News & Commentary

Regular commentary from the Freedom Forum Institute on First Amendment issues is now distributed under the “First Five” banner — which also includes a podcast and a weekly newsletter.

We’re divided in new ways over our core First Amendment freedoms

First Amendment

Recap the controversial and multi-faceted First Amendment issues of 2019, from a Black Lives Matter activist lawsuit, the Ukraine-Biden investigation controversy, regulatory threats over political advertising and beyond.
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The Newseum: Countdown to Closing

“When I walked through the Newseum’s doors on Dec. 11 for its final public program, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had that feeling we get when we don’t want to let someone go,” Rhina Guidos (1998) writes in an essay bidding the Newseum farewell.
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First Five Newsletter: December 12, 2019

First Five

Public officials nationalist sentiments of religious holidays, visa applicants to submit social media handles, upcoming events and more.
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‘A Profound National Commitment’ to ‘Robust’ Debate

New York Times

Public officials who sue for libel, must meet a high standard of proof and show that the publisher printed the statements knowing they were false or acted with “reckless disregard.”
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Baby Jesus Wasn’t a Patriotic American

Christmas Nativity

Religious communities should be concerned when public officials, including those in the White House, use religious holidays like Christmas to stoke nationalist sentiments among their Twitter followers.
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What a Phrase: “Falsely Shouting ‘Fire’ in a Theatre”

Theatre Feature

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr produced one of the most-often quoted phrases from First Amendment jurisprudence that has transcended the Supreme Court reports into the normal cultural sphere, the “‘Fire’ in a theatre” language.
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First Five Newsletter: December 5, 2019

First Five

Bill of Rights Day, protest meaning no protection, polls affecting impeachment coverage and more
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’Tis the Season for Celebrating Freedom

Bill of Rights Day Feature

Celebrate Bill of Rights Day on Dec. 15 by breaking the cycle of ignorance and misinformation that threatens our five fundamental freedoms.
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Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Man with Vanity Plate, ‘IM GOD’

License Plates_Feature

Kentucky man sued in federal court alleging a violation of his First Amendment free-speech rights, denying him a vanity license plate with the message “IM GOD.”
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Renewal on the ‘God beat’

Rhina Guidos (1998) gains insight into covering the complexities of the “God beat” by attending a conference.
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