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First Five by the Freedom Forum Institute

The First Amendment protects five core freedoms that are under attack every day — from the left, the right, and everywhere in between. First Five strives to foster interest in First Amendment news and provide a platform for discussion among enthusiasts and activists. Column is available weekly for NNA member newspapers to reprint. 

PERSPECTIVE: Cancel culture can chill free speech; it’s also free speech in action

Freedom Forum fellow for First Amendment, discusses cancel culture in this month’s edition of First Five Express.

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Free Expression Awards: How nine honorees used their First Amendment powers

In advance of the Freedom Forum’s 2021 Free Expression Awards on April 15, Patty Rhule describes how the nine honorees sparked change through free and fearless expression and asks us to consider ...

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Celebrating spring’s religious holidays and the First Amendment

As religious communities prepare to celebrate major holidays, Benjamin P. Marcus describes in a video and column how the First Amendment can be used to help people of all religions and none feel like equal ...

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First Amendment tablet finds new home in Philadelphia

The Freedom Forum has donated the 74-foot-tall First Amendment tablet, etched with the 45 words of the First Amendment that once fronted the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, to the National Constitution ...

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You can’t have democracy without a free press

Despite its flaws, an independent news media that holds government accountable for its actions is essential to ensuring democracy works, writes Gene Policinski.

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Faith and belief accommodation at work: more than the right thing to do

Global data tracking religious affiliation shows a similar trend toward religiosity. The Pew Research Center calculates that religious affiliation in the world will grow to 84% by 2050. This has major ...

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Pastors, politics and power: The struggle for equality for Black Americans

David Callaway looks at the recent election of Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock to discuss how religious freedom empowers Black Americans when access to other freedoms has been limited or denied.

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Cheerleader’s Snapchat rant tests students’ free speech rights

David L. Hudson Jr. writes about the student free-speech questions facing the Supreme Court in a case that may be argued this spring: Can school officials punish a student for a social media post made ...

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Free Online Course: The Civil Rights Movement and the First Amendment

Robert Bickel and Gene Policinski show how the civil rights movement was made possible by the power of the First Amendment, including peaceful protests energized by Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks ...

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A First Amendment case that may be key to Trump’s Senate trial

As the Senate prepares for Trump’s impeachment trial to resume Feb. 9, Tony Mauro discusses the relation of this case to the 1969 Supreme Court decision that gave First Amendment protection to speakers ...

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2021 Resolution: Make journalism better by improving newsroom culture

Patty Rhule talks about the launch of the Power Shift Project’s updated Workplace Integrity Curriculum in response to the nationwide reckoning on racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic challenges ...

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Post-Capitol riot: Cellphones, selfies – and Orwell

In response to the quick arrests of the people who ransacked the Capitol, thanks to increasing forensic ability and enhanced surveillance, Gene Policinski talks about how we still need to be wary of the ...

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The First Amendment right to protest has limits

Gene Policinski talks about the limits to the First Amendment and starts by noting that the First Amendment offers no legal shield from criminal prosecution for violent acts, individually or as part of ...

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Protest is how we talk to ourselves as a nation — but violence isn’t protest

Gene Policinski talks about yesterday's events at the U.S. Capitol as a stain upon the fabric of democracy, and how these actions betray the core principles on which the United States was founded and the ...

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Happy new – and old – year: 2020 just won’t go away when it comes to First Amendment issues in 2021

Gene Policinski talks about the challenging year of 2020 and its many issues over First Amendment freedoms that will most likely flop over into the new year.

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American students should learn about Christmas in schools

David Callaway talks about the question of whether or not it is constitutional to teach about religion in public schools, specifically Christmas, and ways educators can enrich students’ understanding ...

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Bill of Rights Day: The ‘right’ day to celebrate our freedom

Gene Policinski talks about our nation’s annual Bill of Rights Day, which had a bit more reality for more of us in 2020 than in most years, and even though it passed again with little-to-no notice ...

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Mr. Biden: How about a new push for First Amendment freedoms?

Gene Policinski talks about the blatant disregard by Chinese officials of free press’ rights in support of democratic principles in Hong Kong and how the U.S. has lost moral high ground globally ...

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Religious Freedom in the Age of a Global Pandemic

Trey Daniel talks about how the practice of Religious Freedom, like most other spheres of human activity, has been radically affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Thankful we can speak our minds this Thanksgiving

Patty Rhule talks about how during this pandemic-era Thanksgiving, all of the freedoms of the First Amendment should be high on the list when counting our blessings and advice on how to keep political ...

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