- Professor Richard Dooling, Nebraska Law
Two American Muslim professors have been targeted by ISIS for criticizing the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has redoubled efforts to criminalize expressions of “Islamophobia” in Western nations. The most recent Intelligence Squared debate revealed heightened concern about restrictive speech codes on American campuses (e.g., the blacklisting of distinguished speakers who are labeled controversial by some people). What speech is, and what speech should be, protected in these and other contexts?
Lars Hedegaard was prosecuted under the European “incitement to hate” law all the way up to the Danish Supreme Court. Upon a full court re-hearing he was unanimously acquitted of intending his comments for public dissemination. He then survived a terrorist assassination attempt. Mr. Hedegaard will discuss why he has devoted so much to the cause of free speech and his deep belief that robust speech is vital to the survival of Western civilization. He assessed the long-term prospects for reform of speech laws in Europe, post Charlie Hebdo, and commented on what the United States might learn from developments in Europe.
On January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar. This case asks whether a rule of judicial conduct that prohibits candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds violates the First Amendment.
To discuss the case, we have Ed Whelan who is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Erik Jaffe, who is a sole practitioner at Erik S. Jaffe, PC.
On January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Reed v. Town of Gilbert. The Town of Gilbert has a sign code that imposes limits on the size, location, number, and duration of the signs advertising the weekly services of the Good News Community Church, whose pastor, Clyde Reed, sued. The sign code does not impose the same restrictions on political, ideological, and homeowners’ association signs. Does the First Amendment rule against content discrimination require a plaintiff to prove intentional discrimination by a government entity? Does the Town of Gilbert's assertion that its sign code lacks a discriminatory motive render its facially content-based sign code content-neutral and justify the code's differential treatment of religious signs?