Oklahoma Law Review Symposium Examines Falsehoods and the First Amendment

February 12, 2018 | By Melissa Caperton, Director of Communications
2018 Oklahoma Law Review Symposium

Media Contact: 
Melissa Caperton
(405) 325-2227

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law hosted the annual Oklahoma Law Review Symposium Friday, Feb. 9. This year’s theme was “Falsehoods, Fake News and the First Amendment.”

The event consisted of three panels featuring scholars on the First Amendment and constitutional law. The topics and panelists included:

Falsehoods and the First Amendment 

  • Marc Blitz, Alan Joseph Bennett Professor of Law and Director, Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law and Policy, Oklahoma City University
  • Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Rick Tepker, Professor of Law, Floyd and Irma Calvert Chair of Law and Liberty, OU College of Law
  • Jonathan Varat, Professor of Law Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, UCLA School of Law

Election Lies 

  • Helen Norton, Professor and Ira C. Rothgerber, Jr. Chair in Constitutional Law, University of Colorado Law School
  • Joshua Sellers, Associate Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
  • James Weinstein, Professor of Law, Dan Cracchiolo Chair in Constitutional Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University

The Brave New World of Free Speech 

  • Gregory Magarian, Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law
  • Joseph Thai, Presidential Professor of Law, Glenn R. Watson Centennial Chair in Law, OU College of Law
  • Sonja West, Otis Brumby Distinguished Professor in First Amendment Law, University of Georgia School of Law

“This year’s symposium on the relationship between false speech and the First Amendment springs from the increased scrutiny of falsehoods and the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ in our country today,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “By exploring these topics and delving into issues like foreign meddling on social media and falsehoods in political campaigns, scholars engaged our students and the wider community on how these critical free speech issues impact our democracy.”

Joseph Thai, Presidential Professor of Law, Glenn R. Watson Centennial Chair in Law at OU Law, worked with the Oklahoma Law Review to organize the symposium. After presentations by the panelists, attendees posed questions for further discussion.

Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is Oklahoma’s premier law school. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 700 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit law.ou.edu.

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