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Freedom of Speech

Liberty's First Crisis: Adams, Jefferson, and the Misfits Who Saved Free Speech - Podcast

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
Charles Slack, Stephen R. Klein August 27, 2015

When the United States government passed the Bill of Rights in 1791, its uncompromising protection of speech and of the press were unlike anything the world had ever seen before. But by 1798, the once-dazzling young republic of the United States was on the verge of collapse: Partisanship gripped the weak federal government, British seizures threatened American goods and men on the high seas, and war with France seemed imminent as its own democratic revolution deteriorated into terror. Suddenly, the First Amendment, which protected harsh commentary of the weak government, no longer seemed as practical. So that July, President John Adams and the Federalists in control of Congress passed an extreme piece of legislation that made criticism of the government and its leaders a crime punishable by heavy fines and jail time. Liberty’s First Crisis tells the story of the 1798 Sedition Act, the crucial moment when high ideals met real-world politics and the country’s future hung in the balance. Author Charles Slack discussed his latest book and answered questions from the audience.

Crime and Politics: Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules in "John Doe" Investigation - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Allen Dickerson, Edward D. Greim, Tara Malloy, Jason Torchinsky July 24, 2015

On Thursday July 16, 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an opinion and order ending the long running “John Doe” investigation into potential violations of Wisconsin campaign finance law and whether candidates and outside groups illegally “coordinated” spending. In mid-June of 2015, a young political consultant was sentenced to nearly two years in federal prison for illegally coordinating between a congressional campaign and a Super PAC. The U.S. Department of Justice also recently announced it will look carefully at allegations of coordination between candidate and outside groups. What does all of this mean? Where is the law heading on this? Are civil and criminal investigations into campaign activity going to be increasing?

  • Allen Dickerson, Legal Director, Center for Competitive Politics
  • Edward D. Greim, Partner, Graves Garrett LLC
  • Tara Malloy Senior Counsel, Campaign Legal Center
  • Moderator: Jason Torchinsky, Holtzman Vogel Josefiak PLLC

The Court Speaks on Free Speech - Podcast

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
Eugene Volokh June 24, 2015

On Jun 18, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two cases with free speech implications. In Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Court held that the speech involved in a specialty license plate was government speech, and the government can regulate its content. In Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the Court held that the content-based time, size and location regulation of a church's signage did not pass strict scrutiny. Our expert discussed the details of the opinions and took questions from the audience.

  • Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law