First Amendment

Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court on April 23. The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a major case on student speech.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Wary About Extending School Authority Over Student Internet Speech
In arguments, the justices looked for a narrow way to decide a case about the discipline of a cheerleader over a profane Snapchat message.
Mark Walsh, April 28, 2021
7 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
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Law & Courts Supreme Court to Weigh When School Board Censure of a Member Violates the First Amendment
The justices will decide an issue that has become more salient as a few board members rant inappropriately on social media.
Mark Walsh, April 26, 2021
5 min read
Image shows a picture of Brandi Levy in her cheerleading uniform in front of Mahanoy Area High School.
Brandi Levy, 18, through her parents, sued her school district under the First Amendment’s free speech clause over her discipline for an off-campus Snapchat message.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts 7 Things to Know About the Cheerleader Speech Case Coming Up in the U.S. Supreme Court
The justices hear arguments on Wednesday in the case about whether school officials may discipline students for off-campus speech.
Mark Walsh, April 24, 2021
4 min read
Image of Brandi Levy.
Brandi Levy, now an 18-year-old college freshman, was a cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania when she made profane comments on Snapchat that are now at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case on student speech rights.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts How a Cheerleader's Snapchat Profanity Could Shape the Limits of Students' Free Speech
Brandi Levy's social media post is the basis for a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether schools may punish off-campus speech.
Mark Walsh, April 12, 2021
9 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
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Law & Courts Student School Board Members Flex Their Civic Muscle in Supreme Court Free-Speech Case
Current and former student school board members add their growing voices to a potentially precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court case.
Stephen Sawchuk, April 7, 2021
7 min read
In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, Mary Beth Tinker, 61, shows an old photograph of her with her brother John Tinker to the Associated Press during an interview in Washington. Tinker was just 13 when she spoke out against the Vietnam War by wearing a black armband to her Iowa school in 1965. When the school suspended her, she took her free speech case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. Her message: Students should take action on issues important to them. "It's better for our whole society when kids have a voice," she says.
In this 2013 photo, Mary Beth Tinker shows a 1968 Associated Press photograph of her with her brother John Tinker displaying the armbands they had worn in school to protest the Vietnam War. (The peace symbols were added after the school protest). The Tinkers have filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a Pennsylvania student who was disciplined for an offensive message on Snapchat.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Law & Courts Diverse Array of Groups Back Student in Supreme Court Case on Off-Campus Speech
John and Mary Beth Tinker, central to the landmark speech case that bears their name, argue that even offensive speech merits protection.
Mark Walsh, April 1, 2021
5 min read
Image of a gavel.
Marilyn Nieves/E+
Law & Courts Appeals Court Again Backs School District Against Football Coach Who Prayed on Field
The federal court at least partially answers a U.S. Supreme Court justice's concerns about the effect of its ruling on educator speech rights.
Mark Walsh, March 18, 2021
4 min read
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Law & Courts Major Case on Student Off-Campus Speech to Be Heard by U.S. Supreme Court April 28
The justices will consider a school's discipline of a cheerleader over a vulgar message on Snapchat, with a decision expected by summer.
Mark Walsh, March 12, 2021
1 min read
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Law & Courts Supreme Court Backs Suits Challenging School Policies That Seek Only 'Nominal' Damages
The high court rules 8-1 that students may pursue suits over government policies even when the agency has dropped the challenged policy.
Mark Walsh, March 8, 2021
6 min read
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Law & Courts Biden Administration, Education Groups Back School District in Student Online Speech Case
A Pennsylvania district and its allies argue that administrators need to be able to discipline students for threatening or bullying speech.
Mark Walsh, March 4, 2021
5 min read
Image shows a courtroom and gavel.
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Law & Courts Federal Appeals Court Upholds School's Removal of 4th Grader's Essay on LGBTQ Rights
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit backs a principal who said the essay was age-inappropriate for inclusion in a school booklet.
Mark Walsh, March 3, 2021
4 min read
Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
John Minchillo/AP
School & District Management Should Educators, Board Members Be Disciplined for Supporting Anti-Democratic Beliefs?
The fallout from the violent attack on the Capitol building has prompted introspection about how education can help protect democracy.
Mark Lieberman, January 29, 2021
11 min read
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Law & Courts Supreme Court Considers Issue of Damages That Comes Up in Many Suits Over School Policies
The justices weigh whether students still have a case for "nominal damages" when schools change a policy in response to a lawsuit.
Mark Walsh, January 12, 2021
6 min read
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Whether Schools May Discipline Students for Internet Speech
The justices will hear the appeal of a school district whose discipline of a student for her vulgar message on Snapchat was overturned.
Mark Walsh, January 8, 2021
5 min read