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Report card

State of the First Amendment Scores a B-

Every quarter the Newseum Institute produces a “report card” on how the current administration is faring on the five freedoms: […]

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Johnston Hall

Wisconsin High Court Sides With Professor In Academic Freedom Case

On July 6, 2018, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Marquette University breached its contract with a former professor after […]

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Laptop with fake news

Freedom Forum Institute’s 2018 State Of The First Amendment Survey Shows Fake News Is Taking Over the Conversation

Every year the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum Institute conducts the State of the First Amendment survey, which examines Americans’ views on freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, and samples their opinions on contemporary First Amendment issues. The survey, conducted in partnership with Fors Marsh Group, an applied research company, has been published annually since 1997, reflecting Americans’ changing attitudes toward their core freedoms.

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Gene Policinski

Gene Policinski Commentary: Five dead, more hurt at Annapolis newspaper – a sad, sad story

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Gene Policinski, originally published this commentary on June 29, 2018, on the Newseum blog, […]

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Professor Richard Delgado

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

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Jack Phillips

Supreme Court Hands Down Ruling in Masterpiece Cake Case

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack C. Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakeland, Colorado, who refused to design and create a wedding cake for a celebration of a same-sex marriage saying that a state commission violated the Constitution's protection of religious freedom when it ruled against Phillips. Phillips had claimed that the creation of the cake is artistic expression protected by the First Amendment’s free speech and free exercise of religion clause. The couple and Colorado argued that Phillips’ work on the cake was not expressive conduct according to the law and that the state had a significant interest in preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation. “The neutral and respectful consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised here,” Justice Kennedy wrote in the decision. “The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection.”

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Lata Nott

Lata Nott: These Two States Are Pushing Laws To Criminalize Some Protests

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Lata Nott, originally published this podcast on the Newseum blog, and has given First […]

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What is the State of Academic Freedom As More Professors Face Increasing Backlash?

An NPR report finds that “across the country, in the past year and a half, at least 250 university professors…have […]

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