A district court judge for Travis County, Texas issued a default judgment against Alex Jones for failing to comply with discovery requests in the defamation suits brought by two families in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. The shooting, which occurred on December 14, 2012, resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adult school staff members. The rulings mean that the suits will proceed to trial to determine how much Jones and his media company, Infowars, will pay the parents for defamation and emotional stress.
Wisconsin became the latest state to introduce legislation aimed at preventing public schools from teaching “divisive” concepts around race and gender. On September 28th, the Wisconsin state assembly passed a Republican-backed bill to prevent “critical race theory” from being taught in the state’s public schools.
A mediator with the American Arbitration Association decided on September 24th that a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) signed by a former White House aide was too vague to be enforceable. Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on Donald Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice,” joined the White House staff as the communications director for the Office of Public Liaison after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
A new survey released by the Freedom Forum entitled, “The First Amendment: Where America Stands,” reveals that while 94% of Americans value the First Amendment as vital, they are nonetheless divided on certain key issues. Many Americans appear reluctant to engage in speech that may be seen as controversial. According to the survey of 3,000 Americans in July and August 2020, more than four in 10 people say that, at least once, they haven’t expressed an opinion out of fear of being punished.
Two Internet trade associations are suing Texas and its Attorney General Ken Paxton over a recent law that regulates social media companies’ ability to remove users from their platforms. Filed on September 22nd in the U.S. District Court for the District of Texas Austin Division, NetChoice and Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which represent Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others, contend that House Bill 20 violates the First Amendment.
In 2018, Christie’s auction house in New York sold a painting, Portrait of Edmond Bellamy, for $432,500. This sales price was significant. Not because it was exceptionally high—Christie’s has had many sales that would dwarf this price—but because the painting was not made by a human being. It was created by a computer using artificial intelligence (AI).