Free Speech & Press

Already famous for abusing the legal system to stifle critics, President Trump has reduced press access, assailed leakers, and threatened his critics and political opponents.

UPDATE: The President’s Twitter Account & the First Amendment

6/22/17  //  Commentary

Recent developments bolster claims that President Trump has violated the First Amendment by blocking people on Twitter.

Amanda Shanor

Yale Law School

The Slants, Government Speech, and Elane Photography

6/22/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling in Matal v. Tam, the government speech doctrine will not swallow the First Amendment.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

Analysis continues whether the President violates the First Amendment by blocking Twitter followers due to disagreement with their views.

The President’s Twitter Account & the First Amendment

6/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

There are strong First Amendment arguments against President Trump blocking Twitter followers due to disagreement with their views.

Amanda Shanor

Yale Law School

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

Discussion of President Trump blocking constituents on Twitter, and pro-Trump information spreading on the social media site.

Trump & Libel

5/16/17  //  Commentary

A particularly brazen part of Trump’s attack on the press has been his assertion—both as a candidate and as President—that he will change the libel laws to make it easier to sue the media for unfavorable coverage. That won't work, for many reasons. But Trump’s outrageous threats are brilliantly successful in other ways, no matter how unlikely they are to formally succeed.

Amanda Shanor

Yale Law School

Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017

5/14/17  //  Daily Update

A reporter in West Virginia was arrested after persistently questioning Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about the AHCA.

Jason Harrow is Wrong About the First Amendment

5/12/17  //  Uncategorized

Freedom of speech is great. Nobody denies it. But the lawsuit against Trump for inciting violence at a campaign rally is legally meritorious, at least at the motion to dismiss stage. And the notion that finding liability against Trump here would imperil protests for all Americans just doesn't hold water.

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Protecting Protesters'—And The President's—Freedom Of Speech

5/12/17  //  Commentary

Some people are trying to sue the President for violence that erupted at his campaign rallies. But if they're successful, it might make life more difficult for many others, like Black Lives Matter, who regularly speak passionately about controversial issues.

Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017

5/7/17  //  Daily Update

Reince Priebus wants to limit American speech against the government, which is probably unconstitutional. President Trump will find no shelter from suit in Clinton v. Jones precedent.

Take Care

Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017

4/30/17  //  Daily Update

Analysts wrestle with fake news, President Trump's comments at campaign rallies, and his tweets.

Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017

4/11/17  //  Daily Update

The Administration threatened Wikileaks with criminal action. Meanwhile, the Administration refused to release its visitor logs.

How Damaging is Clinton v Jones to Trump's Defense Against Various Lawsuits?

5/1/17  //  Commentary

Unless and until the Supreme Court overrules Clinton v. Jones, that rule is that the president lacks immunity, regardless of where he is sued. Thus, Clinton v. Jones is indeed very damaging to Trump's defense against the various lawsuits against him on the basis of his pre-presidential conduct.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Versus Trump, Episode 2: "Get 'Em Out!" + Richard Primus

4/27/17  //  Commentary

The second episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, features discussion of a lawsuit against President Trump for inciting violence, the Muslim travel ban, and more. Listen or subscribe now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

The First Amendment Belongs Only to Americans? Wrong

3/29/17  //  Commentary

The First Amendment makes America great for everyone, not just for citizens.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Hate Speech Is Free Speech, But Maybe It Shouldn't Be

4/25/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Given enough time, a movement to treat hate speech as beyond the pale, perhaps as part of a backlash against Trumpism, could result in political changes and transformative judicial appointments that redefine the protections of the First Amendment.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

When Free Speech Suits the President

4/6/17  //  Commentary

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a suit alleging that President Trump incited violence against protesters at one of his campaign rallies last year. The bitter irony to Trump's defense is that it seeks to expand free speech rules; usually, he prefers to trash them.

Amanda Shanor

Yale Law School

Ethics Complaints Against Lying Trump-Administration Lawyers

4/7/17  //  Commentary

There might still be some lies that people won't tolerate. Even from lawyers. And even from lawyers who are also politicians. Should those lies be the basis for discipline under legal ethics rules?

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Sanctionable

4/25/17  //  Quick Reactions

In a civil suit against Trump for inciting violence at a campaign rally, Trump's lawyer argues that Trump is immune from suit as President of the United States (citing Clinton v. Jones). His argument is not simply wrong. It is sanctionable.

Neil J. Kinkopf

George State University College of Law

Versus Trump, Episode Two

4/27/17  //  Commentary

This Week's Episode: "Get 'Em Out!" + Richard Primus

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017

3/26/17  //  Daily Update

Developments in the First Amendment for the week of March 20, 2017.

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump highlights the need to fight for truth.

Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017

4/16/17  //  Daily Update

This week, Twitter sued to oppose a demand for the identity of a user critical of the Trump Administration by the Customs and Border Patrol. Erik Wemple writes that President Trump has undermined public trust in the media.

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

Take Care saw analysis of President Trump's free speech argument in the civil case alleging that he incited violence against protestors by Amanda Shanor, as well as an argument for an active "democracy agenda" by Daniel Tokaji.