Jan 14, 2021

Free Speech Issues Abound After Capitol Hill Riot

My new South Carolina Press Association column:

The riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6 and its aftermath have raised several serious concerns about American politics and society. These events also raise several questions and dilemmas regarding First Amendment law and freedom of speech generally.

Nov 19, 2020

Music Awards Dispute Shows Dilemma of Photo Coverage of Concerts and Other Events

In-mid November, the Associated Press declined to cover the Country Music Association Awards after the organizers attempted to place severe limits on the photos that the wire service could take and distribute of the event.

This is just the most recent example of an organization seeking to limit or control media coverage of a newsworthy events.

Oct 2, 2020

Article Examines, What's a "True Threat"?

My new journal article, written with my student Morgan Hill, explores that criteria that courts have used to determine whether a statement is a “true threat” under federal law, after the U.S. Supreme Court's failure to clarify the issue. It is in the latest issue of the University of Baltimore School of Law's Journal of Media Law & Ethics:

Jul 22, 2020

ABA's Communications Lawyer Reviews My Book

The Communications Lawyer, published by the American Bar Association's Forum on Communications Law, has published a review of my book, Reckless Disregard: St. Amant v. Thompson and the Transformation of Libel Law. Thanks to Cynthia Counts for writing it.

Here's a highlight:
Robinson has provided a full and complete account of this most important case that played so prominently in the post-Sullivan evolution of libel law. This isn’t just important reading for media law scholars, history buffs, or practicing attorneys.It is required reading.
The review is available here.

Jul 14, 2020

Trump Hits the Wall of Courts' Prior Restraint Precedents

President Trump’s campaign and family have both tried in recent weeks—and earlier in his presidency—to stop publication of books and other things that may be uncomfortable or embarrassing to him. And each time such efforts have failed, with the courts rejecting these attempts based on almost 90 years of legal precedent that allows such prior restraints only under the direst circumstances.

Jun 17, 2020

Protests, Free Speech and Press Freedom

From a First Amendment perspective, the direst events of the past few weeks were the numerous instances of police, law enforcement officers and (in Washington, D.C.) national guard soldiers (in Washington, D.C.) using aggressive tactics and violence against protesters who were peacefully—although sometimes angrily and loudly—utilizing their First Amendment rights to speak, assemble and air their grievances to the government. It was especially troubling when these aggressive tactics and violence were used against journalists covering the protests.

My latest column for the South Carolina Press Association....

Jun 2, 2020

The First Amendment and the Right to Protest

In the past two days I've been interviewed by the Charleston Post & Courier and WLTX, channel 19 in Columbia, about the First Amendment rights to free speech and protest, and the limited circumstances in which the government can step in:
In both interviews, I emphasized the importance of the rights of peaceful free speech and to petition the government under the First Amendment, and the essential need to protect and honor these rights, particularly during difficult and contentious times.