"Free Speech, Gun Rights, and the Constitution":
January 26, 2011
At this evening fireside conversation, students joined Maurer Law professors Fred Cate and David Williams and professor Beth Cate of the IU General Counsel's Office and SPEA to discuss free speech, fair speech, gun rights, and the Constitution. This program was organized to address the Janurary 8th Tucson shooting and the related first and second amendment concerns that were raised in headlines throughout the country: Does the First Amendment protect offensive speech? -angry speech? -hate speech? -threatening speech? Does the Second Amendment protect the right to bear a semi-automatic weapon like the Glock, with a 30-bullet clip, that was used in the recent Tucson shootings? Should politicians and the media avoid the use of the crosshair or similar symbols to make their points? -lower their voices and be nicer to each other? Should the response to the Tucson shootings be to try to improve the tone of political discourse, pass new gun laws, something else? Are your rights-and responsibilities-the same on campus as they would be elsewhere, including online? -on the job and off? Beth Cate is Associate General Counsel for Indiana University and practices in a variety of areas, with emphases on intellectual property law and the law and ethics concerning research and the use of information technologies. Fred Cate is a Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law and director of the IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research. He specializes in privacy, security, and other information law issues, and appears regularly before Congress, government agencies, and professional and industry groups. He is the author of many articles and books, including The Internet and the First Amendment, and appears regularly in the popular press. David Williams is the John S. Hastings Professor of Law and the director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies. He has written "on constitutional design, Native American Law, the constitutional treatment of difference, and the relationship between constitutionalism and political violence" and is the author of The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment: Taming Political Violence in a Constitutional Republic. The event was co-sponsored by the Wells Scholars Program.