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Unprecedented@Kline

We are the proud sponsor of WAMU’s new podcast, Unprecedented, which “tells the raw and emotional stories of ordinary people who, as they pursued justice all the way to the Supreme Court, defined the limits of our First Amendment rights.” We invite you to join us in a conversation around the First Amendment, as we share summaries of prominent cases, commentary from Kline School of Law faculty and more.

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Dean and Professor of Law Dan Filler introduces Unprecedented@Kline.

Introducing Unprecedented@Kline

Dean and Professor of Law Dan Filler introduces Unprecedented@Kline, commentary from Kline School of Law faculty on the First Amendment cases examined in WAMU's podcast, Unprecedented.


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Not Your Father's First Amendment symposium graphic

Symposium: Not Your Father’s First Amendment

On November 15, 2019, our symposium brought together leading scholars and practitioners to explore the possibilities of an inclusive First Amendment for an era of advancing racial and gender equality, political polarization, and technological interconnectedness.


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Season 1, Episode 1

S1-E1

Listen to the first episode of WAMU’s Unprecedented, “Live Free…or Try,” which explores Wooley v. Maynard (1977) and the topic of compelled speech.
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License Plates: Wooley v. Maynard

Case Summary:
Wooley v. Maynard (1977)

S1-E1

What would you do if the federal government passed a law requiring every vehicle to display a “Make American Great Again” bumper sticker (and you weren’t a Trump supporter)?


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Professor Lisa Tucker on Wooley v. Maynard

Professor Lisa Tucker:
Wooley v. Maynard

S1-E1

Professor Lisa Tucker discusses the importance of the First Amendment to the political process and how Wooley v. Maynard (1977) addressed the right “not to speak.”


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Season 1, Episode 2

S1-E2

Listen to the second episode of WAMU’s Unprecedented, “‘Not Alone In My Own Body,’” which explores NIFLA v. Becerra (2018) and the topic of compelled speech.
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Youth holds a free speech sign at a rally in Washington D.C.

Case Summary:
NIFLA v. Becerra (2018)

S1-E2

Can the government compel you to say something you disagree with on moral or religious grounds, even if it is trying to protect its citizens from misleading information or inform them of state services?


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Professor Cohen discusses NIFLA v. Becerra.

Professor David Cohen:
NIFLA v. Becerra

S1-E2

Professor David Cohen discusses NIFLA v. Becerra (2018) and argues that the Supreme Court has given non-medical centers more First Amendment rights than doctors and clinics that perform abortions, a constitutionally protected medical procedure.


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Season 1, Episode 3

S1-E3

Listen to the third episode of WAMU’s Unprecedented, “Terry Abrahamson’s Dirty Joke,” which explores Hustler v. Falwell (1988) and the topic of intentional infliction of emotional distress.


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Larry Flint holds copy of Hustler magazine.

Case Summary:
Hustler v. Falwell (1988)

S1-E3

Would you believe that preacher Jerry Falwell’s “first time” was in a drunken, incestuous relationship with his mother, in an outhouse? No?


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Dean and Professor of Law Dan Filler introduces Unprecedented@Kline.

Dean Dan Filler:
Hustler v. Falwell

S1-E3

Dean Dan Filler discusses Hustler v. Falwell (1988), intentional infliction of emotional distress and the expansion of corporate free speech rights.


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Season 1, Episode 4

S1-E4

Listen to the fourth episode of WAMU’s Unprecedented, “Middle Finger To God,” which explores Snyder v. Phelps (2011) and the topic of intentional infliction of emotional distress.


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Protesters holding hateful signs

Case Summary:
Snyder v. Phelps (2011)

S1-E4

How would you feel if you showed up at a funeral for an American Marine to find protestors waving signs saying “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “America is Doomed”?


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Professor Chapin Cimino prepares to talk on camera in studio

Professor Chapin Cimino:
Snyder v. Phelps

S1-E4

Professor Chapin Cimino discusses key differences between two decisions that, at first glance, might seem aligned — Snyder v. Phelps (2011) and New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964).


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Season 1, Episode 5

S1-E5

Listen to the fifth episode of WAMU’s Unprecedented, “The Most Moderate Protest,” which explores Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) and the topic of student speech.


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Two students hold black arm bands with peace signs.

Case Summary:
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)

S1-E5

What should students be allowed to wear to school? Does freedom of expression stop at the classroom door?


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Professor Adam Benforado prepares to talk on camera in studio

Professor Adam Benforado:
Tinker v. Des Moines

S1-E5

Professor Adam Benforado discusses Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) — a high-water mark for student speech — and how student speech rights have been eroded since the decision.


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Season 1, Episode 6

S1-E6

Listen to the sixth episode of WAMU’s Unprecedented, “Drugs for a Deity,” which explores Morse v. Frederick (2007) and the topic of student speech.


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Students hold banner that says "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

Case Summary:
Morse v. Frederick (2007)

S1-E6

Should students be allowed to say whatever they want in school? When do they lose their freedom of speech?


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Professor Lisa Tucker on Wooley v. Maynard

Professor Lisa Tucker:
Morse v. Frederick

S1-E6

Professor Lisa Tucker discusses Morse v. Frederick (2007) and gives an example of how student speech might be “more perilous” now than in the past, as “kids do more and more virtually rather than on school campuses.”


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Season 1, Episode 7

S1-E7

Listen to the seventh episode of WAMU’s Unprecedented, “Bodily Harm Is Coming,” which explores Virginia v. Black (2003) and the topic of true threats.


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Members of the KKK burn a cross.

Case Summary:
Virginia v. Black (2003)

S1-E7

Would you be intimidated if someone set fire to a cross in your front yard? What if it was in a park across the street during a political rally?


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Professor Anil Kalhan prepares to talk on camera in studio.

Professor Anil Kalhan:
Virginia v. Black

S1-E7

Professor Anil Kalhan discusses Virginia v. Black (2003), highlighting how Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas influenced the other Justices’ understanding of the history and social meaning of cross-burning.


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