In a country founded on the principles of free speech and freedom of the press, it is no surprise that the First Amendment is one of the most important parts of the Constitution. But this right has come under attack in recent years, particularly by those in power who seek to silence dissent. From the current administration to state legislatures, a number of forces are working to undermine the freedom of the press. In addition, there has been a rise in violence against journalists, threats, and harassment.
In this episode, First Amendment Attorney Ben Barr joins Jim and Dan. Committed to protecting the First Amendment, Ben talks about the story of Project Veritas and the violation of journalists' First Amendment rights, how Ben and his team handle the Project Veritas case, and what the litigation process in the federal government looks like.
Ben Barr is the Partner at Barr & Klein PLLC. At his core, Ben is committed to protecting the First Amendment. He focused on constitutional litigation, election law, undercover journalism, and defending free speech rights. With creative and aggressive approaches, Ben's practice ensures the right to speak and associate freely.
In This Episode
04:02 - Why the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) still has hope.
05:45 - The story of James O'Keeff and the violation of journalists' First Amendment rights
11:13 - How Ben and his team handle the Project Veritas case
17:37 - What Project Veritas is all about
21:08 - Where Project Veritas stands today
23:22 - The commonality in the 2016 lawsuits
26:31 - What James O'Keefe is like as a journalist
29:45 - How the press and the media have changed over the years
33:07 - How free speech is applied to social media
43:43 - What the litigation process in the federal government looks like
54:39 - Where Big Tech is heading with the First Amendment
58:54 - Dan's perspective on the James O'Keefe case
1:03:08 - How Project Veritas upholds the First Amendment
32:19 - "It doesn't make sense when you have frivolous and spurious lawsuits lining up. It doesn't make sense to feed alligators." - Ben Barr
57:43 - "The government is nudging and puppeteering Big Tech, and what a foolish action for sophisticated actors like Facebook and Twitter to open themselves up to that. They've got Section 230. That's a broad grant of immunity against them. They generally have the First Amendment doctrine on their side, so what a foolish step to open those communications and to work in tangent with an administration." - Ben Barr
1:03:32 - "Think about the core of the First Amendment right. Think about Hamilton and Madison coming together and writing anonymously to the people of the United States. Why? Because they wanted a better nation. They wanted to hold those who were corrupt in power accountable. That's the core of the First Amendment." - Ben Barr
1:03:50 - "That's the core of the First Amendment, and to prevent government abuse from the free flow of information, information about what those who hold power over you are doing improperly and incorrectly. That has to be the front and center of this nation's moral commitment." - Ben Barr
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