“Free Speech Dialogues” Examines Political Speech and Campaign Finance Regulation

Feb. 7, 2011

Event: "Free Speech Dialogues," sponsored by the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism at The University of Texas at Austin. Free and open to the public.

When: Thursday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m.

Where: Mezes Hall, room 1.306. A map is available online.

Background: "Free Speech Dialogues" explores the meaning and application of the right to free speech. This is the first panel in a series, planned to be held once a semester, that will delve into such controversial topics as hate speech, religious speech, digital communications, copyright, indecency on the airwaves, press freedom and academic speech. This semester's discussion will center on campaign finance regulations in regard to freedom of political speech, and will be moderated by Tara Smith, BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and professor of philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin.

Panelists are:

Burt Neuborne, professor of civil liberties, New York University School of Law, and legal director, Brennan Center for Justice

Neuborne has been one of the nation's foremost civil liberties lawyers, serving as national legal director of the ACLU, special counsel to the National Organization of Women, Legal Defense and Education Fund, and as a member of the New York City Human Rights Commission. He has argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court cases and litigated scores of constitutional cases on such issues as the constitutionality of the Vietnam War, flag burning and the Pentagon Papers.

Steve Simpson, senior attorney, Institute for Justice in Washington, D.C.

Simpson litigates free speech cases in state and federal courts across the country. He is lead counsel in SpeechNow.org v. FEC, a challenge to federal campaign finance laws that prevent individuals from banding together to spend money on speech for or against candidates.

Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent, New York Times

Liptak's column on legal affairs, "Sidebar," appears in the paper every other Tuesday. In 2009, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting. He practiced law at a large New York City firm as well as in the legal department of The New York Times Company prior to joining the paper’s news staff in 2002.

For more information, contact: Michelle Bryant, College of Liberal Arts, 512 232 4730.