Below the Fold

FILE PHOTO:    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) chairs a House Intelligence Committee hearing titled "Putin's Playbook: The Kremlin's Use of Oligarchs, Money and Intelligence in 2016 and Beyond" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Rep. Adam Schiff Proposes Amendment To Overturn Citizens United

Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Courts’ 2010 Citizens United ruling that lifted restrictions on corporate campaign contributions. The proposed amendment would allow Congress and states to impose reasonable limits on campaign contributions, and allow states to create mechanisms for public funding of campaigns.

May 10, 2019 Below the Fold, Speech
Survey Reveals Substantial Support For First Amendment, But People Misunderstand Its Protections

Survey Reveals Substantial Support For First Amendment, But People Misunderstand Its Protections

According to a newly released American Bar Association civics literacy survey, the American public displays strong support for the First Amendment, but knowledge of the specifics of its protections are lacking.

May 3, 2019 Below the Fold, Round-Up
Migrants from Central America seeking asylum illegally cross into the U.S. from Mexico in Penitas, Texas, August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

FOIA Suit Filed Over Secret Government Database

  An NBC affiliate in San Diego and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against four federal agencies. The complaint filed against the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Citizenship and Immigration[Read More…]

April 24, 2019 Below the Fold, Press
Film producer Harvey Weinstein leaves court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Media Organizations Seek Access To Transcript of Closed Weinstein Hearing

Both the prosecution and the defense in Harvey Weinstein’s case want a critical hearing set for Friday to take place behind closed doors, citing Weinstein’s right to a fair trial. Now, 14 major news organizations are fighting for open access, asking a judge to keep the hearing open to the press and the public.

April 24, 2019 Access, Below the Fold, News Gathering
Police gather near the Capitol Gazette newspaper office where a shooting occurred in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The U.S. Is Now A Less Safe Place For Journalists

A newly released annual report by Reporter Without Borders, called the “World Press Freedom Index,” reveals a disheartening state of freedom of the press around the globe—including in the U.S. “The number of countries regarded as safe, where journalists can work in complete security, continues to decline, while authoritarian regimes continue to tighten their grip on the media,” the report says. The United States has now become a less safe place for journalists, ranking at No. 48 out of the 180 countries and territories on the list.

April 19, 2019 Below the Fold, Press
Erik Brunetti, Los Angeles artist and streetwear designer of the clothing brand FUCT, stands for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

Supreme Court Hears Trademark Case Centered On A Seemingly Offensive Word

The Supreme Court is weighing whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office acted unconstitutionally when it denied granting a trademark to a clothing line called “FUCT.” The line was created by designer Eric Brunetti in 1990, and his T-shirts, hoodies, and other items prominently display the “FUCT” logo. Brunetti has been trying to get his brand trademarked since its launch[Read More…]

April 17, 2019 Below the Fold
Alex Jones and InfoWars Permanently Banned On Facebook

Alex Jones and InfoWars Permanently Banned On Facebook

The families of multiple victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting have filed defamation lawsuits against Alex Jones and his broadcast Infowars over his repeated claims that the event was a “giant hoax.” Now, Jones is forced to defend his past conspiracies in a court of law.

April 1, 2019 Below the Fold, Libel
Jeanine Pirro, host of television programme "Justice with Judge Jeanine," waves before speaking at the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the site for the NRA's annual meeting in Houston, Texas May 3, 2013. President Barack Obama and national media are demonizing law-abiding gun owners in the wake of recent violent acts, NRA leaders and political allies said on Friday at its first convention since the Connecticut school massacre. Organizers expect some 70,000 attendees at the 142nd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Houston, which began on Friday and continues through Sunday. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (UNITED STATES - Tags: LAW ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

Judge Tosses Defamation Lawsuit Against Jeanine Pirro, Fox News

   March 26, 2019: Pirro Was “Expressing A Pure Opinion,” Judge Said A New York State Supreme Court judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News and one of its hosts, Judge Jeanine Pirro, brought by civil rights activist DeRay McKesson who claimed that Pirro implied that he incited violence against a police officer.   McKesson sued Pirro saying she[Read More…]

March 26, 2019 Below the Fold, Libel
U.S. President Donald Trump shows an executive order linking "free speech" efforts at public universities to federal grants during a signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

As Promised, Trump Signs Contentious Executive Order on Campus Free Speech

President Trump vowed to sign an executive order requiring American colleges and universities to protect free speech on campus, and would withhold federal research funds from schools that don’t comply.

“Today, I am proud to announce that I will be very soon be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research funds,” Trump said in his remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.

March 21, 2019 Below the Fold, Campus Speech
Catherine J. Ross: Trump’s Latest Threat To Free Speech And The Academy

Catherine J. Ross: Trump’s Latest Threat To Free Speech And The Academy

Catherine J. Ross, professor of law at George Washington University Law School, explains the possible issues that could arise if President Trump signs an executive order requiring colleges to support free speech on their campuses in order to receive federal research funds.

“Ultimately, the central constitutional risk inherent in Trump’s proposed executive order is all too familiar: it will chill protected speech. What’s more, it will likely violate central tenets of the Speech Clause when enforced,” she writes.

March 21, 2019 Below the Fold, Essays, Speech