First Amendment

  • October 30, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Victoria Bassetti

    *Victoria Bassetti is leading ACS' analysis of US Attorneys.

    While campaigning for office, President Trump actively courted National Rifle Association members. "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” President Trump said during a speech earlier this year at the NRA’s leadership forum. "[You] have a true friend and champion in the White House," he told them.

    His nominees to be U.S. Attorneys, the top federal law enforcement officers throughout the states, show he meant it.

  • October 19, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Robert Post, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School     

    *This blog was originally published on Take Care

     Last month, DOJ filed an amicus brief last month in support of the petitioner in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. V. Colorado Civil Rights Commiss. DOJ argues that First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression preclude the application of Colorado’s general antidiscrimination law to a boutique bakery that produces custom-made wedding cakes. The DOJ brief raises important theoretical questions about the scope of judicial review under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment. 

    I yield to no one in my support of these First Amendment freedoms. But precisely because I treasure them, I think it important properly to understand and apply them, lest they be diluted and weakened during times of actual political repression when we will need their strong and clear protection.

  • October 19, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Reuben Guttman, Founding Member, Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC

    *This piece was originally published on Huffington Post.

    As President Donald Trump takes on the National Football League (NFL) and challenges players for kneeling during the national anthem, I am reminded of two athletes who made headlines four decades ago but whose names have perhaps faded from the American psyche.

    It was the fall of 1968. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had lost their lives to assassin’s bullets earlier in the year. Across the nation, college campuses were fraught with unrest from antiwar and civil rights protests. A strong showing by upstart candidate Eugene McCarthy in the New Hampshire primary forced the withdrawal of incumbent President, Lyndon Johnson, in his race for re-election. The nation was one month away from the Nixon Presidency.

  • October 5, 2017
    Guest Post
    Muslim Ban Airport

    by Cody Wofsy, Staff Attorney and Skadden Fellow, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project

    *This piece was originally posted on ACLU's Speak Freely blog

    President Trump signed the third version of his Muslim ban executive order on Sept. 24, about two weeks before the case involving the second version of the ban was to be argued before the Supreme Court. This action led the court to cancel oral arguments on the earlier version so that the parties could address whether the new order renders the Trump administration’s appeal moot.

    In the meantime, the ACLU has returned to the federal district court to challenge the new order, which is set to go into effect on Oct. 18.

  • October 2, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Gregg Ivers, Professor of Government, American University

    In early September 1957, Central High School in Little Rock became the focus of world-wide attention when Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus decided to deploy the National Guard to prevent the nine African American students who had applied and been chosen to integrate the school from entering the building. For a three week period, the Central High grounds resembled the set of a science fiction film of the era – upright American soldiers with bayonet-tipped rifles protecting innocent children from an alien force in their midst. Finally, on September 25th, the Little Rock Nine, now with the support of a federalized Arkansas National Guard and the 101st Airborne Division – activated and sent to Little Rock by President Dwight D. Eisenhower – were escorted into Central High to begin a school year that they and everyone else in Little Rock would never forget.

    The Little Rock crisis did not escape the attention of former Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson. Just over nine years before, Robinson entered, almost overnight, into the lives of white America when he became the first African American to penetrate one of the most sacrosanct citadels of white supremacy – professional baseball. On April 15th, 1947, when Robinson jogged to first base on Opening Day at Ebbets Field, he did more than just break the color barrier in what was then America’s most popular sport. He destroyed it.