FOR RELEASE: November 27, 2023

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Vienna, Va., November 27, 2023 – Noted First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, long-time member of The Media Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council, will chair the Steering Committee of The Madison Project: Free Speech and Press in American Democracy.

The Madison Project is a major new initiative of the Institute that will assess threats and challenges facing free speech and press, examine new forms of communication altering the information landscape, and explore what this could mean for the future of American democracy as the 2024 elections loom.  The Madison Project was unveiled Oct. 19 at the Institute’s “Free Speech America” Gala.

Abrams is senior counsel in the litigation practice group of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP in New York City.  He represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, and his briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court have helped shape constitutional law related to the First Amendment.  He has been a Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School and Columbia Law School, and has written several books on the First Amendment.

Abrams was described by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan as “the most significant First Amendment lawyer of our age.”

The Madison Project’s Steering Committee will comprise individuals who have distinguished themselves in the fields of media, law, and academia.  This advisory group will provide guidance on the Project’s direction and focus, generate ideas, and participate in various Project activities.

“We are delighted that Floyd Abrams has agreed to chair this Steering Committee,” said Institute President Richard T. Kaplar.  “With his decades of experience defending free speech, freedom of the press, and the First Amendment, he is the perfect choice to help The Madison Project chart a course forward to maintain these essential freedoms as the bulwark of our American democracy.”

The Madison Project will be underwritten by foundations and corporations with an interest in media and communications, the First Amendment, and the preservation of American democracy.  For more information about underwriting opportunities, contact Richard T. Kaplar at

The Media Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.  Visit the Institute online at

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