Free Speech

Some examples of our free speech work from recent years include:

  • In 2019, we filed a petition of certiorari[1] on behalf of DeRay Mckesson, a prominent civil rights activist and Black Lives Matter movement organizer, urging the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that, if left standing, would dismantle civil rights era speech protections safeguarding the First Amendment right to protest.
  • In 2019, we successfully challenged[2] a spate of state anti-protest laws aimed at Indigenous and climate activists opposing pipeline construction.
  • We’ve called on[3] big social media companies to resist calls for censorship.
  • We’re representing five former intelligence agency employees and military personnel in a lawsuit challenging[4] the government’s pre-publication review system, which prohibits millions of former intelligence agency employees and military personnel from writing or speaking about topics related to their government service without first obtaining government approval.
  • In 2018, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief[5] arguing that the NRA’s lawsuit alleging that the state of New York violated its First Amendment rights should be allowed to proceed.
  • In 2016, the we defended[6] the First Amendment rights of environmental and racial justice activists in Uniontown, Alabama, who were sued for defamation after they organized against the town’s hazardous coal ash landfill.
  • In 2014, the ACLU of Michigan filed an amicus brief[7] arguing that the police violated the First Amendment by ejecting an anti-Muslim group called Bible Believers from a street festival based on others’ violent reactions to their speech.


  1. ^ petition of certiorari (
  2. ^ challenged (
  3. ^ called on (
  4. ^ challenging (
  5. ^ friend-of-the-court brief (
  6. ^ defended (
  7. ^ filed an amicus brief (

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