Syndicated columnist Nat Hentoff opines on the necessity of modifying one’s precepts in the face of evidence and reflects on a troubling trend beginning to take root at college campuses. (1989)

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Sign Codes vs. Free Speech

On July 3, 2012, in Home, by admin

Across the country, government is dealing a one-two punch to property rights and free speech. Using sign codes, cities are demanding large signs protesting eminent domain abuse be taken down. Free speech rights are essential to protect our other rights, including our property rights. If victims of eminent domain abuse can’t speak out against it, who can? IJ is working to defend individuals’ property rights and free speech rights when they come under attack.

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Floyd Abrams – 1st Amendment Integrity

On June 27, 2012, in Home, by admin

A discussion of First Amendment principles and the implications of McCain-Feingold.

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John Stossel – A Sign Of The Times

On June 19, 2012, in Home, by admin

Government will abridge free speech when it suits politicians.
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John Stossel – Bad Speech

On June 12, 2012, in Home, by admin

What is “bad speech”? And, who should define it? Naomi Schaefer Riley, Jason Riley.

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Accusations of hate speech can be an effective politically correct pretense to either stifle free speech or to defend the undependable. Geert Wilders

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Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?

That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. In December 2011, diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey started a Dear Abby-style advice column on his popular blog ( to answer reader questions. One month later, the State Board informed Steve that he could not give readers advice on diet, whether for free or for compensation, because doing so constituted the unlicensed, and thus criminal, practice of dietetics. The State Board also told Steve that his private emails and telephone calls with readers and friends were illegal, as was his paid life-coaching service. The State Board went through Steve’s writings with a red pen, indicating what he may and may not say without a government-issued license.

But the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.

That is why on May 30, 2012, Steve Cooksey joined the Institute for Justice in filing a major free speech lawsuit against the State Board in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. This lawsuit seeks to answer one of the most important unresolved questions in First Amendment law: When does the government’s power to license occupations trump free speech?

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Economic Vs. Civil Liberties

On September 21, 2011, in Home, by admin

Which are more important, economic liberties or civil liberties? The conventional view portrays conservatives as caring more about economic liberties than civil liberties. Liberals, on the other hand, are conventionally viewed as caring about civil liberties more than economic liberties. To Prof. Aeon Skoble, this distinction between economic and civil liberties is fictitious. The influence of market exchanges and civil liberties on one another is inseparable.

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Senator Rand Paul addresses the crowd at an Iowa Republican Fundraiser, urging attendees to stand on principle and imbue the party with values.

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More Lessons from Camp Politics

On January 4, 2011, in Home, by admin

An Important Message From The Staff of Camp Politics:

Our mission is to train your son or daughter to win political office and then stay there – mainly by using campaign finance laws to suppress political speech that threatens their reelection.

But, unfortunately, many in the public have the absurd idea that free speech should receive the full protection of the First Amendment. One of the chief proponents of this view is the Institute for Justice. It just launched its “Citizen Speech Campaign,” which it calls “a multi-state effort to restore full protection to political speech about candidates and ballot issues.” If you truly care about your children’s future as successful incumbent politicians, please do not allow the Institute to dissuade you from sending them to Camp Politics.

Learn more about the Institute for Justice’s Citizen Speech Campaign.

Buy your Camp Politics T-shirt today:


Narrator: Steve Izant

Counselor: Nick Hanson

Kids: Sophia Cabana, Zachary Cabana, Nicky McBroom, Sam McBroom, Julia

Simpson, Kate Simpson, Natalie Simpson

IJ Fights to Unleash Free Speech

On December 1, 2010, in Home, by admin

Arlington, Va., entrepreneur Kim Houghton, owner of Wag More Dogs canine boarding and grooming facility in Arlington, wasn’t looking for a fight. All she wanted to do was build goodwill with dog owners by creating a fun and whimsical mural on the back wall of her business, which faces the Shirlington Dog Park. Kim spent $4,000 to commission an outdoor mural of cartoon dogs, bones and paw prints to be painted on the back wall of her business. As a long-time user of the park herself, Kim saw the mural as her gift to the community.

But now Arlington County officials are trying to turn Kim’s mural into their government-issued sign. Represented by the Institute for Justice, she has filed a First Amendment lawsuit to defend her rights and the rights of all entrepreneurs to express themselves.



The Institute for Justice is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse a decision of the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals, which upheld Arizona’s system of financing campaigns that uses taxpayer money to punish traditionally funded candidates and independent speakers. The case involves the “matching funds” provision of Arizona’s so-called “Clean Elections” Act. The case (Arizona Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett) seeks to vindicate the rights of independent political groups and candidates who do not take taxpayer funds to speak freely during political campaigns without having the government attempt to “level the playing field.”

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Read the report:

The city of Philadelphia is governed by the ordinary things one finds in American cities: a mayor, a city council, various bureaucracies. But it is also governed by something else: the word “no.” At nearly every level, Philadelphia’s city government and related bureaucracies operate with a one-word vocabulary; whatever the question is, the answer is “No.” In field after field after field—from zoning to permitting to occupational licensing—would-be entrepreneurs hear that answer time and again.

But as anyone who has ever spent time around a toddler can attest, a one-word vocabulary quickly wears thin—and in this (as in many things) what is tolerable in a toddler makes for terrible public policy. Saying nothing but “no” eventually yields exactly what one would expect: nothing.

And nothing, unfortunately, is what Philadelphia has to look forward to unless it begins to reshape its approach to entrepreneurship.

IJ on the Stossel Show 9-9-10

On October 8, 2010, in Home, by admin

On 9-9-10, John Stossel featured the Institute for Justice on his “Entrepreneurs Under Attack” show. This is the trailer.

Please visit this link to view the entire episode:

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