free speech

NC Attorney General asks US Supreme Court to take up state’s ag-gag law

BY: - August 14, 2023

The State Attorney General’s Office has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of North Carolina’s ag-gag law, twice struck down by lower courts as unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. Represented by Attorney General Josh Stein, the state argued that a Supreme Court decision is necessary to clarify the various courts’ legal interpretations, […]

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Judge limits Biden administration contact with social media platforms in censorship case

BY: - July 5, 2023

A federal judge on Tuesday prohibited Biden administration officials from communicating with social media platforms about “protected speech,” a ruling emerging from litigation originally filed by former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. The ruling, by Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, granted a temporary injunction barring […]

Pence walks political line in UNC-Chapel Hill speech

BY: - April 27, 2023

A little over a half-hour into former Vice President Mike Pence’s talk at UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday evening, the only real interruption came. “Trump trusted you!” a man heckled from the crowd of just over 500 in the Great Hall of the campus student union. “You betrayed Trump!” As security ejected the man and the crowd […]


Hasty passage of “anti-riot” legislation tramples free speech in multiple ways

BY: - February 10, 2023

Of all the protections enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, none stands above the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to speak freely and to dissent. It therefore stands to reason that any effort by elected officials to place curbs on these rights must be viewed with great skepticism and only approached with the utmost caution. […]

College and university presidents: Time to speak up

BY: - September 26, 2022

As students, faculty and administrators at North Carolina’s colleges and universities struggle with questions of free speech and academic freedom, veteran leaders in higher education — including a former chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill — are urging them to speak up on difficult issues. Last week Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, cited a a […]

UNC-Chapel Hill students discuss free expression on campus in public forum

BY: - September 15, 2022

As both students and faculty wrestle with speech issues on campus, a panel of undergraduates came together this week for a discussion on free expression and the environment on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill. The “Can We Talk?” panel, organized and co-sponsored by the Program for Public Discourse and the university’s Political Science department, was instigated […]

UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members pass resolution as tensions continue over free speech

BY: - September 14, 2022

Faculty members at UNC Chapel Hill have often spoken their minds – but in some cases, they have done so at their own peril. Political appointees on the UNC Board of Governors have targeted academic centers whose work they oppose. They have allegedly meddled in faculty hiring decisions for political reasons.

Panel to examine free speech, self-censorship at UNC

BY: - September 6, 2022

Like many colleges and university systems across the country, UNC has long been embroiled in a debate about free speech on campuses. In a politically volatile era in which extremist views have gone mainstream, the extent of free speech disagreements at UNC campuses is unclear, as are potential solutions. On Sept 13, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Program for Public Discourse will hold the university’s first student-centered discussion on the issue. ”Can We Talk? Student Thoughts on Free Expression at UNC,” was sparked by a series of surveys about free speech — surveys that themselves have become controversial.

Report on UNC System campus free speech provides insights into climate, student experiences

BY: - June 15, 2022

Some conservative students say they feel stifled, but generally not by faculty members When Policy Watch reported on conservative writer and podcaster Ben Shapiro’s visit to UNCG in April, it had all the hallmarks of the current debate over free speech on campuses. A highly partisan figure drawing huge crowds with divisive -- in this case, transphobic and homophobic -- language. Students protesting, holding a competing event and verbally sparring with the speaker.

Freedom of speech is under attack in public schools, U.S. House panel told

BY: - May 20, 2022

Students and teachers told U.S. House members during a Thursday hearing that their right to talk about race and LGBTQ+ issues in public schools is being silenced due to an onslaught of new state laws as well as pressure on school boards from right-wing advocates. “To be crystal clear, this is about disrupting and destroying public education,” James Whitfield, a former principal in Texas and one of the witnesses, told lawmakers.


Rev. William Barber: How loud is free speech permitted to be?

BY: - May 10, 2022

[Editor’s note: Recently the North Carolina Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of the national civil rights leader, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, of his conviction for trespassing that resulted from a 2017 demonstration at the state Legislative Building. Today, in response to the court’s decision, Rev. Barber returned to the Legislative […]