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Floyd Abrams - The Soul of the First Amendment

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Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

170 E 64th St

New York, NY 10065

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A number of students tickets are available. For more information, please contact events@cceia.org.

The right of Americans to voice their beliefs without government approval or oversight is protected under what may well be the most honored and least understood addendum to the U.S. Constitution—the First Amendment. American law protects free speech more often, more intensely, and more controversially than is the case anywhere else in the world. However, conflicts between claims of free speech and those of national security have recently been challenged by the publication of classified material which was made public by WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden. While free speech can and does cause harm to individuals and society, government censorship can cause greater harm.


Are the recent “illegal leaks” in Washington a threat to our democracy? What conflicts exist between claims of free speech and those of national security?


Floyd Abrams is senior counsel in the New York law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, and author of several books, including Friend of the Court: On the Front Lines with the First Amendment. He has argued frequently in the Supreme Court in First Amendment cases ranging from the Pentagon Papers case to Citizens United. Abrams' clients have included The New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS CNN, and The Nation among many others.

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Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

170 E 64th St

New York, NY 10065

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