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First Amendment Library Feature: Expanding Content

This week, we’ve been highlighting the features currently available on FIRE’s new First Amendment Library. Today, as one of the staffers working to build this resource, I’d like to tell you about the future of the library and the content we are currently working to provide.

First and foremost, we are diligently expanding upon the features already available. Our First Amendment Case Database, which currently focuses on Supreme Court rulings, will see an expansion of information related to the cases housed in the database. For example, we plan to increase the number of cases that include summary information, such as case facts and the legal principles at issue in each case. Additionally, we will be adding lower court cases that have impacted the trajectory of First Amendment jurisprudence, especially on college campuses, as well as more information about the lawyers who argued the cases.

In the months to come, we will also add more illustrated timelines. These timelines use historical documents and images to describe the history of First Amendment-related issues. A timeline on campaign finance, for example, and others on the lives of those who have influenced the discussion around First Amendment rights, like Oliver Wendell Holmes, are in the works.

New kinds of content will also be added to the library. Currently, we are working to develop a First Amendment Encyclopedia, which we hope will contribute to a common understanding of terms vital to First Amendment scholarship.

First Amendment scholars across the nation are also working with FIRE to build up our database of special collections and to create short, easy-to-understand essays on First Amendment-related issues. We plan to publish essays covering everything from the five basic freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to niche topics like how the Internet is influencing First Amendment jurisprudence.

Our ultimate goal is for the library to become the best resource for all things related to the First Amendment for everyone—from any walk of life—who wants to learn about First Amendment issues. If you have any suggestions on content we should be developing, please email Our inbox is open to anyone who would like to help us make this happen.

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