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  • B12. Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment: The Current Battlegrounds

B12. Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment: The Current Battlegrounds

  • 10/26/2023
  • 12/14/2023
  • 5 sessions
  • 10/26/2023, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EDT)
  • 11/02/2023, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EDT)
  • 11/09/2023, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • 12/07/2023, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • 12/14/2023, 3:00 PM 4:30 PM (EST)
  • Kennedy 119, Assumption campus
  • 4

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We often hear people invoke their “First Amendment” rights to free speech. But not all speech is protected by the First Amendment, and court decisions in a myriad of contexts have established murky lines. This course will examine recent developments in the perennial battleground over freedom of expression. We will look at (among other issues) the treatment of hate speech as protected speech; restrictions on speech on campuses; the regulation of social media platforms; the increasing reliance on the free speech clause in protecting religious interests; freedom of the press and the legacy of New York Times v. Sullivan, which established a high bar for suing media entities for defamation; restrictions of speech of government officials; and restrictions of speech related to the cultural/political divide in the country.

Instructor: John Ross III (Jack) holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Washington & Lee University and has taught numerous courses in the WISE program with a focus on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. Jack also facilitates the WISE Special Interest Group focused on discussing Supreme Court case decisions. 

Recommended / Optional Reading:  

When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and Boundlessness of Our First Amendment Right by Lynn Greenky

Brandeis University Press 2022; ISBN 978-1-68458-093-4  (paper)

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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609

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