Free speech means we can all say whatever we want, whenever we want. Free country, right? Not quite. The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The tenet of freedom of speech is perhaps the most cited, misunderstood and debated part of the Bill of Rights.
What kind of speech is protected? What kind of speech is not? What’s the squishy grey area in between? We break it down with two legal scholars.


The controversy surrounding Rachel Dolezal's identity has stoked a cultural conversation: Is race something your ancestors dictate or whatever you feel in your soul? Who gets to police those boundaries? Is skin color still the defining force? You can join that conversation in today's Times video chat, as columnist Sandy Banks and USC law professor Camille Gear Rich talk about Dolezal's charade and the idea of "elective race.