• New York Times Co. v. Sullivan: A Landmark Case for Free Speech [No. 86]
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    New York Times Co. v. Sullivan: A Landmark Case for Free Speech [No. 86]

    The Framers, I think mentioned the freedom of the press in the first amendment, because they recognized that freedom of mass communication is a very important check, perhaps the most important check on government power. And that’s especially so in a democracy. In a democracy, the people govern, but the people have to be aware of what is happening, and the only way that they can learn what’s going on, they can hear the arguments about what’s going on, is if printing presses, and now their technological heirs, are free of government censorship. Political advertising is, generally speaking, fully protected by the first amendment, subject only to narrow exception for…

  • Eugene Volokh: A Nationwide Speech Code for Lawyers?
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    Eugene Volokh: A Nationwide Speech Code for Lawyers?

    The American Bar Association has recently proposed a new rule that would basically be a nationwide speech code for lawyers. It explicitly made clear that the speech code would apply not just operations in courtroom, or in depositions, or in interactions with clients or opposing counsel, but also in professional activities including Bar Association activities and social activities related to the practice of law. So, uh, if, um, a, a lawyer’s group puts on a debate about same-sex marriage, or about, uh, a discrimination based on gender identity, or about, uh, immigration from Muslim countries or about illegal immigration, uh, and, uh, somebody expresses a view in the process that…

  • Fixing the Constitution in Five Minutes – The Jim Jefferies Show
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    Fixing the Constitution in Five Minutes – The Jim Jefferies Show

    RECENTLY I’VE BEEN STUDYING THE CONSTITUTION, IT’S BEEN THE BACKBONE OF OUR NATION FOR MORE THAN 200 YEARS. AND I HAVE TO SAY, IT’S DULL AS [ BLEEP ]. LUCKILY IT CAN BE CHANGED AND REWRITTEN. I THINK IT’S TIME TO UPDATE IT FOR TODAY’S MODERN WORLD. THAT’S WHAT I PLEDGE TO DO IN OUR NEW SEGMENT, AMENDING THE AMENDMENTS. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] ♪>>FIRST, LET ME FIX SOME OBVIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE CONSTITUTION. I JUST DREW A PENIS. A LOT OF IT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE. FOR INSTANCE, THE 18th AMENDMENT ESTABLISHED PROHIBITION, BUT THE 21st AMENDMENT REPEALED IT. THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING A DRUNK WOULD DO. YOU…

  • Zubik v. Burwell (Little Sisters of the Poor case)
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    Zubik v. Burwell (Little Sisters of the Poor case)

    The contraceptive mandate requires that Affordable Care compliant plans cover the full range of FDA approved contraceptives without cost to the employee there seven cases that have been consolidated here before the Supreme Court at the main plaintiff is Bishop zubik of pittsburgh there’s also other Catholic groups like Priests for Life in the Little Sisters of the Poor there’s also several Protestant universities all of these organizations are challenging the HHS mandate requiring them to provide contraceptives in emergency contraceptives to their employees all of these groups have an objection to providing these contraceptives to their employees it violates their religious beliefs what the government wants to do is…

  • Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky [SCOTUSbrief]
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    Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky [SCOTUSbrief]

    Andy Cilek, in 2010, went to vote in Minnesota wearing a tea party t-shirt. He was twice stopped by a poll worker from voting, and on the third try he was finally allowed to vote but his name and address was taken down for potential prosecution. He filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Joe Mansky and other government officials in Minnesota alleging that Minnesota’s broad ban on all political apparel at the polling place violates the First Amendment. The law at issue in this case is Minnesota Section 211 B.11 which prohibits voters from wearing any political badge, button, or other insignia at the polling place. Minnesota promulgated an election…

  • Texas v. Johnson Summary | quimbee.com
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    Texas v. Johnson Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] The First Amendment protects free speech, including expressive conduct. But does it shield someone burning the American flag in protest? In Texas versus Johnson, the United State Supreme Court answered that question. In 1984, Gregory Lee Johnson participated in a protest of the Republican National Convention. Outside the Dallas City Hall, Johnson doused an American flag with kerosene and set it on fire. As the flag burned, protesters chanted quote, “America the red, white, and blue, “we spit on you,” unquote. Johnson was charged with desecration of a venerated object under Texas law. The trial court convicted Johnson, fining him $2,000 and sentencing him to one year in…

  • Do You Understand the First Amendment? Presented By Will Witt.
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    Do You Understand the First Amendment? Presented By Will Witt.

    Do you like being able to speak your mind freely or practice whatever religion you want? People in America take these rights for granted, but these rights only exist because of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully [sic] to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. America is the most free and most prosperous country in the world. But why is America different and why should we…

  • Janus v. AFSCME: Union Fees & the First Amendment [SCOTUSbrief]
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    Janus v. AFSCME: Union Fees & the First Amendment [SCOTUSbrief]

    The issue in this case are whether public sector union fees are constitutional. The parties to this case are Mark Janus, Child Support Specialist Employed by the State of Illinois, and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31, otherwise known as AFSCME Council 31, as well as various departments of the state of Illinois. AFSCME, it’s function is to bargain with the state of Illinois over Illinois’s policies that affect employees. And the theory of the case basically stated is that it offends the First Amendment to force an employee to support union speech that he or she does not support. To understand the case in…

  • Can the President Block You on Twitter? [POLICYbrief]
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    Can the President Block You on Twitter? [POLICYbrief]

    With President Trump, there’s a tweet for everything. For the last seven or eight years, he has been tweeting on every conceivable issue that confronts us. This was not much of an issue before he was a politician. As a private citizen, he could say whatever he wants on Twitter and he can block whomever he wants, and it really creates no problems. However, if official capacity Trump, the president of the United States on a government account, blocks people, that does implicate the First Amendment and that’s the basis of the lawsuit being litigated now in New York. The seven plaintiffs in the litigation claim that they were blocked…

  • Why the First Amendment is America in a nutshell | Monica Duffy Toft
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    Why the First Amendment is America in a nutshell | Monica Duffy Toft

    So I’ve been asked to choose an amendment that I think is important and valuable, and so I think: the First Amendment. And it’s not only because it’s the First Amendment, it’s what it says. And it says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” And I think from the Constitution this sets up the rest of the Constitution about what it means to be an American citizen and the value of…