First Amendment Center Online
Must-reads 2009: best of the First Amendment Center Online
Collection of top analyses, commentaries and special packages. Also see:
Religious liberty in public schools gateway, new in '09.
First Amendment lawyers
Compilation of lawyers who have argued important First Amendment cases.
Freedom Forum annual report
Famed First Amendment lawyer 'Cam' DeVore dies
By David L. Hudson Jr. Called 'dean of commercial-speech attorneys,' DeVore litigated free-expression cases in courts across the country, including U.S. Supreme Court.
New blend of media expands free speech, press
By Gene Policinski 21st century dynamics of free press, free speech are an intriguing blend of traditional news media, new technology, personal messages, entertainment.
Court again struggles with First Amendment doctrines
By Tony Mauro As justices hear Summum case, they question own precedents for second time this month.
Beyond the election: E Pluribus Unum
By Charles C. Haynes High priority for President-elect Obama: Help unify Americans, developing a common vision of the common good across our differences in the most religiously, ethnically diverse nation on Earth.
'The Donald' inadvertently bolsters shield laws
By Douglas Lee Though Trump likely never intended to ensure that New York, New Jersey are safe for confidential sources, lawsuit against author has done just that.
Using religion to win votes subverts the Constitution
By Charles C. Haynes 2008 race may be remembered as the sleaziest, most disturbing example of misusing religion to demonize the opposition.
Inalienable yet undefended?
By Gene Policinski 2008 State of First Amendment survey reveals many don’t seem to fear government fiddling with our rights.
Also: News release
Freedom under fire: Israel and the lessons of 9/11
By Charles C. Haynes Recent visit highlights how a country under constant terrorist siege manages to preserve vigorous free speech and dissent.
Vaccination & religious exemptions
Research article on vaccination and religious exemptions.
Why I am boycotting the China Olympics
By Charles C. Haynes For all of the hype about how giving China the Olympics would lead to more openness and concern for human rights by Beijing, the opposite has taken place.
When government prays, religion loses
By Charles C. Haynes Why anyone of faith would support ceremonial public prayers stripped of religious meaning is hard to fathom.
3rd Circuit won't create new category of unprotected speech
By David L. Hudson Jr. Court votes 10-3 to strike down 1999 federal statute that criminalizes depictions of animal cruelty.
Government-speech doctrine can make restrictions too easy
By Douglas Lee Two recent cases show how a usually harmless principle may be applied in ways that put free speech at risk.
In marriage debate, divorce church from state
By Charles C. Haynes Maybe we should separate secular from sacred by drawing a bright line between civil arrangements and the sacrament of marriage.
Benjamin Bache & the fight for a free press
By Ronald K.L. Collins Fiery publisher's Aurora newspaper enraged Washington, Adams, other Federalists. Part 1
For better or worse, wild wild Web being fenced in
By Gene Policinski Legislation, court decisions, self-imposed restrictions and private vendor rules are creating limits in wide-open speech country.
Davis: Leveling rich candidates' speech unjustified
By Tony Mauro Court now has solid majority of five justices who are hostile to campaign-finance reform on First Amendment grounds.
George Carlin’s free-speech legacy lives on
By Gene Policinski Comedian got us thinking about what we can say on the air or elsewhere in public and if we can't say it, why not.
Fact vs. opinion: Defamation ruling makes gray area grayer
By Douglas Lee Illinois Appellate Court agrees e-mail lambasting former publisher was protected opinion, but just how protected remains unclear.
Carlin: comic who buzz-sawed hypocrisy
By Ronald K.L. Collins George Carlin may have laid groundwork for the law of free speech to catch up with our culture of free speech.
In Carlin's own words
How 2 women made free-speech history
By Ron Collins and David Hudson Olive Rabe and Rosika Schwimmer, virtually unknown today, helped make First Amendment history.
As Justice Holmes said …
Compiled by Ronald K.L. Collins Selected quotations by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. on free speech, related matters.
Cartoons, T-shirts and more: why we must protect what offends
By Gene Policinski The same First Amendment protections that shield offensive speech from government censorship also protect those who would speak in opposition.
Research article on true threats.
Will Roberts Court flip Burger precedents?
By David L. Hudson Jr. Lemon, Central Hudson and Miller tests have survived for decades, but will they remain viable?
Turner v. Safley: high drama, enduring precedent
By David L. Hudson Jr. More than 20 years after Supreme Court's decision, Safley still governs as leading standard for assessing inmate free-expression claims.
Hazelwood still extends far beyond student press
By David L. Hudson Jr. 6th Circuit ruling reminds us 1988 high court decision is oft-invoked to restrict many kinds of student speech.
What’s wrong with this (religious) picture?
By Charles C. Haynes Too many schools, like Tomah High in Wisconsin, don't understand that students have the right to express religious views in fulfilling class assignments.
Here’s hoping 45 words stand tall in hearts, minds
By Ron Collins Newseum brings First Amendment into focus for politicos, public.
Full 9th Circuit: Web site can be sued under fair-housing laws
By David L. Hudson Jr. Judges vote 8-3 to deny immunity under Communications Decency Act to Roommates.com.
Colo. court: State smoking ban applies even on stage
By David L. Hudson Jr. Judges find indoor smoking ban is constitutional, content-neutral law not designed to suppress expression.
Majority: Give Wash. 'top 2' primaries a chance to work
By Tony Mauro Justice Thomas suggests that if problems arise once system begins, an 'as-applied' challenge can be launched.
Press can aid security by conveying information, judge says
By Eugenia Harris Judge James Baker of U.S. armed forces appeals court used to avoid talking to reporters, but now welcomes the opportunity.
Safety of bridges, dams and mines: an FOI issue
By Nikki Troia Panel on infrastructure explores how greater openness of government information could save lives.
NBC ‘Predator’ lawsuit: journalism on trial
By Douglas Lee Judge cites SPJ, RTNDA ethical standards in finding that jury should hear case involving TV news sting operation that ended in suicide.
1st Circuit agrees: Register to vote or keep quiet at town meetings
By Bill Kenworthy Miriam and Thomas Curnin had challenged Egremont, Mass., policy of barring unregistered residents from speaking.
Percy Julian, First Amendment lawyer, dies
By David L. Hudson Jr. Wisconsin attorney, called 'guru,' 'mentor' by colleagues, defended Vietnam protesters, protected prisoners' religious freedoms.
Inconsistent circuit rulings complicate Moot Court case
By Josh Tatum University of Georgia law school team prevails in First Amendment hypothetical involving a state's denial of a license-plate request.
Speak freely, but keep off the grass
By Charles C. Haynes Park Service proposes designated place on National Mall in D.C. for neat, tidy, domesticated protests to protect grass.
'The Wire' examines Baltimore through prism of the press
By David L. Hudson Jr. HBO show, in final season, depicts a big-city newspaper's flaws, struggles, as well as its potential to help its community.
Can civility restore America?
By Charles C. Haynes A civil public square requires forging a civic agreement to uphold the rights of others, even those with whom we deeply disagree.
New e-book may 'kindle' fires of regulation or of freedom
By Ronald K.L. Collins Because Jeff Bezos' invention uses continuous wireless connectivity, it could become target of regulators seeking to restrict transmission of objectionable books over 'public airwaves.'
'Millionaire' case: new look at campaign finance
By Tony Mauro Appellant argues that allowing opponents of self-financed candidates to receive larger campaign contributions encourages corruption.
Car talk: The hour may be late for the vanity PL8
By Gene Policinski Some states growing impatient with navigating pitfalls involving personalized license plates.
'Must reads' 2007: best of the First Amendment Center Online
Editors pick top articles, commentaries, analyses on the site this past year.
Total of 47 documents available.