donal brown

The People’s First Amendment: Tennessee whistleblower wins round in federal court

A sheriff captain feared a coverup and supplied information to the district attorney and FBI and was fired for his efforts. John Ford sued for violation of his free speech rights claiming that the report to the outside agencies was not official speech as described in Garcetti v. Ceballos. A federal district judge ruled that the lawsuit could proceed as Ford supplied evidence he was fired for his speech to outside agencies, and it was

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Dearth of fact-checkers hurt local journalism during midterms

The Reporters’ Lab at Duke University found that 29 states lacked fact-checkers who could verify the accuracy in statements by political candidates. New Hampshire, Kansas, Ohio and Oregon were among sates lacking fact-checking projects with Texas, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin benefiting from strong projects. (Poynter, November 16, 2022, by Mark Stencel, Erica Ryan and Belen Bricchi) For related FAC coverage, click here, here and here.

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Justice report shows journalists were targeted under Trump

A little-noticed Justice Department report of the warrants and subpoenas against journalists shows a slowdown of actions involving journalists in 2021 but also ramped up actions against reporters during the regime of former President Donald Trump. Reporters were investigated for various crimes, including financial crimes, stalking and child exploitation raising the possibility that the investigations were in retaliation for their reporting. (Yahoo! News, November 16, 2022, by Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone) For related FAC

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Cohen loses free speech lawsuit against Trump

A federal judge ruled for former President Donald Trump in rejecting Michael Cohen’s free speech lawsuit. Cohen sued Trump and others in his administration for putting him back in jail when, in home confinement, he published a book about his years with Trump. (CNN, November 15, 2022, by Kara Scannell) The judge said Supreme Court precedent prevented a favorable ruling for Cohen but noted the damage to Cohen’s constitutional rights,”Cohen’s complaint alleges an egregious violation

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Supreme Court opens door for Jan. 6 committee on Arizona phone records

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing the Jan. 6 committee to subpoena the phone records of the head of Arizona’s Republican party who was in touch with Trump and his staff while texting election officials to stop counting ballots in Arizona. Kelli Ward claimed that the quest for records posed a threat to her First Amendment rights. (Courthouse News Service, November 14, 2022, by Kelsey Reichmann) Ward had tried to apply the decision in Americans

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