Make No Law: The First Amendment Podcast

Make No Law: The First Amendment Podcast
By Ken White of

I Know It When I See It
Jun 3 • 26 min
Host Ken White dives into the famously ambiguous obscenity standards set forth by the United States Supreme Court.
Deplatformed: Social Media Censorship and the First Amendment
Aug 28, 2019 • 26 min
Host Ken White looks at the legal bases of arguments made by critics of social media sites moderation and shows why Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube bans are legally protected.
Apr 18, 2019 • 31 min
Criminal or civil, plaintiff or defendant — what’s the one piece of legal advice all should follow? Shut up! That being said, should a judge be able to make you do this?
The F-Bomb
Nov 29, 2018 • 26 min
On April 26, 1968, Paul Robert Cohen walked down the corridor of the Los Angeles County Courthouse at the corner of Grand and 1st. He didn’t start a fight, he didn’t make any threats, he didn’t even hold up a sign, but he did wear a jacket. This jacket…
Bonus: The Mailbag Episode
Sep 12, 2018 • 33 min
Host Ken White answers common questions his listeners have about freedom of speech and the First Amendment. He addresses the misleading claim that “hate speech is not free speech,”, explains the case that challenged President Trump’s ability to block…
Fighting Faiths
Jul 27, 2018 • 27 min
Everyone loves a good redemption story. Maybe that’s because it helps us believe it’s never too late to change. But how does the same Justice who decided Schenck v. United States, a low point for First Amendment jurisprudence, become the ultimate…
Fire in a Crowded Theater
Jun 28, 2018 • 28 min
“You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” is one of the most commonly used First Amendment catchphrases — but does it really support exceptions to free speech? The answer to this question can be found in the writings of Supreme Court Justice Oliver…
May 16, 2018 • 32 min
In June of 1966, Sidney Street heard the news that James Meredith, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, had been shot on the second day of his March Against Fear. Street, an African American himself, burned the flag and was arrested. Street declared, “If…
Apr 12, 2018 • 36 min
The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 was an animal cruelty prevention law aimed at videos showing women in high heels crushing small animals. But it ended up being used to target Robert Stevens instead. United States v. Stevens is a landmark…
Disparagement, Contempt, and Disrepute
Mar 15, 2018 • 26 min
Simon Tam named his band “The Slants” as a form of self empowerment, but ran into problems when he tried to tried to register the name as a trademark, and ended up taking the case to the Supreme Court. We examine the Matal v. Tam case in which the Supreme…
On The Job
Feb 14, 2018 • 23 min
When Richard Ceballos, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County, expressed concern about the validity of a search warrant in 2000, he discovered the fuzzy line between free speech rights and the need for government entities to maintain workplace…
The Schoolhouse Gates
Jan 31, 2018 • 32 min
In late 1965, a 13-year-old student named Mary Beth Tinker was suspended for wearing a black armband to school to support a truce in the Vietnam war. Through her parents, Mary sued the school. Ken White, alongside Mary Beth Tinker herself, dives into the…
Fighting Words
Jan 31, 2018 • 29 min
On April 6, 1940, a Jehovah’s Witness named Walter Chaplinsky was arrested for yelling, “You are a God damned racketeer and a damned Fascist and the whole government of Rochester are Fascists or agents of Fascists” at a Rochester, New Hampshire police…