The post was authored by David Urban.

Controversies over free speech, disruptive protests, sharp debates among faculty, withdrawal of invitations to controversial speakers, and interference with rights of expression happen just as much at private as at public colleges and universities. The difference, however, is that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution binds

Religious diversity, including the protection of religious minorities, is a core American value, as shown by its prominent placement in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, in the establishment and free exercise clauses.  California is, unsurprisingly, a leader in religious diversity.  Many religious believers adhere to, and find deep meaning in, religious observances including

Violent and tragic events in Charlottesville, and the intense national debate that followed, have put the issue of hate speech at the forefront of the public’s attention.  A number of publications have addressed the issue of when a private employer can discharge an employee who, on the employee’s own time, participates in organized hate speech. 

White-HouseEven though the 2016 Presidential election is almost four months in the rear view mirror, controversy continues, with the news each day describing what looks like a three ring circus in Washington D.C.  Pundits have opined that our country is polarized by politics as never before: cities vs. rural areas; college educated vs. high school

MP900289067Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are typically cited as the major religions of the world, although there are many others that have tens of millions of adherents or more.  The United States has no official established religion, and instead since its founding has guaranteed its citizens the right to free choice and exercise of

Supreme CourtOn April 26, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a public agency can incur liability for a First Amendment violation if it demotes or disciplines one of its employee based on the agency’s mistaken belief that the employee has exercised a right of free expression.  The Court’s decision in Heffernan v. City of Paterson

US Supreme CourtAn unprecedented number of protests – at educational institutions and in city streets – occurred nationwide last year, and protests continue to serve as focal points for public attention and debate going into 2016.  The legal realm concerning free speech is in a similar state of turbulence for public employers and for educators.

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