First Amendment

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Limbaugh: Trump's NFL Remarks 'Starting to Make Me Nervous'

Conservative talk-show host says he's 'very uncomfortable' with how president is acting

(Newser) - For the past few weeks, President Trump has been firing off tweets pressuring NFL athletes to stand during the national anthem—and for the NFL to make them do so —with his most recent post Wednesday claiming ( falsely ) that Commissioner Roger Goodell was "finally demanding" all... More »

For Years She Sat During the Pledge. A Principal Ended That

Now mom of high school senior India Landry is suing, saying First Amendment rights are violated

(Newser) - "This isn't the NFL." That's what a Houston teen tells KHOU she was told right before she was booted from school for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. India Landry, a senior at Windfern High School, says she was in the principal's office... More »

After Charlottesville, ACLU Revises a Long-Held Stance

It won't defend groups who come armed to protests

(Newser) - If you're a hate group, you may be able to acquire a permit to hold a protest, but if you come packing firearms, don't expect the American Civil Liberties Union to come to your defense. Per the Wall Street Journal , that's the ACLU's new official position... More »

Trump's Twitter Blocks Violate First Amendment: Advocacy Group

Free-speech advocacy group says excluding people is 'unconstitutional'

(Newser) - Blocking people on Twitter is a feature many use liberally to keep their feeds friendly. But should public officials like President Trump be allowed to exclude users in the same fashion? Absolutely not, says the Knight First Amendment Institute, a non-partisan group founded last year at Columbia University that's... More »

Amazon Defends Alexa's 1st Amendment Rights in Murder Case

Police want recordings from the suspect's Amazon Echo

(Newser) - Does Alexa have First Amendment rights? That's one of the questions at the heart of a legal battle between Amazon and Arkansas police. Victor Collins was found dead in James Bates' hot tub back in 2015, and Bates has been charged in his friend's murder. Believing an Amazon... More »

School Under Fire for Nixing Charlie Brown Display

Texas woman says takedown of holiday decor infringes on her religious freedom

(Newser) - Dedra Shannon may have to settle for cranking up Vince Guaraldi tunes to get into the holiday spirit at her workplace. The principal at Charles Patterson Middle School in Killeen, Texas, made Shannon, a nurse's aide, take down the Charlie Brown-inspired decor she'd put up on the nurse'... More »

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 »

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