;

First Amendment


  • US v. Sineneng-Smith Echoes the Fugitive Slave Act

    by Alan J. Singer

    A Supreme Court decision in United States v. Sineneng-Smith that broadens the authority of the federal government to suppress the rights of advocates for undocumented immigrants could divide the nation irreparably.



  • Flip-Flopping on Free Speech

    by Jill Lepore

    The fight for the First Amendment, on campuses and football fields, from the sixties to today.



  • Partisan at the pulpit: The Johnson amendment

    by Randall Balmer

    Donald Trump’s promise to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, is a totally bad idea, one that compromises the First Amendment.



  • Student's simple stand made history in Abington v. Schempp

    He was a 16-year-old junior at Abington Senior High School, just making a statement, utterly unaware that he was about to make legal history.It was in 1956 that Ellery Schempp staged the classroom protest that yielded Abington v. Schempp, the landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision banning mandatory Bible readings in public schools.When Schempp's homeroom teacher read aloud 10 verses from the New Testament at the start of the day, as required by Pennsylvania law, Schempp brazenly paged through a Quran he had borrowed from a friend.When a student read the Lord's Prayer over the public address system, another daily requirement, Schempp refused to stand.Those actions earned him trips to the principal and guidance counselor, and triggered years of litigation over his belief that such readings were unconstitutional....