News & Resources

The Difference Between Speech and Press: Where They Do and Don’t Overlap

Freedom of speech and freedom of press are covered by many of the same laws. And both concepts are covered under the First Amendment: “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.” Together, they can be referred to […]

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Will Sun Sentinel Face Consequences for Revealing Redacted Info on Nikolas Cruz?

After the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there was an investigation into how effectively the school district provided counseling and education services to shooter Nikolas Cruz in the months leading up to the horrific crimes he is charged with—murdering 17 students. When the investigation report was prepared, news media organizations—fulfilling their function to report on government operations and effectiveness—pushed to obtain copies of the report. The judge on Cruz’s case agreed that […]

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Judge Confirms: You Can Be Fired for Flipping Off the President without Violating Your First Amendment Rights

At the end of last year, I shared about the case of Juli Briskman, who was photographed flipping the bird at President Trump’s motorcade. Her company, which oversees government contractors, fired her after she shared the photo on social media. Briskman then filed a wrongful termination claim. Now we know the outcome of that claim. As I expected, freedom of speech did not help Briskman get her job back. The First Amendment protects us from […]

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Supreme Court: Our Right to Criticize and Petition the Government Remains Fundamental

From the earliest days of our Nation, criticizing government officials without retribution has been a hallmark of the freedoms our Founders determined as essential to our democracy. At the same time, those who serve in public office deserve respect and must be able to conduct the public’s business in an orderly manner. When these two principles are in conflict, which one prevails? That’s one of the questions the U.S. Supreme Court was asked to consider […]

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Why the NFL and ABC Are Free to Squelch the Free Speech of Football Players and Roseanne

Roseanne’s racist tweet. Kneeling football players. These recent events have caused people on both the right and left to express concerns about freedom of speech and expression in the United States. But these concerns are based on a misunderstanding. The truth is neither case invokes protections against denying free speech rights. That’s because the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees limit the government, not private individuals or institutions. It is virtually impossible for the NFL or the ABC […]

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Mr. President, Unblock Your Twitter Account

A single tweet from President Trump is often fodder for an entire news cycle. It can completely change the national conversation and take over the public discourse. But what if the Tweeter-in-Chief blocks you from his conversations because you disagree with his ideas? When President Trump started to block the accounts of his critics, it sparked a controversy – and multiple lawsuits. Many of those blocked users felt their First Amendment rights were being violated. […]

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