The Future of the First Amendment

Conference
September 28, 2017
9:00AM to 6:00PM EDT
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

The First Amendment has moved to the center of American political conflict. On college campuses, students and faculty demand protection from speech and speakers. Polls show students and young people in general evince less support for free speech than previous generations had shown. In legal and public debate, the free exercise of religion conflicts with the right to marriage, thereby placing the First Amendment at the center of vitriolic cultural clashes. Moreover, the challenges for the First Amendment seemed fated to grow. Modern surveillance methods can chill speech even absent malign intent from officials. The global nature of the Internet also means that regulations arising from nations less protective of speech than the United States might become the rule for all. If this were not enough, traditional First Amendment issues such as campaign finance remain controversial during and after hard-fought elections. Cato’s first conference on the First Amendment, a new biennial effort, offers provocative and thoughtful views on these issues.


8:30 - 9:00AM REGISTRATION
9:00 - 10:30AM PANEL 1 – ENDURING ISSUES AT A TIME OF CHANGE

Progressivism and the First Amendment
Robert F. Bauer, New York University Law School

Citizens United: A Look Back and Forward
Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri

Commercial Speech as Free Speech
Martin Redish, Northwestern Law School

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10:30 - 10:45AM BREAK
10:45 - 12:15PM PANEL 2 – RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE POST-OBAMA ERA

Walter Olson, Cato Institute
Robin Fretwell Wilson, University of Illinois Law School
John M. Barry, author of Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul

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12:15 - 1:45PM LUNCH AND KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Free Speech, Libel, and Privacy in the Internet Age
Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law School and Founder, The Volokh Conspiracy

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1:45 - 3:15PM PANEL 3 – FINDINGS FROM THE CATO INSTITUTE 2017 FREE SPEECH NATIONAL SURVEY

Poll Results
Emily Ekins, Cato Institute

Roundtable Discussants:
Jeffrey Herbst, Consultant and Scholar
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic
Kmele Foster, Freethink

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3:15 - 3:30PM BREAK
3:30 - 5:00PM

PANEL 4 – FREE SPEECH FOR A NEW ERA

Surveillance and Free Speech
Matthew Feeney, Cato Institute

Extremist Speech and Free Speech
Flemming Rose, Cato Institute

Extremist Speech and Compelled Conformity
Danielle Keats Citron, University of Maryland School of Law

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5:00 - 6:00PM RECEPTION