In 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to address two questions regarding compelled speech: whether requiring a cakeshop owner to create a cake for a same-sex wedding violates the First Amendment, and whether requiring pregnancy crisis centers to post information on abortions violates the First Amendment. The court’s decisions may have far reaching consequences for compelled speech.
These two cases highlight the importance of having policies and procedures in place, and when the policy is not followed, reaching out to intellectual freedom experts for support.
The events in Charlottesville have heightened public awareness of white supremacist organizations and their music, merchandise and online presence. There has also been a renewed interest in leading technology company platforms and the ways in which they host and profit from the activities of groups that identify with white supremacy.
I recommend the book for anyone interested in the First Amendment and freedom of speech issues. The first half of the book is compelling and timeless while the last half of the book is specific to the current moment and political environment.
What is missing from much of the controversy is the real reason that NFL players are choosing to protest during the national anthem. Just as Rosa Parks’ protests were not about buses, these protests are not about the U.S. flag or the national anthem. They are, instead, about systemic racism, police misconduct, and the need for change in a country where it seems the only people free to exercise their First Amendment rights are white, male, and straight.
Intellectual freedom provides our world with innovation: new technology, cures to diseases, new ways of providing food to starving communities. Intellectual freedom enriches culture. Answering the question, “why is intellectual freedom important” is something I am continuing to explore and think about.
On this day 20 years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion striking down the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”). This statute constituted the first attempt by Congress to regulate the content of material on the Internet. The CDA made it a crime to place content on the Internet that was ‘indecent’ or ‘patently offensive’ if that content would be accessed by minors under the age of 18.
The decision to pull all of the yearbooks smacks of viewpoint discrimination. Justice William Brennan in his dissent on Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier warned that the decision to protect students from controversial or sensitive topics is actually “camouflage” for viewpoint discrimination: “Even in its capacity as educator the State may not assume an Orwellian ‘guardianship of the public mind.”
The biggest questions concerning Intellectual Freedom in this country have always revolved around the right to speak, write, or otherwise express dissent on any given topic; most importantly on political or social issues.
Institutions of higher education are seeing an increasing number of challenges to the principles of academic freedom that have seemingly been embedded in higher education since the establishment of American universities … This notion, however, that academic freedom has always existed in academic institutions in the United States is inaccurate.