Drag Bans: A Violation of the First Amendment?
April 26, 2023
Last month, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a first-of-its-kind law banning “adult cabaret entertainment” on public property or in any location where people under 18 could be present. Senate Bill 3, commonly known as the “drag ban,” in part defines these performances as “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient […]Read More >
TikTok & The First Amendment
March 31, 2023
On March 23, 2023, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing as part of an ongoing review of TikTok and its connections to the Chinese government. TikTok CEO Shou Chew was the focus of the hearing and took questions from members of Congress on a wide range of topics, including the ways […]Read More >
The Supreme Court Weighs the First Amendment and Minority Rights
December 16, 2022
The case of a Christian website designer from Colorado who opposes same-sex marriage reached the Supreme Court on December 5. Because the Court said it would only address freedom of speech issues, the hearing pitted concerns over discrimination against freedom of artistic expression.1 Why Did This Case Reach the Supreme Court? Lorie Smith wants to […]Read More >
The Debate Over the Respect for Marriage Act
December 07, 2022
The Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act on November 29, and the House of Representatives is expected to pass it this week. President Joe Biden has already said he will sign it. The bill is the result of months of work by congressional leaders to create legislative protections for same-sex married couples. The History […]Read More >
A Close Supreme Court Case Entangles Indigenous Children, Tribal Sovereignty, States’ Rights, and Race
December 02, 2022
What began as a child custody lawsuit evolved into a lengthy hearing of four consolidated cases before the Supreme Court on November 9, 2022.1 The law in question is the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the Court’s eventual ruling on it could impact laws about race, states’ rights, and the sovereignty of Native American […]Read More >
Will the Supreme Court End Affirmative Action?
November 03, 2022
On October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court heard two cases regarding the use of race in college admissions.1 Rulings on these affirmative action cases could force many universities to reshape their admissions processes. The History of Affirmative Action and the Supreme Court The present-day context of the term “affirmative action” grew from executive orders by […]Read More >
Does Religious Freedom Guarantee Abortion Access?
October 12, 2022
On October 6, three Jewish women filed a lawsuit against the state of Kentucky claiming that the state’s current abortion restrictions are vague and violate their religious freedom.1 Kentucky’s state legislature passed a series of bills in 2019 that banned abortion from fertilization, only allowing for abortion if the mother’s life is in danger. There […]Read More >
The Voting Rights Act Goes to Court, Again
October 06, 2022
On October 4, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Merrill v. Milligan. In that case, the Court is considering whether the Voting Rights Act of 1965 should apply to Alabama’s recent congressional redistricting. One section of the Voting Rights Act requires that states provide minority voters with “an equal opportunity to […]Read More >
A Tragedy in Buffalo Sparks Multiple Debates
May 26, 2022
On Saturday, May 14, a gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others in a supermarket serving a predominantly Black population in eastern Buffalo, New York. The shooter, an 18-year-old white man, traveled over 200 miles to the Tops Supermarket.1 He was the apparent author of an online screed that claims the attack was meant […]Read More >
LGBTQ Youth: Who Decides What Is Age-Appropriate?
March 16, 2022
On February 22, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender-affirming medical care provided to transgender youth as child abuse, requiring mandated reporters (such as teachers, doctors, and health care workers) to pass on that information to the DFPS.1 Gender-affirming medical care for youth typically includes […]Read More >