The First Amendment Meets the Internet: Struggle Trying to
Distinguish Wide-Open, Often Vitriolic, Commentary on the
March 21, 2012, 5:30 PM
The program is based on four recent criminal prosecutions around
the country where the federal government has alleged that pure
speech posted on the Internet constitutes a crime. As you will see,
the relevant First Amendment doctrines were developed in an earlier
era and pose classic 'square-peg/round-hole' problems for the
Government in its recent cases, as well as inevitable trade-offs
between the Government's need to investigate and an internet user's
legitimate expectation of anonymity (itself a recognized First
Amendment value). The program will ask you, the members of the Inn,
to act as the finders of fact and law after the presentation of
each case - but be prepared to explain why.
Venue: Ernst & Young
5 Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Key case citations
- US v. Bagdasarian, 652 F.3d 1113 (9th Cir.
- US v. Kelner, 534 F.2d 1020 (2d Cir. 1976)
- NY Times v. US, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)
- Citizens United v. Fed Elections Comm., 130 S.Ct. 876
- Watts v. US, 394 U.S. 705 (1969)
- Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969).
Materials specific to our scenarios
- In re Grand Jury Subpoena, (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2012)
- US v. Cassidy, (D. Md. Dec. 15, 2011), and criminal
complaint dated Feb. 2, 2011
- US v. Morton (E.D. Va.), criminal information filed Feb.
9, 2012 and stipulated facts re guilty pleas, filed Feb. 9,
- US v. Turner (N.D. Ill.), indictment filed June 22,
Program Material Downloads