After a brief overview of the First Amendment right to free speech and peaceable assembly, discussion turned to the definition of “speech” in this context. The presenters, all members of GKH’s Advocacy Practice Group, explored several Supreme Court decisions which expanded the definition of protected speech to include actions, writing and pictures, symbolism, and even conduct in some cases.
Finally, attorney Yoder presented a case study of a Lancaster incident involving a protest by the Smoketown Six in 2004 during a visit by then President George W. Bush. Seminar attendees saw video footage of the protest, in which several young men re-enacted disturbing images from the Abu Ghraib prison. Attorney Yoder, who represented the protesters in a civil rights lawsuit alleging the police violated the protesters’ First Amendment rights, then discussed the free speech issues involved.
Each year GKH presents a series of complimentary seminars on legal topics ranging from estate planning to litigation. The seminars are open to the public and include a light breakfast or lunch. For more information, view the current seminar schedule or contact us.