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Freedom of the Press: A Necessity in Trump’s America

Under the Trump administration, hostility towards journalists and the media in America is at an all-time high. Up to this point, accusations of fake news and bias have mostly rolled off the backs of seasoned journalists, but these attacks have become physical with more serious implications. Violence has become an accepted response to questions about [...]

“New Voices” Signed to Protect Student Rights

Nationwide "March For Truth" protests were coordinated across dozens of cities this past Saturday (June 3). The protests were “calling for an impartial investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” according to CNN.  This demand for transparency reminds us that there is power in demonstrations that exercise freedoms of speech and assembly. [...]

A Student’s Right to Protest: Hazelwood High

A recent, controversial series of punishments issued to students of Hazelwood West High School in Hazelwood Missouri, warrants a discussion of First Amendment Rights in an institutional setting. Over 200 students participated in a walk-out on Monday, May 15 to support teachers after union contract negotiations were rejected by the Hazelwood School District Board of [...]

Accessing Information in Illinois: FOIA, Open Meetings Laws and Other Resources

What the public wants to know, power often prefers to keep secret. Particularly in this media-hostile climate, it is more important than ever to know how to access information and what rights you have as a member of the press or public. The law, after all, favors transparency and public participation - if you know [...]

Social Media and the 1st Amendment: Shouting “Fire” Online?

Threats, trolls, online harassment – what's a First Amendment lover to think about where we're going with social media? After the shooting of five Dallas police and transit officers at a Black Lives Matter rally this summer and a similar incident in Baton Rouge, Facebook and Twitter sizzled with incendiary statements calling for more violence [...]

Roundup: First Amendment News You Can Use – Election 2016

There’s no shortage of First Amendment fodder as this unprecedentedly weird election cycle unfolds. Where do the candidates stand?  Here’s a few things you should know. The most important First Amendment position taken by any of the candidates is Democrat Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she would seek a reversal of the Supreme Court’s ominously democracy-hobbling [...]

IL Legislation Set to Restore 1st Amendment Protection for High Schools

Schools are not simply places that students go to learn reading, math and kick around a soccer ball during gym. They are the essential training ground for participation in our representative democracy. It's important that students learn to voice their opinions, and consider and respond to unfamiliar or disagreeable ideas. Since the Supreme Court's 1988 [...]

Freedom of the Press: IWPA, the First Amendment and “Societies of Men”

    “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” - First Amendment to the United States Constitution As disparate as our nation’s politics, lifestyles, races, genders, or economic opinions may be we agree on one thing. Freedom of speech and of the press are critical. The ability to express [...]