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VUToday: Hate speech and the First Amendment in weekly roundup of VU news stories

by Aug. 18, 2017, 4:34 PM

University News and Communications publishes VUToday, a compilation of Vanderbilt mentions in the media, each weekday. Read a selection of Vanderbilt news stories for the week of Aug. 14.

Vox: Some racist, homophobic chants in Charlottesville may not be protected under 1st Amendment

There is no question that Americans have the right to express racist, offensive, unpopular views under the First Amendment—it’s a right that has been repeatedly upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. But the right-wing demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend may have gone too far when they began chanting racial and homophobic slurs to specific people. It’s a gray area of constitutional law, but experts said this week that the white supremacists may have crossed a line into what is known as unprotected speech. David Hudson, adjunct professor of law and a First Amendment expert, is quoted.

Reuters: Little evidence shows cannabis helps chronic pain or PTSD

Even though pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are among the most common reasons people use medical marijuana in the U.S., there isn’t much proof cannabis works for either one of these conditions, according to two research studies. Sachin Patel, associate professor of psychiatry, is quoted.

The Washington Post: Pregnant women addicted to opioids face tough choices, fear treatment can lead to separation and harm

As the nation’s opioid crisis has deepened, the number of drug treatment centers for pregnant women has grown. But experts and advocates say there aren’t enough services for pregnant women to meet the demand, and many don’t offer the drugs doctors would normally use to treat addiction because they are concerned about the effects they might have on a fetus. Stephen Patrick, assistant professor of pediatrics and health policy, is quoted.

Yahoo News: What happens if Donald Trump is impeached and who would be the next president?

Allegations that Donald Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into Michael Flynn’s links to Russia have spurred calls for the president to be impeached. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law, is quoted.

The Washington Post: Why principals lie to ineffective teachers: Honesty takes too long

Two new studies reveal that principals are not rating teachers’ job performances honestly. One of the studies, led by Jason Grissom, associate professor of public policy and education, and Susanna Loeb of Stanford University, found stark differences between the formal and confidential assessments of teachers filed by principals in Miami–Dade County Schools.

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