First Amendment Lawsuit

Former Virginia Tech Athlete Who Refused to Kneel Reportedly to Receive $100K Settlement

A former Virginia Tech women’s soccer player will reportedly receive $100,000, according to her attorney, in a settlement after suing her coach for allegedly retaliating against her for her political views.

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Virginia Tech Soccer Player’s Free Speech Lawsuit Continues to Trial

A former Virginia Tech women’s soccer player who refused to kneel in support of political protest in 2020 sued her coach for allegedly retaliating against her and forcing her off the team. On Dec. 2, a federal district judge denied the coach’s motion for summary judgment, advancing the case to trial.

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Former assistant varsity football coach Joe Kennedy stands on the Bremerton High School football field.

Washington School District Ordered to Reinstate Praying Football Coach

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a praying high school football coach this summer, and a U.S. district judge issued an order Nov. 10 instructing a Washington school district to reinstate him.

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Ninth Circuit Affirms Anti-Abortion Activists Illegally Infiltrated Planned Parenthood Activities, First Amendment Protections Don’t Apply

An anti-abortion group of self-proclaimed citizen journalists, Center for Medical Progress, secretly videotaped Planned Parenthood after creating false identities and a fake company to infiltrate restricted areas. The group released the project "Human Capital" in 2015, which includes various documentary-like videos accusing Planned Parenthood clinics in California of selling aborted fetal tissue. The activists argued that its project was protected by the First Amendment, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that no journalist is above the law.

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Arizona Federal District Judge Restricts Interference of Poll-Watching Group

An Arizona federal district judge narrowed a poll-watching group’s ability to monitor ballot drop boxes by issuing restrictions on taking photos and videos of early voters and prohibiting the open carry of firearms and wearing tactical gear within 250 feet of a drop box. The temporary restraining order, issued Nov. 1 by U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi bars affiliates and members of the poll-watching group Clean Elections USA from taking photos and videos of people within 75 feet of a drop box; following, yelling or speaking to people dropping off ballots unless they’re engaged first; and standing within 75 feet of a drop box.

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Arizona Federal District Judge Denies Injunction Against Arizona Poll Watching Group, DOJ Disagrees

On Oct. 28, U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi denied a request to block a poll-watching group from surveilling drop boxes citing First Amendment concerns. Three days later, the Department of Justice signaled its disapproval of the judge’s ruling in a statement of interest, stating that "The First Amendment does not protect individuals’ right to assemble to engage in voter intimidation or coercion.”

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Utah Professor Sues University Over Required Pronoun Use, Argues Free Speech Infringement

Richard Bugg, a theater professor at Southern Utah University filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Utah Aug. 31. Bugg, represented by attorney Jerry Mooney with financial support from the FIRE Faculty Legal Defense Fund, argues that he is “opposed to the coercion of speech that is taking place on our campus and on most campuses,” the lawsuit stated.

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Officials of the Sarasota County Sheriff's department outside the condominium where a 58-year-old man was fatally shot after allegedly arming himself with a knife and coming at deputies.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune Challenges Order Against Identifying Deputies in Fatal Shooting

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is seeking to overturn an emergency injunction granted by a judge Friday night to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the 12th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office barring the news organization from publishing the names of two of the deputies involved in a fatal shooting.

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