FAN 38 (First Amendment News) Abrams Institute to host conference on Net Neutrality

abrams-logoOn November 3rd, the Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression will host a conference entitled Net Neutrality: From Debate to Policy Decisions. The conference will take place at the Century Association located at 7 West 43rd Street in New York City. The event starts with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and ends promptly at 9:20 a.m. Here is a description:

After several years of discussions in academia, industry, and policymaking circles, the issue of net neutrality has taken center stage in debates on U.S. media and telecommunications. In February, cable providers Comcast and Time-Warner announced their intent to merge into a single company. And this spring, the FCC solicited public input on its proposed Open Internet Rules, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has stated that he expects to have enforceable rules in place by the end of 2014. Under the new rules, “behavior harmful to consumers or competition by limiting the openness to the Internet will not be permitted.” With these events as backdrop, the Abrams Institute at Yale Law School will host a panel discussion at the Century Club in New York, on the topic of net neutrality. 

After several years of discussions in academia, industry, and policymaking circles, the issue of net neutrality has taken center stage in debates on U.S. media and telecommunications. In February, cable providers Comcast and Time-Warner announced their intent to merge into a single company. And this spring, the FCC solicited public input on its proposed Open Internet Rules, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has stated that he expects to have enforceable rules in place by the end of 2014. Under the new rules, “behavior harmful to consumers or competition by limiting the openness to the Internet will not be permitted.” With these events as backdrop, the Abrams Institute at Yale Law School will host a panel discussion at the Century Club in New York, on the topic of net neutrality.

Panel speakers

 Registration

A fee of $35 per person will be charged to cover the cost of the continental breakfast. Go here to register. The registration deadline is Thursday, October 30th.

 CLE Credit 

One and one half (1.5) CLE credit hours in Professional Practice (corporate) will be available for this program, which is transitional and non-transitional in nature. Preregistration is required for CLE credit.

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→ Upcoming AALS Panel Discussion

Petition to Watch 

At its Conference on October 31, 2014, the Court will consider the following free speech petition:

Issues: (1) Whether compelling a noncommercial pro-life speaker to declare it lacks a medical license passes strict scrutiny; and (2) whether a compelled speech law is unconstitutionally vague if the city can deem speakers as needing to comply, because of their “appearance,” without any ability for the speaker to know whether it must comply.
(Hat tip to Maureen Johnston)
Lithwick takes swipe at Roberts Court
Dahlia Lithwick

Dahlia Lithwick

In a new essay titled “The Courts’ Baffling New Math,” the ever feisty Dahlia Lithwick, the Supreme Court commentator for Slate, argues:

“The Supreme Court of the John Roberts era gets one thing very right: It’s one of the most free-speech-protective courts in modern history. There is no purveyor of semi-pornographic crush videos, no maker of rape-aspiring violent video games, no homophobic funeral protester, no anti-abortion clinic counselor, and no filthy-rich campaign contribution–seeker whose rights and privileges will not be treated by the Court with the utmost reverence and solicitude.”

Later in the same essay, Lithwick adds:

“This brings us back to the First Amendment, seemingly the only right that truly counts anymore in America. Why has the constitutional right to be heard all but overmastered the right to vote or legally terminate a pregnancy? Maybe the court is still capable of hearing even as it loses the ability to see? Or maybe the powerful voices of Fred Phelps, Shaun McCutcheon, and Anthony Elonis—the creatures who rightly are allowed to say and do horrible things in the name of free speech—count for more than the hundreds and thousands of voiceless voters and abortion-seekers who are seemingly not even important enough to name?”

Three Replies

Ibrahim Hooper

Ibrahim Hooper

President of FIRE & Communications Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Debate Bill Maher’s planned commencement address at UC Berkeley

  → Bastion of free speech, Cal Berkeley, petitioning to ban Bill Maher from speaking at graduation,” Twitchy Media, Oct. 28, 2014

  Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and Ibrahim Hooper, the Communications Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, debate (see here)

FlaskbackChristopher Hitchens debates Ahmed Younis re Muhammad Cartoon Controversy (on YouTube)

Tribe on arguing 2 major First Amendment Cases

Over at SCOTUSblog, there is a video interview with Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe. In case you missed it, here is Tribe talking about two cases he argued: Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia (1980) (public access to trials) and Larkin v. Grendel’s Den, Inc. (1982) (the First Amendment Establishment Clause and a church’s power to control a liquor license).  Check it out.

Article on Commercial Speech ruling of Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights 

Ronan O Fathaigh

Ronan O Fathaigh

The Article: Ronan Ó Fathaigh, “Political Advertising Bans and Freedom of Expression,” Greek Public Law Journal (2014 Forthcoming)

The Abstract: “In Animal Defenders International v. United Kingdom (2013), the 17-judge Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK’s ban on political advertising on television, as applied to an animal rights organisation, did not violate freedom of expression. The Court divided nine votes to eight, with the majority opinion abandoning the Court’s previous ‘strict scrutiny’ review, and laying down a new doctrine for reviewing political advertising bans. This article, first, examines the role the composition of the Grand Chamber played in the outcome of the case. Second, questions the basis of the new doctrine of review. And third, criticises the majority’s treatment of precedent.”

→ See also Wikipedia here for a chart of freedom of speech by country.

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Edgardo Simone & bust of Justice Holmes

Edgardo Simone & bust of Justice Holmes

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Last FAN Column: #37 — “McCutcheon case produces flood of scholarly commentary — 41 works!

Next FAN Column: #39 — Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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