Friday, March 29, 2013
Anthony Lewis passed away this week at 85 after a long and storied career covering the Supreme Court for The New York Times. In a segment originally aired in 2008, Brooke spoke with Lewis about his book Freedom for the Thought We Hate, an examination of the First Amendment. He explained that the amendment that governs free speech and the press might not be as familiar as we think.
Oddisee - Frostbite
Friday, July 06, 2012
According to a transparency report released by Twitter on July 2, US law enforcement has requested information from the company 679 times this year. Malcolm Harris had been fighting to keep New York prosecutors from accessing his twitter information. Earlier this week, a judge compelled Twitter to turn over data from Harris' account. Aden Fine of the American Civil Liberties Union talks to Bob about how this ruling could be detrimental to future tweeters.
The Hundred in the Hands - Recognize
Friday, June 08, 2012
When protesters try to make themselves heard at this summer’s presidential conventions they’ll likely be penned by police some distance from the candidates. Law professor Ronald Krotoszynski argues in a new book that that’s a violation of the 1st Amendment, specifically the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. He explains to Bob why protest is a form of protected speech and why proximity to the government officials you’re protesting is paramount.
Latin Playboys - Crayon Sun
Friday, January 13, 2012
On Tuesday, The Supreme Court heard arguments over the constitutionality of the government’s rules regarding indecent TV programming. In particular, what was at issue is whether the FCC can regulate indecency between 6am and 10pm. (Broadcasters are already given more latitude after 10pm, presumably after the kids have gone to bed.) Bob spoke with Slate's Dahlia Lithwick whose article about the arguments is titled Ifs, Ands, And Butts.
Friday, September 09, 2011
At times during the last decade, authorities have arbitrarily stopped photographers from taking pictures in the name of national security. For example, University of Maryland student Reza Farhoodi was removed from his seat at a Washington Redskins game because he was using a 'professional camera' – even though there is no prohibition against using 'professional' cameras at football games. Brooke spoke with attorney Morgan Manning about being forbidden to photograph.
Friday, September 09, 2011
After 9/11, the nation’s focus became national security, which some feared would violate civil liberties like privacy and freedom of expression. Bob spoke to Chicago University Law School Professor Geoff Stone, author of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism. Stone says in the decade since the attacks, the nation's record on civil liberties was not as bad as some had feared.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
This week, we're rebroadcasting our special hour on video games. In celebration of the occasion, the Supreme Court (huge OTM fans), struck down a California law that would have levied a $1,000 fine to against retailers who sold violent games to minors on Monday.
"video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia in the court's opinion in Brown v. The Entertainment Merchants Association. "The basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary' with a new and different communication medium.
"California’s argument would fare better if there were a longstanding tradition in this country of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence," Justice Scalia wrote, "but there is none. Certainly the books we give children to read—or read to them when they are younger—contain no shortage of gore. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed."
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito wrote a concurring opinion that stated the existing California statute was simply too broad as currently written, skirting the First Amendment argument altogether. Dissenting Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer both wrote their own dissenting opinions. Stephen Totilo of the video game blog Kotaku has posted a concise summary of the key points of each of the opinions.
Bo Anderson, CEO of the Entertainment Merchants Association, said in a press release on their website "We are gratified that our position that the law violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression has been vindicated and there now can be no argument whether video games are entitled to the same protection as books, movies, music, and other expressive entertainment." Other video game trade associations have made similar statements in support of the ruling.
Leland Yee, the California state Senator that authored the law, also posted a response to the ruling on his website, saying "As a result of [the Supreme Court's] decision, Wal-Mart and the video game industry will continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of our kids’ mental health and the safety of our community. It is simply wrong that the video game industry can be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children."