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
U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Review First Amendment Case Over Minnesota Ban on Expressive T-Shirts, Buttons at Polling Places
Constitutional Attorney John W. Whitehead Speaks on ‘The State of the First Amendment on College Campuses’ at Univ. of Virginia Constitution Day Event
Rutherford Institute & ACLU Sue City for Discriminating Against Controversial 'Alt Right' Views by Blocking Protesters' Access to Park
Victory: Virginia Supreme Court Declares That Judges Who Spoke Out on Apolitical Matter of Public Concern Did Not Violate Ethics Rules
Rutherford Institute, ACLU Et Al. Call on Police to De-Escalate Use of Force, Adopt Less Confrontational Tactics in Dealing With Protesters
First Amendment Victory: Third Circuit Rules That Citizens and Journalists Have Right to Film/Record Police in Public
Rutherford Institute Warns That Police Intimidation of Local Activists Undermines First Amendment Rights and Could Result in Potential Lawsuit
Victory: Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Prohibits Government from Censoring Trademarks That Might Cause Offense, i.e. Slants, Redskins
Commentary on Free Speech Issues
Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest
Lynching Free Speech: The Intolerant State of America
Shame on the U.S. Supreme Court for Making a Mockery of the First Amendment
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