Free Speech

The ACLU of Virginia is a vigorous defender of freedom of speech, as well as freedom of the press, and the rights of demonstrators. These are among our most fundamental liberties and are guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

News & Commentary

ACLU of Virginia Sues Petersburg for Damages for Violating Activist’s Right to Speak at City Council Meetings in January

PRESS RELEASE: The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed a lawsuit today against the City of Petersburg for violating the First Amendment rights of a resident who was prohibited from speaking at a city council meeting solely because he owed an unpaid fine to the City. The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages for the violation of the resident’s constitutional rights that took place earlier this year. read more »

The Good and the Bad of the 2015 General Assembly Session

BLOG: It’s a wrap. After four months of advocacy before the General Assembly and Governor’s office, we can finally report how Virginians’ rights fared during the 2015 General Assembly Session. We had some major victories, but also some disappointing losses. read more »

They’re Playing the Fear Card … Again: The Myths and Facts in Virginia’s Surveillance Debate

BLOG: We rely on law enforcement to protect us. It is an often dangerous job, and we are grateful to those who take the oath to protect and serve. But, our admiration for their selflessness doesn’t grant them a blank check to ignore basic American principles. read more »

ACLU of Virginia Warns Legislators: Governor’s Amendments Would Take Away the Privacy of Virginians

PRESS RELEASE: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia said today that it has sent emails to all members of the General Assembly last Friday and today urging them to reject Governor McAuliffe’s amendments to bi-partisan privacy legislation that passed during the 2015 General Assembly Session almost unanimously. As passed, bills HB 1673 (Anderson R Prince William), SB 965 (Petersen D Fairfax), HB 2125 (Cline R Rockbridge), and SB 1301 (McEachin D Richmond) protect the privacy of all Virginians while allowing law enforcement to continue to ensure public safety. read more »

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In the Courts

Pro-football, Inc. v. Blackhorse

Cancellation of Trademark Based on Disparaging Language read more »

Radiance Foundation v. NAACP

Right to Criticize National Organization read more »

Dietz v. Perez

Injunction Against Online Speech read more »

Commonwealth v. Dean

Subpoena for Church Petitions read more »

Read more court cases »