Free Speech Issues The ACLU of Rhode Island is Involved With - Court Cases, Legislation, News Releases


Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years


Free Speech

Protecting the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment has always been in the forefront of the ACLU’s mission. The ACLU of Rhode Island was founded over 50 years ago largely in response to widespread government efforts to censor books, films, and theater.  Today, the ACLU routinely defends the right of citizens to exercise their freedom of speech, of the press, of association, and of petition and protest, no matter how unpopular their opinions may be.

Free Speech in the News

  • Sep, 17, 2018: ACLU to North Smithfield on Proposed Nike Ban: Just Don’t Do It; Plans Now Made to Rescind Ban
  • Aug, 20, 2018: ACLU Sues Woonsocket for Retaliating Against Domestic Violence Service Agency
  • Jul, 31, 2018: ACLU and Media Groups Submit Brief in Lawsuit Challenging Court’s Denial of Jury List in Murder Case

View All Free Speech Related News Releases »

Free Speech Related Court Cases

2018: Sojourner House v. Woonsocket
Category: Active Case    Discrimination    Rights of the Poor    Due Process    Free Speech    Open Government    Women's Rights    

About This Case:
This is a federal lawsuit against the City of Woonsocket for unlawfully withholding grant funds from Sojourner House, a social service agency that helps victims of domestic violence. The lawsuit alleges that the City withheld the funds without cause or due process, and then retaliated against the agency after it petitioned other government agencies for help in resolving the dispute over the funds.

Current Status:
Lawsuit filed in August 2018.

ACLU Cooperating Attorneys:
Matthew T. Oliverio, Stephen M. Prignano

Supporting Documents
2018: LMG RI Holdings v RI Superior Court
Category: Active Case    Free Speech    Open Government    

About This Case:
This is an amicus brief in support of a federal lawsuit filed by the Providence Journal seeking a ruling on the constitutionality of Superior Court Associate Justice Netti Vogel’s controversial orders in April that initially blocked the release of the juror list, and barred members of the public from contacting the jurors, in a completed, high-profile murder case.

ACLU Cooperating Attorneys:
Thomas W. Lyons
Rhiannon S. Huffman

Supporting Documents