People’s First Amendment: Lawyer challenges city on removal of statue

A Petaluma attorney Frear Stephen Schmid cited the First Amendment in fighting San Francisco’s removal of a statue of a vaquero and missionary standing over a nearly naked American Indian. Schmid claimed it was censorship to remove the work of art and discrimination against those with other viewpoints. A state appeals court ruled 3-0 that Schmid had no standing to sue and that there was no viewpoint discrimination since the government could express its policies without running afoul of the First Amendment. (LMTonline, February 1, 2021, by Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle)

A Virginia state senator is suing her colleagues for censuring her and stripping her of her seniority which she sees as a violation of her First Amendment rights. Her fellow senators was upset by her comments during the Stop the Steal Rally on January 6 near the U.S. Capitol. (The Progress-Index, February 1, 2021, by Bill Atkinson)

Tennessee law enforcement officers arrested a man for posting a photo on social media of two men urinating on the grave of a police officer. While expressing disdain for the photo, defense attorneys argued the photo was protected under the First Amendment. (Law and Crime, January 23, 2021, by Jerry Lambe)

A Detroit Lakes woman claims she is being harassed for exercising her free speech rights in displaying a flag in front of her house with the words, “F— Biden” and “F— you for voting for him.” (Twin Cities Pioneer Press, January 28, 2021, by Kevin Wallevand)

A Louisiana man posted a fake political satire on Facebook on right-wing hysteria about Antifa. The post promoted a fake event, and Lafayette City officials sued John Merrifield for the costs of policing the event. EFF filed an amicus brief in the case noting that the First Amendment protects satirical speech. (Electric Frontier Foundation, January 20, 2021, by David Greene and Houston Davidson)