September 17, 2020 Rapid Response

Constitution Day: Protests and Freedom of Speech

The wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the United States since the police killing of George Floyd has triggered a debate about the scope of free speech rights. When are demonstrations within the scope of the First Amendment and when do they exceed constitutional protection? When are law enforcement officials abusing the rights of protesters, and when are they lawfully trying to restore order?

This panel considers these important and very timely questions as a way of marking the 233rd birthday of the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Panelists

Co-Moderators

  • Claire Rajan, Senior Counsel, Allen & Overy LLP; Co-Chair, Free Speech and Free Press Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
  • Stephen J. Wermiel, Professor, American University Washington College of Law; Co-Chair, Free Speech and Free Press Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Co-Sponsors: American University Washington College of Law's Program on Law and Government, ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ABA Section of State and Local Government LawGeorgetown University Law Center Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection

Resources

Transcript: Constitution Day: Protests and Freedom of Speech

Protests and Public Safety: A Guide for Cities & Citizens 
Georgetown University Law Center Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection

State Fact Sheets
Georgetown University Law Center Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection

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