University Professor David Driesen’s important new book—”The Specter of Dictatorship: Judicial Enabling of Presidential Power” (Stanford, 2021)—reveals how the U.S. Supreme Court’s presidentialism threatens democracy and what the United States can do about it. To celebrate the publication of the…
Roy Gutterman: First Amendment Doesn’t Protect Capitol Riots, Violence
The U.S. Capitol descended into chaos on Jan. 6 as pro-Trump demonstrations and protests turned into violent riots. Peaceful protest is protected under the First Amendment, but where do today’s events stand?
Roy Gutterman is an expert on communications law, the First Amendment, and is director of the Newhouse School’s Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University. He provides a written comment below.
“There is a great difference between free speech and peaceful assembly and what we saw today. Protesting on political issues and other important public issues is important and should be encouraged and protected. But First Amendment protections do not extend to rioting and acts of violence. It is sad to see what we’ve seen today at the U.S. Capitol.”