Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Mourning Trump’s tweets / Free cash for free speech / ‘Something very big and potentially … dangerous’

Mourning Trump’s tweets. An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer says Donald Trump’s Twitter account provided “important evidence in lawsuits that we … brought against him,” and so his now-ended presence there “was really in the public interest.”

‘It would be a terrible shame.’ Harvard law prof Noah Feldman fears Trump will make his second impeachment trial about the First Amendment.
NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos: “Trump’s speech is probably defensible in every court—except, perhaps, the Senate.”
Free Speech Center director Ken Paulson explains why Trump is unlikely to face prosecution for inciting a riot—and why that’s a good thing …
 … but an Ohio State professor of election law says a conviction isn’t impossible …
 … and a University of North Carolina School of Law prof speculates that “the strongest case for both convicting Trump on the articles of impeachment in the Senate and for convicting him on criminal charges after he leaves office would be based primarily … on what he failed to do after the insurrection began.”
Developing coverage: For the first time, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has explicitly blamed the riot on Trump …

Free cash for free speech. The Free Speech Center is offering grants of up to $1,000 for professors who host First Amendment-related events, presentations, forums and discussions.
■ Leaders at Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute have a wish list for Joe Biden’s first 100 days as president.
 The Society of Professional Journalists is calling on Biden to end restrictions on federal employees speaking to reporters.

‘She is a danger to our country.’ Ex-Colorado state Rep. Brianna Buentello is suing U.S. Rep.—and alleged pre-insurrection Capitol tour guide—Lauren Boebert, accusing Boebert of violating the First Amendment by blocking Buentello on Twitter.
Buentello tweeted: “Free speech is … sacred to these ‘constitutionalists’ until they’re criticized.”
An adviser to President Reagan writes in The Washington Post: “Many voices on the right seem to have abandoned the idea that the marketplace can be trusted to sort itself out.”

Also from ProPublica: “Twitter and YouTube banned Steve Bannon. Apple still gives him millions of listeners.”

‘Something very big and potentially … dangerous.’ Ken Paulson sounded that warning as he moderated a virtual panel, “On Freedom: Capitol Chaos and Its Impact on Democracy.”
See it here …
 … or just listen here.
`

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Stamping out news? / ‘Conservative voices … stifled’ / ‘Not an uncomplicated victory’

Happy 2021! We’re glad to be back after a holiday break. And now the news:


Stamping out news?
U.S. Postal Service delays—driven in part by the pandemic—and an imminent postage hike are crippling community newspapers’ business.
Investigative reporter Joshua Eaton suggests Joe Biden’s administration do plenty to let the sunshine back into government. (Image: Andrey Popov/iStock.)

‘It is now nigh unto impossible to quote anyone or share anything anyone else has said.’ Journalism prof Jeff Jarvis files a science-fictional warning from a future after the abolishment of Section 230 …
Software developer Steve Randy Waldman writes in The Atlantic that 230 “ruined the internet” by “shifting the costs of scale, like shoddy moderation and homogenized communities, to users and society at large.”

‘Conservative voices … stifled.’ A self-described “right-leaning” Princeton sophomore complains in the National Review.
The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear the case of an ex-high school cheerleader disciplined after sending vulgar Snapchat messages to friends.
 Hundreds of present and former students at scandal-scarred Liberty University are calling for the shutdown of a campus “think tank” that their petition complains “constantly preaches … to defend Donald Trump at all costs.”
 A University of California Merced professor under investigation for a since-deleted Twitter account rife with antisemitic tropes has retained a lawyer specializing in academic First Amendment litigation.

Not an uncomplicated victory for the press.’ The Knight First Amendment Institute’s executive director says a United Kingdom judge’s refusal to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face U.S. charges of espionage nevertheless casts “a dark shadow over investigative journalism.”
Columnist Jacob Sullum: The case against Assange is also a case against a free press.
GovernmentAttic.org offers electronic copies of thousands of government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Thanks to reader Chris Koenig for making this edition better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

‘The numbers are staggering’ / Happy Bill of Rights Day / ‘If I don’t fight, then …’

[This is the final 2020 edition of this newsletter. We’ll return to our every-other-week schedule Jan. 5.]

‘The numbers are staggering.’ The Freedom of the Press Foundation reports an unprecedented number of journalists arrested this year in the United States.
Arrests from May 29 to June 4 exceeded the previous three years combined.

‘If you play to the audience you imagine you have and you are an all-white newsroom, then you only serve your white audiences.’ A veteran local news reporter offers her take on “the real reason local newspapers are dying.”
The San Francisco Chronicle: “The San Francisco Board of Supervisors was on track to out-trump President Trump by pulling official city advertising from a neighborhood newspaper because the supes didn’t like its coverage of them” … but then backtracked.

Happy Bill of Rights Day. Free Speech Center director Ken Paulson: “229 years ago, America became … America.”
Study these National Archives resources on the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution …
 … then take this quiz. (Image: iStock.)

‘This campaign was designed to … undermine legitimately conducted elections.’ Legal notices from voting-technology company Smartmatic demand reactionary news channels Fox News, One America News and Newsmax apologize for the spreading of what it calls “baseless conspiracy theories” about it.
The Washington Post: Newsmax and One America News in particular are struggling uneasily with the reality of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
A federal judge has dismissed a free-speech lawsuit over an executive order Trump issued after Twitter started dinging him for misinformation.
A small New York town is weighing the First Amendment against complaints of “sign pollution”—homeowners displaying campaign signs well after an election’s been settled.

‘If I don’t fight, then this case becomes precedent.’ 2 Live Crew alumnus Luther Campbell looks back with Spin on the 30th anniversary of a landmark censorship trial he and two other members of the group faced.
Massachusetts’ highest court says a law forbidding people from panhandling on public roads violates the First Amendment.

How free is speech on college campuses? A first-of-its-kind ranking of 55 major U.S. schools puts the University of Chicago at the top.
Harvard and Yale? Not so great.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Biden’s press challenge / Holy, ghosts / License to chill

Biden’s press challenge. Press Watch’s Dan Froomkin: Joe Biden needs to reverse the pre-Trump devolution of the White House press secretary’s job “under both Bush and Obama … into deflecting press inquiries rather than genuinely responding.”
The New Yorker’s David Remnick: “Support for press freedoms ought to be a central element of his domestic and foreign policies.” (Photo: Bet_Noire.)
■ Jon Allsop in the Columbia Journalism Review: “Biden’s recent record with the press is far from perfect.”
New York magazine Washington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi says she’s dismayed at journalists’ enthusiasm for Biden’s all-female press team: “As we’ve seen repeatedly in the briefing room in the last four years, women in government lie, too.” (Hat-tip to CNN’s Brian Stelter for some of these links.)

‘VOA is clearly a First Amendment institution.’ A federal judge has ordered President Trump’s CEO for global media—overseeing Voice of America and other U.S.-run networks—to stop interfering in their journalists’ day-to-day decisions.
Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan has a modest proposal for newly challenged Fox News: “Keep appealing to a right-leaning audience—but commit to doing it within the realm of the truth.”

Holy, ghosts.
■ Free Speech Center director Ken Paulson calls the Supreme Court ruling striking down pandemic restrictions on religious service attendance “an unsurprising result of a poorly drafted restriction.”
■ A company that offers walking tours of supposedly haunted locations in Salem, Mass., says that state’s pandemic restriction on group sizes violates the First Amendment.

Court: ‘Conversion therapy’ = Free speech. A federal appeals court says two Florida counties’ ban on “sexual-orientation change efforts” violates therapists’ First Amendment rights.
Friendly Atheist calls the ruling “deeply troubling.”
■ An Ohio professor tells a federal appeals court his university violated the First Amendment when it rebuked him for refusing to use transgender student’s preferred pronouns.

‘Weapons are part of my religion.’ A federal judge holds that the First Amendment protects Wisconsin high school students’ choice to wear pro-gun T-shirts like that one.
■ Law professor David L. Hudson Jr. says the Supreme Court missed a chance to protect off-campus online political speech.
■ Harvard law prof Noah Feldman: Students have free-speech rights that teachers don’t.
■ A workplace lawyer’s counsel for employees: “Keep your social media accounts employer-friendly.”

License to chill. A federal judge has found California’s “haphazard” ban on “offensive” personalized license plates unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of viewpoint.
The Drive: Thank a Slayer fan.”
Law & Crime trial analyst Elura Nanos: The case shows California’s attorney general “doesn’t understand First Amendment treatment of ‘hate speech.’
■ A Black man is suing his homeowners’ association in Florida for demanding that he remove his “Black Lives Matter” flag—but not taking similar action against flags supporting police, sports teams and Trump.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Averse to verse / Not so free / Realtors’ reality

Averse to verse. California college student Jose Bello’s lawyers were arguing today in a federal appeals court that he was arrested by U.S. immigration agents for exercising his right to free speech—reading a poem critical of the Trump administration.
The American Civil Liberties Union brief calls the government’s action “anathema to the First Amendment.”
See Bello read his poem.
The ACLU on a Tennessee case: “The state … is violating a rapper’s First Amendment rights by trying to use his lyrics as evidence at trial.”

Twitter and Facebook: More to come. The two companies’ CEOs tell Congress that, with two forthcoming special elections in Georgia to decide control of the U.S. Senate, they’re not done fighting election disinformation.
Internet-regulation issues are piling up for President-elect Biden’s team.

Not so free. After hanging around conservatives’ would-be Twitter-killer, Parler, journalist Corey Friedman concludes, “Where free speech is concerned … it’s shaping up to be more mirage than oasis.”
Environmental reporter Emily Atkin spent three hours on Parler, following every account the site recommended: “I did not need to go back.”

‘Ignorant, anti-American and anti-Christian.’ After using those words on social media to describe those who voted for Biden—and encouraging them to unfriend him—a Virginia college professor has quit.
A Pennsylvania school district wants the Supreme Court to clarify whether educators’ power to discipline students extends to off-campus social media posts.

‘I haven’t forgotten what happened when he was in charge.’ As ex-President Barack Obama talks up the value of journalism while promoting his new memoir, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan recalls: “His administration set records for stonewalling or rejecting Freedom of Information requests.”
Richard Stengel, named leader of Biden’s transition team for U.S.-owned media outlets—including Voice of America—has championed limits on the First Amendment (2019 link).
The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf on Stengel in 2019: “It seems derelict for a U.S. diplomat to fail to defend the Bill of Rights to foreign counterparts.”

‘Previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.’ In a speech to the reactionary Federalist Society, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned that the COVID-19 pandemic has—for better or worse—“served as a sort of constitutional stress test … and … highlighted disturbing trends.”
Jewish News Syndicate editor-in-chief Jonathan S. Tobin: Alito “was exactly right. … Basic respect for some rights is dying.”
Biden has picked a former Alito clerk as counsel to the president.

‘It is the highest form of protected speech.’ A lawyer for a Wisconsin TV station sued by the Trump campaign for running an ad critical of the president calls the court’s dismissal of the case a triumph for free political speech.
The Trump administration seems not all that committed to its vendetta against TikTok …
 … and a TikTok employee has agreed to drop his suit against the Trump administration.

Realtors’ reality. Responding to a wave of complaints, the National Association of Realtors is expanding its Code of Ethics to cover members’ conduct outside their workplace duties—threatening expulsion for those who use hate speech or harassing language in public—including social media.
A federal appeals court says a Florida sheriff was within her rights to have critical comments removed from her government and campaign Facebook pages.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Smile. But … / Borat and the 1st / ‘Fatwa on your head?'

Smile. But … Taking a selfie with your ballot may seem like a celebration of democracy, but it’s illegal in at least 15 states.
It’s newly legal—and popular—in Michigan.
Columnist Corey Friedman: “Ballot photo bans are ostensibly designed to prevent voter fraud. … But voters involved in such schemes would be more likely to send photos privately than plaster them on social media.” (Image: Valentin Amosenkov.)
A civil rights lawyer sounds a First Amendment alarm about states that ban “electioneering” clothing at polling places.
Washington, D.C., outlaws that, too.

‘Counterprotestors should not be allowed to openly carry firearms to events that organizers designate to be gun-free.’ Law profs at Yale and the University of Alabama write in The Washington Post: Peaceful assembly can’t happen without the option of banning guns.
In an online video conversation, Free Speech Center Director Ken Paulson and author Robert Giles revisit another era of great protest: May 1970, when Ohio National Guard troops shot and killed four Kent State University students and wounded nine others.

‘This is a very pro-First Amendment Court—liberals and conservatives.’ Free-speech champion lawyer Floyd Abrams is optimistic the Supreme Court will consider whether a high school can punish a student for criticizing the school in a social media post published off-campus.
An Arizona State University student radio station manager is suing on First Amendment grounds after her removal for a tweet critical of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot by Kenosha, Wis., police in August.

Borat and the First. New York Daily News writer Eliyahu Federman says satiric filmmaker Sacha Baron Cohen’s call to abolish Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media platforms from liability for content users post, “is as close as it gets to someone biting the hand that feeds him.”
Santa Clara University School of Law student Jess Miers: “If you’re upset that Twitter and Facebook keep removing content that favors your political viewpoints, your problem is with the First Amendment, not Section 230.”
CNET: Everything you need to know about Section 230 and free speech on social media.
The Verge: Meet the man next in line to run the Federal Communications Commission and lead the Trump administration’s “war on platform moderation.”

‘Plenty of companies have critics, but only a few find themselves under the unblinking glare of a vinyl rodent colossus.’
Columnist Steve Chapman comes to the First Amendment defense of Scabby the Rat, a giant inflatable rodent that has become a mascot for labor union job actions …
 … but that is in a snare at The National Labor Relations Board. (2012 photo: Roy Smith.)

‘Conservatives know what censorship is, and it is people not reading their tweets.’ Wonkette’s Robyn Pennacchia: “In reality, where the rest of us live, conservatives are not only not censored on social media, they are promoted.”
George Washington University law prof Jonathan Turley: Twitter should “make no policy abridging the freedom of speech or the press.”
Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles, retiring after a 50-year career: “As a cartoonist and a journalist, I start with a pretty-close-to-absolute First Amendment-oriented right to free speech.”

‘Fatwa on your head?’ A federal appeals court says Detroit’s public transit system violated the First Amendment when it rejected ads bearing that phrase and others encouraging people to abandon Islam.
New Justice Amy Coney Barrett joins the Supreme Court just in time to hear what the ABA Journal calls a blockbuster religious freedom case.
University of California at Berkeley law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky: The court could reverse a half-century of finding “stopping discrimination to be more important than protecting a right to discriminate.”
The ACLU is going to court against a California county on behalf of a nonprofit group denied a COVID-19 outreach contract because it had been critical of police.

‘Unintended consequence.’ A councilman who supported a new Columbia, S.C., law forbidding “hate speech” has been dismayed to learn its first targets have included people who are Black and homeless.
Louisiana’s high court has struck down under the First Amendment a law requiring sex offenders to carry ID cards branding themselves as such.

Monday, October 19, 2020

‘Be afraid’ / ‘A disgrace’ / ’What am I missing?’

‘Be afraid.’ Wired’s Steven Levy sounds an alarm about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ willingness to revisit the 1996 Communications Decency Act’s Section 230, which Levy says lets internet companies “give voice to billions of people without taking legal responsibility for what those people say.”
The Federal Communications Commission is leaning that way, too.

‘I ran political advertising for Twitter. It’s time for platforms to mute Trump.’ Peter D. Greenberger, writing in The Washington Post: “Speech is not protected if you yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. Trump is telling people holding tiki torches to ‘stand by’ to set the country aflame.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the company’s handling of tweets sharing a widely questioned and dubiously sourced New York Post story “was wrong.”
Twitter has locked the accounts of at least two hosts on the reactionary Salem Radio Network.
Post columnist Max Boot: “Sorry, Republicans. Social media companies aren’t obligated to spread your lies.”

‘A disgrace.’ A University of Minnesota law professor condemns a Justice Department lawsuit against first lady Melania Trump’s estranged friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, for writing a tell-all book without permission: “Wolkoff’s revelations are exactly what the First Amendment should protect.”
A federal court says a Louisiana high school student had a First Amendment right to paint a portrait of Donald Trump on his parking spot.

What am I missing?’ In Senate confirmation hearings, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, could name only four of the First Amendment’s five freedoms, but Free Speech Center director Ken Paulson says her more concerning shortcoming was failing to understand why those five “were packaged in a single amendment.”
The New York Times’ Emily Bazelon: “It’s time to ask whether the American way of protecting free speech is actually keeping us free.”
A labor lawyer offers guidance to employers wondering about limits on employee speech through this contentious election season and beyond.

The president of the University of Texas at Austin: “Free speech is perhaps the greatest right we have as Americans. … Difficult and deeply uncomfortable conversations are sometimes necessary for us to make progress.”
The editor of Wisconsin’s Beloit Daily News on the appearance of a Confederate flag at a college campus bridge: “The true test of the First Amendment is tolerance for unpopular speech.”

‘Tribute to a generation of free-speech advocates.’ The Hollywood Reporter reviews Mighty Ira, a profile of the former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union …
 … now streaming online.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Good grievance! / Sign fine / 1st and foreskin

Good grievance! The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is condemning as “a threat to freedom of expression and academic freedom” Muscatine Community College’s decision to cancel virtual production of a play reimagining the Peanuts comic strip characters as teenagers—and Charlie Brown as gay.
The college’s theater instructor calls the decision censorship …
 … but the show will go on as a benefit in November. (Photo: jfmdesign.)

‘Why do we protect such vile speech?’ First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams defends as the soul of our democracy Supreme Court rulings upholding freedom of speech for protesters such as those whose “signs scream out coarse epithets for homosexuals.”
Mother Jones: “17 Republicans Just Voted Against a Resolution to Condemn QAnon. We Asked Them All Why.” Hint: Freedom of speech.

Like ‘forcing a kosher deli to serve ham products.’ The conservative Christian advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom is going to court against a new Virginia civil rights law—complaining its ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity threatens a church’s beliefs.
A photographer says the law compromises his constitutional right to free speech by compelling him to photograph same-sex weddings.

Sign fine. A Santa Fe, New Mexico, man is battling his homeowners association—and risking escalating penalties—for his right to display a front-yard presidential campaign sign.
A federal judge says the First Amendment doesn’t protect a man arrested—and deprived of his cellphone—after holding a sign warning motorists of the presence of “Cops Ahead.”
A federal appeals court has ruled that Nashville was justified in firing an emergency dispatcher who dispatched a racist slur in a Facebook post supporting Donald Trump’s 2016 election.
A U.S. Naval Academy midshipman is suing the academy to avert his expulsion for tweeting racist statements.
Hundreds of students and staff at the Columbia University School of Journalism have signed a letter demanding Polk County, Iowa, drop charges against a Columbia graduate arrested in May while covering a Black Lives Matter protest.
A federal judge in Minnesota has dismissed a First Amendment lawsuit challenging a gubernatorial order that face coverings be worn at the state’s polls on Election Day.

First and foreskin. Harvard University and its independent student newspaper, The Crimson, are asking a federal judge to dismiss a former university employee’s First Amendment suit against Harvard and the paper over coverage of and reaction to his performance criticizing Jewish people—of which he is one—and their practice of circumcision.
FIRE and the libertarian Cato Institute are urging the Supreme Court to reject a lower court ruling that concluded a public university can escape consequences for violating students’ First Amendment rights by changing the rules after a suit’s been filed.
The Pacific Legal Foundation: “Because the court ruled the case moot, the student and his attorney were unable to recover … fees.”

The First, inverted. The Atlantic shares journalism professor Stephen Bates’ profile of a scholar who saw the First Amendment as not just forbidding the government from interfering in free speech but also as encouraging the government to enhance free speech.
Happening Thursday, 3 p.m. Eastern time: An online Freedom Forum panel discussion centered around a new documentary, Raise Your Voice, about Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students navigating their school’s mass shooting as survivors and journalists.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A 6-3 court’s impact / ‘The weapons of 1791’ / ‘Journalism heroes for the pandemic’

A 6-3 court’s impact. The Conversation explains how a decidedly conservative Supreme Court, realigned by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, could transform the United States—shifting protection of civil rights from the court to local governments but ramping up First Amendment protection of religious rights.
Sen. Mitt Romney’s decision to support a quick vote on President Trump’s choice seems to put all the pieces in place for making that court a reality.
Washington University and University of Chicago law professors in The New York Times: “If Justice Ginsburg, who had the most secular voting record of any justice since 1953, is replaced with a religious conservative … the court’s jurisprudence will veer even farther from the values she brought to the law.” (Photo: Tim Brown.)
A University of Baltimore law prof: Ginsburg could be surprisingly conservative.

Trump’s ‘beautiful sight.’ MSNBC accuses the president of endangering journalists by speaking glowingly to a rally about the time one of the channel’s anchors was shot with a rubber bullet during a peaceful Minneapolis protest of police violence.
CNN’s Brian Stelter: “One of the worst things he’s ever said.”
A second Los Angeles journalist accuses county police of violating First Amendment rights.

‘The weapons of 1791.’ Free Speech Center director Ken Paulson, speaking at a panel discussion on racial protests and the First Amendment: “We have never been down this road before, but I’m encouraged that a nation, when faced with injustice, can … put down their phones, pick up a sign and raise their voices in protest.”
Bloomberg’s Noah Feldman on reports that U.S. Attorney General William Barr has suggested protesters be charged with sedition: “It’s the sort of crime that weak governments enforce against their citizens when the government is facing an existential threat—or thinks it is.”
History.com looks back at the “egregious” origins of the Sedition and Espionage Acts.
An excerpt from journalist and author Ellis Cose’ new book, The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America: “We live in a world where it is far from clear that the answer to bad speech is more speech.”

WeChat spat. A federal judge has preliminarily blocked the Trump administration’s move to ban the Chinese-born social messaging-and-more app in the U.S. …
 … which is surprisingly welcome news for the U.S. real estate biz.

‘Journalism heroes for the pandemic.’ The Washington Post’s Elahe Izadi hails college newspapers, “more energized than ever, producing essential work from the center of the nation’s newest coronavirus hot spots.”
Two student paper editors-in-chief talked to NPR about how COVID-19 “has changed almost everything about college.”
The Campus Legal Advisor newsletter’s counsel to college administrators on how to manage student demonstrations in the pandemic: “Let them protest,” but “use time, place, and manner restrictions.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

‘Believe anonymous sources’ / ‘I finally know who I am’ / Not THAT free

‘Believe anonymous sources.’ Poynter’s Tom Jones dissects controversy over The Atlantic’s reporting that President Trump has disparaged Americans who died in war.
 Free Speech Center director Ken Paulson on a new report from the Knight Foundation and Gallup: Are America’s news media more biased than ever before, or are we simply looking in the mirror?” (Image: Bybzee from the Noun Project.)

‘Attacks on the people’s press.’ Journalism prof Jeff Jarvis says Donald Trump’s war on TikTok in the U.S. and Rupert Murdoch’s legislative assault on Facebook in Australia undermine freedom of expression.
  He condemns traditional journalists who haven’t spoken in opposition: “The old press still thinks the meaning of the press is a machine that spreads ink.”

‘The right to peacefully protest needs better supporters.’ Freedom Forum Fellow Lata Nott says an Indiana lawmaker’s proposed “Support Peaceful Protest Act” seems in fact to be designed to “make individuals think twice before attending any sort of protest.”
Columnist Irv Leavitt: “For winning over people still on the fence, you can’t top images of defenseless but brave partisans being attacked with billy clubs, firehose streams and police dogs, and not raising a hand.”
A federal judge has at least temporarily ordered Detroit cops to stop using batons, gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters.
Without a late Oregon Supreme Court justice who concluded that state’s free-speech protections are more expansive than those in the First Amendment, a Portland journalist says protests there “wouldn’t have been the same.”

‘I finally know who I am.’ Daniel Thompson, an editor who quit Wisconsin’s Kenosha News over an inflammatory quote in the headline of a protest story, says he’ll use a GoFundMe windfall to launch new projects.
His ex-boss conceded the headline was “a little bit insensitive.”
Thompson tells CNN’s Reliable Sources podcast: “I don’t think the old ways of covering things … works anymore.”

It’s that time. Theft of campaign yard signs around the country is triggering First Amendment protests in letters to editors—for instance, here in Iowa and here in Florida.
Tips to discourage sign theft: Vaseline, dog poop and glitter.

Not that free. Ruling in the case of a man who—without permission—took and transmitted intimate photos of a person changing in a bathroom, a Texas appeals court says the state’s “Invasive Visual Recording” ban doesn’t conflict with freedom of speech.
Hotel Management ponders whether bosses can terminate an employee for offensive social media posts.