Climate Change Denial: Opinion or Libel?
When it comes to issues of libel and defamation, I usually find myself siding with the press. I think of cases like Hustler Magazine v. Falwell or Bollea v. Gawker, or even New York Times v. Sullivan. But what if statements of opinion in the press invalidate accurate facts about important issues like climate science? ... Continue Reading →
Who’s to say what should be exposed?
This week, there’s been a lot of talk in the media about whistleblowers. Should they be identified? Should they be punished for their actions? The recent whistleblower — having leaked a phone transcript that reveals information about the president’s shady business with Ukraine — has been the topic of conversation among senators, congressmen and the... Continue Reading →
Big Brother is Reading Your Emails
In his 2017 New York Times Article about the revival of the Wikimedia v. NSA case, Charlie Savage raises a very important question: How do we apply old legal concepts (like the First and Fourth Amendments) to 21st century communications technology? Maybe we don’t. In the article, Savage outlines the details of the case, explaining... Continue Reading →
Hate Speech = Free Speech?
Hate speech. Recently there’s been discussion in the media, questioning the First Amendment and the fact that it allows for hate speech. According to an article in the Washington Times on Thursday, 51% of Americans think that the First Amendment should be rewritten and 48% think that hate speech should be illegal. Those are significant... Continue Reading →
Influencers Included in Modern Day Press?
When is and isn’t it okay to ask a journalist to divulge their sources in court? Should the press be allowed to have special privileges? Who even is the press, anyway? In chapter six of his book Freedom for the Thought That We Hate, Anthony Lewis talks about the complicated nature of reporter’s privilege when... Continue Reading →
Secularism’s “Assault” on Morality
On October 11, Attorney General Bill Barr delivered a speech at the University of Notre Dame Law School with the message that we should be concerned about the secularist agenda to oppress religious people (specifically Catholics) and take away their freedom of religion — yes, you read that right. To me, it’s no surprise that... Continue Reading →
Media to Blame for Threats to Free Press?
Craven speaking in to ACLU Members.
Libel in an Era of Fake News
In chapter 4 of his book, Freedom for the Thought That We Hate, Anthony Lewis outlines the evolution of Libel law. He identifies the supreme court case, New York Times v. Sullivan as a turning point in the United States, claiming that it put an end to the concept of seditious libel and was extremely... Continue Reading →
The First Amendment: Protecting More than Just Non-Controversial Ideas
Seven years ago, the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) rejected a proposed bus advertisement from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Freethought Society, an organization for atheists, agnostics, secularists, and skeptics. COLTS refused to run the ad because it included the word “atheist.” This decision was on the basis that it's the policy of the transit system... Continue Reading →