Must reads: our best of 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

It was a year of Occupy protests, funeral protests, tea party protests, BART protests.

Hank Williams Jr. tested tolerance for political speech. Religion entered the presidential race (again). American Muslims expressed fear that their faith was under assault.

We celebrated the 220th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment Center celebrated its 20th.

And that’s just for starters. So much more happened. Following is some of what the First Amendment Center Online reported and said about a range of First Amendment issues as they arose throughout 2011.

Supreme Court analyses, retrospectives

Funeral-protest lawsuits won’t end with Westboro ruling, Tony Mauro
High court hands First Amendment win to funeral picketers, David L. Hudson Jr.
Court’s FOIA decision cheers openness advocates,
Tony Mauro
Justices again rein in exemption to FOIA, Tony Mauro
Religion, broadcast cases highlight new Supreme Court term, Tony Mauro
Scalia continues his history of relying on history, Tony Mauro
Federal civil trials: (possibly) coming soon to a TV screen near you, Tony Mauro
Inmates lose a remedy for religion-rights violations, Tony Mauro
FOIA weakened as whistleblower weapon, Tony Mauro
Judges’ complaint to news media: It doesn’t matter who appointed us, Tony Mauro
Justice Thomas making waves in First Amendment jurisprudence, David L. Hudson Jr.
1960 anonymous-speech ruling still resonates, David L. Hudson Jr.
Supreme Court protected criticism of judiciary 70 years ago,David L. Hudson Jr.
30 years ago today, high court backed student Christian group, David L. Hudson Jr.
Marking a big Supreme Court victory for press freedom, David L. Hudson Jr.
Fred Shuttlesworth’s enduring First Amendment legacy, David L. Hudson Jr.
William O. Douglas: ardent First Amendment defender, David L. Hudson Jr.



Judges, journalists talking to each other is good for public, Ken Paulson
The holiday that got away: Why we need to honor the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, Ken Paulson
Reason to make the First Amendment part of the season, Gene Policinski
5 favorite First Amendment passages, David L. Hudson Jr.
5 worst free-speech passages, David L. Hudson Jr.
Our political bent is freedom, Brian J. Buchanan
Bill of Rights Day gets its overdue due, Brian J. Buchanan
How to teach about the First Amendment, Brian J. Buchanan
First Amendment Center celebrates 20 years, Brian J. Buchanan


Speech gets ugly online, but it’s still free, Ken Paulson
Dancing with Jefferson, Ken Paulson
Can you post others’ work? It depends, Ken Paulson
Drawing the line on stick figures, Ken Paulson
Did BART railroad free speech, legal protest? Ken Paulson
Legislating loudness: the free-speech factor, Ken Paulson
As West talks of limits on social media, China cries hypocrisy, Ken Paulson
Hank Williams Jr. tests free-speech tolerance, Ken Paulson
‘Irvine 11′ disruption not an act of free-speech heroism, Ken Paulson
Not many exceptions to free-speech guarantee, Ken Paulson
Slaughterhouse Five ban should make school board blush, Ken Paulson
Support grows for free speech in songs, Ken Paulson
Reciting Pledge of Allegiance is patriotic — and voluntary, Gene Policinski
Putting 9/11 fear aside in favor of freedom, Gene Policinski
When what sounds like a threat is really free speech, Gene Policinski
Amendment to undo Citizens United won’t do, Gene Policinski
Anti-gay bullying: Does silence = death? Charles C. Haynes
Why I hate school censorship, David L. Hudson Jr.
Curse a cop, face arrest, take a pounding — without legal redress, David L. Hudson Jr.
Why 3rd Circuit ruled in favor of off-campus Net posts, David L. Hudson Jr.
2nd Circuit ruling offers glimmer of hope in post-Garcetti world, David L. Hudson Jr.
Remember, profanity isn’t always protected speech, David L. Hudson Jr.
First Amendment protects more than just words, David L. Hudson Jr.
Why I care about prisoners’ rights,David L. Hudson Jr.
Free speech not on trial in Giffords shooting, Brian J. Buchanan
What’s at stake for free speech in copyright case, Tiffany Villager
Banned Books Week: defending our freedom to read, Gordon Belt
Facing unresolved constitutional issue, judge sides with free speech, Doug Lee


Suspect’s mugshot: to publish or not to publish? Ken Paulson
The right to photograph: Why police can’t call the shots, Ken Paulson
WikiLeaks dumps cast journalistic care to the winds, Ken Paulson
Justice Scalia: Reflections on New York Times v. Sullivan, Ken Paulson
Note to White House: Don’t meddle with press pools, Gene Policinski
Pakistani reporter’s chilling question reminds us of our freedom, Gene Policinski
Breitbart is one in long line of reviled, revered media gadflies, Gene Policinski
Role of free press misunderstood as protests roll on, Gene Policinski
NYC mayor’s view on free press should trouble news magnate alter ego, Gene Policinski
Principle of reporting public matters stands, Doug Lee


Localities, save on legal bills: Don’t post the Ten Commandments, Ken Paulson
Beyond 9/11 horror, voices for the future, Charles C. Haynes
Religious name-calling has no place in political arena, Charles C. Haynes
Religious liberty in a divided (and confused) America, Charles C. Haynes
The truth about Muslims in America, Charles C. Haynes
Atheists, the First Amendment, and the demand for equal treatment, Charles C. Haynes
As gay rights advance, should religious groups get accommodation? Charles C. Haynes
Circumcision ballot measure is assault on religious freedom, Charles C. Haynes
Surprising support for separating church from state, Charles C. Haynes
The Mormon elephant in the presidential arena, Charles C. Haynes
Teachers, take note: Neutrality toward religion cuts both ways, Charles C. Haynes
Putting workers to a cruel choice: your God or your job, Charles C. Haynes
Teachers, take note: Neutrality toward religion cuts both ways, Charles C. Haynes
Questions of religion, child custody require delicate balance, David L. Hudson Jr.


Freedom to assemble, not camp out indefinitely, Ken Paulson
‘Occupy’ protests, tea party rallies: assembly, petition in action, Gene Policinski
New BART cell policy nods in First Amendment’s direction, Gene Policinski


Remembering an oft-forgotten freedom, Tiffany Villager