The case was brought by an association of political consultants who argued that a 2015 exception for calls to collect government debt violated the First Amendment. While the majority of justices agreed with the consultants that the 2015 exception was unconstitutional (6-3), an even greater majority disagreed with their argument for striking down the law in its entirety (7-2).
The U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law passed in 1991 that prohibits the use of automated calls to cell phones. The plaintiffs, a group of political consultants, argue that the law and its exceptions discriminate based on the content of the caller's message.
On May 5th, the Knight Foundation and Gallup released the 2020 First Amendment on Campus report, an online survey of more than 3,000 full-time undergraduate students, and a large cohort of students from historically black colleges and universities. The First Amendment survey began in the spring of 2016, and the respondents for the 2020 report were queried in the fall of 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic.
A lawsuit filed in January against Iowa State University (ISU) has been dropped after the university agreed to amend some of its policies in an out-of-court settlement signed on March 10th.
“Through the use of three policies –a ban on chalking, a prohibition on student emails related to campaigns and elections, and a Campus Climate Reporting System–Iowa State University has created an elaborate investigative and enforcement regime designed to chill speech concerning political and social issues of public concern,” Speech First said in a statement on its site.
A city council in Eureka, California is planning to amend a 2016 ordinance that regulated “aggressive and intrusive” panhandling after concerns that the law likely violated the First Amendment.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its annual report on the state of free speech on college and university campuses. In this year’s analysis, the majority of the schools (64%), scored a yellow light rating, and just 11% earned a green light designation. However, it’s important to note that in the past decade, that number has increased from just eight institutions in 2009 to 52 in 2019.
Broome County legislators have introduced a bill that would criminalize any behavior that “annoy, alarm, or threaten the safety of any emergency first responder.” According to Scott Baker, a Republican legislator who introduced the bill, it was in response to recent events around the country, including a protest at a Columbus Day parade in the town of Binghamton, NY.