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Freedom of Speech 2017

"Freedom of Speech 2017: Do Americans Still Value Freedom of Speech?" is a Special Report prepared by The Washington Times Special Section Department and the National Constitutional Literacy Campaign.

Recent Stories

Standing up for students' First Amendment rights

America has the greatest universities and colleges in the world. They are a magnet for students coming from abroad and they have been an engine for technological innovation, economic growth and intellectual progress.

Free speech is protected -- and public reason will prevail

On this year's Sept. 17 Constitution Day, the U.S. Constitution marked its 230th anniversary at a time of intense debate about the meaning of the First Amendment. On campuses and in cities across America, online and in the workplace, there are calls to balance the First Amendment's protections for hate speech against other values, such as dignity or avoiding emotional injury.

Welcome to campus! Here's your speech code

As the fall semester gets into full swing, college students are busy with clubs, sports and working towards that elusive 4.0 grade point average.

Five things your campus administrators should know about speakers and protests

From Berkeley to Charlottesville, college campuses have become a flashpoint for protests on a scale we have not seen in decades. At the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), where I work, our mission is to protect the rights of students and faculty on these campuses. We receive numerous complaints every year about how campuses handle controversial speakers as well as students' responses to those speakers.

The rights essential to free societies

Our Constitution recently turned 230 years old. In some quarters, however, citizens have begun to question whether the Constitution still ought to be the law of the land after all this time.

The Constitution, free speech and college campuses

It might have been too much to hope that after the tumultuous 2016 election, our nation's discourse would simmer down and that cooler heads would prevail. Of course, political rhetoric will ebb and flow with the election cycle, but nearly a year into a new administration, it's clear that something changed irrevocably in the expression and exchange of ideas in the political arena.

From Charlottesville to California, by way of North Carolina

From Charlottesville to California, violence in the streets and protests on college campuses are forcing us to consider what the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution really means — and whether we still believe in it.

Encouraging constitutional literacy in youth

"Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments." The First Amendment is arguably the most formative of what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall frames as "corrective amendments."

Freedom of speech, 1791-2017

Free speech, of blessed memory, which survived one civil and two world wars, perished this year, unable to prevail against sustained attacks from the left and right. The death knell came when its heretofore stalwart defender — the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — in several of its forms, decided to abandon or "clarify" its position, ending years of acting on the principle that free speech was sacrosanct.

A dialogue with a future lawyer about free speech

Arjun Ahuja, a now-graduated senior from Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Lucy Mini, a rising senior at Greenwich High, competed in and won the ConSource-Harlan Institute Virtual Supreme Court Competition held in 2017 in Washington, D.C.

What if hate speech was outlawed?

There is a growing belief, particularly among America's millennial generation, that there should be limits on free speech. These millennials and their fellow travelers have embraced the idea that there is certain speech — spoken or written — that is offensive enough to be unworthy of protection under the First Amendment.