First Amendment News

Newsgathering at CA polling places on election day

Every election day brings confusion about what reporters (and bloggers or other journalists) can and cannot do in the close proximity of polling places. Here’s are the provisions of California law governing newsgathering activities at polling places while the polls are open: 18541. (a) No person shall, with the intent of dissuading another person from voting, within 100 feet of a polling place, do any of the following: (1) Solicit a vote or speak to

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To stem violence, public schools limit speech

Fear of violence in public schools is fueling a clamp down on student expression. And the new restrictions are generally being upheld by the courts, according to this story in today’s New York Times: By DAN SLATER With the nation’s school systems roiled by campus shootings over the past decade, and on the lookout for conflict, students are being asked to check a broader array of free-speech rights at the door — raising questions about

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Governor signs journalism teacher protection law

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation sponsored by CNPA to shield high school and college journalism advisers from discipline or removal from their positions for refusing to censor stories published in student newspapers, reports the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the bill’s sponsor. SB 1370 by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), would specifically prohibit a school employer from dismissing, suspending, disciplining, reassigning, transferring, or otherwise retaliating against an employee solely for acting to protect a pupil

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VA Court: Anti-spam law violates free speech rights

The Virginia Supreme Court, in a case involving the first felony conviction of a spammer in the U.S., has ruled that the state’s anti-spamming law violates First Amendment protections for anonymous speech. Arthur Bright at the Citizen Media Law Project reports on the decision: It looks like Jeremy Jaynes, the first person in the United States to be convicted of a felony for spamming, is going to get a free pass, thanks to a decision

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