Smartmatic Sues Two Conservative News Organizations for Defamation
On November 3rd, Smartmatic, an election technology company, sued One America News Network (OANN) and Newsmax for defamation over claims related to the 2020 presidential election. The lawsuits, filed against OANN in Washington D.C. and against Newsmax in Delaware, allege that the conservative news organizations aired dozens of reports accusing Smartmatic of participating in a conspiracy to rig the election against Donald Trump.
University of Florida Prohibits Three Professors From Testifying in Voter Restrictions Lawsuit
The University of Florida has blocked three political science professors from testifying in a lawsuit challenging the state’s new voting law. Florida’s new voting law places restrictions on drop boxes and mail in ballots, and has been roundly criticized by Democrats as a blatant attempt to restrict voting by the eldery, disabled individuals, and minorities.
ACLU Sues Oklahoma Over Its Critical Race Theory Ban
The ACLU and other civil rights organizations are suing the state of Oklahoma over a law that prohibits certain types of instruction around race and gender. Filed on October 19th in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the suit alleges that the law violates students’ and educators’ First and 14th Amendment rights.
Wisconsin Introduces Legislation to Prevent Public Schools From Teaching Critical Race Theory
Wisconsin became the latest state to introduce legislation aimed at preventing public schools from teaching “divisive” concepts around race and gender. On September 28th, the Wisconsin state assembly passed a Republican-backed bill to prevent “critical race theory” from being taught in the state’s public schools.
Judge Issues Default Judgment In Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook Defamation Suits
A district court judge for Travis County, Texas issued a default judgment against Alex Jones for failing to comply with discovery requests in the defamation suits brought by two families in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. The shooting, which occurred on December 14, 2012, resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adult school staff members. The rulings mean that the suits will proceed to trial to determine how much Jones and his media company, Infowars, will pay the parents for defamation and emotional stress.
Trump Loses Bid To Enforce NDA Against Former White House Aide
A mediator with the American Arbitration Association decided on September 24th that a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) signed by a former White House aide was too vague to be enforceable. Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on Donald Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice,” joined the White House staff as the communications director for the Office of Public Liaison after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
New Survey Reveals Most Americans Value the First Amendment But are Divided on Key Issues
A new survey released by the Freedom Forum entitled, “The First Amendment: Where America Stands,” reveals that while 94% of Americans value the First Amendment as vital, they are nonetheless divided on certain key issues. Many Americans appear reluctant to engage in speech that may be seen as controversial. According to the survey of 3,000 Americans in July and August 2020, more than four in 10 people say that, at least once, they haven’t expressed an opinion out of fear of being punished.
Texas Community College Sued for Violating Former Professor’s First Amendment Rights
Collin College, a community college in McKinney, Texas is being sued by a former professor for violating her free speech and assembly rights. In a lawsuit filed on September 22nd in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division, Suzanne Jones alleges that Collin College administrators pushed her out for criticizing the school’s COVID-19 response, and in retaliation for two previous incidents in 2017 and 2020.