The press is under attack from many public officials as well as private citizens writing on their blogs and Twitter accounts. President Donald Trump, for one, has accused some news organizations of publishing “fake news” about his administration. Although he may be unusually vociferous in attacking journalists, public officials of all political stripes throughout American history have complained about the press when they are targets of criticism. This is an opportune time for educators to reach back to James Madison for what may be the most powerful defense of freedom of the press written by any American.
The defense counsel in a high-profile criminal case in California asked a court in August to close the pretrial hearings from the public and media. Now, a First Amendment advocacy group is pushing back, arguing that there are ways to ensure a fair trial without compromising public access.
According to The Washington Post, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols questioned whether President Trump had given TikTok enough time to respond before issuing his executive order on August 6th. The ruling blocks the portion of the ban that would have prohibited users from downloading the app online.
Judge Jeff Hughes has sued the head of a watchdog group and local newspaper for editorials criticizing his handling of a child custody case. The editorials stemmed from an ongoing investigative series into judicial misconduct in Louisiana courts.
Although many countries across the globe have laws prohibiting hate speech, the United States protects offensive speech about certain groups that historically have been subject to discrimination. This teacher guide explores the First Amendment issues that arise with attempting to regulate offensive speech drawing on past and contemporary court cases.
On September 18th, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia issued a formal apology after a local resident was blocked from commenting during a City Council meeting on Zoom. On May 18th, Charlottesville resident Tanesha Hudson criticized the way Council members were dealing with City Manager Tarron Richardson, who she alleges they were plotting to fire.
On Sunday, September 20th, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned WeChat and TikTok from operating in the U.S. Trump signed the executive order on August 6th, citing national security concerns that the Chinese-owned messaging app and the video app were collecting data on Americans.
Halima Kazem-Stojanovic, an investigative reporter and Justice Studies professor at San Jose State University and the coordinator of the Human Rights Journalism program at SJSU’s Human Rights Institute, hosted a virtual panel on the right to record police in public.