Disinformation is more pernicious and widespread today than at any other point in history, largely because of social media and the Internet. For instance, it is now widely known—and verified by the U.S. intelligence community—that Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
Virginia law that prohibits signage “within the limits of any highway” does not violate the First Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled. The appeals court also rejected a vagueness challenge to the Virginia scheme, even though there is no express distance listed in the law regarding how close is “within the limits.”
Two elementary school students in Ardmore, Oklahoma were pulled from their public school classrooms for wearing “Black Lives Matters” t-shirts,” reports The New York Times. Such action likely violates the First Amendment, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision protecting student-initiated expression in the public schools—Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969).
A public body censures one of its members who had been criticizing the body, filing lawsuits against the body, and accusing the body of not complying with state law. The public body then censures the member. The member claims that the censure was a retaliatory act against his critical speech. This scenario forms the basis of the case, Houston Community College System v. Wilson, that the Supreme Court will review this term.
In oral arguments on April 28th in a case involving a former high school student kicked off her cheerleading squad for a profane social media post, the Court explored whether school officials could discipline the student under the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969).
The Supreme Court will clarify how far the arm of school authority extends—if at all—to student social media expression created off-campus. The case, Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., involves a message posted on Snapchat by student "B.L." on a Saturday afternoon off-campus after she learned she failed to advance from the junior varsity to the varsity cheerleading squad.
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).