First Amendment Commentary

An ongoing outrage, a tragedy — and a puzzling farce

Journalists Memorial rededication ceremony

News of a Russian journalist faking his own death and the debate it ignited has overwhelmed another tragic journalist killing in Mexico and the deaths of two reporters here in the U.S.
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Sessions’s ‘leak’ warning to journalists misguided, misplaced

Threatening journalists for publishing leaked information is the wrong message, delivered by the wrong messenger.
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When Leaks Dry Up, We Turn to FOIA

United States Capitol

This is how the Freedom of Information Act works – in theory and in practice.
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Beyond left vs. right, Madison’s vision of religious freedom

Madison, whose birthday the nation largely ignores every year on March 16, would be appalled to see the true meaning of religious freedom, the great cause of his life, lost in the din of charge and counter-charge in our increasingly ugly political arena.
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Trump, Fox, Kelly and the history, hype and hope of debates

The observation that should catch the attention of First Amendment advocates is Trump’s view of the purpose behind this last Republican debate before the Iowa primary, apparently shared by many, that the point of the exercise is television ratings and network profits.
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Debate over ‘blue collar’ free speech and union dues

The immediate issue before the court has to do with whether a public employee, non-union member still must pay a “fair share” of dues to the union that negotiates wages and benefits that all workers enjoy.
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In 2016, genocide is taking place and it must end

The New Year begins, mass killings continue, and the United States government has yet to declare what is happening in Iraq and Syria “genocide.”
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What a strange year it’s been for First Amendment freedoms

The First Amendment and the power of fear

What a strange, challenging and dangerous year it’s been for First Amendment freedoms, at home and abroad.
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The First Amendment, our articles of peace

In 2015, America’s increasingly crowded public square was often filled with hostility, becoming an angry arena where people shout past one another across religious and ideological divides.
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Closing down ‘Free Speech’ is no joking matter – really

The U.S. Supreme Court has a long string of decisions defending speech and speakers that many Americans would like to shut off or shut down, from racist remarks to the hateful messages of a self-proclaimed Kansas church which parades at the funerals of U.S. military.
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