Defending this fundamental right of free expression is a central theme of The Rutherford Institute’s work because we believe that all other liberties spring forth from this right.
The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the opportunity to freely express themselves. This fundamental freedom includes the right to distribute literature and discuss a multitude of views—even views distasteful to most people. It also protects the right of the people to engage in lawful picketing and the right to peaceably assemble. It is critical that a free society value and honor a free marketplace of ideas, a diversity of opinion, and free expression. Without free expression, no democratic society would be possible.
It is for these reasons that The Rutherford Institute is dedicated to preserving these fundamental rights for all Americans. The Institute responds to hundreds of complaints of free speech violations each year. From environmental activists peaceably protesting on public property to preachers relaying their message in a public forum, The Rutherford Institute believes that all people, regardless of their personal beliefs, are entitled to speak freely.
Key Cases in Free Speech:
Our Recent Work in Free Speech
Rutherford Institute Warns Against Government Attempts to Intimidate Journalists by Prosecuting Radio Shock Jock Pete Santilli Over Oregon Standoff
Free Speech Double Standard: Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Declare Unconstitutional Its Own Ban on Expressive Activity on Plaza
First Amendment Victory: Appeals Court Rejects Government Attempt to Deny Trademarks for Names That Might Cause Offense, e.g., 'The Slants'
Rutherford Responds: City Officials, Police Ask Federal Court to Dismiss First Amendment Lawsuit Over Violation of Street Preachers’ Free Speech Rights
'Government Cannot Discriminate Against Offensive Speech': Rutherford Institute Argues for First Amendment Protection for Redskins' Name
Federal Appeals Court Refuses to Reconsider Decision Upholding 60-Year-Old Ban on Expressive Activity on U.S. Supreme Court Plaza
The Rutherford Institute’s petition for review in Clary v. Virginia DMV
Rutherford Institute Challenges Virginia Over Its Cancellation, Revocation and Recall of License Plates Displaying the Confederate Flag
Commentary on Free Speech Issues
Dangerous Speech: Would the Founders Be Considered Domestic Extremists Today?
The Right to Tell the Government to Go to Hell: Free Speech in an Age of Government Bullies, Corporate Censors and Compliant Citizens
Fear of the Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim
Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America
The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech
Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
An Unbearable and Choking Hell: The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11
Free Speech, RIP: A Relic of the American Past
Voter ID Laws: Silencing the American People
Criminalizing Free Speech: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?