The Biden administration, marking 100 days in office this week, has taken several important steps to protect freedom of expression, reversing Trump-era executive orders that constrained diversity training and restricted scholars and lawyers from working with the International Criminal Court, reconsidering a gag order on the speech of immigration judges, and releasing an intelligence report on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The administration has also made significant progress on other fronts, for example suspending some social media registration requirements for travel and immigration applications.
In other important areas, however, the administration has thus far failed to act—or even, more troublingly, begun to embrace policies that undermine First Amendment freedoms. It continues to pursue the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a case that could have broad negative implications for press freedom. It is defending a prepublication review system that unconstitutionally silences former public servants and deprives the public of access to important information about the operation of government. And thus far, it has declined to publish a full set of White House visitor logs—despite earlier promises to do so.
For a broader review, see the Institute’s “A First Amendment Agenda for the New Administration.”
A. Adam Glenn is a writer/editor at the Knight First Amendment Institute.