About the Project

About About

The Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to current and contemporary issues affecting the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, thought, assembly and petition.

The Project addresses these issues in multiple ways, including by:

  1. Filing of legal briefs in court cases
  2. Authoring scholarly articles in the nation’s top law journals
  3. Publishing op-ed commentaries in mainstream newspapers
  4. Presenting speeches and papers at conferences and symposia across the country
  5. Providing commentary to news organization and media outlets
  6. Testifying before legislative bodies regarding bills affecting First Amendment rights.

Some examples of issues and topics on which the Project’s faculty members have written, published and/or otherwise opined include:

  • Algorithms, artificial intelligence and data gathering as they affect both speech and privacy rights
  • Regulation of online social media platforms
  • Tiers of scrutiny in First Amendment cases
  • Fake news and the First Amendment
  • Incitement to violence and fighting words
  • Speech rights of public school students
  • FCC regulation of broadcast indecency and profane language
  • Laws targeting violent video games
  • Federal obscenity prosecutions
  • Privacy rights of individuals confronted by the news media
  • Anonymous, defamatory expression on the Internet
  • Shield laws to protect journalists from revealing sources

The First Amendment Project’s greatest supporter and benefactor was Marion B. Brechner, who passed away in January 2011. Her son, Berl Brechner, maintains an active role with the College and is a true supporter of the Project. Read more about the life and legacy of Marion B. Brechner.

Core Values

The First Amendment protects “the freedom of speech.” It does not protect only one side of the debate. It is does not protect only polite or politically correct speech. It does not protect only popular speech.

The core values of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Protect thus pivot on:

  • Protecting a robust, uninhibited marketplace of ideas
  • Defending the right to engage in controversial expression
  • Educating the public about First Amendment freedoms

First Amendment Project Staff

Jane Bambauer, Director
Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication


Jane Bambauer

Jane Bambauer is the Brechner Eminent Scholar at the UF College of Journalism and Communications and at Levin College of Law. She teaches Media Law, First Amendment, Torts and Privacy Law.

Bambauer’s research assesses the social costs and benefits of Big Data, AI, and predictive algorithms. Her work analyzes how the regulation of these new information technologies will affect free speech, privacy, law enforcement, health and safety, competitive markets, and government accountability. Bambauer’s research has been featured in over 20 scholarly publications, including the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the California Law Review, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Her work has also been featured in media outlets, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, Fox News, and Lawfare, where she is a contributing editor.

She currently serves as the chair of the National AI Advisory Committee Subcommittee on Law Enforcement, and she has previously served as the deputy director of the Center for Quantum Networks, a multi-institutional engineering research center funded by the National Science Foundation.

She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Yale College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.