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Speak freely

Everybody is in favor of free speech — as long as it’s not too free. Or too speechy.
 Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  August 30, 2013
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Using the Constitution’s protections — all at once

On the occasion of this week's 225th birthday of the US Constitution, I wanted to embrace our culture's all-or-nothing ethos, by not just exercising all of my Constitutional rights, but using as many as possible all at once.
In my rights mind
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 21, 2012
The one line from judge's ruling in Occupy Boston that could set us back 50 years

The one line from judge's ruling in Occupy Boston that could set us back 50 years


 "Little in the way of expression is outlawed under the United States Constitution, but an act which incites a lawful forceful response is unlikely to...
By S.I. Rosenbaum  |  December 07, 2011
Campus Muzzles 2011

2011 Muzzle Awards: Campus Edition

Law school is not known for being fun, so some professors spice instruction with far-fetched hypotheticals. To some students at Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware, one longtime criminal-law prof's hypos went too far.  
Another year of crushing free spirits at our colleges and universities
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  July 01, 2011
Muzzle Awards free speech offenders

The 14th Annual Muzzle Awards

To understand just how disappointing Barack Obama has been on civil liberties, you need only consider the case of David House, a founder of the Bradley Manning Support Network.  
Our annual look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England
By DAN KENNEDY  |  June 25, 2011

Former inmate, activist now free to speak out

Last year, when Ray Luc Levasseur was invited to speak on the University of Massachusetts — Amherst campus to commemorate the anniversary of a federal sedition trial held in Springfield, the speech prompted vehement protests from police groups and state
New releases
By RICK WORMWOOD  |  October 15, 2010


Fuzzy on muzzles

The only way to know whether a society has freedom of speech is to look at how it treats unpopular speech, which doesn’t need government protection.
Letters to the Boston editor, July 16, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  July 16, 2010
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The 13th Annual Muzzle Awards

A year and a half into the Age of Obama, we are learning a lesson we should have figured out long ago — that repression, once in place, is rarely rolled back all the way, and that liberals no less than conservatives are reluctant to give up power.
A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 02, 2010
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Free speech for me, but not for thee

Last Thursday's Supreme Court opinion striking down corporate campaign advertising restrictions might as well have been divorce papers in the rocky marriage between the political left and the First Amendment.
Freedom Watch
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  January 29, 2010
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Critical Mass

If free speech is what gives value to the campus "marketplace of ideas," UMass Amherst would long ago have gone bankrupt.
Over the years, UMass Amherst has proven to be a reliable hotbed for political hypocrisy and squelching of free speech
By KYLE SMEALLIE AND HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  November 20, 2009
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Free speech again quashed at Harvard

It should come as no surprise to readers of “Freedom Watch” that yet another instance of political, intellectual, and academic censorship has sprung up at Harvard, the self-touted pinnacle of higher education.
RSVPeeved Dept.
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  October 23, 2009


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The 12th Annual Muzzle Awards

With the era of repression and secrecy fostered by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney finally over, this should be the best of times for freedom of expression, open government, and civil liberties. Yet change comes slowly.
A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 10, 2009
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Muzzle Awards: Collegiate Division

In a 1957 Supreme Court decision upholding the free-speech rights of university professors ( Sweezy v. New Hampshire ), Justice Felix Frankfurter quoted prominent South African scholars on the importance of academic freedom.
New England campuses muzzle free speech
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  July 10, 2009

Maine's enemies of free speech: Marraché and Waxman


In this week's issue of the Portland Phoenix, we publish a round-up of various assaults on free spee...
By Jeff Inglis  |  July 09, 2009

Severin: not a border-enforcement martyr


When I blogged last week on anti-Mexican hatemonger Jay Severin’s recent, ill-explained suspension f...
By Adam Reilly  |  May 06, 2009
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Toxic talk: Hating Obama

During and just after the 2008 presidential campaign, the antipathy of right-wing pundits toward Barack Obama reached remarkable, often repugnant depths.
Repugnant anti-Obama hate speech has dissipated for the moment. How likely is it to raise its ugly head again?
By ADAM REILLY  |  January 19, 2009


Ancient text and imminent action


            You need not dig deep into the annals of history to find examples of religious bloodshed. From the Crusades to the Inquisition...
By Kyle Smeallie  |  September 11, 2008
Outlawing cigarettes: Beginning another hopeless drug war?

Outlawing cigarettes: Beginning another hopeless drug war?


               Dear readers: Trust me. I’m a long-time criminal defense and civil liberties lawyer, and I’m telling you that the “war...
By Harvey Silvergate  |  August 08, 2008

Menino and Unfree Speech Zones


            Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino treads a sham...
By Harvey Silvergate  |  August 01, 2008

Families, Free Speech, and the FCC


         “Hide your children! The British are coming!!”         From the mouths of militiamen came the now-famous warning: the British had invaded,...
By Harvey Silvergate  |  July 25, 2008

A world safe for parody: Margery Eagan and the crude parade


By Harvey Silverglate              &nb...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  July 08, 2008


George Carlin, RIP


By Harvey Silverglate            This is par...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  June 24, 2008

This Just In: Harvard Censors "Barely Legal" Party


In a puritan streak, Harvard University has forced several student groups who were planning on hosti...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  June 05, 2008

This Just In: Harvard Censors "Barely Legal" Party


In a puritan streak, Harvard University has forced several student groups who were planning on hosti...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  June 05, 2008

This Just In: Aye Carumba! Star Simpson Gets A Pretty Good Deal


Last September, Harvey wrote in The Free For All about Star Simpson -- the MIT student who was arres...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  June 03, 2008

This Just In: Take me out to the ballgame, but don't boo


The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the owners of the Chicago Cubs  are considering enacting ...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  May 30, 2008


This Just In: The Right to Travel ... to Israel?


Following up on Harvey's post about the right to travel to Cuba, a few days ago Israeli security ser...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  May 29, 2008

This Just In: Pandering Porn -- and Romeo & Juliet


This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that a law that outlaws promoting or advertising -- "pandering...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  May 19, 2008

This Just In: Pandering Porn -- and Romeo & Juliet


This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that a law that outlaws promoting or advertising -- "pandering...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  May 19, 2008

Anti-Noose Laws


By Wendy Kaminer Reacting predictably to spate of noose hanging incidents in late 2007, New Yor...
By Wendy Kaminer  |  May 19, 2008