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First Amendment



  • The Sleeper SCOTUS Case that Threatens Church-State Separation

    by Kimberly Wehle

    "If the plaintiffs win, states and municipalities could be required to use taxpayer dollars to supplement strands of private religious education that many Americans would find deeply offensive, including schools that exclude non-Christian or LGBTQ students, families, and teachers."



  • A Major Supreme Court First Amendment Decision Could Be At Risk

    by Samantha Barbas

    The "actual malice" standard of proof in libel suits established by New York Times v. Sullivan is an imperfect fit for the social media age, but right-wing calls to overturn the ruling would allow the rich and powerful to bully the press with expensive lawsuits. 



  • Laws Against Teaching Critical Race Theory in College are Unconstitutional

    by Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr.

    "Since the 1950s — when a Red Scare mentality led legislators to try to ban the teaching of communist or socialist theories in state educational institutions — the Supreme Court repeatedly has held that universities, as well as individual professors, enjoy a First Amendment right to academic freedom."



  • “Gimme an F!” Supreme Court Mulls the Case of the Cursing Cheerleader

    by Garrett Epps

    As the Supreme Court considers whether a school district has the authority ot punish a high school cheerleader for a profane social media rant made off campus, the author wonders if legal arguments about schools' authority are overshadowing schools' obligations to prepare students for citizenship. 



  • A First Amendment Case that May be the Key to Trump's Impeachment Trial

    by Tony Mauro

    A First Amendment researcher offers a brief primer on Brandenburg v. Ohio, a case which Trump's legal supporters argue shields his January 6 rhetoric from criminal sanction because it was not purposefully aimed at inciting "imminent lawless action" – a claim critics say is blatantly contradicted by the subsequent actions of a mob a mile away from where Trump spoke.


  • Palin v. New York Times is a Textualist Land Mine for the First Amendment

    by Richard E. Labunski

    In June, trial will begin in Sarah Palin's libel case against the New York Times. The case appears to be teed up on a path to the Supreme Court, where the current "actual malice" standard for proving a public figure was libeled could be overturned. If this happens, the door will be open to lawsuits aimed at crushing press criticism of the government.


  • Public Speech and Democracy

    by Sandra Peart

    American leaders have failed to support public speech that sustains disagreement without violence. That culture of speech must be rebuilt for democracy to survive.


  • Jefferson's Other Legacy: Religious Liberty

    by Cameron Addis

    Thomas Jefferson's critics have pointed out his ownership of slaves as reason to question his continued relevance as a symbol of freedom. But his commitment to religious liberty helped to prevent violent sectarian conflict and should be honored. 



  • The Cost of Trump’s Assault on the Press and the Truth

    New Yorker editor David Remnick writes that while Trump is not the first president to battle the media, his apparent belief that the press exists as his public relations agency--and anger that it doesn't work that way--are leading him to attack a fundamental institution of society with deadly consequences.


  • 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.