Freedom of Expression

A "Foreign Policy Exception" to the First Amendment?

A "Foreign Policy Exception" to the First Amendment?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:07pm
At a time when the anger abroad over the Innocence of Muslims video shows no signs of abating, President Obama gave an impassioned speech Tuesday at the United Nations that was a full-throated, unqualified defense of the American tradition of free expression.

Shutting Down Cell Service During Protests: The Constitutional Dimension

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 8:19am

The Bay Area Rapid Transit System (“BART,” for short) has a serious public relations problem. BART Police have been involved in three fatal shootings of BART passengers in the past three years, including the Oscar Grant incident in 2009,…

18th Century political cartoon

Parody Doesn't Play in Peoria

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:46pm

In March of this year, Peoria resident Jon Daniel set up a satire Twitter account using the name of the town’s elected mayor, Jim Ardis. Using slang and swearwords, Daniel then tweeted a series of jokes. No one in their right mind would have thought…

Court Rules That Facebook ‘Likes’ Are Free Speech

Court Rules That Facebook ‘Likes’ Are Free Speech

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:53pm

A federal appeals court today issued an important decision that reaffirms everyone’s right to speak freely on the Internet. The three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found unanimously that, as we argued in our friend-of-the-court-brief…

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:52am

The Petraeus Affair Affair is salacious stuff. It also, naturally, raises a lot of questions about privacy. But there’s also an interesting First Amendment angle underneath the sensation: why did the FBI investigate Paula Broadwell—the…

In Court Today: The Constitution Also Lives in Airports

In Court Today: The Constitution Also Lives in Airports

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 10:24am

The ACLU is appearing today before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to argue on behalf of our client, Nick George. 

In August 2009, Nick went to the Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight to California and begin his senior…

Hamas, Twitter and the First Amendment

Hamas, Twitter and the First Amendment

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:25pm

With one major exception, the Roberts Court has been quite protective of unpopular (and even revolting) speech under the First Amendment. That exception, however, is a doozy. It involves a statute criminalizing “material support” for terrorism,…

A Long Legacy of Defending the Right to Read

A Long Legacy of Defending the Right to Read

By Doug Bonney, Chief Counsel & Legal Director, ACLU of Kansas & Western Missouri at 2:05pm

Seventeen years ago this week, cooperating lawyers recruited by the ACLU of Kansas & Western Missouri were doing battle for the First Amendment in a major trial over the Olathe, Kansas School District’s removal of Nancy Garden’s award-winning young adult novel Annie on My Mind from all of the District’s school libraries.

ACLU Releases New Report on Widespread Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

ACLU Releases New Report on Widespread Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

By Ateqah Khaki at 10:18am

The ACLU today released a report that finds the Puerto Rico Police Department -- the second-largest police department in the U.S. -- is plagued by a culture of unrestrained abuse and brutality. The use of excessive or lethal force is routine among…

This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:10pm

(Updated below)

The Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland announced this week that it will be live-tweeting a prostitution sting. With breathless glee, the press release tells us that "PGPD's Vice Unit will conduct a prostitution…

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