The first amendment is being challenged on all sides – freedom of religion is being tested in the Supreme Court, protests are keeping conservative pundits away from liberal campuses, and the White House is threatening a crackdown on the press. Over thirty tweets bashing the media have been sent out by President Donald Trump since inauguration.  Besides condemning mainstream media as “fake news,” he also suggested the loosening of libel laws, something he called for on the campaign trail.

But does the president have that authority or influence? First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams says no – the federal government has no power over libel laws which differ for each state. Abrams, best known for his defense of the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, has published his latest book, “The Soul of the First Amendment.” He joins Soledad O’Brien to explain the intersection of free speech and the right to protest, the beginnings of the First Amendment, and the case a former president could have against the current one.

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