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  • First Amendment

    Supreme Court Rules on Violent Video Games

    Today’s Supreme Court decision in which it struck down California’s law restricting the sale or rental of violent video games to minors (PDF) is an important First Amendment decision that is not subject to a simple liberal/conservative breakdown, but the more interesting contrast may be between the votes in this … More

    The Supreme Court Refurbishes the First Amendment in Arizona

    The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, issued an outstanding decision today (PDF) properly applying the First Amendment when it struck down as unconstitutional Arizona’s public financing system for political candidates.  There is no doubt that Roberts and the four justices who joined him in the majority opinion … More

    City Tells Tea Party Group "No Free Speech Here!"

    Four Corners Park in Coldwater, Mich., is home to Memorial Day festivities, bands in the summer, and monuments to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend the American way of life. Now it’s also home to a blanket prohibition on the freedom of speech following a local Tea … More

    Protecting the Free Speech Rights of Those We Abhor

    Just as it did last year in the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court today upheld the First Amendment in a virtually unanimous opinion in a very difficult case. In Snyder v. Phelps, the Court held that the First Amendment shields the Westboro Baptist Church from a state tort claim. … More

    FCC’s Christmas Gift for the Internet: Net Neutrality Regulation

    Should bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., set rules for the Internet? Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), thinks so. In remarks today, he stated that he had developed a new plan to impose so-called “net neutrality” rules on Internet service providers, setting a vote on the issue … More

    DISCLOSE Act – Cloture Fails

    There was good news this afternoon in the Senate. The effort to end the filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act, the campaign finance bill that would overturn the Citizens United decision and impose onerous new disclosure requirements, by invoking cloture was defeated 57 to 41, so it will not proceed to … More

    DISCLOSE Act Assault on First Amendment Continues

    For those of you who believe in bygone notions like free speech rights and the ability to criticize politicians when they do things like nationalize 1/5 of the U.S. economy, you better taken advantage of that while you can. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed for cloture on … More

    Martinez Ruling a "Serious Setback for Freedom of Expression"

    CLS v. Martinez case is narrow in a number of respects, but its thrust is worrisome for many reasons.  The case involves a decision by a public law school, the Hastings College of the Law, to deny official recognition and potential funding to a student organization, the local chapter of … More

    Morning Bell: Will Elena Kagan Defend the Rule of Law?

    The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its hearing today on the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kagan is no stranger to the confirmation process; in fact, she devoted one of her few academic writings entirely to the … More

    Debating (or Not) the DISCLOSE Act

    The House Rules Committee met yesterday to set the rules for debate on the DISCLOSE Act. True to form, the committee kept the public out of a hearing about a bill intended to promote “transparency” in elections. According to the Center for Competitive Politics, they sent one of their staffers … More