Three Midwestern states scored best in the nation in analysis of laws restricting speech about government. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa outranked every other state by wide margins.
That’s the conclusion of a report issued by the Institute for Free Speech, a national nonprofit research facility that focuses on First Amendment rights. Wisconsin’s score of 86% out of a possible 100% was followed by Michigan (77%) and Iowa (75%). Read More
National and state teachers’ unions condemned the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday that held a Maine tuition assistance program that bars families from using the taxpayer funds for religious schools is in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
Union officials denounced the ruling as one that “attacks public schools,” “erodes democracy,” “harms students,” and undermines “the separation of church and state.” Read More
In a major decision for religious freedom and school choice, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a Maine law that barred taxpayer tuition assistance funds from families choosing religious schools.
The Court ruled, 6-3, in Carson v. Makin, the Maine law that governs its tuition program’s exclusion of religious schools, while accepting other private schools, is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and is, therefore, unconstitutional. Read More
The DC Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled in favor of pro-life advocates in the nation’s capital in a lawsuit brought by a public charter school that objected to the group’s efforts to stop a Planned Parenthood “abortion mega-facility” from opening next door to the school.
Two Rivers Public Charter School and its board of trustees brought a lawsuit in December 2015 that alleged longtime pro-life activist Ruby Nicdao engaged in harassment and intimidation of students in her campaign to educate parents and the greater community about the consequences of Planned Parenthood’s plans to erect an “abortion mega-facility” next door to the children’s school, a press release from Thomas More Society explained. Read More
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the city of Boston was in violation of the First Amendment over its attempt to ban the Christian flag.
Axios reports that the opinion was written by outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer. In the opinion, Breyer states that the city government of Boston “violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment” by forbidding a Christian organization from flying the Christian flag in front of city hall, which Breyer said constituted discrimination “based on religious viewpoints.” Read More
In 2018, Congress unanimously passed legislation, H.R. 3359, that authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to disseminate information to the private sector including Big Tech social media companies in a bid to combat disinformation by potential foreign and domestic terrorists.
According to the agency’s website, CISA says it “rout[es] disinformation concerns” to “appropriate social media platforms”: “The [Mis, Dis, Malinformation] MDM team serves as a switchboard for routing disinformation concerns to appropriate social media platforms and law enforcement.” Read More
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that the city of Boston violated the U.S. Constitution when it refused to allow a local organization to fly a Christian flag in front of City Hall.
The nine justices said the city has established a public forum outside of City Hall, and invited all organizations to use the flagpole in front of the building to commemorate events. Not allowing the Christian flag to be flown denied the group the same rights as those afforded to all others and was a violation of free speech, said the court. Read More
Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, covered the oral arguments heard on April 25, 2022, by Supreme Court justices in the Kennedy v. Bremerton School District case. Read More
When the far-right website Infowars was banned by all the major tech platforms in 2018, mainstream media outlets didn’t come to the defense of founder Alex Jones, whom they described as a conspiracy theorist.
Two years later, the same outlets had a similar non-response when Big Tech imposed another media ban — this one on the New York Post, one of America’s oldest and most well-established newspapers. Read More
Sunday will mark the 15th annual celebration of Easter on Chicago’s Daley Plaza – government property – including a sunrise service on Easter Sunday itself, to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This sacred observance of Easter begins at Daley Plaza on Holy Thursday, 7:30 p.m. CDT, when a giant 19-foot-high cross is erected at 50 West Washington Street. Read More
The government’s sustained pressure on social media platforms to censor and report purported COVID-19 misinformation amounts to “state action” that violates the First Amendment, according to a lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of three Twitter users.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a frequent litigant against COVID-related administrative action, is representing theoretical cognitive scientist Mark Changizi, lawyer Michael Senger and stay-at-home father Daniel Kotzin. Read More
Catholic Charities West Michigan will remain open after state officials agreed under court order to pay the nonprofit’s attorney’s fees and acknowledged that taking actions against the charity for its beliefs would violate the First Amendment.
Catholic Charities prioritizes placing children up for adoption or in foster care with a married mother and father. The group filed a lawsuit with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) after Michigan officials gave the nonprofit the ultimatum to either close its adoption and foster care ministry or change its policy prioritizing a married mother and father to receive a child. Read More
Public university officials can be held personally liable for dumping an adjunct professor based on his anonymous criticism of the concept of microaggressions, a federal court has concluded.
University of North Texas officials should have known that math professor Nathaniel Hiers’ speech “touched on a matter of public concern and that discontinuing his employment because of his speech violated the First Amendment,” U.S. District Judge Sean Jordan wrote in a 69-page memorandum and order Friday. Read More
It was an allegation that dogged Donald Trump for three years: a claim the Republican nominee-turned-president had a secret backdoor communications channel with the Kremlin. Repeated endlessly by the liberal media, the allegation was never true.
Now, Special Counsel John Durham is raising the tantalizing specter the FBI might never have investigated the claim during the height of the 2016 presidential election if the man who brought it to the bureau — Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann — had told the truth about its origins. Read More
In the election of 2016, Donald Trump appealed to citizenship, sovereignty, and borders. This was a direct entreaty to the people as the ultimate source of sovereign authority, bypassing the ruling-class elites that dominate the media and the universities; his appeal also ignored political experts, pollsters, and government bureaucracy. In the postmodern world, the nation-state is under attack everywhere as the source of all evil, the cause of war, selfishness, racism, white privilege, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and all the other irrational phobias that make up the universe of political correctness. The idea of the nation-state itself is said to be irrational and arbitrary.
All of this overwrought criticism of nationalism and the nation-state overlooks a very significant point developed in my new book, The United States in Crisis: Citizenship, Immigration, and the Nation State: the nation-state is the only form of political organization that can sustain constitutional government and the rule of law.
No empire has ever been a constitutional democracy or republic, nor will constitutional government exist in global government. If, as is widely alleged, the dialectic of History is inevitably tending toward global governance and universal citizenship, then it is also tending toward tyranny. Read More
Chaos. Disruption. Uncertainty.
The Chicago Teachers Union provides a real-world example of what happens when a government union has too much power.
CTU has gone on strike three times in three school years. In the latest work stoppage, over 330,000 schoolchildren missed five days of school. Parents were notified of the walkout after 11 p.m. on a school night, leaving them just hours to develop a back-up plan after the union decided not to show up. Read More
The U.S. Capitol Police is running background checks and examining the social media histories of people meeting with lawmakers, Politico reported Monday.
Following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, the Capitol Police adopted a new policy to dig into the social media feeds of individuals meeting members of Congress, Politico reported, citing three people familiar with the matter as well as internal Capitol Police documents and communications. Targets of the surveillance included congressional staffers as well as lawmakers’ constituents, donors and associates.
Julie Farnam, acting director of intelligence for the Capitol Police and former Department of Homeland Security official, directed analysts to run “background checks” on donors and associates of lawmakers, including instructions to “list and search all political opponents to see if they or their followers intend to attend or disrupt the event,” according to documents reviewed by Politico. Read More
It’s no secret that there is an obsession with race among our nation’s colleges.
On every campus, there seems to be another multicultural center for BIPOC students, or a class on how to be woke, or a bias response team.
And while the country is finally waking up to just how far left American society has drifted recently, such politics have been the norm on college campuses for years. Read More
Stephen K. Bannon welcomed Conservative attorney, legal scholar, and professor of law John Eastman on Monday’s War Room: Pandemic to explain his attorney’s letter to Congress citing the illegitimacy of his subpoena regarding the January 6 committee hearings. Bannon: I’m going to start with John Eastman. God do I… Read More
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down Monday, only to be replaced by a new chief who immediately found himself in hot water for, of all things, an inflammatory tweet.
“‘If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists,'” Twitter’s new CEO Parag Agrawal said in 2010 tweet. Read More
The Illinois Association of School Boards voted Thursday to end its membership with the National School Boards Association after the national group sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal intervention to investigate unruly parents who protest at local meetings.
“The decision follows previous attempts by IASB to initiate changes to the governance structure, transparency, and financial oversight of the national association,” a news release from IASB says. “IASB suspended payment of dues to NSBA for 2021-2022 but continued to work to try to bring about needed changes.” Read More
Joe Biden is systematically eliminating the religious freedom protections that Donald Trump established. The latest example of Biden’s secularist program comes from his Labor Department, which is planning to undo Trump’s policy of defending the religious freedom of federal contractors.
Trump’s Labor Department protected federal contractors who “hold themselves out to the public as carrying out a religious purpose.”
“Religious organizations should not have to fear that acceptance of a federal contract or subcontract will require them to abandon their religious character or identity,” said Trump’s Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. Read More
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday faced a litany of hard-edged Senate questions about agreeing to allow federal law enforcement to investigate alleged incidents of outspoken parents at school board meetings.
Garland, in a memo, agreed to responded to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking that the FBI, Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate potential acts of domestic terrorism at the meetings. Parents across the nation have been voicing their concerns about the curricula being taught to their children, in addition to instances like the one currently playing out in northern Virginia, in which there was an apparent coverup of the sexual assault of a female student in a bathroom. Read More
Many of our once revered and most hallowed institutions are failing us. To mention only the most significant ones: our top-ranking military echelon, the leadership of our federal investigatory and intelligence agencies, the government medical establishment—and of course the universities.
For too long American higher education’s reputation of global academic superiority has rested mostly on the sciences, mathematics, physics, technology, medicine, and engineering—in other words, not because of the humanities and social sciences, but despite them. The humanities have become too often anti-humanistic. And the social sciences are deductively anti-scientific. Both quasi-religious woke disciplines have eroded confidence in colleges and universities, infected even the STEM disciplines and professional schools, and torn apart the civic unity of the United States. Indeed, much of the current Jacobin revolution was birthed and fueled by American universities, despite their manifest hypocrisies and derelictions. Read More
A Massachusetts school district is racially segregating students and threatening to punish them for subjectively “offensive” statements they make, violating their civil and constitutional rights at both the state and federal level, according to a new lawsuit seeking permanent injunctions.
Parents Defending Education is challenging the “affinity groups” and associated spaces created by Wellesley Public Schools’ diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plan for 2020-2025. Read More
The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma over a recently-signed law that forbids the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools, according to CNN.
The lawsuit represents a group of teachers and students who support CRT, and is supported by the ACLU, the Oklahoma NAACP, the American Indian Movement (AIM), and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The suit claims that the law infringes on the rights of freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Read More
A national, parent-led organization filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging policies at Wellesley Public Schools, which includes segregated “affinity groups” and a “bias reporting” program.
Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed the complaint against Wellesley Public Schools (WPS) in a Massachusetts federal court “alleging that the district has systemically and repeatedly violated students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Massachusetts Students’ Freedom of Expression Law through the use of segregated ‘affinity groups’ and an onerous speech code featuring a ‘bias reporting’ program,” according to the press release. Read More
Sixteen minutes after learning that a University of Minnesota student group booked conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to speak at its main campus in Minneapolis, then-president Eric Kaler declared, “I do not want this in the middle of campus.”
All he knew at that point, four months before the February 2018 event, was that Shapiro was “a right wing speaker and he made some appearances on other campuses.”
Citing security needs, the university ended up putting Shapiro in a venue on its St. Paul campus, far from student housing. Demand far exceeded capacity, and a regent accused the university of passing over a larger venue on the main campus that was easier to secure. Read More
A student at Central Michigan University boasted on social media about defacing his conservative classmates’ chalk drawings.
Anthony James — operating under the username “brownskinqueer” on Twitter — declared on September 29 that he spent forty-five minutes erasing “copaganda, racist, and pro-life bullshit” from a sidewalk at Central Michigan University. Read More
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Federal District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney’s preliminary injunction, which allows 16 Western Michigan University (WMU) athletes to continue playing intercollegiate sports despite refusing a Covid-19 vaccine shot.
Appellate Judges Ralph B. Guy, Jr., David W. McKeague, and Chad A. Readler issued their opinion confirming WMU violated the athletes’ First Amendment rights by denying their requests for a religious exemption from the mandate. This decision is now binding precedent in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“The University put plaintiffs to the choice: get vaccinated or stop fully participating in intercollegiate sports,” the opinion says. “The University did not dispute that taking the vaccine would violate plaintiffs’ ‘sincerely held Christian beliefs.’ Yet refusing the vaccine prevents plaintiffs from participating in college sports, as they are otherwise qualified (and likely were recruited) to do. By conditioning the privilege of playing sports on plaintiffs’ willingness to abandon their sincere religious beliefs, the University burdened their free exercise rights.” Read More
President Joe Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland’s memo directing the FBI to investigate parents who speak out at school board meetings has shocked the nation.
The Biden administration has gone into full attack mode against the First Amendment right to petition the government as Attorney General Merrick Garland has declared that parents opposing Critical Race Theory before their local school boards should be treated as terrorists under the Patriot Act. Read More
Parents who protest public school policies on race, gender and COVID-19 are crying foul after Attorney General Merrick Garland promised to “discourage” and prosecute “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school boards, administrators, teachers and staff.
His “mobilization of [the] FBI against parents is consistent with the complete weaponization of the federal government against ideological opponents,” Rhode Island mother Nicole Solas, who is waging a public records battle with her school district over race-related curriculum, told Just the News. Read More
Religious, athletic and medical professionals in North America are facing increasing pressure to not only get vaccinated against COVID-19, but also censor their concerns to keep getting paid.
The U.S. Coast Guard developed an accusatory script for chaplains to use when quizzing service members on their requests for religious exemptions from vaccines. Read More
A Colorado web designer asked the Supreme Court to take up her case challenging a state law forcing her to publish websites with messages counter to her religious beliefs.
Lorie Smith filed the petition with the Supreme Court on Friday, arguing a lower court ruling that upheld the Colorado law was wrongly decided, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the firm representing her, announced. The law compelled Smith’s speech in violation of her First Amendment rights by forcing her business 303 Creative to produce content against her beliefs, she said.
“The government shouldn’t weaponize the law to force a web designer to speak messages that violate her belief,” ADF General Counsel Kristen Waggoner said during a press call before filing the petition. “This case involves quintessential free speech and artistic freedom, which the 10th circuit astonishingly and dangerously cast aside here.” Read More
A school board in Oregon is receiving backlash following its recent ban on educators displaying Black Lives Matter signs and gay pride symbols.
Newberg, which is situated just outside of Portland, now finds itself the site of the latest skirmish in a pitched struggle between traditional and woke approaches to education being waged in school systems across the country. Read More
The Michigan GOP and Chair Ron Weiser are suing Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, challenging $3.4 million of campaign donations to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that they say is illegal.
A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan aims to force Benson to apply Michigan election law, compliant with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, to equally enforce contribution limits on all candidates. Whitmer raised funds over Michigan’s $7,150 contribution limit under the loophole of the recall exception, despite no apparent active recall efforts. Read More
The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an order last week demanding that immigration judges no longer use the term “alien” when referring to illegal aliens in court or in their written opinions, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The order, first issued on July 23rd, came from a DOJ official named Jean King. King’s order applies to all 539 immigration judges in the country, and orders them to instead use more politically correct terms, such as “respondent, applicant, petitioner, beneficiary, migrant, noncitizen, or non-U.S. citizen.” “Alien” has been the correct terminology for anyone who enters the United States illegally ever since the Immigration and Nationality Act, which defines an alien as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.”
In the order, King admitted that the DOJ decision was influenced in part by the mainstream media, citing the fact that the Associated Press first decided back in 2013 to drop the use of the term “illegal immigrant,” which led to a left-wing trend to replace the word “illegal” with “undocumented.” Since taking office in January, Biden has taken steps to remove the use of the phrases “alien” and “illegal immigrant” through several executive orders. Some radical Democrats, including Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), have advocated for passing a law to ban the use of such phrases. And in New York City, a recent law was passed to make it a crime to use the phrases “illegal” and “illegal alien.” Read More
For Big Tech billionaires, these are the best of times, and the worst of times.
Why the best? Because the long arm of social media and online commerce has never reached further and deeper into Americans’ culture, spending habits, lifestyles, and worldview. Likewise, the net worth of these billionaires has risen to undreamed-of heights. COVID was, for tech barons, a blessing in disguise: it trapped Americans indoors, where they could do little else but browse the web, consume digital entertainment, and spend their stimulus dollars on imported Chinese doohickeys. Even as the dreaded virus has retreated, Big Tech has successfully locked in its gains.
Why the worst of times, though? The very rise of Big Tech has portended greater scrutiny. The debasement of Big Tech’s competitors and natural enemies—from brick-and-mortar stores to Trump supporters—has ensured that the drumbeat of criticism of social media companies and online retailers has never been more stridently percussive. Read More
The founder of CloutHub, a free speech social media network, has responded to former President Donald J. Trump’s class action lawsuit against several Silicon Valley titans, which the forty-fifth president announced Wednesday.
“I am pleased that President Trump is fighting back against Big Tech corporations after enduring months of blatant injustices,” Jeff Brain said in press release. “His lawsuit is based on the infringement of his fundamental free speech rights that powerful companies such as Facebook and Twitter imposed based on their own political bias; a bias that has no place with such important keepers of our national public square online.” Read More
The 45th President of the United States Donald Trump held a press conference Wednesday to announce his filing of a class action lawsuit against the big tech giants of Facebook, Google and Twitter and their CEOs for violations of the First Amendment.
“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important and beautiful, I think, development for our freedom and our freedom of speech. And, that goes for all Americans.” Read More
In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down a California requirement, pushed by Vice President Kamala Harris while she was Attorney General, that would force the disclosure of donations to various non-profits.
In an opinion siding with the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and Americans For Prosperity (AFP), who both sued the state, Chief Justice John Roberts stated, “The government may regulate in the First Amendment area only with narrow specificity, and compelled disclosure regimes are no exception.” Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of free speech rights for students outside of the classroom in a decision Wednesday.
The court sided with former Mahanoy Area High School student and cheerleader Brandi Levy in the case, formally known as Mahanoy Area School District v B.L., with a 8-1 decision in her favor. Mahanoy Area High School is located in Pennsylvania.
Levy, upset that she had not made her school’s varsity cheer team, posted on the social media site Snapchat a simple message with explicit language expressing her frustration. Read More
A high school valedictorian in Michigan is being prohibited by the school from mentioning her Christian faith in her graduation speech, the Daily Caller reports.
The student, Elizabeth Turner, is the valedictorian of Hillsdale High School in Hillsdale, Michigan. Upon submitting the draft of her speech to the school, the speech was returned to her with several passages censored due to her mentioning Jesus Christ and her Christian faith. The justification given by the school’s principal, Amy Goldsmith, was that discussing Christianity was “not appropriate” and would not be “representing the school.”
“You are representing the school in your speech, not using the podium as your public forum,” Goldsmith said in her comments on the Google Doc version of the speech. “We need to be mindful about the inclusion of religious aspects. These are your strong beliefs, but they are not appropriate for a speech in a public school setting.” Read More
Outside Christie’s home in upstate New York, nestled beneath a tree near her driveway, sits a small rock painted with a Confederate flag that could cost her the custody of her little girl.
In a row between parents identified only as Christie and Isaiah, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court’s Third Department unanimously allowed the pair to retain joint custody of their biracial child but ordered the mother to remove the rebel rock by June 1. Failing that, the court ruled the rock’s “continued presence shall constitute a change in circumstances.”
Put plainly, the bench threatened to revisit parents’ custody agreement and warned: “Family Court shall factor this into any future best interests analysis.” Read More
Many schools promote racial justice slogans such as Black Lives Matter. But one district in Minnesota has gone a step further, adopting several slogans as uniquely privileged “official government speech” tacitly exempt from challenge by dissenting opinion ordinarily protected under the First Amendment.
Rochester Public Schools board members unanimously approved a sweeping resolution that authorizes the superintendent to promote the slogans Black Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter, Indigenous Lives Matter, All Are Welcome Here, and Stop Asian Hate.
The official is directed to take all actions “that further the objectives” of the resolution, including by approving “messaging, signage, and visuals” for the slogans. The district also adopted the six-color “pride flag” as government speech to support “a message of inclusion” within schools. Read More
The Pentagon’s views on political violence following the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Capitol riots are not biased despite rank and file concerns, a Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman said.
Service members have expressed concerns regarding DoD’s different responses to the political turmoil in the summer of 2020 and the Capitol riot, believing that the Pentagon should take a balanced view on violence in both cases, according to McClatchy. A DoD spokesman said judgements are not based on the causes of political violence when providing military assistance to states and the federal government.
“If a request for assistance is received from state or federal authorities, the Department of Defense reviews it, and considers what support it can provide that would meet the requirements of the request,” Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Chris Mitchell at DoD, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “In doing so, the Department does not make distinctions or judgements about the events that led to the request.” Read More
Two veteran school bus drivers from a West Virginia school district have filed a civil lawsuit for suspensions related to their attendance at the January 6 Washington, DC protest.
Tina Renner and Pamela McDonald were suspended by Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson after receiving word the drivers had “posted threatening and inflammatory posts on their Facebook pages, had been present at the Electoral protest march on Wednesday that erupted in violence, and had violated […] leave policy.” Read More
Big Tech’s coordinated silencing of conservative voices, including President Trump’s, signals a crossing of the Rubicon in the debate over government involvement to protect free speech.
Even conservatives like me, who have long argued that small-business competition is the best way to moderate the tech oligarchs’ power, recognize that government may now have an interest in making some large companies, such as basic web-hosting platforms, utilities akin to AT&T. Read More
Academics, journalists and First Amendment lawyers are rallying behind New York University researchers in a showdown with Facebook over its demand that they halt the collection of data showing who is being micro-targeted by political ads on the world’s dominant social media platform.
The researchers say the disputed tool is vital to understanding how Facebook has been used as a conduit for disinformation and manipulation. Read More
The Washington Free Beacon reports, a federal court ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay the NRA’s lawyer fees of approximately $150,000, just months after he ruled a city ordinance violated the gun-rights group’s First Amendment rights.
The City of Los Angeles tried to penalize any contractor with ties to the NRA. The NRA sued over the ordinance and federal district court judge Stephen Wilson ruled it was an unconstitutional violation of the NRA’s First Amendment rights. The city eventually repealed it and on Tuesday, the judge ordered city officials to pay the NRA’s attorney fees totaling about $150,000. Read More