The modern norm of televised presidential debates may not survive our highly polarized political environment, unless a new action plan is established soon to ensure this staple of American electoral life continues in 2024.
In 1960, on a one-time-only basis, Congress enabled the historic Kennedy-Nixon debates to take place. The law it suspended – Section 315(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, which required “equal opportunities” for all candidates – subsequently resumed in full force. As a result, there were no presidential debates in 1964, 1968, or 1972.
Continue reading “U.S. Needs an Urgent Action Plan To Save Presidential Debates”
I am a lawyer, First Amendment scholar, and an endowed journalism and electronic media enterprise and leadership professor at a major research university. Given these multiple professional identities, my thoughts on a recent headline-grabbing incident at Stanford Law School cannot be summarized by a pithy tweet, which is the coin of the realm in the social media world.
A recent Stanford Law event sponsored by its Federalist Society, a conservative and libertarian legal organization, has received widespread national media attention for the chaos it caused in real time, and more importantly, the threat to free speech that it represents.
Continue reading “Stanford Law’s Free Speech Teachable Moments”