First Amendment

Read the latest news stories on first amendment rights on Newser.com

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Trump Re-Ups Fight Against the 'Cat's Paws' of Twitter

Former president files lawsuit in appeals court regarding his ban on social media platform

(Newser) - Elon Musk has previously said he would lift former President Trump's Twitter ban, and now it looks as if it might be just a matter of time before that happens. Trump doesn't seem to want to wait for the social media platform's answer on that, however: On...

HS Coach Fired for Prayers on Field Is Returning

Joe Kennedy to be reinstated by March

(Newser) - The Washington state high school football coach fired for leading team prayers on the field will be given his old job back, per court documents filed this week. The Supreme Court sided with Joe Kennedy in June , finding in a 6-3 ruling that his First Amendment rights were violated. His...

Lawsuit Over 'FCANCER' Vanity Plate to Go Forward
DMV Revoked Her Vanity
Plate. She's Fighting Back
in case you missed it

DMV Revoked Her Vanity Plate. She's Fighting Back

Federal judge rules that Kari Lynn Overington's suit on 'FCANCER' plate may proceed

(Newser) - Kari Lynn Overington was in a celebratory mood when she hit the milestone of being cancer-free for two years, so she treated herself to a new car and a vanity plate that said "FCANCER," a defiant message to the breast cancer she'd beat. The DMV issued the...

Supreme Court Sides With High School Coach Over Prayer

Justices say Joe Kennedy shouldn't have been fired for on-field prayers with team

(Newser) - The Supreme Court's conservative majority has once again won the day in a closely watched case, this time over public prayer. The court ruled 6-3 that a high school football coach in Washington state who led prayers with players on the field after games shouldn't have been fired,...

Shawnee State and Prof Settle Pronoun Dispute

After a four-year legal battle, the professor won the right to ignore students' pronoun preferences

(Newser) - Shawnee State University has reached a settlement with philosophy professor Nicholas Meriwether: he’ll get $400,000, plus he will not be required to use gender pronouns that offend his religious beliefs. In a statement, the Ohio school said it was "an economic decision," per CNN: "Though...

She Rejected the Pledge in Class. Now, a $90K Settlement

Mari Oliver says Texas high school teachers pressured her to say, write pledge of allegiance

(Newser) - It's not uncommon for kids to raise complaints of bullying in school—but one former Texas high school student claimed the bullying came from teachers as well as fellow students. Now, Mari Oliver has settled a federal lawsuit brought against her one-time sociology teacher for $90,000 after alleging...

Judge: Sheriff Can't Force Teen to Remove COVID Post

Deputy threatened arrests over Instagram post early in the pandemic

(Newser) - Amyiah Cohoon didn't intend to scare anyone or end up in the middle of a First Amendment court case. But after she posted three updates about her bout with COVID on social media, a sheriff's deputy showed up at her family home and told the 16-year-old to take...

SCOTUS: Cheerleader's Profane Post Is Free Speech
SCOTUS:
Cheerleader's
Profane Post Is
Free Speech
the rundown

SCOTUS: Cheerleader's Profane Post Is Free Speech

Ruling in favor of Brandi Levy could have 'significant ramifications'

(Newser) - The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a cheerleader suspended from her high school team for using a vulgar word on Snapchat, thereby extending its protection of student speech to social media, the Wall Street Journal reports. "F--- school f--- softball f--- cheer f--- everything," a 14-year-old...

Young Brothers Yanked From Class for Black Lives Matter Tees

Okla. superintendent says 'politics' not allowed at school; mom says Black Lives Matter isn't political

(Newser) - Two Oklahoma brothers were disciplined at school last week over their Black Lives Matter T-shirts, and their mom is pushing back. Per the New York Times , Jordan Herbert first got wind of an alleged violation of dress code policy on April 30, when her 8-year-old son, Ben, was told by...

Judge Rules on Battle Over Student's Trump Portrait

The district painted it over. A judge put his foot down.

(Newser) - Want a painting of President Trump in your parking space? So be it. That's what a federal judge ruled Friday after a Louisiana teen's portrait of Trump sparked a brouhaha at his school, the Times-Picayune reports. "The painting of President Trump cannot reasonably be described as obscene...

Supreme Court Rejects Church's COVID Request

Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley wanted to get around Nevada's 50-person cap for religious services

(Newser) - A sharply divided US Supreme Court denied a rural Nevada church's request late Friday to strike down as unconstitutional a 50-person cap on worship services as part of the state's ongoing response to the coronavirus. In a 5-4 decision, the high court refused to grant the request from...

College Probes Professor After 'Black Privilege' Remarks

University of Central Florida looking into complaints of bias against Charles Negy

(Newser) - A longtime tenured psychology professor at the University of Central Florida is under fire after a series of online posts. Per the New York Times , Negy, who has written a book about "white Americans under siege," recently put up multiple tweets that he acknowledged "will infuriate folks....

Supreme Court Weighs In on Church's Shutdown Bid

In 5-4 ruling, court rejects California church's attempt to block restrictions on public gatherings

(Newser) - Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court's liberal judges Friday to reject a California church's appeal to block restrictions on public gatherings. Per the New York Times , the 5-4 ruling found that the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, Calif., as well as other houses...

Prof With 'Stunningly Ignorant' Views Gets to Keep Job

First Amendment protects Eric Rasmusen, says Indiana University

(Newser) - The dean of the business school Eric Rasmusen teaches at calls his views "reprehensible"; Indiana University Provost Lauren Robel says they're "stunningly ignorant." But despite posts on his private social media accounts Robel deems "racist, sexist, and homophobic," Rasmusen won't lose his job...

Judge to Sheriff: You Can't Put Signs in Sex Offenders' Yards

Gary Long wanted to keep trick-or-treaters away from certain homes on Halloween

(Newser) - A wrench has been thrown in a Georgia official's plan to keep kids away from sex offenders on Halloween. CNN reports that US District Court Judge Marc Treadwell issued a preliminary injunction for three plaintiffs who objected to Butts County Sheriff Gary Long's decision to place signs in...

Judge Hands Amber Guyger a Bible, and Herself Controversy

Critics say Tammy Kemp shouldn't have been 'proselytizing' in court as a government worker

(Newser) - Convicted murderer Amber Guyger got a "remarkable" hug from the brother of her victim, Botham Jean, during her sentencing hearing Wednesday, and then she got one from presiding Judge Tammy Kemp. Now Kemp is facing complaints, both for the hug but also for a possible legal violation. With one...

Court to Trump: No Blocking Critics on Twitter

Federal appeals court upholds earlier ruling

(Newser) - Bad news for President Trump when it comes to his social media use: A federal appeals court has ruled he can't block his critics on Twitter. "The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to...

She Told Boyfriend to Die. Now She Wants to Go to Supreme Court

Michelle Carter's lawyers say her 'words alone' shouldn't make her liable for Conrad Roy's death

(Newser) - Michelle Carter's "words alone" shouldn't be to blame for the death of Conrad Roy. That's the premise her legal team is pushing in a new petition asking the Supreme Court to review her case in her quest to get her involuntary manslaughter conviction overturned, BuzzFeed...

High School Newspaper Fights to Run Story on Student in Porn

Award-winning adviser has won this fight before

(Newser) - Once again, a California high school newspaper's adviser is risking her job over a story that school administrators don't want published. In the past, Kathi Duffel and her students have fought the school district over stories on inaccuracies in a school safety handbook, the segregation of black male...

Court Backs Driver Who Gave Police the Finger

Ruling says the gesture is free speech, though possibly rude

(Newser) - It may not seem like you're protected at the time, but if you make a gesture to a police officer that means the opposite of "Have a nice day," a federal appeals court has your back. A Michigan police officer pulled a driver over for speeding in...

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