The First Amendment is incredibly important in the Internet age. It’s frequently at the center of many debates on what constitutes free speech online.
Now, one of the foremost First Amendment scholars of our time – Floyd Abrams – stopped by Google to talk about his new book, “Friends of the Court: On The Front Lines With The First Amendment:”
Since 1971, when the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times and furious debate over First Amendment rights ensued, free-speech cases have emerged in rapid succession. Floyd Abrams has been on the front lines of nearly every one of these major cases, which is also to say that, more than any other person, he has forged this country’s legal understanding of free speech. Litigating everything from national-security and prior-restraint issues to controversies concerning the law of libel and attempts by local officials to censor art, Abrams has worked devotedly to protect the First Amendment, the “crown jewel” of America’s Constitution.
This collection of Abrams’s writings gathers speeches, articles, debates, briefs, oral arguments, and testimony from his entire career. The writings illuminate topics of ongoing import: WikiLeaks, the correctness of the Citizens United case, journalist shield laws, and, not least, the responsibilities of the press. An exceptional writer and a brilliant thinker, Abrams offers a unique perspective on the First Amendment and the unparalleled rights it confers.
If you’re new to First Amendment law, you should probably watch the above video. If you’re a vet, you should still watch the hour long video to hear one of the Constitution’s greatest warriors speak about his various fights with the government over First Amendment right violations.