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A recent incident in California has dramatized the insidious persistence of loyalty oaths for public employment in America. These oaths of allegiance originated in the days of King Henry VIII of England, when treasonous plots and religious wars threatened royal hegemony. They survive today as coerced rituals of political orthodoxy, and as threats to free […]
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and of U.S. government efforts to combat terrorism by often secretive or constitutionally dubious means, questions have arisen about the scope of First Amendment protection for political protest and dissent. This Fact Sheet, originally prepared for a November 2006 conference on “Civil Liberties in […]
In a fractured decision, the Supreme Court today approved the punishment of a high school student for unfurling a banner with the nonsense message “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” across the street from his school while the U.S. Olympic Torch Relay passed by. Eighteen year-old Joseph Frederick insisted that his banner had no particular message except […]
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