Archive

Appeals Court Reverses Conviction of Man Who Uttered Noxious Racial Slur

A retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who used the most noxious racial slur at an exchange while shopping had his abusive language conviction reversed by a federal appeals court. The appeals court determined that the conviction could not stand because the government failed to show evidence that the words led to an immediate violent reaction by others.  

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College Campus

Troubling State Bills in Rhode Island, New Hampshire Take Aim at Teaching “Divisive Concepts”

Recently introduced legislation in Rhode Island and New Hampshire continues the trend of state legislatures taking aim at the teaching of “divisive concepts” about race and gender in higher education. The bills, like their counterparts in other states, are deeply flawed and pose a threat to free speech and academic freedom.

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Florida Governor

Florida Governor Faces Two Lawsuits Challenging Anti-Protest Law

Since Florida Governor Ron. DeSantis signed the “Combating Public Disorder” act into law this past April, civil liberties groups across the country have questioned its constitutionality. Now, two separate groups have sought to challenge the law in federal court. 

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Marilyn Mosby

Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Files Complaint with FCC Over Local Media Outlet’s Coverage of Her

On May 5th, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concerning news coverage conducted by a local television station.

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Students of All Ages Should Not Lose First Amendment Rights at School

Two elementary school students in Ardmore, Oklahoma were pulled from their public school classrooms for wearing “Black Lives Matters” t-shirts,” reports The New York Times. Such action likely violates the First Amendment, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision protecting student-initiated expression in the public schools—Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969).  

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Zoom Hearing

Massachusetts High Court Confronts First and Sixth Amendment Concerns Regarding a Virtual Suppression Hearing

On May 5th, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court — the highest court in Massachusetts — ruled that a virtual suppression hearing conducted via Zoom violated neither the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights nor the public’s First Amendment right to access court proceedings. Nevertheless, the court reversed the trial judge’s ruling that had rejected the defendant’s motion for a continuance.

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recording police

Florida Court Upholds Arrest of Mother Who Recorded Son’s Detention by Police

On May 5th, a split three-judge panel on the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida for the Fourth District upheld the arrest of Sharron Tasha Ford, who sued the city of Boynton Beach for violating her First Amendment right to record police.

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Capitol Riot

Reclaiming the Narrative: Defamation Lawsuits and the 2020 Election

Join us on May 19th for a FAW Public Forum conversation with Lyrissa Lidsky, RonNell Andersen Jones, and Jonathan Peters about Dominion and Smartmatic's defamation lawsuits challenging Fox News' election coverage. Is libel law the best way to tackle disinformation, or could this strategy unintentionally make it easier for bad actors to sue journalists?

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