The report details 35 incidents of universities punishing students or faculty for speech online, and 10 universities with policies in place that FIRE says give administrators “immense power to punish large swaths of speech.” According to the advocacy group, many public universities are acting like the First Amendment applies differently to online speech.
Although many countries across the globe have laws prohibiting hate speech, the United States protects offensive speech about certain groups that historically have been subject to discrimination. This teacher guide explores the First Amendment issues that arise with attempting to regulate offensive speech drawing on past and contemporary court cases.
The Virginia code dates back to George Washington’s 1776 “Order Against Profanity” which was used to keep soldiers from engaging in “the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing.”
A city council in Eureka, California is planning to amend a 2016 ordinance that regulated “aggressive and intrusive” panhandling after concerns that the law likely violated the First Amendment.
The California Supreme Court unanimously overturned the death sentence of a white supremacist after finding that the prosecution erred by […]
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court’s ruling that had dismissed a lawsuit brought […]
A public library in Leander, Texas canceled an event involving Lilah Sturges, a trans woman and graphic novelist, after city […]
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a ban on registering words or symbols that are "immoral" or "scandalous." The case was brought by designer Eric Brunetti who created a clothing line in 1990 that prominently displayed the “FUCT” logo. Brunetti had been trying to obtain approval for a trademark since 2011, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has consistently denied his application. The agency contends that “FUCT” violates federal law that prohibits words that are “shocking” or “offensive” on trademarked material.