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First Amendment

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The Supreme Court rules in favor of Americans’ right to protest. Today, the Court threw out a lower court opinion against Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson that cut to the heart of Americans’ right to free speech.

In McKesson v. Doe, an unnamed Louisiana police officer sought damages from McKesson after an unidentified protester threw a “rock-like” object, striking the officer’s face, resulting in injuries to his jaw and head. While McKesson was not the person who threw the object, the officer argues that because he organized the protest, he is liable for his injuries.

As Emerson Sykes, a…

Rumors of War

Our First Amendment right has been systematically dismantled — just when we might need it most

Photo illustration: Anthony Gerace; source: Ira L. Black — Corbis/Getty Images

Nobody sets out to be a political prisoner. But as Lillian House sat in a 7-by-14-foot cell, listening to the faint hum of chanting supporters in the distance building to a roar as they approached the Denver County Jail to demand her immediate release, the 25-year-old Etsy seller realized maybe that’s what she’d become.

House, who is white, stands six feet tall and has green eyes and straight brown hair. Though she’s most often seen in a red T-shirt promoting the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), House has a keen eye for fashionable vintage wear from previous decades, and…

Censorship always exists. The question is to what end.

Illustration: Daniel Zender

The one thing speech isn’t is free. There are costs to those who produce it and costs to those who are subjected to it. Of course, the term “free speech” does have a clear meaning under the Constitution: If you want to say something, you don’t have to ask the government’s permission, and you won’t be punished by the government for saying it. But even this freedom from state interference with your speech has its limits, and it does not protect you in private life, where speaking out carries with it the risk of censorship and penalty.

Supreme Court First…


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