A federal judge ruled on January 21st that the University of Florida cannot bar faculty members from testifying against the state in a voting-rights case. In late October of 2021, the university came under fire when it blocked three political science professors from serving as expert witnesses in the voting-right case, claiming it violated the university’s conflict of interest policies.
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.
On December 1st, a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against Texas’ social media law, HB 20, for violating platforms’ First Amendment right to moderate the third-party content they disseminate. "HB 20 prohibits virtually all content moderation, the very tool that social media platforms employ to make their platforms safe, useful, and enjoyable for users," U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman wrote.
The ACLU and other civil rights organizations are suing the state of Oklahoma over a law that prohibits certain types of instruction around race and gender. Filed on October 19th in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the suit alleges that the law violates students’ and educators’ First and 14th Amendment rights.
On June 7th, a Michigan federal court dismissed a First Amendment challenge filed against the city of Detroit by a group of anti-abortion protesters. The case offers an interesting look at how courts balance public safety concerns against the right to protest.
For much of our nation’s history, the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech did not clearly protect art from government censorship. Over the course of the 20th century, however, courts gradually extended speech protections to a broader range of artistic expression, including film, dance, theater, and fine arts. Today, public officials can censor art only in limited circumstances. What are those circumstances, and what protection does the First Amendment provide?
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).
The MacIver Institute sued Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in 2019 after his office allegedly refused to invite reporters from the think tank’s news arm, MacIver News Service, to press briefings. On April 9th, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit sided with the Governor after finding his office had acted on viewpoint-neutral policies and that MacIver had failed to show evidence that the policy was applied in a discriminatory manner.