A federal appeals court has ruled that a Washington state bed-and-breakfast owner has an implied right of action for damages, called a Bivens claim, for a First Amendment violation by federal agents. The decision is significant, as many lower courts have declined to find such an implied right of action for a violation of the First Amendment, leaving some plaintiffs without an effective remedy.
On May 20th, Chinese Americans Civil Rights Coalition, a nonprofit organization, filed a defamation lawsuit against former President Trump both in his former official capacity and as a private citizen for his comments about COVID-19. The complaint includes a list of Trump’s allegedly defamatory statements, including tweets and campaign speeches in which Trump referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” “China virus,” “China plague,” and “kung flu.”
Two police unions in Minnesota have advocated for a University of Minnesota student government leader to face punishment—both criminally and from within the university—for her anti-police comments. If acted upon, the request would result in a violation of the First Amendment and, in all likelihood, considerable damage in the form of a chilling effect on student discourse.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will not approve a tenured position for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, according to a May 19th report from NC Policy Watch.
On May 18th, Fox News filed a motion to dismiss the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems, an election technology company used in more than two dozen states during the 2020 presidential election.
On May 17th, court documents were unsealed showing that during the administration of former President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued Twitter a grand jury subpoena requesting the company to unmask an account critical of U.S. Representative Devin Nunes. The DOJ sought to obtain the identity of the individual operating the account known as @NunesAlt.
Iowa has joined the growing list of states where the legislature has introduced a bill mandating what can and cannot be taught in its public schools, in clear opposition to the First Amendment.
Virginia law that prohibits signage “within the limits of any highway” does not violate the First Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled. The appeals court also rejected a vagueness challenge to the Virginia scheme, even though there is no express distance listed in the law regarding how close is “within the limits.”