The rights to free speech, protest, and a free press aren’t just integral to democracy — they are core American values.
However, the courts have weaponized the First Amendment’s protection of free speech to produce perverse, undemocratic results. In a series of cases, most notably Citizens United, campaign finance laws that protect the integrity of our elections against corruption have been overturned. This misguided jurisprudence has helped usher in a flood of corporate and special-interest money into our elections, diminishing the voices of ordinary citizens.
The Brennan Center fights to protect speech and protest rights and freedom of the press by raising the alarm about government efforts to silence and intimidate demonstrators. And we’re closely monitoring social media companies that remove content, to ensure they’re allowing for a free and robust public conversation. We also work to advance a vision of the Constitution as a charter for a vibrant, participatory democracy protected from the outsize influence of corporations and special interests.