Podcast: Have we lost our First Amendment rights of assembly and petition?

Occupy Wall Street protesters in Portland, OR (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Occupy Wall Street protesters in Portland, OR (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Assembly and Petition Clauses of the First Amendment state, “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

On January 19, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, a case that asks whether public employees can be punished at work for supporting a particular political candidate.

Joining We the People to discuss the constitutional issues in Heffernan and the future of the rights to assembly and petition are two leading First Amendment scholars who wrote about the Assembly and Petition Clauses for the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution.

Burt Neuborne is the Norman Dorsen Professor of Civil Liberties and the Founding Legal Director of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

John Inazu is an Associate Professor of Law and Associate Professor of Political Science at the Washington University School of Law.


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This show was engineered by Jason Gregory and produced by Nicandro Iannacci. Research was provided by Joshua Waimberg and Danieli Evans. The host of We the People is Jeffrey Rosen.

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