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Angry Trump tweet targets daily press briefings

Unhappy with coverage over the firing of FBI director James Comey, President Donald Trump tweeted that he could not guarantee his press secretaries’ accuracy so it might be best to switch to written responses. The White House Correspondents Association released this statement, Shutting down the briefings “would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans […]

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First Amendment case: Bookstore sues California over new sports memorabilia autograph law

Bay Area book store Book Passage is suing California over AB 1570 that establishes a “thicket” of requirements to sell books valued over $5 autographed by authors. Co-owner Bill Petrocelli claims the new law mandates crippling expenses in establishing the authenticity of signatures therein threatening their tradition of author events and violating the First Amendment. […]

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Maz Jobrani: UC Berkeley commencement speaker makes case for campus free speech

Comedian and UC Berkeley alumnus Maz Jobrani made a strong plea for students to support free speech in his Berkeley commencement address May 13. “As someone born in Iran where free speech is limited and people fight for it on a daily basis, even dying for it, I would urge you to not take that […]

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Law professor challenges Post editorial on racist speech in universities

In reaction to a racial incident featuring banana skins and string nooses at American University, the Washington Post praised the university for its response and wrote, “Two-bit provocations such as hanging nooses on campuses play on emotions made raw in the wake of a presidential campaign that featured the vilification of minorities and barely veiled […]

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University researchers suing ICE for data on detainer requests

Syracuse University immigration researchers are suing to obtain records of immigration enforcement records withheld by the Trump administration. The researchers are asking for immigration-detainer forms that record the transfer of immigrants from local to federal custody. They say the information is key to assessing the debate over President Donald Trump’s vow to increase the use […]

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Reporter arrested for asking questions of Health and Human Services secretary

The Capitol Police arrested veteran Public News Service reporter Dan Heyman for allegedly trying “to breach the security of the Secret Service” and “causing a disturbance by yelling questions.” Heyman was thrusting his smartphone forward and addressing questions to Tom Price, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The ACLU said the […]

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New international effort to bolster investigative journalism

In 2015, the Coalition for Investigative Journalism  identified a number of trends threatening investigative reporting. The threats included the public’s choice of “fast food blips” of news on TV and the social media and the death of newspapers and beat reporting. A UNESCO report described the erosion of legal protection of sources vital to investigative […]

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California Supreme Court trims applications of anti-SLAPP law

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a public university could not use the anti-SLAPP law to attack a discrimination lawsuit filed by a professor contesting a decision to deny him tenure. The ruling will put an end to government agencies invoking anti-SLAPP to put down lawsuits over government decisions. (California Anti-SLAPP Project, May 5, […]

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California appeals court flattens San Diego lawsuit on First Amendment grounds

On anti-Slapp grounds, a California appeals court dismissed a lawsuit brought by San Diegans for Open Government against the nonprofit Investigative News Source. The nonprofit had published a series of  investigative reports on an environmental lawyer with ties to the open government group, the series uncovering ethically suspect lawsuits against public entities. (Courthouse News Service, […]

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First Amendment: Federal courts poised to weigh in on Trump campaign protest problem

President Donald Trump argues that people at his rallies have no right to protest or voice their disapproval and can be forcibly removed from the venue for trying. Trump pays for his post-election rallies with funds from his 2020 re-election fund thus making them more exclusive. At a April 29 rally in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, Trump […]

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