First Amendment

'You’re Not Wrong, You're Just an A**hole'

'You’re Not Wrong, You're Just an A**hole'

By Esha Bhandari, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:30pm
The Washington Redskins is a name that is offensive and perpetuates racism against Native Americans. Should it be changed? Yes. But should the government get to make that call? As we told a federal district court yesterday, the answer is no, because the First Amendment protects against government interference in private speech.
After a Decade's Fight for Net Neutrality, Huge Win for Free Speech Online

After a Decade's Fight for Net Neutrality, Huge Win for Free Speech Online

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:55pm

The people have spoken. And, today, the Federal Communications Commission listened. A majority of FCC commissioners voted in favor of historically strong open Internet rules.

It appears they have done what the ACLU and other free speech groups…

This Man Faces Life in Prison for...Rapping

This Man Faces Life in Prison for...Rapping

By David Loy, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 12:58pm

I've heard free speech isn't free, and Brandon Duncan, who raps as Tiny Doo, has learned that the hard way.

Until recently, Mr. Duncan spent eight months in jail on "gang conspiracy" charges arising from several shootings in San Diego from…

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

By Nick George at 11:14am

Five years ago, the Philadelphia police thought that carrying Arabic-language flashcards was enough to warrant the arrest of an innocent traveler. A settlement reached today in a lawsuit I brought against the police department makes it clear that it…

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:55am

This post was first published by Just Security.

Update (1/21/15): The federal court hearing on the release of the torture photos, originally scheduled for yesterday, has been rescheduled for February 3.

In France and the United States,…

Ferguson's No-Media Zone Extended to the Skies

Ferguson's No-Media Zone Extended to the Skies

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:31pm

It appears the Federal Aviation Administration may have fallen into the "constitutional sinkhole" that is Ferguson, Missouri.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press released an alarming set of documents revealing the FAA's decision to approve…

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The piece below was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Do We Need a Law Against Catcalling?" The debate used this conversation starter:

Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment organization, released…

Do We Really Still Need Free Speech Week?

Do We Really Still Need Free Speech Week?

By Tony Rothert, Legal Director, ACLU of Missouri at 1:43pm

You bet. More than two centuries since the Bill of Rights was drafted, we continue to see a fundamental lack of understanding on government's part of just what freedom of speech means. Nowhere was that more apparent recently than in a Missouri suburb…

Free Speech for Some Means Free Speech for None

Free Speech for Some Means Free Speech for None

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:44pm

In honor of Free Speech Week, let's take a moment to acknowledge the obvious. Free speech is incredibly, almost unbelievably important, especially in a democracy.

It can also be unpleasant, uncomfortable and even downright offensive. Which…

Oklahoma's Response to Botched Execution: Hide the Next One from the Public

Oklahoma's Response to Botched Execution: Hide the Next One from the Public

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:45am

It's a dark day for Oklahoma. That metaphor is particularly apt this week, as the Sooner State just redoubled its commitment to keeping capital punishment in the shadows by hiding its lethal injection process from public view and oversight.

Five…

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