March for Science: Know Your Rights | Climate Science Legal Defense Fund


At the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, we’ve seen well-meaning researchers experience problems after engaging in activism or taking a personal political stance. What’s a scientist to do?

Don’t fret; prep. Our guide to participating in activism and protests will help you understand whether your activities surrounding the March for Science are constitutionally protected.


The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects “the freedom of speech,” as well as “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” also known as the right to demonstrate. Different limitations to your rights may apply depending on whether you work for the government or a private institution. If you are a federally funded scientist or a government employee, these constitutional rights may be limited in certain ways and open records laws may apply to you.

This guide was written by Climate Science Legal Defense Fund attorneys, with contributions from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The information contained in this pamphlet concerns U.S. laws only and does not constitute specific legal advice.

If you have legal questions regarding a particular circumstance, please call your lawyer or contact us directly by emailing

Thank you to the ACLU for guidance in creating this pamphlet, and for allowing us to adopt parts of their publications.


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