Articles Posted in Free Speech

The US Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case in which two individuals sued a New York cable-TV public access channel for violating their First Amendment rights by banning them from the channel's services and facilities. In Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, the two petitioners, Halleck and Melendez, argue that the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) unconstitutionally banned them from the public access channel, which they argue is a public forum subject to the First Amendment.


Arguing for the charities' right of free association, a public interest law firm and a charitable group co-founded by the Koch brothers had challenged the disclosure of information, stating that the requirement chills donor contributions.


In 2014, Michael Jackson fan Vera Serova brought a class action lawsuit against Sony Music, the Jackson estate, and several songwriters/producers alleging that they created three fake songs recorded by a Michael Jackson impersonator to include on a 2010 posthumous album, Michael. The case moved forward last week in a court hearing about the songs in question: “Breaking News,” “Monster,” and “Keep Your Head Up.”


A California appeals court has ruled in favor of Twitter in confirming that it is protected from liability by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in deciding what content should be allowed on its platform. Jared Taylor, a publisher of white nationalist content, was permanently kicked off of Twitter in December following the company's announcement that it planned to more closely scrutinize users promoting violence. Taylor subsequently sued Twitter for banning him and his publication from its platform, and while the trial court threw out two of his claims, it allowed his unfair competition claim to go forward.


On Thursday, August 16, 2018, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Texas District Court's dismissal of a lawsuit brought by three University of Texas at Austin professors. Professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore, and Mia Carter challenged a Texas law permitting the concealed carry of handguns on the University of Texas campus, along with a University of Texas policy forbidding professors from banning concealed weapons in classrooms.


Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who won a decision before the U.S. Supreme Court in June, is suing again following his refusal to bake a cake to celebrate a gender transition. His refusal resulted in a probable cause finding by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that he had violated Colorado’s public accommodations law.…


On Monday, August 6, 2018, YouTube removed Alex Jones's YouTube channel citing violations of YouTube's Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.


Posted in: Free Speech, Politics

Today a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing a Texas man from publishing online the blueprints for making guns using a 3D printer. The attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia filed the lawsuit Monday in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.


Posted in: Free Speech
Tagged: Guns

In a 4-3 opinion, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Yelp.com cannot be ordered to remove negative posts against a San Francisco law firm that another judge determined were defamatory. The decision overturns a lower court’s ruling against Yelp, and affirms rules that protect internet platforms from legal liability over users’ posts.


On Thursday the Supreme Court issued a decision striking down a Minnesota law that prohibited political apparel in polling places. In a 7-2 decision, authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the court held that Minnesota’s political apparel ban violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.  Justice Sotomayor joined by Justice Breyer, filed a dissenting opinion.