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A participant dressed in drag gives a book to a child during the "Drag Queen Story Hour" event in downtown Monterrey, Mexico. June 9, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril.

Public Library in Texas Town Cancels Speaking Event with Trans Author

July 9, 2019 A public library in Leander, Texas canceled an event involving Lilah Sturges, a trans woman and graphic novelist, after city officials published new additions to an event policy hours before Sturges was scheduled to speak.  The policy changes required that Sturges submit a background check before speaking, something the novelist said she would have done had she[Read More…]

July 19, 2019 Censorship, Speech, Threats, Top Stories
Civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson poses for a portrait during the “End Racism Rally” on the 50th anniversary of the assissination of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington. April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Black Lives Matter Leader May Face Trial for Actions of Anonymous Protestor

April 24, 2019 A prominent Black Lives Matter activist, DeRay Mckesson, might go on trial for injuries sustained by a police officer during a protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana even though he wasn’t present when the injury was sustained.  Mckesson attended a Black Lives Matter protest on July 9, 2016, following the death of Alton Sterling who was shot and[Read More…]

July 18, 2019 Assembly, Protest, Top Stories
U.S. President Donald Trump awaits the arrival of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Ballard Spahr: Second Circuit Affirms That President Trump’s Blocking of Opponents on His Twitter Account Violates First Amendment

Reprinted with Permission from Ballard Spahr July 10, 2019 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit yesterday became the third federal circuit court to hold that the interactive space of a government official’s social media account is subject to First Amendment strictures. In Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia Univ., et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No.[Read More…]

July 11, 2019 Press, Social Media, Top Stories
The sign for the new Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown, Connecticut, U.S. July 29,2016. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin

Sandy Hook Victim’s Father Wins Defamation Suit Against Conspiracy Book’s Editors

A Wisconsin judge ruled that the co-editors of a book that claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax were guilty of defamation. Following the December 2012 mass shooting, James Fetzer and Michael Palecek published a book, “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook: It was a FEMA Drill to Promote Gun Control,” claiming that the federal agency had staged the event to promote gun control. The book also claimed the Leonard Pozner, the father of the youngest Sandy Hook victim, was complicit in the conspiracy, and had fabricated his son’s death certificate.

June 19, 2019 Top Stories, Uncategorized
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Embroiled in Free Speech Controversy

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Embroiled in Free Speech Controversy

June 7, 2019 The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is the latest college campus to become embroiled in a free speech controversy. During a campus event celebrating Israel’s independence, a student held up a sign with a swastika and the word, “Gas,” written on it. When students complained, the school chancellor defended the student’s right to free speech. The chancellor’s response angered[Read More…]

June 7, 2019 Campus Speech, Top Stories
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Clarence House, to take tea with Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as part of a state visit in London, Britain June 3, 2019. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS

Trump Urges Supporters to Boycott CNN’s Parent Company

President Donald Trump took to Twitter and urged his supporters to boycott CNN’s parent company, AT&T. “I believe that if people stoped (sic) using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway. It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News! Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!,” he tweeted.

June 3, 2019 Top Stories, Uncategorized
A student participates in a free-speech rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington March 19, 2007. The U.S. Supreme Court considers on Monday its first major dispute on student free-speech rights in nearly 20 years, a case about the power of school authorities to censor what they viewed as a pro-drug message at a school-sponsored event.  REUTERS/Molly Riley   (UNITED STATES)

Nonprofit Sues University of Illinois Over “Unconstitutional” Student Policies

Speech First, a conservative legal organization, sued the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over its free speech policies. The group objects to the University’s position on political pamphlets, its bias reporting system, and its no-contact policy for students accused of bias. “On a regular basis, the University of Illinois sends a clear message to students who wish to engage in political and religious speech: there are some views that are welcome, and others that are not,” Speech First President Nicole Neily said in a statement. “Students deserve to be able to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of investigation or punishment – which is why these policies must be reformed.”

Police officers in San Francisco, California, U.S. June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

San Francisco Police Chief Apologizes For Raid On Journalist’s Home and Office

Police raided the home and office of a San Francisco freelance videographer in connection with an investigation over a leaked police report. The freelancer, Bryan Carmody, had received the leaked report which included salacious details of the events surrounding the sudden death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. First Amendment advocates contend that the search violates California Shield Law.

May 28, 2019 Top Stories, Uncategorized
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Indicted For Violating Espionage Act

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Indicted For Violating Espionage Act

Federal prosecutors brought a new 17-count indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange is accused of violating the Espionage Act by helping former U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning hack into a government database, and disclosing the stolen information on WikiLeaks. The new charges significantly expands on Assange’s earlier charge of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.” The scope of the charges against Assange raise concerns among legal scholars about First Amendment protections for publishers of classified information.

May 23, 2019 Press, Top Stories
Iowa Man Sues County Sheriff’s Department for Free Speech Violations

Iowa Man Sues County Sheriff’s Department for Free Speech Violations

The ACLU is suing an Iowa county’s sheriff’s department on behalf of a man who says his First Amendment rights were violated when he was charged with criminal harassment after he posted negative comments about a police officer’s conduct. John Goldsmith was attending a street festival in Corning, Iowa, when he witnessed Adams County deputy sheriff Cory Dorsey conduct a traffic stop on a friend of his. Afterwards, Goldsmith took to Facebook, and in a colorful post laced with obscenities, he criticized Dorsey’s handling of the traffic stop. According to the complaint, once Dorsey and his supervisor, Sergeant Paul Hogan, were apprised of Goldsmith’s Facebook post, he was arrested for 3rddegree harassment under Iowa state law.

May 23, 2019 Speech, Top Stories