Free Speech

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Faculty Legal Defense Fund


This was announced last month, but I'm afraid I somehow missed that at the time. Here's the story from Ron Collins' First Amendment News:

Ronald London, a highly skilled and savvy First Amendment lawyer with years of experience, has left Davis Wright Tremaine to head FIRE's Faculty Legal Defense Fund.

Among other things, Mr. London, a Georgetown Law graduate, worked with Robert Corn-Revere for over two decades in litigating a variety of important free expression cases. For example, they worked together on Motion Picture Association of America v. FCC (2002), where the D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC's video description rules, and also on the indecency cases where they represented the petitioners in Fox Television Stations v. FCC and in CBS Corp. v. FCC. Additionally, they were counsel for the petitioners in Woodhull Freedom Foundation v. United States (2020) and Pen America v. Trump (2021).

London's law firm practice included representing clients in First Amendment, media and communications, privacy, advertising, and accessibility cases. He also represented online and traditional media providers in matters before federal and state courts, as well as the FCC and FTC, regarding general regulatory compliance….

FIRE is also looking for experienced local lawyers who can help, and will be able to pay them. (The Fund is being supported by the Stanton Foundation.) And it has set up a hotline, (254) 500-FLDF (3533), for faculty who need help, though they can also submit materials via FIRE's web site.

FIRE has of course long supported students, including through litigation; now it's even better equipped to support faculty as well.

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  1. Please, consider a writ of mandamus to the IRS Non-Profit Office. The exemption is to support education. In education, all aspects of a subject are covered. The coverage of only some is called indoctrination, and not an exempt purpose. The slightest viewpoint discrimination should result in the loss of the tax exempt status.

    1. If you decided to try that, I would have a substantial budget for you.

      1. You'd give money to a lawyer? Say it ain't so. Is nothing sacred?

        1. Fight fire with fire?

          1. One of the founders of FIRE told me once that he really wanted to make the name FIRE & BRIMSTONE.

        2. I agree with the non profit reg supporting rducation. Enforce it for a change. Also I am the best friend of the lawyer. When it updates its ridiculous atavism, its income will quadruple, its public esteem will go up 10 times.

  2. F.I.R.E used to be more of a bare bones advocacy type organization. According to its most recent 990 it looks more like a DC inside-the-beltway think tank these days. Nothing wrong with that, but I recall hearing one of the founders speak saying that it would always be this "outsider" group keep higher education honest. Now it looks like more like "establishment resistance" though. Maybe that is bound to happen as any group ages and its leadership starts to get bloated salaries.

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