Monday, June 5, 2023

Dress down / Telltale sign / Chucked it

Dress down. Tennessee’s drag-show law is “unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad,” U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker has declared.
PEN America has joined the fight against bills banning drag performances in other parts of the country.
In what First Amendment experts called a recognition of free speech, Franklin, Tenn., leaders have withdrawn a controversial “community decency policy.”
Leaders of the Church of Scientology told Fox News that involving its religion in actor Danny Masterson’s rape trial was an “unprecedented violation of the First Amendment.” 
Societal ills. A Harvard law professor has advanced the argument that even if the U.S. Surgeon General is correct that social media is hurting kids, there is no easy way to remedy that.
The judge who ruled against Ron DeSantis in a First Amendment case last year has recused himself from the Florida governor’s current suit with the Walt Disney Co.
“The government cannot punish you for speaking your mind,” declared ESPN’s Sage Steele, whose free-speech lawsuit over off-the-clock podcast comments has heated up again with a judge-imposed 90-day negotiation window between her and the network ending soon.
A federal jury has awarded $63.5 million to Miami businessmen who sued City Commissioner Joe Carollo for violating their First Amendment rights by using political retaliation.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt was lauded by free-speech advocates for knocking down legislation that would have weakened the state’s ability to fight off frivolous lawsuits intending to chill free speech.
Telltale sign. A Vietnam veteran with crude ‘blue’ views in a ‘red’ Arizona town has not succumbed to intimidation tactics to take down his anti-Trump political sign on his property. Free Speech Center Director Ken Paulson explained the homeowner’s First Amendment protection. 
In a Truthout commentary, journalist and filmmaker Eleanor Goldfield is angered that the news media has been largely silent about the arrests and convictions of reporters in North Carolina.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk said he has “no actual choice” over complying with governments’ censorship requests
■ The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a trademark dispute over a ‘Trump Too Small’ slogan to be used on shirts and hats.
Supreme Court justices’ decision in the Twitter terrorist liability case affects journalists more than the internet, reasoned Reporters Committee attorney Gabe Rottman.

Pulled prose. Elementary school students in Fort Lauderdale are now restricted from reading Amanda Gorman’s 2021 inauguration poem after one parent complained.
A Colorado judge sided with school district officials in denying a high school senior’s request to wear an American and Mexican sash at graduation.
Claiming both her freedom of speech and religion rights were violated, a Tulsa graduate has sued her former school district that prevented her from wearing a sacred eagle plume on her cap. 
■ In Utah, the Book of Mormon has entered the national debates over banning books in public schools.
Chucked it. After nearly a decade of hosting NBC News’ Meet the Press, Chuck Todd has announced he will be leaving the show and journalist Kristen Welker will succeed him.
California legislation to get tech companies such as Google and Meta to pay media outlets for online news content and posts cleared a major hurdle and is headed to the state Senate.
While accepting a First Amendment award, former Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory urged journalists to “be bold” and “not settle for convention.” 
Bob Zimmer, the University of Chicago president who created the Committee on Freedom of Expression, was eulogized in the New York Daily News as a tireless free-speech champion

Vital video. An exclusive new video guide spells out First Amendment rights to citizen journalists recording police actions with cellphones. Watch the presentation that was made possible through the joint efforts of the Free Speech Center and First Amendment Watch.