People’s First Amendment roundup: California school district allows pro-gay quotes in yearbook

March 14, 2019 by donal brown

A Madera County, California school superintendent is allowing two members of a gay rights group to publish quotes in the school yearbook after the American Civil Liberties Union sued on their behalf. The yearbook adviser said the quotes were “politically divisive.” The ACLU said they would continue the lawsuit until the district adopted policies protecting student advocacy of gay rights. (San Francisco Chronicle, March 10, 2019, by Bob Egelko)

Even though a motorcycle club was found guilty of RICO violations, a federal judge denied the Justice Department’s attempt to deprive the club of their logo.  The judge ruled that the mongols Motorcycle club had a First Amendment right to retain their logo as an expression of their membership  and support of the club. The judge noted that the Justice Department did not go after the logos of other motorcycle clubs, unions, churches or sports leagues when their high-ranking members were in legal trouble. (American Civil Liberties Union, March 11,2019, by David Loy)

A Pennsylvania 12-year-old journalist refused to cave in to the attempts of a Arizona town marshal to intimidate her while she was preparing a video on the wall and border security. The marshal threatened to arrest her for riding her bicycle on the wrong side of the road and told her it was against the law to post any images of him on the internet. (New York Daily News, February 22, 2019, by Jillian Cheney)

A Boones Mill, Virginia man in charge of the town’s water and wastewater systems is suing on the grounds that he was fired from his job when the town manager denied him the right to tell the town council about his concern over an asbestos-wrapped pipe. After he discovered the pipe, he argued that it should be removed or encapsulated. The town manager wanted the pipe covered up and blocked his attempts to take his concerns to the town council. The man’s attorney said the lawsuit concerned free speech rather than wrongful termination. (The Roanoke Times, March 13, 2019, by Casey Fabris)

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a police officer violated a citizen’s First and Fourth Amendment rights when he flagged her for flipping him the bird after he issued her a traffic ticket. (ABA Journal, March 14, 2019, by Debra Cassens Weiss)