100th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Free Speech Jurisprudence

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s free speech jurisprudence. On March 4, 1919, the Court issued a decision in Schenck v. United States, and in the intervening years, it has repeated and clarified its defense of free expression. Many of those decisions remain highly relevant to today’s controversies—from the 1943 decision in West Virginia v. Barnette affirming an individual’s choice to participate or not in the Pledge of Allegiance to the 1967 Keyishian v. Board of Regents championing free speech, association, and academic independence in higher education.

“Our country’s challenges change, but the importance of free expression in addressing them remains constant,” said Charles Koch Institute’s Casey Mattox. “Throughout our history, civil liberties have made it possible for individuals to stand against injustice, especially when their positions represented views unpopular at the times. First Amendment protections continue to enable social change—empowering movements working toward freedom for all people.”

The conversations the United States has had for the past century around free expression are just as relevant today. Technological innovation means continued opportunity to understand and defend free expression in the wake of new platforms and new tools. We support scholars, including those at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University studying free speech and press freedom in the digital age, faculty at the Stanford Law School’s Religious Liberty Clinic giving law students first-chair to learn the finer points of constitutional law, and other partners addressing critical questions.

07-16-2019 11:41am

Setting the Table for Discussion on How Tech Platforms Address Extremism

Media and technology firms are grappling to discover and refine the rules, tools, and standards that address substantive concerns about extreme content while allowing free expression to thrive. Communities Overcoming Extremism: the After Charlottesville Project is bringing together private sector leaders to talk about the questions and discoveries arising in different online communities.

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06-26-2019 10:55am

Open Letter to 2019 Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism Fellows

By creating a supportive community of young journalism professionals, the Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism Fellowship aims to magnify their influence on the profession at a time when the field offers incredible opportunities and unprecedented challenges.

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06-17-2019 05:45pm

How to Enrich Campus Speech and Protect Academic Autonomy

Higher education provides college students an opportunity to refine the skills necessary for tackling competing and challenging views as well as discovering how to collaborate with those they disagree with. In the wake of seven states enacting policy to clear the way for students and scholars fostering such an open, intellectual environment, Charles Koch Institute Senior Fellow Casey Mattox issued the following statement.

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