First Five

The First Amendment protects five core freedoms that are under attack every day — from the left, the right, and everywhere in between. First Five strives to foster interest in First Amendment news and provide a platform for discussion among enthusiasts and activists.


First Five provides your weekly dose of First Amendment news. This quick read summarizes major news, law, scholarship, technology and other commentary as it relates to First Amendment topics.

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Hosts Lata Nott and Freedom Forum Institute president Gene Policinski talk to the personalities in the news around cutting-edge issues and challenges to the First Amendment, providing first-hand insight and informative inquiry.

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News & Commentary

Enjoy regular commentary on First Amendment issues from Gene Policinski and Lata Nott and periodic contributions by other experts at the Institute.

When Is a Religious Symbol Not a Religious Symbol?


The Supreme Court case that explores whether courts or government agencies are competent to adjudicate what is religious and what is not.
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First Five Podcast: Saving Local News

First Five

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of California discusses the “Saving Local News Act of 2019” (H.R. 3126). If it becomes law, the bill would make it easier for local news organizations to gain non-profit tax status and better deal with the financial challenges many face.
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We Once Went “MAD” for the Magazine — and It Was Fun and Funny

MAD Magazine, Mascot

The world is soon going to be a little bit less MAD — and the poorer for it.
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An Anything Goes Approach to Trademarks: The FUCT Clothing Line


Lack of a trademark does not stop clothing manufacturers from using a brand name such as “FUCT,” but does deny certain benefits, such as protection from imitators.
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First Five Newsletter: July 3, 2019

First Five

Fear’s role in news consumption, Twitter’s new feature, a recent Pew Research Center survey and more.
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Is Fear Making Us Better News Consumers?

tablet, First Amendment

Americans are no longer taking everything they see on the internet at face value — and that’s a good thing for our democracy.
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First Five Newsletter: June 27, 2019

First Five

Freedom Forum Institute releases annual State of the First Amendment Survey, the Bladensburg Peace Cross, FUCT clothing line and more.
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We Know More About the First Amendment — For the Wrong Reasons

SOFA2019, Gene, State of the First Amendment survey

When our freedoms are under attack, we pay attention and push back.
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First Five Newsletter: June 20, 2019

First Five

Trump’s support for banning the desecration of the American flag, the Hatch Act, news avoidance and more.
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White House “Chills” on Free Speech

White House

Most government employees have severe restrictions on their First Amendment rights. Some of these restrictions are justified. But there are plenty of examples of this censorship going too far.
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