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Free speech manifestos surface on James Madison’s birthday

Harvard’s Cornel West and Princeton’s Robert P. George are asking people of all walks to sign a statement affirming free speech and openness, to listen to those who “challenge our views.” “All of us should be willing—even eager—to engage with anyone who is prepared to do business in the currency of truth-seeking discourse by offering […]

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Researchers bid for transparency at Food and Drug Administration

A group of prominent researchers created a transparency plan for the Food and Drug Administration “to advance the development of safe and effective new products.” Their report makes recommendations in five major areas: “The FDA should disclose more information about key milestones in the application process; …disclose more of its analysis and decision-making, …disclose more […]

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First Amendment: Trump claims TV news commentator violated law in revealing tax return

After MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow discussed a copy of two pages of President Donald Trump’s tax return from 2005, Trump called the move a ratings “stunt” and illegal. In fact, federal law makes it illegal to publish an unauthorized tax return. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment allowed disclosure of information when privacy is […]

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Homeland Security calls anti-Trump ‘riot’ a terrorist event

A Homeland Security report linked a Trump election protest to “domestic terrorist violence” occurring across the country. The protest resulted in damage to stores in Portland’s Pearl District. (The Oregonian, March 2, 2017, by Eder Campuzano with contributions by Jim Ryan and Samantha Matsumoto) The ACLU sees a danger in labeling the protest that only […]

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Federal court supports secrecy in FBI spying on journalists

A federal district judge ruled that the FBI could keep secret its rules for spying on journalists without a court warrant. The Freedom of the Press Foundation had sued in 2015 to obtain the rules. The judge found that the FBI property withheld documents including a policy implementation guide, a domestic operations guide, and draft […]

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Time for senators to pose tough questions to Gorsuch on First Amendment

With President Donald Trump waging war on the media, “the enemy of the people,” as he calls it, it’s critical for the senate judiciary committee to ask hard questions about Neil Gorsuch’s views on the First Amendment, writes Clay Calvert of the University of Florida, The Conversation, March 9, 2017. Besides queries about Citizens United […]

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Federal circuit court limits protests on Supreme Court buildings and grounds

The D.C. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban on “harange or oration, or…loud, threatening or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building or grounds.” The district court ruled that the language of the ban was vague, but the D.C. Circuit said the intent was to prohibit speech that could “disturb the operations and […]

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Wikileaks release of CIA document poses problems for press

The FBI has begun to investigate the source of the leak of thousands of documents from the CIA that revealed classified information on the agency’s cyberspying capabilities. Wikileaks released the documents after which the CIA issued a rare statement saying the release had aided our enemies and that the CIA did not engage in illegal […]

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UC San Diego shuts down satirical newspaper

A federal judge found no compelling First Amendment justification for supporting a lawsuit by The Koala, a satirical newspaper, against the administration at UC San Diego. The student council yanked the funding for the newspaper after articles that led the administration to call the publication “profoundly repugnant, repulsive, attacking and cruel.” The judge ruled that […]

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States use transparency laws to fight escalating drug prices

States are turning to transparency laws to fight rising drug prices with 15 states introducing bills to require pharmaceutical companies, health insurers and benefit managers to provide explanations for their costs and how they arrive at drug prices. The drug industry is fighting back and has had some success to defending their interests. (The Hill, […]

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