First Amendment

A majority of the books being challenged in school and community libraries are written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups. (Getty Images)

Crawford County parents sue library system over relocation of LGBTQ+ children’s books

BY: - May 26, 2023

Three Crawford County parents have sued the county judge, quorum court, library board and interim library director, alleging “unlawful censorship of materials,” specifically children’s books with LGBTQ+ topics, in the county’s five library branches. Rebecka Virden, Nina Prater, Samantha Rowlett and their minor children are all Crawford County residents and library patrons, according to the […]

17 plaintiffs plan to challenge Arkansas’ library obscenity law

BY: - May 25, 2023

The Central Arkansas Library System and 16 other plaintiffs plan to sue the state of Arkansas over two sections of a new law that changes how libraries handle material that some consider “obscene.” The CALS board of directors voted Thursday to file a federal lawsuit challenging the portions of Act 372 of 2023 that alter […]

At the intersection of State and Church streets in Salem, Oregon. (Getty Images)

Southwest Arkansas district asked to stop encouraging Christianity in public schools

BY: - May 16, 2023

A national nonprofit that advocates for the separation of church and state asked a Southwest Arkansas school district on Tuesday to stop distributing Bibles at an elementary school and leading students in prayer, according to a Tuesday news release. The Freedom From Religion Foundation asked the Prescott School District to “quit imposing Christianity on elementary […]

A security guard confronts a protester as former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Advancing Freedom Lecture Series at Stanford University on Feb. 17, 2022, with a speech titled “How to Save America From the Woke Left.” (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Free speech used to be honored by both left and right

BY: - May 8, 2023

Students’ shutting down campus public speakers has become increasingly common at universities across the U.S. Recently at Stanford Law School, student protesters shouted over a Trump-appointed federal judge and disrupted the speech he had been invited by students to give. Instead of telling the students that they were in violation of Stanford’s speech policy, the […]

House Judiciary witnesses 3.7.23

Arkansas committee rejects proposed law to hold libraries accountable for ‘obscene’ material

BY: - March 7, 2023

An Arkansas legislative panel on Tuesday rejected a proposed law that would have opened the door to criminal liability for the distribution of “obscene” content by school and public libraries. The House Judiciary Committee voted down Senate Bill 81 with a voice vote after three hours of discussion and testimony. The bill’s sponsors, Sen. Dan […]

Sen. Dan Sullivan

Higher education free expression bill halted in committee

BY: - February 1, 2023

After an hour of debate among Senate Education Committee members on Wednesday, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) pulled down a bill he said was designed to protect free expression on college campuses.  “The intent of the bill is to allow students to be expressive and we’re seeing a lot of bills now that seek to restrict […]

Issue 3 asks voters to add more religious protections to state constitution

BY: - November 2, 2022

Arkansas voters are considering a constitutional amendment that would prohibit state and local governments from burdening a person’s ability to practice their religion unless there’s a compelling reason to do so. If there is a reason, officials must act in the least restrictive manner. Lawmakers voted to refer Issue 3 to voters during the 2021 […]


Fear of reporters is fear of the truth

BY: - October 7, 2022

In the weeks after he assumed office, former President Donald Trump put reporters in the crosshairs when he labeled them “the enemy of the American people.” He was following the authoritarian playbook, long consulted by the likes of Stalin and Hitler, but it was shocking to see such strongman rhetoric coming from an American leader, […]

Federal judge declares parts of state election law unconstitutional

BY: - October 2, 2022

Six parts of Arkansas election law are unconstitutional and “impose a severe burden” on “new political parties” seeking to get their candidates on election ballots, a federal judge ruled on Friday. U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker wrote in an opinion and order that the Libertarian Party of Arkansas met its burden of proof in […]