The State of Free Speech in America

Just how well do Americans understand the First Amendment? Should the First Amendment protect harmful or hateful words and expression?

How free is speech in America compared to other countries? A&E Newtwork's “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson caused a sensation when he was temporarily suspended from the network after controversial comments he gave in an interview. Robertson was reinstated, but was the suspension in violation of his First Amendment rights? Other cases, including pro-life advocates' right to gather in protest outside abortion clinics, are being heard in the courts. A panel of the nation’s leading free speech thinkers including Dr. Stanley Fish of the Cardozo School of Law, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education President Greg Lukianoff, Eric Posner of the University of Chicago Law School, and Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institution discussed the state of free speech in America in a discussion moderated by the Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen.

Sign up for our email newsletter