Ultimately, while there may be arguments about the wisdom of these stay-at-home orders, and perhaps other constitutional arguments to be made, I don’t think the argument that they violate the right to assembly or the right to religion is particularly persuasive. Let’s cross our fingers that these social distancing measures work, and we can all go back to “normal” soon, making this debate a distant memory.
Untold numbers of Americans likely had their personal communications snagged in yet another FISA surveillance dragnet. So, where is the media coverage to inform corrective action and public oversight?
I certainly see the importance of sunshine laws like FOIA, but I also like that Bohannon’s original idea focused on celebrating the First Amendment, which has perhaps lost some of the focus.
The Freedom of Information Act, an invaluable tool for democracy, is under attack. New Interior Department regulations are targeting those who use it the most–journalists, academics, researchers and more. Furthermore, the shutdown is compounding the issue and allowing the possibly-illegal and definitely-unethical change to happen unnoticed.
Today, December 15, 2018, we celebrate the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Bill of Rights Day on this day in 1941 to honor and observe the preservation of our individual rights.
Like a good proportion of the country, I have been doing my best to catch bits and pieces of the Senate hearings regarding the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the US Supreme Court. When I sat down to write this blog I wondered, what impact might Kavanaugh’s confirmation have on intellectual freedom issues?
Libraries provide public access to 3-D printers. Given the juxtaposition between our professional obligations and social responsibility, libraries should make their policies very clear with regard to printing 3-D guns.
Perhaps the most important thing librarians can do is to continue to be a part of the dialogue on how we manage these issues and balance competing interests to ensure intellectual freedom and inclusion, and to be mindful of these issues in program scheduling, meeting space usage, and collection development choices.
They are saying that politics do not belong in schools; students are there to learn, not make political statements. A Houston-area school went so far as to threaten discipline for students who participated in any walkout or political protesting on campus. And it got me thinking: do these minors have a right to free speech? Are their actions protected by the First Amendment? I decided to find out.
Indeed, however difficult it might be to differentiate the men who authored these books from their words on the page, it is vital to our First Amendment rights and the promotion of intellectual freedom that we do not let that difficulty interfere with our duties as librarians. Patrons possess, and should continue to hold, the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to read these materials.