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Does The First Amendment Still Protect Free Speech?

Does The First Amendment Still Protect Free Speech? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Image credit: Illustration by Joycelyn Cabrera. From left to right: Eugene Volokh, Jean-Paul Jassy, Battinto L. Batts Jr., Carla Hall, and Jody David Armour.

A Zócalo/ASU Cronkite School Event
Moderated by Carla Hall, Editorial Writer, Los Angeles Times

Bring your appetite! We have partnered with On the Go LA to bring the Gusina Saraba food truck right outside the venue—we encourage you to support a local food vendor.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is supposed to provide the world’s strongest protections of free speech and a free press. But you wouldn’t know that from reading the news. Public officials routinely pressure tech companies to censor content. Conservative lawmakers are moving to ban more books, limit protests, and curb school curriculums. Progressive leaders and activists are successfully pressuring employers to punish and fire people for expressing views seen as harmful or dangerous. Even the ACLU is retreating from its unequivocal support of free speech. What are the consequences of these shifts, and do they threaten the First Amendment’s survival? Does a digital world require more limits on speech and media?

Legal scholars Jody David Armour of USC and Eugene Volokh of UCLA, attorney Jean-Paul Jassy, and Battinto L. Batts Jr., dean of the ASU Cronkite School, visit Zócalo to discuss how we might protect free expression while also protecting our society from the misuse of that freedom.

Zócalo invites our in-person audience to continue the conversation with our speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary drinks.

Proof of vaccination (at least two weeks after the final dose) and face coverings will be required. It is recommended attendees have a negative COVID test prior to attending the event.

ASU California Center
1111 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015

The Takeaway

In America Talk Isn’t Cheap, It’s Free

The First Amendment Is for Everyone—Which Makes a Mess

The First Amendment protects you. The First Amendment also protects your enemies. While the volume of today’s battles may be louder, the right to free speech remains a foundational aspect …