Liberty of conscience alive among Roger Williams University students

Liberty of conscience alive among Roger Williams University students

Taylor Stoermer, professor who teaches the history and modern practice of democracy at RWU and public history at Harvard University: To Roger Williams, liberty of conscience was everything. In one’s conscience lay the very keys to life in this world and the next, as study leads to thought, thought to belief, belief to faith, and faith to salvation. In his case, of course, that study was of the scripture, and the salvation a religious rather than intellectual one, but the…

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“The Press & The President” panel sparks debate about Spicer

“The Press & The President” panel sparks debate about Spicer

Kyle Souza, junior journalism major at Roger Williams University: It’s no secret that President Donald Trump is a fierce critic of the news media. Whether it’s a tweet he sends out at 3 a.m. bashing The New York Times or his verbal attacks on White House reporters during press availability, he has made it clear that he is not a fan of what the news media has to offer. As president, Trump has jettisoned protocol when it comes to working…

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Donald Trump and the full-employment-for-lawyers presidency

Donald Trump and the full-employment-for-lawyers presidency

David A. Logan, professor of law and former dean of the RWU School of Law, who has studied and written extenstively about First Amendment issues: One thing you can say for Donald Trump’s presidency: He sure keeps lawyers busy. Within weeks of taking office, he suddenly rolled out immigration rules that banned entrance to travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, creating chaos and great anxiety at many airports. But that action was immediately challenged by state attorneys general and held…

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Attacks on the media only making them stronger

Attacks on the media only making them stronger

Harrison Connery, senior journalism major at Roger Williams University: Jon Keller, political analyst for WBZ-TV, welcomed people to the New England First Amendment Coalition awards ceremony on Feb. 24 in Boston, saying: “Ladies, gentlemen, fellow enemies of the people — glad you could make it out today.” Far from intimidating journalists with his attacks from the bully pulpit, President Donald J. Trump has lit a fire in the belly of the news industry. And ironically, his attempts to weaken the…

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RWU journalism Prof. Prado traces history of propaganda, “fake news”

RWU journalism Prof. Prado traces history of propaganda, “fake news”

Paola Prado, RWU associate professor of journalism and adviser to the university’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, spoke with Bruce Newbury on WADK-1540 in Newport on March 1 about propaganda, “fake news” and Walter Lippmann’s 1922 book, “Public Opinion.” Listen to the podcast by clicking here: http://wadk.com/assets/podcaster/464/2017_03_01_464_54959_4434.mp3

Exercising First Amendment rights is a team sport

Exercising First Amendment rights is a team sport

Rachel Bimonte, junior journalism major at Roger Williams University: At a New England First Amendment Coalition event on Feb. 24, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan began her keynote address by thanking the many journalism students in attendance, including eight students from Roger Williams University. “I admire the fact that you are making the foray into our somewhat treacherous waters at this particular time,” Sullivan said. “We need you more than ever.” Sullivan received the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award during…

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Enemy of the American People? Undermining a free press

Enemy of the American People? Undermining a free press

Edward Fitzpatrick, RWU director of media and public relations, New England First Amendment Coalition board member and former Providence Journal columnist: Absolutely! The Trump administration appears to be springing more leaks than the Oroville Dam spillway. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, the public would be drowning in the cascade of “alternative facts” pouring from the White House. Already, the leaks have produced concrete results. For example, Rhode Island’s own Michael Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser…

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Trademark law clashes with the First Amendment

Trademark law clashes with the First Amendment

Niki Kuckes, RWU professor of law who had a Washington, D.C, litigation practice encompassing copyright, First Amendment, legal malpractice and white-collar criminal matters: Should a term like “the slants,” which is deeply offensive to many Asian-Americans, be granted the benefits of heightened legal protection afforded to federally registered trademarks? Or should the Trademark Office have the power to refuse to register such a “disparaging” trademark? This question was posed at the U.S. Supreme Court in January, when trademark law collided with the…

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Trump’s order violates bedrock principles of Roger Williams and RI

Trump’s order violates bedrock principles of Roger Williams and RI

Jared A. Goldstein, RWU professor of law who teaches constitutional law, former U.S. Department of Justice attorney: President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday, Jan. 27, that violates the bedrock principles upon which Roger Williams founded Rhode Island. I’ve always been proud to work at a university named for Roger Williams, whose commitment to religious liberty for all peoples formed the basis for our nation’s commitment to separation of church and state and its dedication to the principle…

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The First Amendment and public sector union “dues”

The First Amendment and public sector union “dues”

Michael J. Yelnosky, dean of the RWU School of Law and professor of law: In all likelihood, sometime in 2017 a new U.S. Supreme Court justice will take the bench and fill the vacancy created by the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia. Sometime thereafter, I am confident, the court will reverse almost 40 years of precedent and rule that the First Amendment prohibits provisions in public sector collective bargaining agreements requiring all covered employees to compensate the union…

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