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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

First Amendment

A recent survey found that 29% of Americans could not “name any of the specific rights that are guaranteed by the First Amendment.”survey1  Some concluded from this that “Americans have failed their 2014 civics test.”reaction

Perhaps true for those 29%, but should we care?  An April 2013 survey of likely voters found that 99% think the right of free speech is important to them.survey2  It seems Americans know that there is a right to free speech---many just don’t know that its source is the First Amendment. 

Knowing about the right but not the source will obviously be good enough if they decide to file a pro se complaint.  Alleging a “free speech” violation, or even just the underlying facts, puts everyone on notice that the First Amendment is implicated.  “[T]he rules of notice and fact pleading permit a complaint to omit citation to precise legal theories or statutory provisions so long as it alleges facts sufficient to give rise to those theories.”  Cardiovascular Surgery of Alexandria, LLC v. Kerry, No. 10-1003, 2011 WL 672244, at *5 (W.D. La. Feb. 17, 2011).

Posted by Fredrick Vars on July 9, 2014 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

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