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Free Speech and Association

August 13, 2019

Freedom of speech means freedom not to speak, too

Our freedom of speech is woven into the fabric of the Bill of Rights. People have a First Amendment right to speak freely without government interference or compulsion. This freedom also includes the right not to speak for—or pay for the speech of—anything against one's will. Yet many states violate that fundamental right by requiring ...

August 12, 2019

The Hill: Government regulation of social media would kill the internet — and free speech

Social media companies have been criticized for disproportionately restricting content that offends political progressives. For example, a Pinterest insider recently leaked documents showing that the platform censors pro-life speech as "pornography." Popular "classical liberal" YouTuber Dave Rubin has complained that his videos are flagged and disc ...

July 30, 2019

You have a right to know your rights

For six years, Mike Jackson was forced to pay approximately $600 a year to the Teamsters union. Mike—an employee at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)—doesn't agree with the union, doesn't want to support it, and doesn't think he receives enough value from his membership. But until recently, he didn't have any other choice. ...

July 24, 2019

The Founding Fathers of our limited government: Thomas Jefferson and the freedom of speech

This is the fifth in a five-part series dedicated to exploring the lives, ideas, and contributions of the five individuals most directly responsible for the founding of the United States. Without the courageous actions of James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, America would not be the country that it ...

July 18, 2019

Championing happy hour (in Virginia and beyond)

The Happy Hour: An opportunity to imbibe a modestly priced cocktail with friends and colleagues. Or as Virginia bureaucrats would describe it: An opportunity for bars and restaurants to lure unsuspecting passersby with dangerous alcohol. For years, Virginia restaurants and bars were banned from advertising happy hour drink prices or from using any ...

July 05, 2019

Supreme Court: Freedom of speech still applies to offensive speech

The First Amendment protects your right to say things that are crude, disparaging, immoral, or scandalous. It protects George Carlin's monologues the same as Shakespeare's sonnets. And it also means the government cannot deny you a trademark just because it doesn't like your brand name or message. Two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down ...