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Freedom of Speech

Jun 28, 2023

North Carolina GOP bars promotion of certain beliefs in state government, 1 of 6 veto overrides

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s GOP-dominated legislature swept six bills into law Tuesday with veto overrides, including one barring promotion of certain beliefs in state government workplaces that some lawmakers liken to critical race theory and another placing new limits on wetlands protection rules. The measures, which also address green investing in state government, […]

Jun 20, 2023

North Carolina governor vetoes limits on politics, race discussion in state workplaces

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed GOP legislation on Friday that would ban the promotion of certain beliefs that some lawmakers have likened to critical race theory in state government workplaces. The move sets up a likely veto override showdown with the General Assembly’s Republican supermajority, which initially passed the […]

May 3, 2023

Judge rejects Zooey Zephyr bid to return to Montana House

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Rep. Zooey Zephyr, the transgender state lawmaker silenced after telling Republicans they would have blood on their hands for opposing gender-affirming health care for kids, was barred from returning to the Montana House floor in a Tuesday court ruling that came just hours before the Legislature wrapped up its biennial session. […]

Jun 24, 2021

Justices rule for student in ‘cursing cheerleader’ case

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the case of the cursing cheerleader, the Supreme Court notched a victory for the free speech rights of students Wednesday, siding with a high school student whose vulgar social media post got her kicked off the junior varsity squad. The court voted 8-1 in favor of Brandi Levy, who was a […]

Apr 28, 2021

Student’s Snapchat profanity leads to high court speech case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fourteen-year-old Brandi Levy was having that kind of day where she just wanted to scream. So she did, in a profanity-laced posting on Snapchat that has, improbably, ended up before the Supreme Court in the most significant case on student speech in more than 50 years. At issue is whether public schools […]

Oct 25, 2017

Constitutional – Freedom of Speech – Circus Protestors – Designated Areas – Prior Decision

Lucero v. Early (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-186-17, 10 pp.) (Stephanie Thacker, J.) No. 16-1767; Oct. 13, 2017; USDC at Baltimore, Md. (J. Frederick Motz, S.J.) 4th Cir. Holding: In Ross v. Early, 746 F.3d 547 (4th Cir. 2014), this court affirmed a district court decision upholding a “protocol” that requires those protesting a circus’s treatment […]

Mar 16, 2016

Civil Rights – Specialty License Plate Upheld After Walker

American Civil Liberties Union of N.C. v. Tennyson (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-049-16, 14 pp.) (Traxler, J.) No. 13-1030, March 10, 2016; 4th Cir. Holding: The 4th Circuit upholds North Carolina’s specialty license plate program that includes a “Choose Life” license plate, but no pro-choice plate, against a First Amendment challenge by the ACLU, on remand […]

Jul 11, 2014

Bumper Stumper

There was a game show in the late eighties called Bumper Stumpers where contestants had to decipher vanity license plates. Recently, it seems that that the state agencies given the duty to approve or deny certain vanity plates are the ones being stumped, because courts are increasingly calling the words or phrases on these plates […]

Oct 18, 2013

Facebook and your First Amendment rights

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Did you know that a few years ago, the number of times that Americans viewed social media sites per day surpassed pornography site views? When that happens, you know you’ve reached a tipping point! Reaching that dubious milestone was just one more sign that social media is more than just a fad […]

Sep 27, 2013

TMI? Lawyers split over online juror surveillance

At a time when government surveillance of online communications is a sensitive subject, lawyers are divided on where to draw the line when it comes to their own secretive research into jurors’ Internet activities. While mining the Web for as much background information as possible about jurors has become a widely accepted practice among trial lawyers, some are less comfortable with moving beyond[...]

Sep 27, 2013

‘Right to Like’ gets protection under 4th Circuit ruling

Clicking a “Like” button on the Facebook page of his boss’s political rival was protected speech that should not be the basis of a deputy’s firing, a federal appeals court has ruled.

May 31, 2013

Protect reporters, and protect everyone

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has come out strong for passing a federal shield law. And maybe that’s the one good thing – the only good thing – to come out of the recent controversy over the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records at The Associated Press and the surveillance of Fox News reporter James Rosen.

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