First Amendment

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After Newspaper Endorses Clinton, Death Threats

'Arizona Republic' continues to fight for free speech with 'compassion,' 'bravery': publisher

(Newser) - Meet Kimberly, Nicole, and Phil. They're on staff at the Arizona Republic, per a Sunday editorial written by Mi-Ai Parrish, the conservative newspaper's publisher. And they're the ones who've been dealing with the vitriol and calls for violence since the Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton for president... More »

Good News, NH: You Can Take Ballot Selfies Again

Federal court says ban infringes on 1st Amendment rights to 'core political speech'

(Newser) - If you live in New Hampshire and want to take a picture of your Election Day ballot to post on Facebook so your friends can argue over your judgment, that's your call. So says a federal appeals court that overturned a ban on ballot selfies, ruling that the 2014... More »

Parents Furious After NC Teacher Tramples Flag

Lee Francis has been suspended; some want him fired

(Newser) - A history teacher says his lesson on free speech came with the unintended caveat that free speech isn't always guaranteed after it landed him a suspension. Students at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, NC, say Lee Francis was discussing a court case that determined flag desecration was... More »

Teens Sat for the Pledge of Allegiance. Their Grades Suffered

Lake County district says it is 'dealing' with teacher

(Newser) - Since the start of the school year, Leilani Thomas and a friend have chosen not to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance at California's Lower Lake High School and seemingly faced no repercussions. Then came last Friday. Leilani—who is Native American and says the American flag represents the... More »

People Are Furious Over Guy's 'Black Rifles Matter' Sign

Creator says Black Lives Matter should be 'flattered'

(Newser) - A Maine town's chamber of commerce has been receiving complaints from tourists regarding a large, hand-painted sign on a private lawn that reads "Black Rifles Matter," reports the AP . Linc Sample, the sign's creator, tells NECN that his work in Boothbay Harbor is about gun rights,... More »

Sheriff Raids House to Find Online Critic

'If you're gonna lie about me ... I'm gonna come after you'

(Newser) - Jerry Larpenter, sheriff of Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish, appears to have launched a crackdown—on critics of Jerry Larpenter. The Intercept reports that six of Larpenter's deputies raided another police officer's home this week in a bid to find the author of the ExposeDAT blog, which calls itself... More »

1-Star Review for Overfed Betta Fish Nets $1M Lawsuit

Never fear, Gordy recovered; common sense, not so much

(Newser) - In what amounts to much ado about a Betta fish, Ars Technica picks up the case of a Texas couple who went on vacation last year, and did what many traveling pet owners do: They hired a pet-sitting service, a simple act that has now resulted in "numerous death... More »

Why the FBI Wants to Collect 100K Images of Tattoos

Opponents are concerned about profiling

(Newser) - The FBI plans to compile a database of some 100,000 tattoo images, sourced from the Michigan State Police, Tennessee Department of Correction, and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in Florida—and the Electronic Frontier Foundation believes the effort is "so fraught with problems" and such a threat to... More »

Gawker Just Got Its Own Billionaire Backer in Hulk Hogan Trial

Hogan vs. Gawker is essentially now PayPal vs. eBay

(Newser) - Hulk Hogan's ongoing lawsuit against Gawker is starting to look a lot like a game of Rock'em Sock'em Robots with two tech billionaires at the controls. On Thursday, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel admitted to secretly funding Hogan's lawsuit to the tune of $10 million. Reuters reports... More »

Ryan Reynolds Gives Theater $5K in Fight Over Booze and Sex

Brewvies Cinema Pub was cited last week

(Newser) - A Utah movie theater is in trouble for showing Deadpool while serving booze, and actor Ryan Reynolds—or a person using his name—has added $5,000 to the theater's legal defense fund, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports. Salt Lake City's Brewvies Cinema Pub was cited last... More »

Court: Filming Cops Isn't First Amendment Right

If you're not making your grievances known, no recording allowed, says ruling

(Newser) - Unless you're actively challenging or criticizing the police, don't whip out your cellphone to record them. That's the ruling of a US District Court in Pennsylvania in a joint lawsuit covering two cases in Philadelphia, the PhillyVoice reports. The complaint—which the ACLU of Pennsylvania says is... More »

Guy's Views on Sex Disqualify Him as Teacher

He thinks it's fine for adults to have relationships with minors

(Newser) - The University of Hawaii didn't violate First Amendment rights when it denied a teaching certificate for an aspiring high school teacher who expressed views condoning adults having sex with minors, says a federal court ruling. Mark Oyama enrolled in the secondary education certification program at the University of Hawaii'... More »

Mass-Media Prof Asks for 'Muscle' to Remove Journo

Mizzou activists mob photographer, cameraman, tell them to leave 'safe space'

(Newser) - A University of Missouri photojournalist on freelance assignment for ESPN found himself in a confrontation with student activists Monday as they tried to ban him from the tent city they'd set up on campus in response to recent racial strife there, the New York Times reports. A tense video... More »

Halloween Is 'Night of Horrors' ... for Sex Offenders: Lawsuit

Calif. complaint says child-safety program violates predators' rights

(Newser) - "For them, Halloween truly is a night of horrors," says an activist and attorney who's filed a lawsuit in California. The horror Janice Bellucci is fighting: that of a Chula Vista sex offender whose rights she says are being violated by having to participate in a statewide... More »

Wireless Group: Radiation Warnings Will 'Stoke Fear'

Industry association says Berkeley's cellphone warning violates First Amendment

(Newser) - Last month, the city council in Berkeley, Calif., unanimously approved a measure that would require all cellphones sold within the city to come with a warning notice that informs consumers about radiation exposure. But a wireless industry trade group is now suing the city, saying that the warning violates sellers'... More »

College Suspends Rugby Team for Necrophilia Song

UMW team also ordered to take classes on sexual assault for party chant

(Newser) - The University of Mary Washington's entire rugby team has been suspended after video surfaced of several of its members singing an obscenity-laced chant describing the sexual assault of a prostitute's corpse. The song was recorded by a student at an off-campus party, per Jezebel ; the student posted the... More »

Confederate Flag on Texas Plates Heads to High Court

Supreme Court to decide if state has right to ban what some see as offensive

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today considers whether Texans should have the right, as folks in nine other states do, to drive around with a license plate bearing the Confederate flag. The Sons of Confederate Veterans—a "heritage organization," as per spokesman Ben Jones, and "not a bunch of... More »

Member of Darren Wilson Grand Jury Wants to Talk

'Grand Juror Doe' sues St. Louis prosecutor

(Newser) - Those wondering what exactly happened behind the scenes of the grand jury that declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown may finally get to hear the inside scoop. A member of that jury, identified as "Grand Juror Doe" in court documents, filed a... More »

Air Force Boots Atheist Who Won't Say 'God' in Oath

Critics say requirement is 'unconstitutional,' secular oath should be allowed

(Newser) - Critics are decrying an "unconstitutional" Air Force decision to refuse an airman's re-enlistment after the unnamed officer crossed out the words "so help me God" in the oath papers he had to sign, reports the Air Force Times . Although the Air Force hasn't confirmed details, a... More »

Court to Town: No, You Can't Outlaw Criticism

Town of Ruidoso banned 'negative' comments about government

(Newser) - Imagine a world where people could say only nice things at your local town meeting—by law. If that world sounds just a wee bit problematic to you, you're on the same page as US District Judge James Browning, who yesterday struck down a rule that the village of... More »

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