Enemy of the American People? Undermining a Free Press

By Edward Fitzpatrick | Roger Williams University The Trump Administration appears to be springing more leaks than the Oroville Dam spillway. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, the public would be drowning in the cascade of “alternative facts” pouring from the White House. Already, the leaks have produced concrete results. For example, Rhode Island’s own […]

Parties Agree to Dismiss VTDigger’s Public Records Lawsuit After State Releases Records

By Lia Ernst | ACLU of Vermont The State of Vermont recently released a cache of public records related to the state’s participation in the EB-5 visa program after VTDigger, represented by the ACLU of Vermont and Timothy Cornell of Cornell Dolan, P.C., sued for their release. VTDigger’s lawsuit alleged the state improperly withheld the records […]

Several Bills Aim to Improve New Hampshire Right to Know Law Enforcement, Compliance

By David Saad | Right to Know New Hampshire Our government belongs to us. Part I Article 8 of the New Hampshire Constitution articulates the citizen’s right to know what its government is doing. This right is further codified in the state’s Right to Know Law. Yes, citizens have the right to know what their government is […]

Trump’s Order Violates Bedrock Principles of First Amendment, Religious Liberty

By Jared A. Goldstein | Roger Williams University School of Law President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 27 that violates the bedrock principles upon which Roger Williams founded Rhode Island. I’ve always been proud to work at a university named for Roger Williams, whose commitment to religious liberty for all peoples formed […]

A Win for Open Records That Wasn’t

By Steven Brown | ACLU of Rhode Island This should be a happy Access to Public Records Act story, but — spoiler alert — it’s not. Valley Breeze reporter Ethan Shorey filed an APRA complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General when the City of Pawtucket refused to provide him a list of vacant and […]

Moguls and the Media

By David A. Logan | Roger Williams University School of Law Among President-elect Donald Trump’s many ill-informed campaign statements was that he was “going to open up libel laws.” Where to begin? First, libel law was, and remains, state law. Second, while federal legislation does impact pockets of libel law (most notably, the Communications Decency Act […]

Massachusetts Has A New Public Records Law — Now What?

By Robert A. Bertsche and Jeffrey Pyle This New Year’s Day, journalists in Massachusetts can look forward to more than just a hangover: They’ll have a new public records law to try out. Like a night of epic carousing, the “Act to Improve Public Records,” which goes into effect January 1, has upsides and downsides. […]

45 Words, 5 Freedoms, 1st Amendment

The following blog post can also be read at Roger Williams University’s First Amendment Blog.  By Edward Fitzpatrick Absolutely! The 45 words in the First Amendment guarantee five freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble and freedom to petition the government. But those constitutional guarantees are paper thin […]

Roger Williams University Launches First Amendment Blog

By Edward Fitzpatrick First Amendment advocates will be glad to know that Roger Williams University this week launched a First Amendment blog, providing a timely new venue for debating, discussing and defending the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. The New England First Amendment Coalition will also be publishing many of the posts. The blog draws […]

Loeb School Recognizes New Hampshire First Amendment Advocates

By David Tirrell-Wysocki There’s a reason why the protections articulated in the First Amendment were chosen to be the first words added to the Constitution in 1791. The amendment establishes five freedoms that define the essence of our democracy. It affects every American, every day, by prohibiting the government from interfering with our religion, speech, […]