February 22 Monday

INCITEMENT AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT; Abrams Institute Conversations

  • Monday, February 22, 2021 at 12:00PM - 1:30PM
  • Online
  • Open To The Public
  • Add to Calendar:


The law of incitement has made it to the headlines in the wake of the recent Capitol riot.  Whether President Trump committed incitement is now hotly debated in partisan terms, but a question that was simmering even before January 6th is whether Brandenburg and the law of incitement are out of step with the reality of social media communications.  Is a different view of incitement necessary today, one that acknowledges the realities of online recruitment, motivation, organization and direction?  Would the Supreme Court construe the First Amendment to tolerate an expanded understanding of incitement in the face of pressures to criminalize speech that results in violence?

At our next Abrams Institute Conversation, two leading scholars, Professor Akhil Amar and Dean Lyrissa Lidsky will explore these timely issues with Floyd Abrams. There is no charge for this event, but registration is required.  Please use this link to make your reservation now, and join us February 22: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/incitement-and-the-first-amendment-tickets-138617357247

Abrams Institute Conversations are made possible through the generous support of the Stanton Foundation.

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School.  Professor Amar’s work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in more than forty cases.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the author of more than a hundred law review articles and several books, most notably The Bill of Rights (1998), America’s Constitution (2005), America’s Unwritten Constitution (2012), and The Constitution Today (2016). His latest and most ambitious book, The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840, is due out in May 2021.

Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky is Dean of the University of Missouri School of Law and Judge C.A. Leedy Professor of Law.  Her research focuses on the intersection of tort law and the First Amendment, with a particular emphasis on free speech issues in social media.  Dean Lidsky previously served in a variety of leadership roles at the University of Florida, where she held the Stephen C. O’Connell Chair in Law and received a number of teaching awards during her 23-year tenure. She is co-reporter on the Restatement of Defamation and Privacy, co-author of a leading Media Law casebook, a First Amendment casebook, and a reference book on press freedom and has published dozens of articles, including most recently the California Law Review article, Considering the Context of Online Threats.

Floyd Abrams is senior counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School and a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School. He is the author of three books about the First Amendment of which the most recent was “The Soul of the First Amendment“ (2017). Mr. Abrams has argued numerous cases involving the First Amendment in the Supreme Court and lower courts. Among others, he was co-counsel to the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, counsel to the Brooklyn Museum in its litigation against  New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and counsel to Senator Mitch McConnell in the Citizens United case. Former Yale Law School Dean Robert Post has observed that “no lawyer has exercised a greater influence on the development of First Amendment jurisprudence in the last four decades.”

The Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression at Yale Law School promotes freedom of speech, freedom of the press, access to information and government transparency. The Institute’s activities are grounded in the belief that collaboration between the academy and the bar will enrich both scholarship and practice.


Sponsoring Organization(s)

ISP, Abrams