1st Amendment News

Federal appeals court denies woman’s ‘right to be forgotten’

A Connecticut woman was denied in her quest to force Hearst newspapers to eliminate records of drug charges against her even after the charges were dropped and erased from the public record. The woman, Lorraine Martin,  sued for libel and the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against her. “Just as the [Connecticut] Erasure […]

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Scholastic free speech: Tinkers ask Supreme Court to rule on ‘heckler’s veto’ case

John and Mary Beth Tinker of the landmark Tinker v. Des Moines U.S. Supreme Court decision have filed a friend-of-the-court brief  asking the court to hear an appeal of the case of Dariano v. Morgan Hill. Students lost the free speech case in the Ninth Circuit in which they challenged the school administration’s ban on […]

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Media wants live broadcast of April U.S. Supreme Court hearing on same sex marriage

National media organizations are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow audio-visual coverage of its hearing on the same-sex marriage cases. In an historic session, the high court is hearing four cases in April on the constitutionality of state laws that allow same-sex marriages.(Legal Times, January 29, 2015, by Tony Mauro) A letter to Chief […]

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Free speech rights of judges before U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a Florida case over a campaign law restricting judicial candidates from soliciting campaign contributions. A public defender seeking election to a county court signed a letter announcing her candidacy and asking for contributions and was reprimanded and fined under state law. Those against the law point out […]

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CIA whistleblower convicted in federal court of leaking classified information to New York Times reporter

A federal jury found former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling guilty of leaking classified information. He was charged with providing New York Times reporter James Risen with information about a failed CIA mission managed by Sterling to stifle the Iranian nuclear program. The trial was delayed for years while prosecutors labored to force Risen to testify. […]

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Support for freelance journalist sentenced to five years in prison

Freelance journalist Barrett Brown, charged with posting a link to a file of stolen data  including the credit card numbers of subscribers to the intelligence firm, Stratfor, was sentenced by a Texas judge to five years and three months in prison. The charges of posting the hyperlink brought Brown a lot of attention from First […]

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California Brown Act roundup: Alleged open meeting violations cited in Chico

An attorney specializing in freedom of information law alleged the Chico City Council violated the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, by discussing employee pay during closed session; not reporting actions taken by the council in closed session; not reporting the votes by council members in closed session; taking up matters not exempted  from open […]

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Libel: Paris mayor plans lawsuit against Fox for bogus claims about no-go zones for non-Muslims

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she would sue Fox News for reporting that there are sections of Paris under Islamic law where police are afraid to go. Fox also aired a “security expert” who claimed that Birmingham, England was a Muslim city where non-Muslims do not enter. Fox apologized for the stories. (CNN Money, January […]

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Boston muzzles city employees on topic of Olympic bid for 2024

Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an agreement banning negative comment by city employees about the Olympic Games. The news came as critics worried about the cost of the event and the lack of transparency in Boston’s plans to host the 2014 Summer Games. (The New York Times, January 21, 2015, by Katharine Q. Seelye) […]

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Federal whistleblower wins in Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an air marshal was protected by a federal whistleblower law. Air Marshal Robert J. MacLean was fired for protesting a cut in hours for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees after a secret briefing about terrorists threats on long-distance flights. MacLean complained to his superiors arguing that the cuts would […]

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