People’s First Amendment roundup: College students sue Chicago for speech restrictions

Every day, citizens across the country fight for the First Amendment. The following are a sampling of their efforts.

Four Wheaton College students are suing Chicago for limiting their free speech rights to preach and pass out religious literature in Millennium Park. Over several weeks, park officials blocked their attempts to voice their beliefs, according to the students, by banning any speech that may “disrupt another’s objective enjoyment of amenities or performance” in the park. (Chicago Sun Times, September 18, 2019, by Jake Wittich)

An Oregon sheriff in a small town in the eastern part of the state rejected a county attorney’s request to investigate a reporter for harassing a county official to get his comment on why a car wash business did not receive a subsidy for building a car wash in the town of Ontario. The sheriff said no laws were broken. (AP News, August 21, 2019, by Andrew Selsky)

A Mississippi junior college student sued his school after he was stopping from conducting a poll on campus without official permission. Mike Brown was polling students on the legalization of recreational marijuana when he was informed that he could not exercise his free speech rights without the administration’s permission. (FIRE, September 4, 2019)

A former Alabama jail warden is suing Sheriff Ana Franklin for retaliating against him for reporting that Franklin took $160,000 from the prisoner food fund to give to a car dealership run by a ex-con. Franklin manufactured criminal charges against whistleblower Leon Bradley. So far the courts have sided with Bradley, the Eleventh U,S. Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to grant immunity to Franklin. (techdirt, September 19, 2019, by Tim Cushing)

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