NEWS ABOUT: First Amendment

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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 »

Big Supreme Court Rulings Are Coming

Decisions due on TV, environmental rules

(Newser) - It's a big week for the Supreme Court, which wraps up its term next Monday. We'll be hearing from the justices on a number of key cases that have been argued since January, ranging from ObamaCare to free speech. USA Today outlines the highlights; this week's decisions... More »

Supreme Court OKs Challenge on Law Against Lying

Court also strikes down 'straw man' gun purchases

(Newser) - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that an anti-abortion group can challenge an Ohio law that bars people from making false statements about political candidates during a campaign. The high court said the Susan B. Anthony List does not have to wait until it is prosecuted under the law to... More »

High Court: IQ Test Alone Can't Decide Death Penalty

Plus: Justices favor Secret Service in free-speech ruling

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today ruled that states must look beyond an IQ score in borderline cases of mental disability to determine whether a death row inmate is eligible to be executed. The justices said in a 5-4 decision that Florida and a handful of other states cannot rely solely on... More »

High Court Ruling Already Bad News for Non-Christians

Roanoke supervisor proposes ban on non-Christian prayer

(Newser) - What will the Supreme Court's Greece vs. Galloway decision mean for religious liberty? Well, let's put it this way: Less than 24 hours later, a board of supervisors member in Roanoke, Va., used the ruling to revise his push to ditch the town's nonsectarian prayer policy, adding... More »

Atheist Sues After NJ Rejects Her License Plate

State deems '8THEIST' offensive

(Newser) - New Jersey has a free-speech lawsuit on its hands after a woman's attempt to score an atheist license plate got rejected, reports NJ.com . Shannon Morgan says it was bad enough when she typed in 8THEIST on the state website and learned that it was deemed objectionable. But when... More »

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 »

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