Former president Donald Trump is suing his niece, The New York Times, and three of its reporters over the publication of his tax records. The lawsuit, filed on September 21st in Dutchess County, New York, accuses Mary Trump, The Times, and reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner of being “engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly sensitive records” about Trump’s finances.
Congressman Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) defamation lawsuit over an Esquire article about his family’s dairy farm was reinstated in part on September 15th by a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel reasoned that Nunes’ complaint stated a plausible defamation by implication claim that should survive a motion to dismiss.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is suing two federal agencies for violating its free speech rights on social media. Filed on September 9th in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, PETA alleges that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “blocked comments posted to the agencies’ social media accounts based on the viewpoint and/or content of that speech.”
On September 2nd, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota ruled that a Bloomington, MN city ordinance banning photography and video recording in a public park violates the First Amendment.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education released a report on August 31st highlighting a growing pattern of university students and outside groups calling for schools to punish professors for statements they made on sensitive political issues. The study showed that the number of targeting incidents against professors has risen precipitously since 2015.
A former graduate student and non-track guest lecturer at the University of Nebraska is suing the university’s board of regents for violating her First Amendment rights. Filed on August 26th in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, Courtney Lawton alleges that the university wrongfully terminated her contract in September of 2017 after she expressed her views in a campus “free speech area.”
Despite numerous legal challenges over the right to record police officers in public, the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the question of whether citizens have a First Amendment right to record the police. Because of this, only states in judicial districts that have established the right to record as a constitutional right consider it a “clearly established law.”
On August 23, a Virginia judge dismissed Rep. Devin Nunes’ (CA-R) $250 million dollar libel suit against Republican political strategist Elizabeth A. Mair. Nunes sued Mair in March 2019 for allegedly conspiring with his political enemies to spread false information about him before he ran for reelection in 2018.