Tag
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Hasn’t Ruled on Whether Recording the Police is a First Amendment Right. This Could be the Year It Does.

Despite numerous legal challenges over the right to record police officers in public, the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the question of whether citizens have a First Amendment right to record the police. Because of this, only states in judicial districts that have established the right to record as a constitutional right consider it a “clearly established law.”

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Supreme Court Rules that Student’s Off-Campus Speech Is Protected By the First Amendment

In an 8-1 decision on June 23rd, the Supreme Court ruled that a student’s off-campus speech was protected by the First Amendment. The case, Mahanoy Area School District v B.L., involves a message posted on Snapchat by a then-14 year old student identified as “B.L.”, after she learned she failed to advance from the junior varsity to the varsity cheerleading squad. The message, posted on a Saturday afternoon when she was off-campus, stated, in part, “f*** cheer, f***everything.” 

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SCOTUS Ruling in Van Buren A Win for Data Journalists and Security Researchers

On June 3rd, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling that could have set a dangerous precedent for data journalists and security researchers. The case focused on the interpretation of a federal hacking law, and whether it could apply to an individual who is given access to a computer or online information, but uses it in an unauthorized manner.

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Roberto Rossellini's 1948 film "Il Miracolo."

Teacher Guide: Does the First Amendment Allow the Government to Censor Art? 

For much of our nation’s history, the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech did not clearly protect art from government censorship. Over the course of the 20th century, however, courts gradually extended speech protections to a broader range of artistic expression, including film, dance, theater, and fine arts. Today, public officials can censor art only in limited circumstances. What are those circumstances, and what protection does the First Amendment provide?

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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Ends Four-Year-Long Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Blocking of Critics on Twitter

On April 5th, the Supreme Court of the United States vacated the Second Circuit’s decision in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Donald Trump, a long-running lawsuit challenging former President Donald Trump’s pattern of blocking critics from his personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump. 

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Twitter

Justice Department Asks SCOTUS To Vacate Knight v. Trump Ruling

A day before Joe Biden's inauguration, the Justice Department under Donald Trump made a last-minute effort to undo a major court decision related to public official's social media accounts.

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Teacher Guide: The Sedition Act of 1798

The Sedition Act of 1798 was the first great test of the First Amendment’s protection for the freedom of speech and press. Under the new law, Americans could face up to $2,000 in fines (nearly $42,000 in 2020 dollars) and two years in prison for criticizing a public official. Passed only seven years after the ratification of the Constitution, the Sedition Act forced the young country to decide not just whether it was truly dedicated to freedom of speech, but also what that idea would even mean in a democratic republic.

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Nunes Trump

How Trump and Nunes Use Defamation Lawsuits To Silence Their Critics

Public officials using libel suits as a weapon against the press is nothing new. In the time of Times v. Sullivan, southern officials had brought nearly $300 million in libel actions against the press. For reference, Nunes alone has brought just over $900 million in defamation claims in a twelve-month period.

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