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Tag: Donald Trump

R.I. First Amendment case informs Trump/NFL clash

R.I. First Amendment case informs Trump/NFL clash

Edward Fitzpatrick, RWU director of media and public relations, a New England First Amendment Coalition and Common Cause Rhode Island board member, and a former Providence Journal columnist: The First Amendment has become a political football. Conservatives pile on when liberals try to shut down conservative speakers on campus, and liberals lash out when President Trump calls for sacking those who take a knee during NFL national anthems or dare to call him a bigot. So will Little Rhody come into…

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Is the Wall Between Church and State Crumbling?

Is the Wall Between Church and State Crumbling?

Diana Hassel, law professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the RWU School of Law: The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  This clause has been understood to both keep religion out of government and to keep the government out of religion. That is, to erect a wall of separation between church in state. In recent years, this prohibition against the mingling of government and…

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Nation needs First Amendment refresher course

Nation needs First Amendment refresher course

Edward Fitzpatrick, RWU director of media and public relations, a New England First Amendment Coalition and Common Cause Rhode Island board member, and a former Providence Journal columnist: We, the people, don’t know the first thing about the First Amendment. Well, some of us do. But according to a new survey by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, 37 percent of Americans can’t name any of the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment – not a single one….

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Donald Trump vs. Roger Williams

Donald Trump vs. Roger Williams

David A. Logan, professor of law and former dean of the RWU School of Law, who has studied and written extensively about First Amendment issues: One of the many surprises of the 2016 presidential election was the support that the “religious right” or “evangelicals” gave to Donald Trump, a candidate with a well-documented and, indeed, audacious disrespect for traditional family values, especially the sanctity of marriage. Observers ascribe that support to Trump’s often-made promise to appoint conservatives to the Supreme…

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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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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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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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Moguls and the media

Moguls and the media

David  A. Logan, professor of law and former dean of the RWU School of Law, who has studied and written extensively about First Amendment issues: Among President-elect Donald Trump’s many ill-informed campaign statements was that he was “going to open up libel laws.” Where to begin? First, libel law was, and remains, state law. Second, while federal legislation does impact pockets of libel law (most notably, the Communications Decency Act protects websites from liability for merely hosting defamatory statements posted by…

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