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First Amendment Resources
Text of the First Amendment with legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School.
FIRE's First Amendment Library
Explore Supreme Court opinions, historical timelines, overview essays, the glossary, banned and challenged books, academic discussions, and other resources to get the full picture of how the United States’ culture of free speech and First Amendment law has developed over the years.
US Courts First Amendment Activities
Apply landmark Supreme Court cases to contemporary scenarios related to the five pillars of the First Amendment and your rights to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
PEN Campus Free Speech Guide
PEN America works to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. This guide provides practical, principled guidance for how campuses can best remain open to all voices.
Civil Liberties in Real Life by
This volume brings together eight US authors breaking new ground with multidisciplinary perspectives and an exciting range of real-life topics concerning the central question, 'What is civil liberty?' The contributors dive into freedom of speech, religious freedom, freedom of assembly, examining how and why marginalized groups such as African Americans, women, and queers used civil liberties in their struggle for equality.
Call Number: Stout Authors Collection JC599.U5 C58 202
HATE dispels misunderstandings plaguing our perennial debates about "hate speech vs. free speech," showing that the First Amendment approach promotes free speech and democracy, equality, and societal harmony. Citing evidence from many countries, this book shows that "hate speech" laws are at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive. Their inevitably vague terms invest enforcing officials with broad discretion, and predictably, regular targets are minority views and speakers. Therefore, prominent social justice advocates in the U.S. and beyond maintain that the best way to resist hate and promote equality is not censorship, but rather, vigorous "counter speech" and activism.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor KF9345 .S77 2018
Publication Date: 2018-05-01
Free Speech on Campus by
In this clear and carefully reasoned book, a university chancellor and a law school dean--both constitutional scholars who teach a course in free speech to undergraduates--argue that campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body but can never restrict the expression of ideas. This book provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can't do when dealing with free speech controversies.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; KF4772 .C54 201
Publication Date: 2017-09-12
Free Speech for Me--But Not for Thee by
An eye-opening look at the clash between censorship and free speech that shows how both the right and the left try to suppress the opinions of those who disagree with them, by journalist Nat Hentoff--widely recognized as one of the foremost lay authorities on civil rights and liberties.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; KF4772 .H46 1992
Publication Date: 1992-11-01
Free Speech by
Hailed as the "first freedom," free speech is the bedrock of democracy. But it is a challenging principle, subject to erosion in times of upheaval. Today, in democracies and authoritarian states around the world, it is on the retreat. Jacob Mchangama traces the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of this idea. Through captivating stories of free speech's many defenders--from the ancient Athenian orator Demosthenes and the ninth-century freethinker to the anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and modern-day digital activists--Mchangama reveals how the free exchange of ideas underlies all intellectual achievement and has enabled the advancement of both freedom and equality worldwide. Yet the desire to restrict speech, too, is a constant, and he explores how even its champions can be led down this path when the rise of new and contrarian voices challenge power and privilege of all stripes. Meticulously researched and deeply humane, Free Speech demonstrates how much we have gained from this principle--and how much we stand to lose without it.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; JC591 .M33 2022
Publication Date: 2022-02-08
Democracy, Expertise, and Academic Freedom by
A leading American legal scholar offers a surprising account of the incompleteness of prevailing theories of freedom of speech. Robert C. Post shows that the familiar understanding of the First Amendment, which stresses the “marketplace of ideas” and which holds that "everyone is entitled to an opinion," is inadequate to create and preserve the expert knowledge that is necessary for a modern democracy to thrive. For a modern society reliably to answer such questions as whether nicotine causes cancer, the free and open exchange of ideas must be complemented by standards of scientific competence and practice that are both hierarchical and judgmental. Post develops a theory of First Amendment rights that seeks to explain both the need for the free formation of public opinion and the need for the distribution and creation of expertise. Along the way he offers a new and useful account of constitutional doctrines of academic freedom. These doctrines depend both upon free expression and the necessity of the kinds of professional judgment that universities exercise when they grant or deny tenure, or that professional journals exercise when they accept or reject submissions.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; KF4772 .P67 2012
Publication Date: 2012-01-24
Saving Free Speech... from Itself by
Speech has been weaponized. Everyone knows it, but no one seems to know how to make sense of the current confusion, and what to do about it. Thane Rosenbaum's provocative and compelling book is what is needed to understand this important issue at the heart of our society and politics. Our nation's founders did not envision speech as a license to trample on the rights of others. And the Supreme Court has decided cases where certain categories of speech are already prohibited without violating the Constitution. Laws banning hate speech are prevalent in other democratic, liberal societies, where speech is not valued above human dignity, and yet in Germany, France, the UK and elsewhere, life continues, freedoms have not rolled to the bottom of the bogeyman of a 'slippery slope,' and democracies remain vibrant. There is already a great deal of second guessing about the limits of free speech. In 1977, courts permitted neo-Nazis to march in a Chicago suburb populated by Holocaust survivors. Today, many wonder whether the alt-right should have been prevented from marching in Charlottesville in 2017. Even the ACLU, which represented both groups, is having doubts as to whether the First Amendment should override basic notions of equality and citizenship.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; KF4772 .R67 2020
Publication Date: 2020-03-17
The Fight for Free Speech by
Media lawyer Ian Rosenberg distills the spectrum of free speech law down to ten critical issues. Each chapter in this book focuses on a contemporary free speech question. As people on all sides of the political spectrum are demanding their right to speak and be heard, The Fight for Free Speech is a handbook for combating authoritarianism, protecting our democracy, and bringing an understanding of free speech law to all.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; KF4772 .R67 2021
Publication Date: 2021-02-09
Campus Hate Speech on Trial by
Despite commitments to free speech and the open exchange of ideas, colleges and universities have ignored recommendations by implementing hate speech codes designed to protect students from harassment. This text analyzes the issue and explores both sides of the debate.
Call Number: Main Collection, 4th Floor ; KF4772 .S445 1998
Publication Date: 1998-09-01
African Americans and the First Amendment by
2020 CHOICE Outstanding Academic TitleAfrican Americans and the First Amendment is the first book to explore in detail the relationship between African Americans and our "first freedoms," especially freedom of speech. Timothy C. Shiell utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to demonstrate that a strong commitment to civil liberty and to racial equality are mutually supportive, as they share an opposition to orthodoxy and a commitment to greater inclusion and participation. This crucial connection is evidenced throughout US history, from the days of colonial and antebellum slavery to Jim Crow: in the landmark US Supreme Court decision in 1937 freeing the black communist Angelo Herndon; in the struggles and victories of the civil rights movement, from the late 1930s to the late '60s; and in the historical and modern debates over hate speech restrictions. Liberty and equality can conflict in individual cases, Shiell argues, but there is no fundamental conflict between them. Robust First Amendment values protect and encourage demands for racial equality while weak First Amendment values, in contrast, lead to censorship and a chilling of demands for racial equality.
Call Number: University Archives Special Collections, 5th Floor (Noncirculating) ; KF4757 .S525 2019
Publication Date: 2019-09-01
Knowledge, Power, and Academic Freedom by
Academic freedom rests on a shared belief that the production of knowledge advances the common good. In an era of education budget cuts, wealthy donors intervening in university decisions, and right-wing groups threatening dissenters, scholars cannot expect that those in power will value their work. Can academic freedom survive in this environment-and must we rearticulate what academic freedom is in order to defend it? This book presents a series of essays by the renowned historian Joan Wallach Scott that explore the history and theory of free inquiry and its value today. Scott considers the contradictions in the concept of academic freedom. She examines the relationship between state power and higher education; the differences between the First Amendment right of free speech and the guarantee of academic freedom; and, in response to recent campus controversies, the politics of civility. The book concludes with an interview conducted by Bill Moyers in which Scott discusses the personal experiences that have informed her views. Academic freedom is an aspiration, Scott holds: its implementation always falls short of its promise, but it is essential as an ideal of ethical practice. Knowledge, Power, and Academic Freedom is both a nuanced reflection on the tensions within a cherished concept and a strong defense of the importance of critical scholarship to safeguard democracy against the anti-intellectualism of figures from Joseph McCarthy to Donald Trump.
Publication Date: 2019-01-22
The Taming of Free Speech by
The Taming of Free Speech traces our understanding of civil liberties to conflict between 1910 and 1940 over workers' right to strike. As self-proclaimed partisans in the class war, the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union promoted a bold vision of free speech that encompassed unrestricted picketing and boycotts. Over time, however, they subdued their rhetoric to attract adherents and prevail in court. At the height of the New Deal, many liberals opposed the ACLU's litigation strategy, fearing it would legitimize a judiciary they deemed too friendly to corporations and too hostile to the administrative state. Conversely, conservatives eager to insulate industry from government regulation pivoted to embrace civil liberties, despite their radical roots. The resulting transformation in constitutional jurisprudence--often understood as a triumph for the Left--was in fact a calculated bargain. America's civil liberties compromise saved the courts from New Deal attack and secured free speech for labor radicals and businesses alike. Ever since, competing groups have clashed in the arena of ideas, shielded by the First Amendment.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; KF4772 .W44 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-10
There's No Such Thing As Free Speech by
In an era when much of what passes for debate is merely moral posturing--traditional family values versus the cultural elite, free speech versus censorship--or reflexive name-calling--the terms "liberal" and "politically correct," are used with as much dismissive scorn by the right as" reactionary" and "fascist" are by the left--Stanley Fish would seem an unlikely lightning rod for controversy. Fish takes aim at the ideological gridlock paralyzing academic and political exchange in the nineties. In his witty, accessible dissections of the swirling controversies over multiculturalism, affirmative action, canon revision, hate speech, and legal reform, he neatly eviscerates both the conservatives'' claim to possession of timeless, transcendent values (the timeless transcendence of which they themselves have conveniently identified), and the intellectual left's icons of equality, tolerance, and non-discrimination. He argues that while conservative ideologues and liberal stalwarts might disagree vehemently on what is essential to a culture, or to a curriculum, both mistakenly believe that what is essential can be identified apart from the accidental circumstances (of time and history) to which the essential is ritually opposed.
Call Number: Civil Liberties Collection, 3rd Floor ; Z657 .F5 1994
Publication Date: 1994-12-15
Patriotic Correctness by
In a lively narrative this book tells the story of attacks on academic freedom in the past five years. It highlights nationally prominent and lesser known cases, drawing upon media reports, university documents, and reports and studies seldom seen by the public. It shows how conservative attacks on higher education distort the facts in order to pursue an assault on liberal ideas. A wave of Web sites and think-tanks urge students to spy on their professors for any sign of deviation from the new PC: Patriotic Correctness. Free speech on campus is facing its greatest threat in a half century, and Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies documents the danger to rights and looks to solutions for ensuring and promoting the free exchange of ideas requisite in any thriving democracy.
Publication Date: 2008-07-30
Cancel Culture by
In Cancel Culture, Alan Dershowitz--New York Times bestselling author and one of America's most respected legal scholars--makes an argument for free speech, due process, and restraint against the often overeager impulse to completely cancel individuals and institutions at the ever-changing whims of social media-driven crowds. Alan Dershowitz has been called "one of the most prominent and consistent defenders of civil liberties in America" by Politico and "the nation's most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer and one of its most distinguished defenders of individual rights" by Newsweek. Yet he has come under intense criticism for his steadfast and consistent championing of those same principles, and his famed "shoe‑on‑the‑other‑foot test," to those who have been "cancelled" for any number of faults, both real and imagined. Cancel Culture is a defense of due process, free speech, and even-handedness in the application of judgment. It makes the case for restraint and care in decisions about whom and what to cancel, boycott, deplatform, and bar from public life, and offers recommendations for when, why, and to what degree these steps may be appropriate, as long as objective, fair-minded criteria can be determined and met. While Dershowitz argues against the worst excesses of cancel culture--the rush to judgment and the devastating results it can have on those who may be innocent, the power of social media to effect punishment without a thorough examination of evidence, the idea that historical events can be viewed through the same lens as actions in the present day--he also acknowledges that its defenders ostensibly try to use it to create meaningful, positive change, and notes that cancelling may itself be a constitutionally protected form of free speech. In the end, Cancel Culture represents an icon in the defense of free speech and due process reckoning with the greatest challenge and threat to these rights since the rise of McCarthyism. It is essential reading for anyone interested in or concerned about cancel culture, its effects on our society, and its significance in a greater historical and political context.
Publication Date: 2020-11-17
Civility Free Speech and Academic Freedom in Higher Education by
Civility, Free Speech, and Academic Freedom in Higher Education: Faculty on the Margins represents a multidisciplinary approach, deploying different theoretical, methodological, sociological, political, and creative perspectives to articulate the stakes of civility for marginalized faculty within the landscape of higher education. How has the discourse on civility and free speech within academia become a systemic and oppressive form of silencing, suppressing, or eradicating marginal voices? What are some overt and covert ways in which institutions are using the logic of civility to control faculty uprising against the increasingly corporate-controlled landscape of higher education? This collection of essays examines the continuum between the post-9/11 and the post-Trump era backlashes. It details the organized retaliations against those in academia whose views and scholarships articulate their discontents against the U.S.-led War on Terror. It contests the rise of White supremacy, Trump's Muslim ban, anti-immigrant and racist government policies and rhetoric, and those who support the Boycott and Divestment Sanctions movements within the corporatized universities. All of these new and original essays shed light and further the debate on the various modes of civility that have become politicized within the U.S. academy. It will have a broad appeal to a cross section of national and international academics, activist scholars, social justice educators and researchers in the field of higher education.
Publication Date: 2021-05-01
How Free Speech Saved Democracy by
Free speech is not an obstacle to change: it is the way change happens. Uncovering vivid and engaging stories about First Amendment pioneers, How Free Speech Saved Democracy shows how their struggle made possible the surging protests that aim to expand democracy today. How Free Speech Saved Democracy is a revealing reminder that First Amendment rights have often been curtailed in efforts to block progress, and that current measures to reduce hurtful language and to end hate speech could backfire on those who promote them. To those who see free speech as a threat to democracy, Finan offers engaging evidence from a long and sometimes challenging history of free speech in America to show how free speech has been essential to expanding democracy. From the beginning of American history, free speech has been used to advocate for change. In the 19th century, abolitionists, advocates for women's rights, and leaders of the labor movement had to fight for free speech. In the 20th century, the civil rights and anti-war movements expanded free speech, creating a shield for every protest movement we see today. Written by a historian who became a full-time defender of civil liberties and has spent four decades advocating for the rights of victims of censorship, this book grew out of Finan's desire to address the declining support for free speech that is occurring as our country becomes increasingly polarized. Through his evocative storytelling Finan demonstrates how the most effective antidote for the growth of hate speech and violence is support for and cultivation of the robust alternative of free speech.
Publication Date: 2022-04-26
The Menard Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation
The Menard Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation (MCSII) mission is to promote the study and discussion of civil liberties and related institutions (governmental, civic, business, social, scientific, religious, etc.) and innovations through scholarly inquiry, educational activities and community outreach.