First Amendment

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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... More »

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... More »

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.... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

Case of the Brand That Sounds Profane Heads to Supreme Court

Erik Brunetti has long tried to get a trademark for his Fuct streetwear

(Newser) - Nearly 30 years ago, Erik Brunetti, along with skateboarder Natas Kaupas, founded a streetwear company with a name that, depending on how it's said, could sound profane. They started Fuct with no major issues, save for the trademark they tried to get for the name—one that the Patent... More »

Trump Called Him a 'Mess' After His Tell-All. Now, a Suit

Former White House aide Cliff Sims has filed complaint against president

(Newser) - Trump called Cliff Sims a "mess" and a "gofer" when the latter's "boring" tell-all book about the White House dropped nearly two weeks ago. The president also mentioned the "non-disclosure agreement" Sims—who worked on the 2016 Trump campaign, and as a White House aide... More »

Student Suspended Over Pro-Trump Shirt Gets $25K

As well as an apology from the principal

(Newser) - An 18-year-old Oregon student who was forced out of class for refusing to cover up his pro-Trump T-shirt won't end up getting the last word in the matter—which is the outcome he wanted. The last word will go to the principal of Liberty High School in Hillsboro, who... More »

Trump Wants His Blocking Privilege Back

DOJ appeals court ruling as Twitter users are unblocked

(Newser) - "We whined. We complained. We sued. We won our First Amendment lawsuit in federal court. And now @realDonaldTrump has unblocked me," University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen tweeted Monday. The Justice Department later confirmed all seven plaintiffs who successfully argued President Trump violated their right to free... More »

8th-Grader Banned From Wearing Pro-Gun Shirts Sues

Lawsuit calls policy unconstitutional

(Newser) - An eighth-grade student has filed a federal lawsuit accusing his northern Nevada school district of violating his First Amendment rights by telling him his pro-gun T-shirt violates the district's dress code. The suit filed in US District Court in Reno alleges the Washoe County School District policy prohibiting depictions... More »

Ingraham Returns to Fox, Goes Whole Hog on Free Speech

The 'Left' is trying to 'silence conservatives,' host said Monday night on 'The Ingraham Angle'

(Newser) - Laura Ingraham returned to her Fox News show Monday night, as promised by the network, after a week off from the controversy over her snarky tweet toward Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. But although Ingraham didn't mention the hubbub directly, Deadline notes she was back Monday in "full... More »

'Expression of Disapproval' Got Her Fired. Now She's Suing

Juli Briskman says employer violated state law by firing her after she flipped off Trump's motorcade

(Newser) - While not everybody is in favor of flipping off President Trump's motorcade, "there can be no doubt that such speech is at the very core of the First Amendment and the Virginia Constitution," says a lawyer for a woman fired for making the gesture last fall. Marketing... More »

Satanic Temple Sues to Lead City Council Prayers

Group is taking Scottsdale, Ariz., to court

(Newser) - A group that invokes the name Satan as a metaphor for opposing religious tyranny has sued the well-off Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Ariz., accusing officials of discrimination after being denied an opportunity to give the opening prayer at a City Council meeting. Michelle Shortt of the Satanic Temple of Tucson... More »

Florida Gadfly Beats the Odds, Gets Back to Supreme Court

Florida resident Fane Lozman returns with a different fight against his home city

(Newser) - Given how many cases the Supreme Court rejects, it's quite a coup if one of your own legal fights ends up being argued there. On Tuesday, Florida resident Fane Lozman had the odds-defying distinction of seeing his second case there in five years. The former commodities trader won his... More »

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