A Taste of Justice: 1st Amend. (25) Current 1st Amend. Conflicts-Students’ Position Statements 2021

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While the First amendment is short, there are many Court cases interpreting the amendment and many current debates. After taking an extended take home exam on all of the course material, my remote law students: selected a current First Amendment conflict they had a strong position about; researched the topic; and, wrote their own Student Position Statements where they applied the First Amendment to current conflicts we are now addressing as a nation in 2021. They are also making five minute presentations about their positions and responding to questions from classmates who may disagree with their positions. We cover from 5 to 7 position statements per day. For each class, I summarize the presentations in a video presentation (but I do not identify the students to protect their privacy). In our third day of presentations, the students' position presentations were about: whether the former president is responsible for the January riot at the U.S. Capitol; whether certain speeches by high ranking officials are protected speech; whether a person's position may insulate the person for accountability for speech; whether social media can ban a president for certain speech; whether cancel culture is a slippery slope of suppression of free speech; whether private businesses are protected from certain government regulation; and whether the First Amendment should apply to deliberate misinformation. Applying case law to argue their own positions AND considering the positions in opposition to their own is a further path to learning for my students. Remember, learning is a path to enlightenment and enlightenment to freedom, and freedom to justice or, at least, a taste of justice.

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