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-VA Supports Decriminalizing Free Speech

NEWS RELEASE: Profane language remains protected by the First Amendment because it reflects personal viewpoints. read more »

ACLU-VA Opposes Denying Government Contracts Based on Speech

POSITION: It is unconstitutional to deny government contracts based on speech because that action amounts to an attempt to suppress free speech. read more »

City of Petersburg Settles in Free Speech Case

NEWS RELEASE: The City of Petersburg and its mayor have agreed to a settlement in the case of a resident who was denied the right to speak at a city council meeting because he had not paid an unrelated fine to the city. read more »

ACLU of Virginia Opposes Government Cancellation of NFL Team’s Trademark; Asks Appeals Court to Find Trademark Law Unconstitutional Violation of Free Speech

PRESS RELEASE: The ACLU of Virginia, the ACLU of the National Capitol Area and the national ACLU today filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the cancellation of the Washington National Football League team’s trademarks on the grounds they are “disparaging.” read more »

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In the Courts

Christian v. City of Petersburg and W. Howard Myers

Right to Speak at City Council Meetings read more »

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 »

Read more court cases »