Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

First Amendment

A review of the season’s lawsuits about holiday displays

December 11, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

For millions of Americans, December brings celebrations of religious and secular holidays. But the uniqueness of the season also brings lawsuits that center on First Amendment principles – and how people display their feelings.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s new constitutional dilemma

December 5, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

Over the years, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has become the Supreme Court’s most energetic defender of gay rights, one of its true devotees to free speech,   and a sympathetic defender of religious believers.  Now, a lengthy hearing before the Justices on Tuesday showed, he has to find a way to reconcile all three.

Supreme Court denies Westboro funeral protest appeal

November 27, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

Without comment, the United States Supreme Court denied an appeal from the Westboro Baptist Church on Monday about a Nebraska law that restricts its ability to protest at funerals.

Supreme Court takes political clothing at polls case

November 14, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

On Monday, the Supreme Court accepted an appeal about the ability of a voter to wear clothing or campaign buttons at a polling place that endorses a political cause.

Justices to rule on abortion foes’ rights

November 13, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

Taking on a deeply controversial question about the rights of abortion foes when they set up counseling and treatment centers for pregnant women, the Supreme Court agreed on Monday to review the constitutionality of a two-year-old California law setting rules on what those facilities tell patients.

Justice Department insists Trump Twitter account is private

October 18, 2017 By NCC Staff

In legal papers filed late last week, Justice Department lawyers want a federal court to dismiss a First Amendment lawsuit about President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

The First Amendment and restricting professional athlete protests

September 25, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

The current debate over pro sports athletes’ symbolic protests in public arenas touches on some basic First Amendment constitutional concepts – and unsettled areas of the law.

Ex-football coach loses federal appeal over prayer case

August 25, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

A former Washington state public high school football coach has lost his latest court battle over his right to lead prayers on the gridiron after games.

Podcast: Trump, Twitter and the First Amendment

August 17, 2017 By NCC Staff

Can President Trump block citizens from following his own Twitter feed?  Alex Abdo and Eugene Volokh join National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen to discuss the First Amendment aspects of a pending legal case.

The boundaries of free speech at public colleges

August 16, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

When and where can students and members of the public express their free-speech rights at public universities? These First Amendment rights are limited and differ greatly based on policies set by colleges and state lawmakers.

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