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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by Senior Circuit Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg for a masterclass on the history of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Ginsburg was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1986 and served as that court’s Chief Judge from 2001-2008. He is also a P…
 
Since 1980, the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards have recognized those who go above and beyond to protect and enhance First Amendment rights. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by Christie Hefner, who founded and chairs the awards, to discuss the awards’ origins and this year’s awardees in the categories …
 
Watch-along as Co-Director Nico Perrino narrates the new documentary film about the life and career of former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser, “Mighty Ira: A Civil Liberties Story.” Show notes: MightyIra.com Watch Mighty Ira in virtual cinema through Angelika Film Center www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/fre…
 
Former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser discusses the new film about his life and career, “Mighty Ira: A Civil Liberties Story.”The film, now in “virtual cinema,” makes the case for robust free speech protections amidst the “tough” cases, including the 1978 Skokie case and Charlottesville. Along the way, viewers will also learn about Glasser’s g…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, FIRE Senior Research Fellow Sean Stevens joins us to discuss the “2020 College Free Speech Rankings: What’s the Climate for Free Speech on America’s College Campuses?” The rankings are based on the largest free speech survey of college students ever performed, which collected the views of …
 
He is most widely known for his role as lead attorney in what’s simply become known as “the Skokie case.” But David Goldberger’s storied legal career goes far beyond his representation of neo-Nazis who wanted to rally in a village where a large number of Holocaust survivors lived. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are j…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by FIRE’s Robert Shibley and Samantha Harris to discuss a whirlwind summer: FIRE has fielded a record number of requests for help, and this week the Department of Education’s much-anticipated new Title IX regulations go into effect. There’s also “cancel culture.” Show notes: …
 
Princeton Professor Peter Singer has been called “the world’s most influential living philosopher.” But he may be as controversial as he is influential. It’s perhaps fitting then that he is a founding editor of a new academic publication called the Journal of Controversial Ideas. The journal claims to be the world’s “first open access, peer-reviewe…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak, we are joined by PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel to discuss campus censorship, cancel culture, how different generations think about free speech, the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in 2015, and more. Nossel is the author of the forthcoming book, “Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All.” Show notes: Transcript Bari …
 
As protests against racial injustice continue across America, colleges and universities are increasingly speaking out in support of the protests. What’s more, some are also taking action to investigate or punish faculty critical of the protesters’ perceived aims. What does this mean for academic freedom and freedom of speech? And does this signal a…
 
This episode is a rebroadcast from March 2017. “If you spend five minutes with your worst enemy, you will find you have something in common,” said Daryl Davis. “If you spend 10 minutes, you’ll find you even have more in common. And the more you find that you have in common and build upon those things, the less the things that you have in contrast w…
 
During the summer of 2017, a fierce dispute over the removal of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Va. captured national attention. The events that summer led to racial animosity and heated debate over our nation’s history and the First Amendment, and threw one historic city into turmoil, ultimately culminating in death and tragedy during th…
 
A new FIRE report finds that 77% of public colleges and universities use a blacklist of secret words to censor comments on their Facebook pages. What’s more, 87% of them block particular users on Facebook or Twitter. How do these blacklists work? How were they discovered? And do they violate the First Amendment? On today’s episode of So to Speak: T…
 
On Wednesday, the Department of Education published its long-awaited new Title IX regulations. Over the years — and with the federal government’s prodding — Title IX has been twisted and used to justify censorship and the denial of core due process rights for those accused of sexual misconduct on America’s college campus. The new regulations will b…
 
With much of the country under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, what do these orders mean for the five freedoms of the First Amendment? On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, host Nico Perrino and constitutional law expert Josh Blackman will break it all down. Blackman is a professor of law at the South Texas College of Law…
 
For authoritarian leaders across the globe, the coronavirus emergency presents an opportunity to silence critics and consolidate power. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, host Nico Perrino is joined by international free expression experts Jacob Mchangama and Sarah McLaughlin to discuss how countries like Turkey, Hungary, E…
 
How and why do authoritarian regimes seek to control information? On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, host Nico Perrino is joined by University of Maryland Associate Professor Cynthia L. Martin to explore how one country, the former Soviet Union, restricted access to information and stifled dissent — and what changed when th…
 
"Coronavirus and the failure of the ‘Marketplace of Ideas’" by Foundation for Individual Rights in Education President & CEO Greg Lukianoff, as read by Susan Kruth. www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, host Nico Perrino sits down with FIRE President & CEO Greg Lukianoff to discuss how FIRE is adapting to the coronavirus outbreak. We also explore the ideas behind Greg’s new, widely discussed article, “Coronavirus and the failure of the ‘Marketplace of Ideas’.” Show notes: Transcript Greg’…
 
Why is it important that we protect freedom of speech? On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, host Nico Perrino speaks with Duke University School of Law professor Joseph Blocher, who argues that one of the most common justifications for free speech — creating a “marketplace of ideas” in our search for truth — rests on unstable…
 
At a time when artistic expression has never enjoyed greater First Amendment protection, rap music has seemingly been left behind. Rap lyrics are routinely used as evidence by police and prosecutors to justify arresting and charging suspects for all manner of alleged crimes. In their new book, “Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America,” aut…
 
Do violent video games make people more violent? Amid calls to censor or restrict access to violent video games because of their perceived contributions to violent events (such as school shootings), the question is as important as ever. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, host Nico Perrino explores this question. He is joine…
 
Is carrying a weapon during a political demonstration protected by the First Amendment? What about intentionally creating an addictive video game? Does the First Amendment’s press clause require the existence of news outlets? On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we explore these three topics and more with First Amendment scho…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, host Nico Perrino is joined by his FIRE colleagues Robert Shibley, Samantha Harris, and Will Creeley to discuss: the firing of a faculty member at Babson College for a satirical Facebook post; the punishment of two students at the University of Connecticut for the use of a racial epithet; …
 
“Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we explore how America’s fear of communism in the early- to mid-20th century led to firings and blacklists in Hollywood, government, and higher education — and how these actions compromised America’s treasured principles o…
 
On today’s edition of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we celebrate 100 episodes by bringing back on the show popular past guests for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of free speech in America. Joining us are: Jonathan Rauch, senior fellow, Brookings Institution Nadine Strossen, professor, New York Law School, past president of the ACLU …
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by professor Dale E. Miller to discuss the life and philosophy of the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, whose 1859 essay “On Liberty” is a classic text — maybe the classic text — defending the principles of free expression. Miller is a professor and associate dean for res…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by William & Mary Law School Professor Timothy Zick to discuss his new book, “The First Amendment in the Trump Era.” www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: …
 
Does free speech exist? According to Cardozo Law Professor Stanley Fish, it does not. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we dig into what the colorful professor means by this assertion and discuss his forthcoming book, “The First: How to Think About Hate Speech, Campus Speech, Religious Speech, Fake News, Post-Truth, and Do…
 
He brought 45 First Amendment cases to the United States Supreme Court between 1939 and 1955. His success rate before the court was second only to future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He handled as many as 50 major cases a year and is responsible for much of the First Amendment doctrine we take for granted today. Who was this man — and w…
 
In 1999, criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate joined with University of Pennsylvania Professor Alan Charles Kors to found the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we connect with Silverglate at his office in Cambridge, Mass. to discuss FIRE’s founding, the origins of his …
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, journalist Kevin Williamson joins us to discuss his new book, “The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics.” Williamson is the roving correspondent for National Review and co-host of the podcast Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Show notes: Podcast transcript “When the Twit…
 
One year ago this week, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” was published. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we sit down with FIRE President & CEO Greg Lukianoff, who co-authored the book with Jonathan Haidt, to reflect on what’s changed — or hasn’t…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by Knight First Amendment Institute Litigation Director Alex Abdo to discuss free speech, privacy, and President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Show notes: Podcast transcript “Why Rely on the Fourth Amendment To Do the Work of the First?” “Knight Institute v. Trump — lawsuit…
 
Last fall, three writers and scholars announced they had submitted 20 fake papers to academic journals to test whether — as they suspected — certain fields of study lacked scientific and academic rigor. Of the 20 papers they submitted before revealing their hoax, seven were accepted, four published, seven were “still in play,” and six were retired.…
 
National Review senior writer and former FIRE President David French has become an “-ism.” On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, French joins us to discuss “David French-ism” and “the battle dividing conservatives” over civil liberties. Also joining us is FIRE’s current President & CEO Greg Lukianoff, author of The New York Ti…
 
His office door was vandalized. He was accused of causing “harm” to his “college community.” There was even a demand — supported by dozens of his faculty peers — to review his tenure.Why? Because he wrote an op-ed in The New York Times arguing for more viewpoint diversity at his campus. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, Sa…
 
Community libraries have always been a target for would-be censors — and the past few months are no exception. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we explore past and present challenges to library content, and the unique role libraries play historically as bastions for free inquiry. We are joined by James LaRue, an award-win…
 
The Constitution grants Congress the power “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” However, figuring out how Congress actually does this can be confusing. Copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, fair use? …
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak, we are joined by Williams College Professor of Biology Luana Maroja. Professor Maroja’s experience growing up under a dictatorship in Brazil led her to become an outspoken advocate for free speech at Williams College and a skeptic of the idea that words are violence. Show notes: Podcast transcript Relevant writing…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by Wen Fa, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation who regularly litigates free speech cases. One of his most high-profile cases was the 2018 Supreme Court case Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, dealing with a polling-place dress code in Minnesota. Show notes: Minnes…
 
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.” So begins Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem “Howl.” You might be familiar with Allen Ginsberg. You might be familiar with the poem. But chances are you don’t know about the efforts in San Francisco in 1957 to censor the poem. On today’s episode of So to Speak, we discuss those efforts with di…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak, we sit down with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Mustafa Akyol to discuss threats to freedom of thought and expression around the world, with a particular focus on situations in Turkey and China. Akyol has been described by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria as “Turkey’s finest political analyst.” Prior to joining Cato, he was a s…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak, we ask the question, “can free speech be progressive?” Our guest is Louis Michael Seidman. He is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown Law and the author of the much-discussed 2018 Columbia Law Review article “Can Free Speech Be Progressive?” Click here for a transcript of the podcas…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we speak with Techdirt.com founder and editor Mike Masnick. Since founding Techdirt in 1997, Masnick has written nearly 50,000 blog posts for the publication and covered many of tech’s hottest free speech controversies. He even coined the phrase “Streisand Effect.” In this conversation, we…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, FIRE staffers discuss our 2019 list of the 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech. Participants in this show are: Nico Perrino, host of So to Speak, director of communications Will Creeley, senior vice president of legal and public advocacy Adam Steinbaugh, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights …
 
Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith is perhaps best known for opposing many campaign finance regulations on First Amendment grounds. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we talk with the former chairman about how political campaign activity is regulated in America and how this regulation implicates th…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we speak with Rutgers Law School Professor Carlos Ball about his book, “The First Amendment and LGBT Equality: A Contentious History.” During this conversation, we explore the history of how LGBT activists utilized the First Amendment to secure their rights, why Professor Ball considers th…
 
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by four members of FIRE’s staff to discuss the latest campus free speech news, including two new FIRE initiatives to tackle art censorship and restrictions on free speech and academic freedom abroad. Participants in this show are: Nico Perrino, host of So to Speak, director o…
 
Her journey started with wearing a black armband to school and proceeded to the landmark United States Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969). But it by no means stopped there: Mary Beth Tinker, namesake of the “Tinker” decision, continues to be a free speech icon. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Spee…
 
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