First Amendment Center Online
Must reads 2008: best of the First Amendment Center Online
Also see First Amendment lawyers: Past and present
Author's loss in N.Y. court isn't First Amendment defeat
By Douglas Lee Complicated case that arose after Saudi businessman won libel judgment in England was in the end about civil procedure.
On its birthday and every day, First Amendment matters
By Gene Policinski If any one element of the First Amendment is likely to dominate public attention in 2008, it’s the first 16 words.
To advance religious freedom, teach about religion
By Charles C. Haynes European security organization warns that diverse societies can't afford ignorance about their citizens' different faiths.
Indecency regulation: beyond broadcast?
By David L. Hudson Jr. Currently FCC can't restrict indecent content on cable or satellite services but some would like to change that.
We saw it then, we see it now: how free press can protect us
By Gene Policinski Two cases spanning more than 50 years illustrate news media’s important role as government watchdog.
5th Circuit extends limits on student speech
By Douglas Lee Panel makes several curious twists and turns to reach conclusion that its decision 'follow(s) the lead' of recent Supreme Court ruling.
Embarrassment of riches: Grassley targets ‘prosperity ministries’
By Charles C. Haynes If the question is whether televangelists 'should' be raking in money, that's a theological matter for Christians, not a Senate committee.
5 instances of official disdain for press, public
By Douglas Lee Government often seems to suggest that news media can't be trusted to cover reliably, and people should be shielded from, news and information.
Court may have found child-porn law it can support
By Tony Mauro Idea of limiting interpretation of 2003 PROTECT Act so it won’t be overly broad seems to take hold among justices.
Open meetings, open records: It’s the public’s business
By Gene Policinski Note to those who picked East Tennessee county officeholders by secret vote: Sunshine laws don't paralyze government, they make it accountable.
Journalist ‘shield’ – balancing openness, security
By Gene Policinski Under a Senate bill, journalists would be protected from having to reveal confidential sources but not if they witnessed a crime or if there were an imminent threat to life or national security.
Online symposium: Justice Thomas & the First Amendment
Collection page for 'Justice Thomas & the First Amendment' online symposium.
Court opens term with First Amendment case
2007-08 Supreme Court term preview by Tony Mauro Justices to decide three election- or voting-related cases, consider appeal from government on Internet law.
The FCC's Regulation of Indecency
Print page for The FCC's Regulation of Indecency, a First Report by Lili Levi.
Reflections by an academic-freedom pioneer
By David L. Hudson Jr. Forty years ago Harry Keyishian was lead plaintiff in Supreme Court case that established academic freedom as protected value.
'07 survey shows Americans' views mixed on basic freedoms
News release Nearly two-thirds say founders intended ‘Christian nation’; support rises for limits on campaign contributions.
We don’t teach or encourage First Amendment freedoms in school
By Gene Policinski We need community and government environments where commitment to free expression and religious liberty is valued, not just recited.
Freud, the FCC & the doctrine of respondeat superior
By Ronald K.L. Collins CBS argues before 3rd Circuit that Janet Jackson's breast-baring at 2004 Super Bowl was not only unintentional, but FCC was also way out of bounds in imposing a $550,000 fine.
Is Ill. campus-press law too good to be true?
By Douglas Lee As hard as it might be to believe, there appears to be no catch, just a sincere desire to protect college media from overzealous campus administrators.
From young reader to engaged citizen
By John Seigenthaler On Constitution Day, it would be good to examine the vital role a free press has played in our nation’s history.
What part of ‘secular nation’ do we not understand?
By Charles C. Haynes 2007 State of the First Amendment survey finds majority of Americans believe Founders intended and established a Christian nation though in no way did they do so.
Stifling protest: bad choice between law and order
By Gene Policinski Managing media moments is no justification for shutting out or shutting down those with an off-the-script message.
Waging peace in the name of religion
By Charles C. Haynes International coalition focuses on shared struggle against common enemies of humankind and harnesses that energy for common action.
Lower court takes narrow view of 'Bong Hits' ruling
By Douglas Lee In case involving student ridiculing principal on MySpace, district judge refuses to read high court's decision in Morse v. Frederick as expanding deference due school officials.
Rhetoric aside, most First Amendment claimants lose
By Tony Mauro Beyond the scorekeeping, however, 2006-07 term gives important insights into how Roberts, Alito view First Amendment.
Reporters getting too close to sources risk losing public trust
By Gene Policinski Constitutionally implied duties of free press take a hit when journalists get personally involved with newsmakers, as has happened recently.
Presidential candidates & the First Amendment
Collection page for series, 'Presidential candidates & the First Amendment.'
Revived ‘Fairness Doctrine’ would be anything but fair
By John Seigenthaler Enforced 'fairness' is unconstitutional on its face; and despite supposed influence of right-wing radio, Democrats are doing well.
Did student-speech rights go up in smoke?
By David L. Hudson Jr. Court's ruling in 'Bong Hits' case limits student speech, but it wasn't a complete disaster.
'Play in the joints' in the religion clauses
By William K. Norton Analysis of Supreme Court tests to resolve conflicts between the two extremes of the religious-liberty clauses: total government accommodation of religion vs. total separation.
First Amendment claims get mixed reception at Court
By Tony Mauro Rulings shed light on how more conservative majority looks at the First Amendment and how the moderate-liberal wing is losing ground.
American Muslims face double threat
By Charles C. Haynes Whenever radicals use Islamic teachings to justify violence, all Muslim Americans are affected by the fallout.
Online symposium: TV violence & the FCC
Analysis, debate from several perspectives on new Federal Communications Commission report.
Also: Links to complete FCC report, related studies, speeches, commentaries.
Garcetti's palpable effect on public-employee speech
By David L. Hudson Jr. Supreme Court's ruling successfully invoked as agencies defend against critics from within.
Online campaign ads
Research article on restrictions governing campaign advertisements on the Internet.
Imus, Coulter and the marketplace for offensive speech
By Charles C. Haynes The danger is that the messier the speech, the louder the clamor for government to clean up the mess.
Fighting religious discrimination: Bush administration’s quiet campaign
By Charles C. Haynes Skeptics aside, this Justice Department has shown a commitment to protecting religious freedom no matter which faith is involved.
Report from a small town: The First Amendment works
By Douglas Lee Debate over threatened teacher strike involved townspeople, all five freedoms the amendment protects sometimes in disconcerting ways.
Public schools: Why we don’t fight more
By Charles C. Haynes Some say public schools create war zones of clashing values but more and more they're proving to be places where students learn to find common ground amid their differences.
Ben Elton Cox: Civil rights leader to high court litigant
By David L. Hudson Jr. Activist reflects on Supreme Court case that secured his personal freedom, helped bolster our protections for speech, assembly.
'Must reads' 2006: Best of the First Amendment Center Online
Editors pick top articles, commentaries, analyses on the site this past year.
Total of 42 documents available.