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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Cheering for a student’s right to speak out | Medium

  Fourteen-year-old Brandi Levy characterized her somewhat crude snap as venting. Perhaps so, but according to the Supreme Court, her snap was also constitutionally significant speech, worthy of the protection offered by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In 2017, Levy was a freshman in high school who had earned a spot on the junior varsity…

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Unpacking Trumps lawsuit against social media giants: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube | Medium

How can former President Trump, through his attorneys, argue that even though Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are private (albeit publicly traded) companies, they none-the-less must abide by the First Amendment? Mr. Trump’s frames his class action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as a clarion call for First Amendment protection against censorship. Censorship is an…

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