Share this event with friends and colleagues

Please Note: This event has already taken place.

Sex, Violence, Videos, God, and Drugs: the First Amendment Ascendant

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Boston Bar Association - 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA


In several recent decisions, the Supreme Court has re-affirmed and arguably expanded the scope of First Amendment protection afforded citizens in a variety of diverse contexts. The Court has struck down a California statute barring the sale of violent video games to minors; it has barred recovery against the Westboro Baptist Church for claims arising from its picketing of soldiers’ funerals and its insistence that God is punishing the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality; it has struck down a Vermont statute that restricted the sale and disclosure of pharmacy records that the reveal the drug prescribing practices of individual doctors; and it has struck down a statute barring so-called “crush videos” involving depictions of animals being tortured or killed and purveyed to those who find such acts sexually arousing. Of course, there is Citizens United, which unleashed a firestorm of controversy and debate. 

Has the Court simply reaffirmed longstanding First Amendment rights, or has it now expanded and enhanced those rights? Has the Court gone too far, or not far enough, and what are the practical implications of these decisions moving forward? The answers to these and other questions will be explored by a distinguished panel of guests with extensive knowledge and experience in the area of First Amendment jurisprudence: Professor Mark Tushnet of Harvard Law School; Professor Michael Meltsner of Northeastern Law School; and Attorney and Author Jeffrey D. Clements. Please join us for what is sure to be an interesting and informative event.  

Sponsoring Section/Committee(s):




Patricia Johnson


BBA Event Calendar