NEWS ABOUT: First Amendment

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Court Orders YouTube to Yank Anti-Muslim Video

Federal appeals panel sides with actress in 'Innocence of Muslims'

(Newser) - The anti-Muslim video that set off worldwide protests in 2012 can no longer be seen on YouTube. A federal appeals court today ordered Google to take down Innocence of Muslims, reports the San Jose Mercury News . The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to back the request made... More »

Judge: It's Legal to Flash Your Headlights to Warn of Cops

It's within your First Amendment rights, he rules

(Newser) - Drivers of the world, unite—because the coppers can't stop you from doing so, a federal judge in St. Louis ruled this week. It's a common custom of the road to flash your headlights at oncoming traffic to warn them if they're about to pass a police... More »

Michigan: We're Protecting Kids From 'WAR SUX' Plate

State defends rejection of personalized license plate

(Newser) - Michigan rejected a Washtenaw County man's request for a personalized license plate reading "WAR SUX," and the state says it's all about protecting the children. David DeVarti, with the help of the ACLU, sued over the rejection, accusing officials of violating the First Amendment, but lawyers... More »

Duck Dynasty Star Off Show After Anti-Gay Remarks

Phil Robertson aligns homosexuality with bestiality

(Newser) - An interview with GQ has ended up rather sourly for Phil Robertson. The Duck Dynasty patriarch has been put on ice by A&E following an uproar over comments he made to the magazine; among them: a comparison between homosexuality and bestiality. GLAAD, in its heated response, called his statements... More »

First Amendment Protects Right to 'Like': Court

Sheriff allegedly let workers go over Facebook posts

(Newser) - The Founding Fathers, it seems, ensured our right to freedom of the press, freedom of assembly—and the freedom to "like." A federal judge yesterday ruled that the Facebook thumbs-up is part of our constitutionally protected free speech, CNN reports. It's the "Internet equivalent of displaying... More »

Hey, IRS: Even the Tea Party Deserves Free Speech

ACLU execs says the scandal highlights the dangers of limiting political speech

(Newser) - The IRS' stunning admission that it singled out Tea Party groups for more aggressive tax enforcement should be a warning to all Americans to guard their free speech rights jealously, ACLU officials Michael Macleod-Ball and Gabe Rottman write for CNN . There's been a rush to regulate political speech since... More »

Judge Gives Blessing to Cheerleaders' Bible Banners

...but only if school district approves

(Newser) - Gimme a "V" for "VICTORY!" The Kountze High School cheerleading squad can display their Bible-thumping banners at games—assuming the school district allows it—State District Judge Steven Thomas ruled yesterday. Thomas concluded that putting Christian messages on banners at public school sporting events didn't constitute... More »

James O'Keefe: Why Secret Recordings Must Be Legal

Conservative activist argues for investigative rights

(Newser) - James O'Keefe may be on the same side of the political aisle as Mitch McConnell, but he's firmly in support of the people who taped McConnell and his aides mocking Ashley Judd from the other side of a closed door . In fact, all such secretive taping should be... More »

Griping About Work Online Is (Mostly) Protected

Employees have a right to band together, say recent rulings

(Newser) - Companies have been overstepping their authority by restricting workers' online comments, say federal officials who are moving to fix the issue. Labor regulators have deemed some firings over social-network discussions illegal, arguing that companies' rules regarding online speech are far too broad, the New York Times reports. A lot of... More »

White House: Piers Morgan Gets to Stay

Except Jay Carney didn't use words 'Piers' or 'Morgan' in statement

(Newser) - Let's say you're the White House. You're obligated to reply to any petition that gets enough signatures on the "We the People" site—even the one to deport Piers Morgan over his gun-control stance. What do you do? Well, you could issue a statement that never... More »

Want to Deport Piers? You're Un-American

Tommy Christopher: What's patriotic about having the government silence people?

(Newser) - In theory, the White House's "We the People" petition site is a great way to let Americans interact with their government. In practice, it lets a small number of morons "shame the entire nation before the world," writes Tommy Christopher at Mediaite . The latest example: The... More »

Bank President Greets Robber —With Colt .380

Peoples Bank in Missouri supports concealed gun rights

(Newser) - A bank robber in a Chucky mask got more than he bargained for when he stole $4,779 from the family-owned Peoples Bank & Trust in Missouri this week—the business end of a Colt .380 handgun. The robbery was witnessed by bank president David W. Thompson, who followed the... More »

Counselor Sues School That Axed Her Over Steamy Photos

Photos, 17 years old, kept popping up online

(Newser) - Last December, a Manhattan high school guidance counselor was fired after 12 years on the job because of some naughty photos of her in lingerie and bikinis taken when she was a model, reports the New York Post , which also has one of the photos. Now Tiffany Webb is suing... More »

NYC Subway Ad: Jihadists Are 'Savages'

Posters to appear in 10 stations next week

(Newser) - Starting next week, 10 New York subway stations are set to display ads reading, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man." The ads then call on readers to "Support Israel. Defeat Jihad," the New York Times reports. Transportation officials... More »

Filmmakers Protest Tribeca Fest Sponsor

Brookfield Properties is infamous Zuccotti Park owner

(Newser) - A number of filmmakers are fuming over the Tribeca Film Festival's choice of sponsors. Among the festival's backers is Brookfield Properties, owner of Zuccotti Park—the former home of Occupy Wall Street. Brookfield helped empty the park of protesters in a move that violated their First Amendment rights,... More »

Oklahoma Abortion Law Struck Down

Strict ultrasound law unconstitutional: judge

(Newser) - An Oklahoma judge has struck down a state law requiring women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds. The district judge decided the law—which required doctors to put an image of the ultrasound in front of the woman and give her a detailed description of the fetus—was unconstitutional because it... More »

Darrell Issa: This Is About Overreach, not Birth Control

It was about First Amendment rights, not contraception, he argues

(Newser) - Rep. Darrell Issa says he completely supports a woman's right to use birth control—it's the government overreach that would force a religious institution to pay for that birth control that Issa objects to. Issa's recent Congressional hearing on the controversial contraception mandate—which was slammed by... More »

Should Fake Military Boasts Be a Crime?

They currently can be, and the Supreme Court will weigh in on the subject

(Newser) - Since 2006, lying about military valor—claiming to have received a prestigious medal, for instance—could result in prosecution. But that could change after this Wednesday, when the Supreme Court reviews the Stolen Valor Act. Proponents of the law, which include the Obama administration, say it prevents fraud. Such liars... More »

Arizona Bill Would Restrict Teachers' Speech

Proposed legislation would punish those who violate FCC standards

(Newser) - Arizona doesn't want its teachers cussing in class—and new proposed legislation would actually make it illegal to do so. GOP state lawmakers are behind Senate Bill 1467, which would require public school teachers to adhere to the FCC's TV and radio standards. That means certain limits on... More »

Occupy Los Angeles Protesters Can Avoid Trials...

...by taking a $355 class on free speech

(Newser) - To avoid court trials, all many arrested members of Occupy Los Angeles have to do is pay $355 … for a course on free speech. Protesters who opt to take this route will apparently learn that "the First Amendment is not absolute," as a city attorney explains, adding... More »

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