About Joan Bertin

Executive Director, National Coalition Against Censorship (New York, NY). Joan is a graduate of NYU Law School, where she was a fellow in the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program. After law school, she spent seven years representing indigent clients as a legal services lawyer, and more than a dozen litigating civil rights and civil liberties cases at the ACLU. She has taught at Columbia University, where she remains on the faculty, and at Sarah Lawrence College, where she held the Joanne Woodward Chair in Public Policy, but prefers activism to academia. Joan frequently speaks and writes on legal and policy issues, and is the author of more than 30 chapters and articles in professional books and journals.

Censorship of Science – Forgotten, But Not Gone

By |2020-01-03T14:48:53-05:00August 7th, 2014|Blog|

Some years ago, NCAC created the Knowledge Project: Censorship & Science, as national concern over the “politicization” of science escalated. The work of the Project revealed that the problem was more than just politics: censorship of science that did not support the government’s policies infringed the free speech of scientists, undermined the integrity of science, and jeopardized efforts to develop sound public [...]

Abortion Protests vs. Abortion Rights: One More Time (And Probably Not the Last Time)

By |2020-01-03T14:48:49-05:00July 17th, 2014|Blog|

Pitting one constitutional right against another is never easy, and it is particularly difficult when one of the rights at issue is the politically and emotionally charged issue of abortion rights. At the end of June, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law establishing a 35 foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics, enacted in response to a history of [...]

NSA Surveillance Reform Bill Makes For Tentative Progress

By |2020-01-03T14:47:28-05:00May 8th, 2014|Blog|

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to limit NSA’s mass surveillance.  The USA Freedom Act has the support of some groups pressing for reform which characterize it as an important first step in curbing the government’s bulk collection of private records, while noting that more still needs to be done.  See http://newamerica.net/node/109858. Other organizations express concerns that [...]

Should the entertainment industry be required to help reduce children’s access to media violence?

By |2016-02-05T13:34:57-05:00February 28th, 2014|Blog|

This piece by NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin appeared in the February 24, 2014 CQ Researcher as part of a "point-counterpoint" section on media violence. Violence has always been a fact of life and remains a reality for many people. It also has occupied a central place in art and literature, including children’s stories (“Hansel and Gretel”), classic texts (“The [...]

What’s the Harm in the Government Spreading Fear About Video Games? A Lot, Actually!

By |2020-01-03T14:07:23-05:00July 12th, 2013|Blog|

Since our op-ed on New Jersey Senate Bill 2715 landed in the Times of Trenton, and our subsequent letter to Gov. Chris Christie was picked up by video game journalists, we've seen a couple questions pop up in comments and emails. To recap, Senate Bill 2715 would require the New Jersey Department of Education to publish pamphlets, websites and other [...]

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