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Federal appeals court ruling on Montana campaign limits may lead to U.S. Supreme Court revisiting Citizens United

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals executed an end-run on the U.S. Supreme Court 2010 Citizens United ruling in upholding a Montana law that established limits on political contributions. The Supreme Court ruled that evidence of trading money for votes was need to justify contribution limits, but the Ninth Circuit came up with a […]

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Libel law may get stretched by Stormy Daniels defamation lawsuit against Trump

Stormy Daniels’ libel suit against President Donald Trump for claiming that her claim she was threatened over their consensual sexual liaison was “a total con job” constitutes a unique attempt to make it easier for women to bring sexual abuse lawsuits against prominent men. The lawsuit contends that in making the charge Trump accused Daniels, […]

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Facebook plan to rank news outlets for trust meets stiff criticism

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to rank news outlets by trust soliciting user opinions to determine which sources are “broadly trusted.” Zuckerberg was responding to criticism of his company for its negative impact on democracy and said they would spend billions of dollars to fight fake news and hate speech. (Huffington Post, May 1, […]

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California: PG&E slapped with huge fine for back-channel communications

California regulators fined the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. $97.5 million for conducting back-channel communications after the disastrous 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion. In announcing the fine, the Public Utilities Commission was enforcing California regulations that ban certain communications between utility executives and the commission and require any communications be reported publicly. (San Francisco Chronicle, […]

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Transparency: Federal agency may drop public database of consumer complaints

The federal regulatory agency that publishes a public database of consumer complaints is poised to scuttle the service in response to long-standing pressure from financial companies. Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testified to Congress recently,  “I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for […]

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Professor’s mean attack on Barbara Bush goes unpunished

Cal State Fresno President Joseph I. Castro expressed his regret to the Bush family for the tweet attacking Barbara Bush posted by Professor Randa Jarrar but said that the professor was protected from discipline by the First Amendment. (NBC4.com, April 25, 2018, by Reagan Roy) Kent State journalism student Drew Taylor, KENTWIRED.com, April 25, 2018,  […]

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U.S. Congress seems to embrace French president’s views on fighting fake news

French President Emmanuel Macron brought a joint session of Congress to its feet in affirmation of his comments about joining with the U.S. in a war against fake news. Europeans have long criminalized insulting, harassing and intimidating speech with some disturbing results and now are targeting fake news. Macron wants laws that would stop fake […]

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Freedom of Information Act: FBI climate survey shows FBI not ‘in turmoil’

Results of the annual FBI climate surveys showed that the bureau was not “in turmoil” as claimed by President Donald Trump in justifying his firing of FBI director James Comey. The survey was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Editors of Lawfare have just filed a request for the 2018 survey. (Lawfare, April […]

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Trump’s fake news allegations boost ratings and readership for news outlets

With The New York Times and The Washington Post leading the surge, news media of all stripes under attack from President Donald Trump are reaping benefits in increased audience numbers and revenues. That trend will only continue with the midterm elections in sight. (CNBC, April 23, 2018, by Michelle Castillo) But ratings surges are dwarfed […]

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