One of More Chilling Post-9/11 Political Prosecutions, Case of Sami Al-Arian, Appears to Have Ended

By: Wednesday July 2, 2014 2:23 pm

A political prosecution against a Palestinian-American activist and University of South Florida professor, which began in February 2003, appeared to come to an end on June 27 as the United States government announced it was dropping all charges against him.

 

NYPD Drone Artist Essam Attia Cleared of Charges

By: Thursday March 6, 2014 1:24 pm

Essam Attia, the NYC artist who gained prominence through a fake NYPD drone campaign in the fall of 2012, was informed in a court appearance this past Monday that all charges would be dismissed. Attia faced five charges, three of which were felonies, and 56 counts for possessing a forged instrument. Attia faced possible jail time.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Larry Getlen, Conversations with Carlin: An In-Depth Discussion with George Carlin about Life, Sex, Death, Drugs, Comedy, Words, and so much more

By: Saturday January 25, 2014 1:59 pm

Author Larry Getlen gives a comprehensive account of a great man and his unique set of values. Conversations with Carlin feels intimate, but is broad in scope and even dense in certain areas. However, Carlin’s relaxed tone and verbal dexterity make reading it seem as if you are having some immortal yet casual exchange with the man himself.

United States Blocks German Author, Critical of NSA Surveillance, From Entering the Country

By: Tuesday October 1, 2013 5:25 pm

German-Bulgarian author Ilija Trojanow, who has been highly critical of the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance apparatus, was blocked from taking an American Airlines flight from Salvador, Brazil, to a conference with German academics in Denver.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Thomas J. Healy, The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

By: Sunday August 25, 2013 1:59 pm

No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.

Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.

In First Amendment Case Over Afghan War Memoir, Justice Department Asks Judge to End Lawsuit

By: Wednesday May 1, 2013 1:05 pm

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to conclude that a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer “has no First Amendment right to publish the information at issue” in a memoir he penned at on his service in the war in Afghanistan. They maintain information the officer wants to publish is “properly classified” and the government is “entitled to substantial deference” that its publication would result in harm from disclosure.

Environmental Activist, Prosecuted as if He Was Terrorist, Was Held in Isolation for Political Speech

By: Monday April 1, 2013 6:30 pm

An environmental activist, who was prosecuted by the Justice Department for engaging in acts the department considers to be terrorism, has found out through a lawsuit of which he is a plaintiff that he was transferred to a prison in Marion, Illinois, and held in isolation for his political speech.

Federal Court Blocks Some of Alabama Immigration Law, but “Papers Please” Here to Stay (For Now)

By: Tuesday August 21, 2012 8:45 am

Federal courts have consistently trimmed back attempts by states to write their own immigration laws. The Supreme Court overturned much of the Arizona immigration law in June, and federal judges have done the same to parts of laws in several Southern states. We saw another example of this yeterday, when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state of Alabama and its draconian immigration law. However, the precedent set by the Supreme Court on Arizona did hold, and the “papers please” parts of immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia were upheld for the time being.

A Prayer for Punks

By: Friday August 17, 2012 1:29 pm

Today we witness a landmark event in freedom of speech and ability to question the objectives of orthodox religion abroad. As the debate over religious freedom and freedom of speech has gained prominence during the past year in the United States, concern for religious relevance and the right to articulate that concern is not unique to America in 2012.

In the early hours of June 11, members of Russia’s “Investigative Committee,” made their way onto the balcony of Maria Alykhina’s apartment, “turned on an electric circular saw, and threatened to cut the door down,” before ransacking the apartment, leaving with her computer, books, political materials, and a trove of family photos.”

The Crackdown on Chalk (#Chalkupy Austin)

By: Monday August 13, 2012 7:30 pm

Sometimes occupiers take risks, but none of us expected to be arrested that evening for chalking on a sidewalk.

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