On May 28th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that aims to roll back legal protections for social media platforms. His order was immediately met with withering criticism from First Amendment experts.
While most sitting Justices have opposed arguments in favor of televising Supreme Court oral arguments, little has been said about broadcasting the announcement of opinions. In their newest essay, First Amendment experts Floyd Abrams and Ronald Collins explore this possibility and the benefits it could offer the public.
First Amendment Watch spoke with panelists at the National Conference on the First Amendment at Duquesne University about their areas of expertise in the First Amendment space.
President Trump and his team want to ‘open up’ libel laws. The goal: to make it easier to sue media organizations for unfavorable coverage. But there is little that the President can actually do to change the libel laws. There is no federal law on libel. State laws control libel, and all such laws are subject to stringent First Amendment protections for the press and other speakers that the Supreme Court has imposed through cases such as the landmark New York Times v. Sullivan decision in 1964. However, threats to loosen the libel laws is noteworthy as part of a larger effort to criticize the press and attack its credibility.