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Author Archives: Gene Policinski

Gene Policinski: First Amendment protects protest movements

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement and its rapidly spreading urban echoes are — like the tea party movement — grand examples of Americans using at least two of our lesser-known First Amendment freedoms: assembly and petition. Regardless of how you ...

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Inside the First Amendment: High court rulings reinforce free speech

The U.S. Supreme Court has given us two terms of remarkable support for free expression — in cases remarkable for speech that many, if not most, of us really, really dislike. Its ruling June 27 that the states cannot forbid ...

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Inside the First Amendment: Laws are not best way to thwart Westboro

Whatever your thoughts about the controversial Fred Phelps family and their Westboro Baptist Church — and for most Americans, those thoughts are negative — the group continues to find ways to grab headlines and public attention. In the wake of ...

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Inside the First Amendment: Partisan blogger Breitbart is reviled and revered

Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart is highly partisan, frequently newsworthy and, likely depending on your political views, to be roundly admired or soundly criticized. But Breitbart is credited by all with first reporting the indiscreet tweets of Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. ...

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Inside the First Amendment: A lesson some educators can’t seem to learn

Wanna keep a secret? Betcha can’t — particularly when it involves an arrest and later the resignation of a local teacher. But when allegations of improper conduct by a teacher are involved, principals still keep trying to stifle the news ...

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Inside the First Amendment: The price of free speech can be steep

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Westboro Baptist Church free-speech decision, many online comments critical of the 8-1 ruling did so in speech that also relied on First Amendment protection. The situation was one more ironic twist in a case that ...

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