Wisconsin became the latest state to introduce legislation aimed at preventing public schools from teaching “divisive” concepts around race and gender. On September 28th, the Wisconsin state assembly passed a Republican-backed bill to prevent “critical race theory” from being taught in the state’s public schools.
A federal court ruled that two Wisconsin public schools that banned students from wearing clothing with depictions of firearms did not violate students' First Amendment rights. The decision to side with the school came as an unpleasant surprise to free speech scholars who thought the schools’ dress code policies were overly restrictive.
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.
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign sued the local broadcast station in April for running an ad that made it seem like the President had called the coronavirus a hoax. The settlement does not include an apology from Trump, but one of the TV station's attorney framed it as a win for local news.
Two students who were prohibited from wearing pro-gun t-shirts in school can now move forward with their First Amendment claims after a federal judge found that the shirts were protected speech.
On November 6th, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ordered a lower court to halt the state’s restrictions on public gatherings because the Wisconsin Department of Health Services had failed to submit the order to the legislature before making it official, thus rendering the order invalid.
The lawsuit argues that the students’ shirts do not advocate for violent or illegal use of firearms, but are meant to express support for “the value to society of personal possession of arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”
A county board in southern Wisconsin decided to hold off on a resolution that would have punished journalists and county officials for how they handle information about a recent study that showed high-levels of contamination in the county’s well system.