A Scholarly and Courageous Treaty on the Victory of Obscenity over Morality

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 3, Fall 1997
Gerald Walpin November 03, 2009
Only the proverbial "hear-no-evil, see-no-evil" crowd could disagree with Rochelle Gurstein's description of contemporary America as revealing "the dissolution of shared moral and aesthetic standards, the subjectivization and trivialization of the faculties of taste and judgment, and the waning of the sense of shame -- developments that, in turn, have given rise to a common world that is ugly, indecent, and uncivil." Standards have been demeaned "as a form of cultural imperialism" and taste "has been reduced to mean little more than individual whim or consumer preference," with the consequence that the "public sphere has degenerated into a stage for sensational displays of matters that people formerly would have considered unfit for public appearance."

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – Post-Re-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 09-10-09 featuring James Bopp, Jr.
James Bopp Jr. September 10, 2009
On September 9th, 2009, the Supreme Court heard re-argument in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The case concerns whether federal campaign finance laws apply to a film about then-Senator Hillary Clinton that was intended to be shown on-demand to cable subscribers and in theaters. After hearing argument last term, the Court ordered a re-argument to focus on the constitutionality of restricting the independent spending of corporations during campaigns for the Presidency and Congress. To discuss the case and the re-argument, we have the General Counsel of the James Madison Center for Free Speech, Mr. James Bopp, Jr.

Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press - Event Audio/Video

2013 National Lawyers Convention
Adam Liptak, Eric M. Freedman, Eugene Volokh, Michael B. Mukasey, A. Raymond Randolph, John G. Malcolm November 22, 2013

Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press - Event Audio/VideoWhat are the First Amendment rights of press in the context of criminal investigations, and when national security is at issue?   In the modern, digital age, is there even agreement on who qualifies as press?  Should institutional or traditional press have greater rights over non-traditional media, including bloggers?  What are the rights of media to publish material leaked from the government?  Does the answer change if the media solicited the material or otherwise participated in the leak?  What are the policy and legal considerations when it comes to a national media shield law?  These and other questions will be addressed by our panel of experts.

The Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group hosted this panel on "Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press" on Friday, November 15, during the 2013 National Lawyers Convention.

Criminal Law: Criminal Law Enforcement versus the Free Press
12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m.

State Room

  • Mr. Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Prof. Eric M. Freedman, Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Hofstra University School of Law
  • Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • Hon. Michael Mukasey, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and former United States Attorney General
  • Moderator: Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. John G. Malcolm, Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

[Watch or listen now!]

FDA Censorship Could Cost Lives

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 2, Summer 1999
Daniel E. Troy August 21, 2009

Last month brought news that an inexpensive generic drug is remarkably effective in reducing congestive heart failure. The finding is expected to save tens of thousands of lives and reduce hospital expenditures by billions of dollars every year. So dramatic are the results that the New England Journal of Medicine rushed into print a study reporting reduced death rates of 30 percent over two years.

There's just one problem. The Food and Drug Administration has for years forbidden the manufacturers of wonder drugs such as this one from informing doctors about developments like this. Under this policy, manufacturers are not even allowed to send physicians reprints of the New England Journal article.

Finley v. National Endowment for the Arts: Unfortunate Decision, Important Lessons

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 2, Spring 1997
David McGowan November 03, 2009
The force of Tocqueville's observation that in America political questions tend to become legal questions has not diminished with time, as the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in Finley v. National Endowment for the Arts, 100 F.3d 671 (9th Cir. 1996), emphatically shows. Indeed, even a narrow statement of Finley's holding - that the Constitution forbids the NEA from taking into account the "decency" of a prospective grantee's proposed work - carries an extraordinary number of doctrinal and policy implications, most of which can be traced to the essentially political nature of the dispute.