First Amendment
Associated Press/Photo by Sebastian Scheiner

Commissioning conflict

First Amendment | Civil rights board recommends creating protected classes for sexual orientation and gender identity
by Bonnie Pritchett
Posted 12/05/17, 02:00 pm

The headquarters of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) is a mile and a half, or a brisk 20-minute walk, west of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washigton, D.C. Despite its geographic proximity, the release last week of a report calling for a federal LGBT nondiscrimination law indicates the commissioners are far removed from what was heard at the high court Tuesday.

Read more

Wikimedia Commons/englishspartan

Fighting for free speech at private universities

First Amendment | When administrators aren’t required to abide by the First Amendment, can students still speak up?
by Bonnie Pritchett
Posted 11/28/17, 01:49 pm

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is no Berkeley-on-the-Hudson: Nothing burned during a student protest outside an October black-tie fundraiser hosted by school President Shirley Ann Jackson. But the protest and the ensuing disciplinary charges against two students at the Troy, N.Y., school highlights the lack of constitutional accountability at private institutions, including Christian colleges.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Eugene Hoshiko

To tweet or not to tweet: Who gets to say?

First Amendment | Two recent cases could determine whether public officials’ social media accounts are ‘dedicated public forums’
by Bonnie Pritchett
Posted 11/07/17, 03:48 pm

A liberal advocacy group in Wisconsin is asking a federal court to declare the Twitter accounts of three state representatives “designated public forums.” As such, blocking access to the accounts is unconstitutional, the group argues. The lawsuit is the second such case filed this year demanding unfettered access to the virtual conversations on elected officials’ Twitter accounts.

Read more