Defending Your Rights | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

At FIRE, we champion your right to free expression

On campus and off, defending expressive rights is critical to ensuring an America where you feel safe to speak freely.

FIRE Case Archive

Defending Your Rights

FIRE defends and sustains the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought — the essential qualities of liberty — and carries out this mission through several core services.

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Campus Rights Advocacy

Higher Education

Are you a college student or faculty member punished or investigated for something you posted on social media? Denied recognition of your student group? Is your student publication being threatened? Are you facing non-renewal or loss of tenure because of your views? FIRE’s Campus Rights Advocacy is here to help.

Learn More About Campus Rights Advocacy

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Student editor Jared Nally is suing his university after its president issued a directive that banned him from engaging in basic acts of journalism. (Gary Rohman for FIRE)

FIRE filed a lawsuit against the university to protect student press freedoms for Jared, The Indian Leader, and student journalists around the country.

Student journalist SUES his university, and WINS!

Defending Student Rights

The president of Haskell Indian Nations University issued an unconstitutional directive to student journalist Jared Nally, editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper, The Indian Leader, that formally forbade Jared from engaging in protected journalistic activities. The president also directed Jared to start showing university administrators the “highest respect” — or else!

Read about Jared's victory in court

Coastal Carolina University Professor Steven Earnest
Without the help and leadership of FIRE, I am certain that I would have been forced out of my career of over 25 years.

Fired for Speaking Out

Faculty Story

After public outrage, Coastal Carolina University reinstates theater professor Steven Earnest, who criticized student protestors.

Read Steven's Story

Faculty Legal Defense Fund

The Faculty Legal Defense Fund offers “first responder” assistance to protect the expressive and academic freedom rights of faculty at public colleges and universities. If you face censorship or retaliation for your instruction or scholarship, or for your speech on issues of public concern as a private citizen, then FLDF may be able to help. 

Learn More About FLDF

Call FLDF Hotline

Student Press Freedom Initiative

Are you a student journalist? FIRE has your back. Our Student Press Freedom Initiative (SPFI) defends free press on campus by advocating for the rights of student journalists across the country.

Learn more about how FIRE defends the free student press

74

In 2021 alone, FIRE’s Campus Rights Advocacy team won 74 campus rights victories, impacting the rights of thousands of college students and faculty.

459

Since 1999, FIRE has won 459 defense victories at 283 colleges and universities.

1,608

In 2021, FIRE vetted over 1,600 case submissions involving individuals and groups who said their rights were threatened.

500k

In 2021, FIRE’s College Policy Reform team won 47 policy-change victories affecting nearly 500,000 students.