Articles on First Amendment

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Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Donald Trump. Wikipedia for Jefferson official portrait/REUTERS/Leah Millis for Trump photo

What Thomas Jefferson, Donald Trump and the American people think about freedom of the press

Americans are overwhelmingly committed to a free press and hostile to government restrictions, a new poll finds. But the country is divided on the meaning of President Trump's attacks on the press.
CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins in front of the White House. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Can Trump’s White House legally ban reporters?

The Trump administration's hostility toward journalists is raising new questions about what rights journalists have to access government officials and events.
Alex Jones speaks during a rally for candidate Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in July 2016. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Audiences love the anger: Alex Jones, or someone like him, will be back

Confrontational characters spouting conspiracy theories and fringe ideas have been around since American broadcasting began. With Alex Jones banished from the web, someone else will take his place.
Plaintiff Mark Janus, right, leaves the the Supreme Court Wednesday. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Janus decision extends First Amendment ‘right of silence’

The Supreme Court's Janus ruling extends strong protection to the First Amendment 'right of silence' and continues their trend of expanding First Amendment rights, often at the behest of conservatives.
Funeral services took place for Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, one of the students killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, while a hearse with another shooting victim drives by. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Falsehoods, Sandy Hook and suing Alex Jones

Family members of Sandy Hook victims sued media personality Alex Jones over his claims that the killings were a hoax they participated in. Current law makes their lawsuit unnecessarily hard to prove.
The justices have previously ruled that the government cannot compel people to speak its message or associate with ideas they do not hold. www.shutterstock.com

Supreme Court to rule on your First Amendment right to silence

Most people know that the First Amendment protects free speech. But two upcoming Supreme Court cases reveal how it also gives people in the US the right not to speak.
Protesters outside the Supreme Court await a court decision in June 2016. Rena Schild/shutterstock.com

Abortion freedom of speech battle heading to the Supreme Court

Under a California law, faith-based crisis pregnancy centers must post signs with information about family planning services. The centers say it violates their First Amendment rights.
The apparently growing practIce of governments and government officials blocking critics on social media has serious implications for freedom of expression. (Shutterstock)

Why governments must not block social media criticism

Citizens should be free to criticize government authorities on social media platforms, and muzzling such criticism may well be unconstitutional.
The wedding cake on display at Masterpiece Cakeshop. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

The messy reality of religious liberty in America

The Supreme Court appeared divided over claims of religious freedom in the case of a gay wedding. History shows how contentious religious freedom has been in America.
A crowd gathers before a speech by Ben Shapiro at University of California Berkeley. AP Photo/Josh Edelson

Is free speech alive and well? 5 essential reads

From the football field to the library, this roundup of archival stories explores how the First Amendment applies to various aspects of our lives.
A man sporting a Nazi tattoo leaves Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12, 2017. Steve Helber/AP Photo

Over the years, Americans have become increasingly exposed to extremism

Given recent events, you might have had an inkling that extremist views have been resonating. Researchers from the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention have the hard data to back it up.
Demonstrators gather in anticipation of controversial speaker Ann Coulter near the University of California, Berkeley campus, April 27, 2017. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

New legislation may make free speech on campus less free

New laws pending in Wisconsin and North Carolina would require public universities to punish students who disrupt campus speakers. But these laws would do more to hinder free speech than protect it.

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