Skip to Content

All Posts for First Amendment Blog

Attacks on the media only making them stronger

March 5th, 2017 by efitzpatrick

Harrison Connery, senior journalism major at Roger Williams University:

 

Jon Keller, political analyst for WBZ-TV, welcomed people to the New England First Amendment Coalition awards ceremony on Feb. 24 in Boston, saying: "Ladies, gentlemen, fellow enemies of the people -- glad you could make it out today."

 

Enemy of the American People? Undermining a free press

February 20th, 2017 by efitzpatrick

Edward Fitzpatrick, RWU director of media and public relations, New England First Amendment Coalition board member and former Providence Journal columnist:

Absolutely!

The Trump administration appears to be springing more leaks than the Oroville Dam spillway. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, the public would be drowning in the cascade of “alternative facts” pouring from the White House.

Trump's order violates bedrock principles of Roger Williams and RI

January 30th, 2017 by efitzpatrick

Jared A. Goldstein, RWU professor of law who teaches constitutional law, former U.S. Department of Justice attorney:

President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday, Jan. 27, that violates the bedrock principles upon which Roger Williams founded Rhode Island. I’ve always been proud to work at a university named for Roger Williams, whose commitment to religious liberty for all peoples formed the basis for our nation’s commitment to separation of church and state and its dedication to the principle that the government should never favor or disfavor any religion. The president’s order, however, prohibits the issuance of visas to anyone from one of seven specified predominately Muslim countries. The order also blocks entry by refugees from any of the seven countries. The order attempts to put into effect Trump’s campaign promise to ban immigration by Muslims and to close the door to Muslim refugees.

Moguls and the media

January 2nd, 2017 by efitzpatrick

David  A. Logan, professor of law and former dean of the RWU School of Law, who has studied and written extensively about First Amendment issues:

Among President-elect Donald Trump's many ill-informed campaign statements was that he was "going to open up libel laws." 

Where to begin? First, libel law was, and remains, state law. Second, while federal legislation does impact pockets of libel law (most notably, the Communications Decency Act protects websites from liability for merely hosting defamatory statements posted by third parties), the primary reason why politicians have trouble winning libel actions is not federal statutes but rather the First Amendment.  

Blocking Women's March from key D.C. sites risks infringing on First Amendment rights

December 12th, 2016 by efitzpatrick

Jenna Wims Hashway, professor of legal practice at the RWU School of Law:

The president-elect’s respect for (and indeed, grasp of) First Amendment rights has been a source of concern for many.  Now, with the announcement that the National Park Service (on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee) has issued a massive omnibus block permit — barring access to the National Mall and Lincoln Memorial for days or weeks before, during and after the inauguration — the right of peaceful assembly is also at risk.