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By David L. Hudson, Jr. Overbreadth is a supremely important concept in First Amendment law and a key tool for constitutional litigators. A law is too broad—or overbroad—when it not only covers speech that ought to be proscribed but also penalizes speech that should be safeguarded.    For example, let’s say that a public school... Read more Read more


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By David L. Hudson, Jr. The First Amendment may protect profanity directed against another. Then again, such intemperate speech may fall into a narrow, traditionally unprotected category of expression known as “fighting words.” While many assume that cursing at a police officer would result in a disorderly conduct charge, that is not categorically so. Thus,... Read more Read more


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By David L. Hudson, Jr. Defamation refers to false statements of fact that harm another’s reputation. It encompasses both libel and slander. Libel generally refers to written defamation, while slander refers to oral defamation. The hallmark of a defamation claim is reputational harm. Former United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote in Rosenblatt v.... Read more Read more


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Chilling effect refers to a phenomenon where individuals or groups refrain from engaging in expression for fear of running afoul of a law or regulation. Read more


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By Margaret Talev and John Lauerman at Bloomberg President Donald Trump threatened to take away federal funding from the University of California at Berkeley the morning after violent, fiery protests prompted the cancellation of a speech by a provocative Breitbart News editor… Read more here. Read more


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Richard Hasen's "Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections" is published. Read more


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The Court rules the governor's campaign and that of conservative groups had not violated campaign finance laws. Read more


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CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling is convicted under the Espionage Act for revealing information to journalist James Risen about Operation Merlin—a covert operation to feed Iran faulty designs for nuclear weapon parts. He is sentenced to three and a half years in jail. Read more


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Robert Post's book analyzing the Citizens United decision, "Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution," is published. Read more


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The Court rules that pre-enforcement challenges to campaign finance law are justiciable. Read more



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