First Amendment

Speaking Freely Online: craigslist Reminds South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster of This Right

By |2019-03-07T21:50:22-05:00May 21st, 2009|Blog|

First Amendment jurisprudence celebrates the metaphorical marketplace of ideas. The website craigslist may very well be an actual representation of this metaphor in that it invites users all over the world to share their ideas, sell their used couches, find roommates and advertise other services, including sensual massages and escort services. I think most readers of this blog  agree that [...]

Fleeting Expletives and the 9-Second Nipple: The Supreme Court Defers to the FCC’s Decision Making in FCC v. Fox & FCC v. CBS

By |2019-03-13T15:09:13-05:00May 5th, 2009|Blog|

On Tuesday April 28, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in the matter of FCC v. Fox Television Stations, which on its face appears to be hostile to free speech interests. In a 5-4 decision, the Court sided with the FCC, finding that the agency had not been arbitrary or capricious in its sanctioning of Fox Television Stations, Inc. over two instances of live broadcasts where the F- and S- words were uttered. The FCC had determined that these instances of “fleeting expletives” were indecent, but not protected by the First Amendment--- despite a long standing tradition of fleeting instances of indecent content being immune from FCC sanctions. Every cloud has its silver lining, however. This case’s silver lining is that it will ultimately be fantastic for free expression, in that Justice Antonin Scalia, in writing for the majority, declined to make a decision regarding the constitutionality of the FCC’s new policy regarding fleeting expletives, instead sending the case back to the lower court for further deliberation on this issue.

NCAC’s statement on the removal of sculpture from public university exhibit

By |2016-01-14T15:50:04-05:00March 23rd, 2009|Blog|

Statement from the National Coalition Against Censorship Regarding the Recent Removal of an Artwork from an Exhibition at BGSU Firelands’ Little Gallery The recent removal of artwork by James Parlin from an exhibition of sculpture in the Little Gallery at Bowling Green State University Firelands is an unacceptable violation of the academic freedom to openly discuss ideas and social problems [...]

Pleasant Grove v. Summum: Free Speech or Establishment Clause?

By |2019-03-15T16:22:15-05:00March 10th, 2009|Blog|

According to The Associated Press: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously . . . that a small religious group cannot force a city in Utah to place a granite marker in a local park that already is home to a Ten Commandments display. The case, reported in NCAC’s last issue of Censorship News, involves a Salt Lake City based religious sect [...]

The First Amendment and the Internet

By |2019-03-12T18:24:57-05:00January 9th, 2009|Blog|

Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center sheds some light on the topic of internet censorship in a recent article in the North Country Gazette. He argues that, while the first amendment does not apply to private companies, privately owned internet companies have an unprecedented amount of control over the speech of large groups of people. For hundreds of millions [...]

Prior Review- A Student Press Nightmare

By |2019-03-12T18:26:05-05:00December 30th, 2008|Blog|

At Faribault High School in Faribault, MN, students have refused to allow their superintendent to review a particular article before going to print. The Student Press Law Center reported that the students, citing their 1st Amendment rights, told the Superintendent: “What you believe [is] inappropriate concerning the Prieve story is not a legal standard for prior review or from stopping [...]

NCAC signs letter to MSU President

By |2019-03-20T14:27:23-05:00December 17th, 2008|News|

NCAC and 10 other civil liberties organizations have joined FIRE and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in an open letter to the president of Michigan State University. The letter defends MSU student Kara Spencer who was charged with spamming. Here are excerpts from the letter: We the undersigned write to express our profound concern about the state of free expression at [...]

A School Grows in Brooklyn?

By |2019-03-07T21:50:05-05:00December 12th, 2008|Blog|

A new article in Color Lines revitalizes the discussion around the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, NY. The school, which teaches classes in both Arabic and English, was conceived of in 2005 as a multicultural learning environment. “Since 9/11, Arabs have been targeted in New York,” said one Arab parent who did not want to be named for fear [...]

Former Student Sues School After Suspension for creating Facebook Page

By |2019-03-12T18:27:55-05:00December 11th, 2008|Blog|

In November 2007 Katherine Evans, a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter High created a Facebook group criticizing her teacher. Three other students weighed in to comment: all supporting the teacher. Two days later Evans took down the page. Two months later, the school principal Peter Bayer told Evans that she would be suspended for three days for “bullying and cyberbullying [...]

It gets juicier

By |2019-03-12T18:28:16-05:00December 11th, 2008|Blog|

JuicyCampus sues Tennessee State University. Bonus: Excellent editorial from Brandeis University's student newspaper on why Brandeis should not ban JuicyCampus. Excerpt: "Students encouraging administrative control of which pages students can and cannot view on Brandeis' network are encouraging a restriction of their First Amendment rights."

ACLU’s case for Professor Adam Habib continues

By |2019-03-14T17:32:34-05:00December 9th, 2008|Blog|

Professor Adam Habib has been barred from speaking at US universities, presumably for his critique of the US and Middle East foreign policies. Today, After the government moved to dismiss the case, Judge George O’Toole of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that the case will proceed. A South African scholar, Habib has written at the [...]

In the Supreme Court: Wyeth v. Levine

By |2019-03-15T15:15:18-05:00November 3rd, 2008|Blog|

Dahlia Lithwick, who's covering Wyeth v. Levine in the Supreme Court describes the case like this: "Wyeth is being called the most important business case of the year because, if the court finds that the FDA warning occupies the field of drug warnings, it will effectively immunize drug makers from many state tort suits. If it finds pre-emption here, the most business-friendly Supreme Court in decades can cancel the room with two queen-size beds and order a single king for itself and big pharma".