Vail Symposium discusses the First Amendment July 7
The Bill of Rights begins with the freedom of speech: “Congress shall make no law … abridging freedom of speech.” It is a venerable ideal dating back to ancient Greece. Thus, from its inception, the United States has championed the open and free expression of ideas, those widely accepted as well as those despised. At 6 p.m. July 7, Vail Symposium presents “Mightier than the Sword: Freedom of Speech” with author Ian Rosenberg and University of Denver’s Rebecca Aviel.
“When the former president was kicked off various social media platforms, there were charges that his First Amendment rights were violated,” director of programming Claire Noble said. “Were they? No. But don’t take my word for it. That and other questions will be addressed by longtime media attorney (Ian) Rosenberg and Professor Aviel.”
While the First Amendment protects freedom of speech from government control, it is not an absolute right. Throughout our nation’s history, the Supreme Court has wrestled with just what does and does not constitute protected speech. Furthermore, while the amendment language specifically precludes Congress from legislating speech, it says nothing about the ability for private entities such as businesses and private colleges to regulate the speech in their organizations.
From Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Colin Kapernick taking a knee to the social media bans of politicians, citizens are rightly confused as to what does and does not constitute an infringement on their right to free speech.
Author Ian Rosenberg has written a user’s guide to free speech. A longtime media lawyer, in his book distills the spectrum of free speech law down to 10 critical issues and identifies and explains key Supreme Court cases that provide the answers.
In this timely program following the 4th of July holiday, Rosenberg examines several of the contemporary, critical questions surrounding free speech and the Supreme Court decisions that may provide answers. He will be joined in conversation by Professor Rebecca Aviel, a constitutional law expert with the Sturm School of Law at DU.
About the speakers
Rosenberg is an author, teacher and assistant chief counsel for ABC News. Rosenberg has more than 20 years of experience as a media lawyer and has worked as legal counsel for ABC News since 2003. His book, “The Fight for Free Speech: Ten Cases That Define Our First Amendment Freedoms” was released in February 2021.
Aviel is the associate dean for faculty scholarship at the Sturm School of Law, University of Denver. Her areas of specialization include constitutional law; family; and domestic relations, legal ethics and legal profession.