First Amendment

On The Media

Not In The Supreme Court's Backyard

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bob speaks with New York Times Supreme Court correspondent, Adam Liptak, about the Supreme Court's commitment to keeping protesters off its plaza. 

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On The Media

The Re-Birth of the First Amendment

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court made a decision in the case New York Times v Sullivan that would forever alter the way journalists practiced journalism. Brooke speaks with Andrew Cohen, contributing editor at The Atlantic and fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, about the decision's impact on the First Amendment.

Supreme Court audio courtesy of Oyez®, a multimedia judicial archive at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

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On The Media

Combating "Bad" Speech With More Speech

Friday, January 24, 2014

The blogger Crystal Cox has also targeted First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, his wife, and their toddler. Bob spoke to Randazza in the Spring of 2012 about how Cox's actions were testing his free speech values. Since then, Randazza decided to take her to court and won. (He told us this week that his legal strategy had nothing to do with the content of Cox's speech and were instead based on domain law. His court arguments are available upon request, for free, if you ever find yourself in Cox's cross hairs). Randazza also blogs at The Legal Satyricon.

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On The Media

A Blogger's First Amendment Rights - and Responsibilities

Friday, January 24, 2014

A federal court ruled last week that a blogger who had lost a defamation suit in 2011 should have the same free speech protections as a traditional journalist, and as everyone else who publishes online. The blogger is Crystal Cox, who is notorious for creating domain names and blog posts tarring the online reputations of her targets and then offering to fix the problem for a price. Bob speaks to Ellyn Angelotti of the Poynter Institute about what the decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals means for First Amendment protections online, and whether it matters that Cox is the defendant.

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On The Media

What's the Harm in Hate Speech?

Friday, May 18, 2012

One of the great maxims in defense of the 1st Amendment is the insistence by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that we must defend 'even the thought we hate'. But law professor Jeremy Waldron asks, when it comes to the most egregious hate speech, why?  He explains to Brooke that words can and do hurt us and that there should be limitations on the most hateful expression.

 

Beastie Boys - Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament

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On The Media

Combating "Bad" Speech with More Speech

Friday, April 06, 2012

First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza disagrees with the Electronic Frontier Foundation's position on the Crystal Cox case despite being the target of one of her attacks. Randazza talks to Bob about that experience and whether it has tested his faith in the First Amendment.

 

Tanlines - Rain Delay

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On The Media

Defending the First Amendment Right to Profanity

Friday, February 10, 2012

In the wake of MIA's bird-flipping performance at the Super Bowl and Gisele Bundchen's post-game profanity, Bob talks to Mary Prevost, a lawyer representing a California sports fan's who was ejected from a football game for swearing. Prevost says that ejecting him from the park was a violation of his First Amendment rights.

MIA - Paper Planes

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On The Media

Animal Cruelty as Free Speech

Friday, April 23, 2010

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that visual depictions of “animal cruelty” – however objectionable they may be – are protected free speech and that a federal statute criminalizing possession of such material is unconstitutional. University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone says that those of us who ...

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On The Media

SLAPP Back

Friday, April 02, 2010

A SLAPP, or “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” is a little known but widespread threat to the First Amendment. SLAPPs are meritless suits brought by companies, individuals and sometimes the government, not to win, but to silence critics. Congress is now considering federal

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On The Media

Free Bird

Friday, March 05, 2010

An Oregon man made headlines recently for a lawsuit he filed against local police. He claims officers have repeatedly pulled him over, not for his driving, but because he keeps giving them the middle finger. Professor Ira Robbins says the American courts generally protect the right ...

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On The Media

Fender Bender

Friday, February 12, 2010

In March of 2005, Leslie Weise was ejected from a Town Hall meeting with the president because she arrived in a car with a bumper sticker that read, “No More Blood For Oil.” Were her First Amendment rights violated? ACLU senior counsel Chris Hansen argued just that in ...

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On The Media

Campaign Finance Unreformed

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Supreme Court ruled this week to overturn a century-old limit on corporate spending in political elections. Corporations, unions and political groups can now spend as much as they want on political advertising, so long as they don't give directly to a candidate. No one's exactly sure

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On The Media

Investigating the Investigators

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Medill Journalism School and the Cook County District Attorney in Chicago are locked in a legal battle over a murder investigation conducted by Medill students as part of the Innocence Project. The DA has subpoenaed the students' academic records. Medill ...

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On The Media

The Week in Leaks

Friday, February 27, 2009

This week, an appeals court issued some major decisions in the AIPAC lobbyists case which could determine the future legality of leaking classified information to reporters or anyone else. The Federation of American Scientists' Steven Aftergood explains why anyone who's ever pursued, heard ...

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On The Media

The Crime of Blasphemy

Friday, February 13, 2009

Twenty years ago this week, the Ayatollah Khomeini called for the death of author Salman Rushdie for insulting Islam in his book The Satanic Verses. Rushdie's lawyer Geoffrey Robertson gave Rushdie a place to hide out in those days and defended Rushdie against the crime of ...

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On The Media

The Calculated Risk of Blogging

Friday, October 03, 2008

Every time bloggers hit publish they risk being sued for copyright infringement, invasion of privacy or defamation. While the risk seems small, groups like the Media Bloggers Association say frivolous lawsuits are chilling free speech in the blogosphere. So MBA founder Robert Cox has helped start ...

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On The Media

Writing a Wrong

Friday, April 04, 2008

A group of Canadian Muslim students has filed a complaint under their country's Human Rights Act against Maclean's magazine for a piece they feel violated their human rights. The case has sparked a debate in Canada about press freedoms and multiculturalism. One of the students who ...

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On The Media

The Long Arm of the Law

Friday, March 07, 2008

Making its way through the New York state legislature is the Libel Terrorism Protection Act. The bill aims to mitigate the impact of libel tourism, which former civil-rights attorney Samuel Abady believes undermines our First Amendment.

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On The Media

Public Address System

Friday, February 08, 2008

The legal basis for this show, the various media we cover and, frankly, for the style of our coverage is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But how well do any of us know our beloved protection? Not that well, explains Anthony Lewis in his new book Freedom for ...

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On The Media

Parsing Privilege

Friday, October 12, 2007

A bill offering a federal shield law just might go to the House floor for a vote this week. Which means that U.S. journalists are closer than ever to having legal protection for their conversations with sources. New York Times reporter Adam Liptak explains.

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