First Amendment Theories
First Amendment language: Congress shall make NO law abridging
freedom of speech or of the press. [emphasis added]
a. Plain language interpretation would prohibit ANY government
regulation of expression.
b. But this absolutist
Privacy Legal Checklist
1. Is the subject an adult? If the subject is a child, or a mentally or emotionally disabled
adult, did I obtain valid consent from a parent or guardian?
2. Is the subject a private figure or a public figure? (There is more of a da
How To Avoid Getting Sued for Libel
1. Check out your information and your sources thoroughly; be skeptical of what
people tell you. Confidential sources can disappear or recant their stories; a source with a
grudge against the subject of your story can d
Communications Law Basics
Sources of communications law
a. Constitutions the supreme law of a government. Federal
Constitution and each state has one.
i. Creates the government, setting out its organization,
ii. Spells out the duties and pow
Apply legal theories, cases and tests
Ask: is this a first amendment case?
o Was there state action? (State whether there is a state what it is)
o Is there speech? (Protesting, etc.)
o What kind of speech? (Is this the kind of speech that
Apply legal theories, cases, and tests weve discussed in class to the facts
of the situations presented
Dont merely tell me what your answer is: walk through EACH prong of the
applicable test and APPLY it explicitly to the facts, explaining how you