Issue 111, Winter 2009/2010

Free Expression at Risk, at Yale and Elsewhere
The First Amendment in the Courts
Good Intentions – Dire Consequences
The Long and the Short of It
NCAC Celebrates 35 Years Defending Free Speech!


In this issue of Censorship News, we celebrate 35 years defending free speech!

We discuss the importance of academic freedom and Yale’s decision to remove images of Mohammed from Jytte Klausen’s The Cartoons that Shook the World.  We also include excerpts from the Statement of Principle and Call to Action that NCAC developed in collaboration with the American Association of University Professors.
Here’s an excerpt from "Free Expression at Risk, at Yale and Elsewhere":

"A serious concern remains that other institutions will follow Yale’s lead.  If so, the effects on scholarship could be dramatic.  Moreover, acceding to threats of violence is only likely to encourage others to use the same kind of threat tactics."

In The First Amendment in the Courts we review whether "material support" may be provided to terrorist organizations; free speech implications in electioneering communication; Justice Scalia’s position on depictions of "animal cruelty"; and the Obama Administration’s involvement in denying an FOIA request for pictures of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Executive Director Joan Bertin looks at the constitutionality of a law making it a crime to take or possess pictures of animal cruelty. She outlines how this complicates the work of animal rights activists and artists alike, explaining that "your right to make or own an image should not depend on whether someone else likes it or thinks it has ‘serious value.’"  Read "Good Intentions – Dire Circumstances" for more.

Read our roundup of some of the top censorship stories in the Long and the Short of It.  You can also download a pdf of this newsletter.