Below the Fold

Teacher Sues Indiana School District For Free Speech Violations Over Its Transgender Student Policy

Teacher Sues Indiana School District For Free Speech Violations Over Its Transgender Student Policy

June 18, 2019 A music teacher filed a suit in federal court in Indiana after disagreeing with a school district policy requiring teachers to call transgender students by their preferred names rather than their birth names. The teacher, John Kluge, claims the school policy conflicted with his Christian beliefs and alleges he was forced to resign. Kluge alleges the Brownsburg[Read More…]

June 24, 2019 Below the Fold, Uncategorized
People leave the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C, U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Supreme Court Rules That NYC Public Access Channel Is Not a Public Forum

June 17, 2019 The Supreme Court weighed in on a case over whether a public access channel should be considered a private actor or a public forum. In 2012, nonprofit Manhattan Community Access Corporation (MNN) refused to air a video by producer DeeDee Halleck and playwright Jesus Melendez, claiming that the video contained threatening language. Halleck and Menendez sued MNN,[Read More…]

June 24, 2019 Below the Fold, Uncategorized
Alex Jones, Infowars, and the Sandy Hook Defamation Suits

Alex Jones, Infowars, and the Sandy Hook Defamation Suits

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.

June 23, 2019 Below the Fold, Libel
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) stands with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. after delivering keynote address at commencement in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Liberty University’s President Defends Right to Censor Student Newspaper

June 12, 2019 Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. defended his right to censor the university’s student newspaper, arguing that the practice does not violate First Amendment rights to freedom of the press and speech. Last week, writing in an article for the university’s magazine, Liberty Journal, Falwell said that as part of his “fiduciary responsibility” to the private evangelical[Read More…]

June 21, 2019 Below the Fold, Censorship
Rhode Island ACLU Representing Blogger in Prior Restraint Case

Rhode Island ACLU Representing Blogger in Prior Restraint Case

June 20, 2019 The ACLU of Rhode Island has taken on the case of Massachusetts blogger whose content was censored by a Rhode Island Superior Court judge. In February, Aidan Kearney, who runs a website called “Turtleboy Sports,” reposted a video and numerous Facebook comments by Rhode Island resident Kathryn Narcisi, after she had published a request for media coverage[Read More…]

“First Amendment Auditors” Sue Boulder Police Department For Violating Their First Amendment Rights

“First Amendment Auditors” Sue Boulder Police Department For Violating Their First Amendment Rights

For an in depth examination of First Amendment Auditors and the right to film in public, click on the link below: June 13, 2019 Two self-described “First Amendment auditors” are suing the city of Boulder and its police department for violating their First Amendment right to videotape public officials in public places. On December 28, 2018, Jedon Kerr and Dean[Read More…]

June 19, 2019 Below the Fold, Uncategorized
Kyle Kashuv addresses the 148th National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., April 26, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Parkland Shooting Survivor Lost Spot at Harvard Due to Earlier Racist Remarks

Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland School shooting survivor who stood out from his peers due to his gun support stance, was denied admission to Harvard after the university discovered a litany of racist remarks he made when he was 16 years old. In May, a former classmate released video screen shots of a Google Doc Kashuv and other students shared, showing Kashuv using a racial slur for African Americans more than a dozen times. The classmate also released a screen shot of a text message written by Kashuv that shows him using the same racial slur about black student athletes.

June 18, 2019 Below the Fold, Speech, Uncategorized
Controversial “First Amendment Auditors” Test the Right to Film in Public Spaces

Controversial “First Amendment Auditors” Test the Right to Film in Public Spaces

Filmed interactions with police that make headlines or spread on social media is not a new phenomenon. But a growing movement of  self-described “First Amendment Auditors”—individuals who specifically film on public property and police stations to test the rights to film in a public space—has forced some police departments to review how to respond to First Amendment audits. The audits,[Read More…]

June 18, 2019 Below the Fold, News Gathering, Speech
Bakery Awarded $44 Million in Total Damages in Defamation Suit Against Oberlin College

Bakery Awarded $44 Million in Total Damages in Defamation Suit Against Oberlin College

A jury in Ohio awarded $33 million in punitive damages to a local bakery that had sued Oberlin College for libel and slander. The complaint filed in Ohio state court in November 2017, alleged that Oberlin was complicit in supporting and encouraging student protests against Gibson’s bakery following the arrests of three African American students. Oberlin students began protesting the store, passing out fliers calling the bakery “a racist establishment with a long account of racial profiling and discrimination.”

June 17, 2019 Below the Fold, Libel, Uncategorized
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaks with the news media after giving an interview to Fox News outside of the White House in Washington, U.S. May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

Federal Agency Accuses Kellyanne Conway of Violating Hatch Act

Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor to President Trump, has been accused of violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in campaign politics at work. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recommended that Trump fire Conway for being a “repeat offender” of the Act. “As a highly visible member of the administration, Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” said the letter to the president. “Her actions erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.” At the heart of the accusation are Conway’s recent comments about Democratic presidential candidates in television interviews and on social media.

June 14, 2019 Below the Fold, Uncategorized