Sarah Palin’s Duplicity and the Actual Malice Standard | Medium

Malice is intentional. It is designed to injure. Actual malice, a misnomer if ever there was one, is a constitutional standard applied in defamation actions that does not include the intent to cause harm. Sarah Palin is suing the New York Times for defamation, specifically libel, which is the written form of defamation; slander is the verbal…

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Censorship of the News in the News | Medium

Project Veritas has largely won the first two rounds in a lawsuit against the New York Times that goes to the very heart of our First Amendment freedoms of speech and press. Project Veritas promotes itself as a “non-profit journalism enterprise …[that] investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private…

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Bear Spray and Speech | Medium

Certainly, those who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021, had something to say. The exact content of their messages might have differed: some wanted to express their (mistaken) belief that the presidential election was fraudulent, others were simply angry that Donald Trump lost the election, and some were opportunists who used the false flag…

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The Politics of Defamation | Medium

Families tyrannized by Alex Jones, far-right radio show host and founder of Infowars, recently won a libel suit against him. The families are seeking monetary compensation for Jones’ false claims that the massacre of children and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 was a hoax. (Jones has asserted his intent to appeal the…

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A Group of School Board Threats and the First Amendment | Medium

Let’s start here: since the middle of the last century, the constitutionally accepted default option is to protect speech. And one more thing, the First Amendment does not provide any guidelines for civility. Boisterous, angry, offensive speech is shielded from silence by the power of the First Amendment. It provides cover for us to annoy…

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Freedom Speaks Over the Howl of Anti-Protest Legislation | Medium

Since 2017, 36 states have enacted legislation that restricts the right to protest on public streets and rights of way. Such legislation has taken on new life in the aftermath of growing civil rights protests and current Covid-19 vaccination mandates. However, such bills often wrongly conflate the right to engage in sometimes hyperbolic, discordant, or anger-inducing speech with conduct…

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Are Mask Mandates a First Amendment Issue? | Medium

The politics of mask wearing appears to be adding to the growing celebrity of the First Amendment. Is the choice to wear a mask a statement of patriotism, or more cynically, is it virtue signaling? More plainly, in terms of the First Amendment, is wearing a mask an element of communication or is it behavior with little…

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Trump once demanded we “open up” libel laws — it seems some Justices on the Supreme Court agree | Medium

In the current media environment, anyone can gain access to a keyboard and an internet connection and state their claim. Debate in the digital age is large and robust. It is also often dishonest and manipulative. Conspiracy theories run rampant, and words are weaponized, particularly against the most visible members of our population: public officials…

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