The freedom to assemble and express your views through protest is a right protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, the line between proper assembly and improper harassment is easily muddled, especially when the protest concerns individual people, not institutions.
Inside of a 56-count indictment against several individuals in Atlanta, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis recently charged rapper “Young Thug” with gang activity and conspiracy charges under Georgia’s R.I.C.O Act. The indictment for Young Thug cites some of his song lyrics and accompanying music videos, arguing that it is proof of his involvement with the street gang “Young Slime Life.” These indictments have been the source of much controversy, raising concerns of government overreach of the First Amendment rights of musicians.
Today, Kanye West is most known for his outlandish behavior and frequent appearances amongst the tabloids. But early on in Mr. West’s career, he made a name for himself for taking samples of past music, using them in his present work, and creating some of the biggest hits to chart the Billboards. The future of such artistic creativity utilized by musicians such as Kanye West, comes under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court in Warhol v. Goldsmith.
Source: PEN America By Annalee Blanks, Vol. 21 Staff Writer The concept of book banning isn't anything new. In some instances, it’s older than the United States itself with the banning of alternative religion pamphlets going back into the 1650s. Starting in the 20th century, public schools became battlegrounds for parents and educators to debate … Continue reading Book Banning in Public Schools: A Poor Tool for Censorship
By: John Schengber, Vol. 21 Staff Writer In recent decisions from the circuit courts — the second-highest level of federal courts behind the Supreme Court — judges disagree as to whether states can prohibit social media companies from moderating content on their platforms. The Firth Circuit Court of Appeals evaluated a Texas law, and the … Continue reading Inconsistent: SCOTUS, Conservatism, and Corporate Speech
By Annelise Yackow, Vol. 21 Staff Writer The summer of 2020 was a pivotal time for the United States, particularly for the future of the criminal justice system, but also for First Amendment rights. Following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police, national protests broke out calling for improved police accountability … Continue reading Now Trending Nationally: States Limiting First Amendment Rights to Film Police Despite Explicit Right from the Supreme Court.
“I was just joking!” serves as a less than convincing defense to most accusations. Not so in the Ninth Circuit. There, as Jack Daniels learned in a case it now seeks to bring to the Supreme Court, where an otherwise infringing product “communicates a ‘humorous message’ ” it is almost impossible to win.
In May 2022, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against a California footwear company, Gravity Defyer Medical Technology Corporation, and its owner, Alexander Elnekaveh, for false and deceptive advertising. Gravity Defyer markets and sells “pain defying” footwear made with “hybrid VeroShock technology” that claims to relieve knee, back, ankle or foot pain associated with certain medical conditions. In response to the lawsuit, Gravity Defyer invoked their First Amendment right to free speech and criticized the government agency for having a history of overreaching.
Source: Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office (courtesy of CBS News) By: Blythe Riggan, Vol. 21 Staff Writer This summer, the Supreme Court left us with more questions than answers. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the Court held that the Constitution does not confer a federal right to an abortion. However, in stripping abortion of its … Continue reading What Happens in California, Doesn’t Stay in California: First Amendment Implications of Interstate Abortion Advertising Post-Dobbs
The First Amendment Law Review Board is excited to announce the first round of blog topics for Volume 21! We will be posting one blog from our newest Staff Writers here each week starting November 4th. Here is the schedule: Blog TopicDateInterstate Abortion AdvertisingNovember 4, 2022First Amendment Issues Around Misleading AdvertisementsNovember 11, 2022Jack Daniels v. … Continue reading Volume 21 Blogs!