The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a praying high school football coach this summer, and a U.S. district judge issued an order Nov. 10 instructing a Washington school district to reinstate him.
A federal appellate court ruled in favor of a beauty pageant that barred an Oregon transgender woman from competing, citing the pageant’s First Amendment right to freely express its desired message of “womanhood.”
Alex Jones and his company Free Speech Systems owe an additional $473 million in punitive damages to eight families who lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as well as an FBI agent, Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis ordered Nov. 10.
An anti-abortion group of self-proclaimed citizen journalists, Center for Medical Progress, secretly videotaped Planned Parenthood after creating false identities and a fake company to infiltrate restricted areas. The group released the project "Human Capital" in 2015, which includes various documentary-like videos accusing Planned Parenthood clinics in California of selling aborted fetal tissue. The activists argued that its project was protected by the First Amendment, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that no journalist is above the law.
An Arizona federal district judge narrowed a poll-watching group’s ability to monitor ballot drop boxes by issuing restrictions on taking photos and videos of early voters and prohibiting the open carry of firearms and wearing tactical gear within 250 feet of a drop box. The temporary restraining order, issued Nov. 1 by U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi bars affiliates and members of the poll-watching group Clean Elections USA from taking photos and videos of people within 75 feet of a drop box; following, yelling or speaking to people dropping off ballots unless they’re engaged first; and standing within 75 feet of a drop box.
On Oct. 28, U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi denied a request to block a poll-watching group from surveilling drop boxes citing First Amendment concerns. Three days later, the Department of Justice signaled its disapproval of the judge’s ruling in a statement of interest, stating that "The First Amendment does not protect individuals’ right to assemble to engage in voter intimidation or coercion.”
U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced Oct. 26 a revised news media policy that bars the Department of Justice from using subpoenas or other legal processes against journalists to obtain information they’ve retrieved while news gathering.
Florida’s “Stop WOKE” Act has ignited fear and outrage from public university educators as a federal judge decides whether to issue a preliminary injunction to block the law’s academic provision which would restrict gender and race-centric discussions and teachings in the classroom.