos

This suit is different from others filed by the former president against the press, Freeman said, but Trump’s reputation of making derogatory remarks about women poses legal hurdles.

Read More

jacob mchangama headshot

Vanderbilt’s Jacob Mchangama on the First Amendment Implications of Generative AI

Mchangama discussed the First Amendment implications of generative AI and expressed concerns over government censorship of certain AI-generated content.

Read More

Jack Sweeney headshot

College Student Jack Sweeney on His Efforts to Track Taylor Swift’s Private Jet

Sweeney discussed how jet tracking works, the importance of transparency, and his hope that his projects could make this information more accessible.

Read More

laura handman headshot

Attorney Laura Handman on Defending the New York Post with the Fair Report Privilege

Handman discussed the differences between Montana and New York’s fair report privileges and the importance of being able to report on official proceedings.

Read More

Mark Rasch headshot

Attorney Mark Rasch on the Indictment of Freelance Journalist Tim Burke

The case has raised concerns among press freedom advocates who have warned of its possible chilling effect on investigative journalism.

Read More

Marion County Record office

Kansas Newspaper Owner Eric Meyer on the Police Raid of His Newsroom

In an interview with First Amendment Watch, the Marion County Record owner and publisher spoke about the police raid on his newsroom and nationwide outrage it sparked.

Read More

alex abdo headshot

The Knight Institute’s Alex Abdo on ‘Jawboning’ Social Media Case Before the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is tasked with deciding whether the Biden administration’s efforts to curtail mis- and disinformation online violates the First Amendment.

Read More

Chris Marchese NetChoice

NetChoice’s Chris Marchese on Fighting Against Social Media Restrictions

NetChoice has challenged social media censorship laws in both Florida and Texas, and has been successful in recent months in challenging the constitutionality of online minor safety laws.

Read More

Headshot of Donald Sherman

CREW’s Donald Sherman on the Insurrection Clause Challenge to Trump’s Candidacy

In an interview, Sherman reflected on the Supreme Court’s oral arguments and warned of the effects on democracy if Trump is not held accountable for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

Read More

One of E. Jean Carroll's attorneys, Joshua Matz, of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.

Attorney Joshua Matz on E. Jean Carroll’s Legal Victory Against Donald Trump

The former Elle Magazine advice columnist has been awarded a total of $88.3 million in damages in her nearly six-year defamation legal battle against former President Donald Trump.

Read More

Caitlin Vogus, deputy director of advocacy at Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Press Freedom Advocate Caitlin Vogus on the Importance of the PRESS Act

In an interview, Caitlin Vogus, deputy director of advocacy at Freedom of the Press Foundation, discussed the importance of the PRESS Act and its proposed protections.

Read More

ACLU legal director david cole

ACLU’s David Cole on the Decision to Represent the NRA Before the Supreme Court

In an interview, ACLU legal director David Cole, who will argue the NRA’s case in front of the Supreme Court, discussed protecting free speech rights despite disagreement.

Read More

Portrait of Laurie Halse Anderson. Photo by Randy Fontanilla.

Best-Selling Author Laurie Halse Anderson on Challenging Iowa’s Controversial Book Ban

The new Iowa law, which was temporarily blocked in December, sought to ban books containing sexual content in public school libraries and classrooms through sixth grade.

Read More

Will Creeley speaks on a panel at the National First Amendment Summit in Philadelphia

FIRE’s Will Creeley on Campus Speech Controversies Amid Israel-Hamas War

In an interview in January, FIRE's legal director Will Creeley discussed the First Amendment questions surrounding recent campus controversies.

Read More