April 1, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
Law banning public worker picketing violates free speech, Missouri Supreme Court says
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court has dealt a blow to a controversial 2018 labor law restricting public employees’ right to picket.
In a unanimous decision issued Tuesday, the high court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down the picketing restriction. The statute in question requires labor agreements between unions and public bodies to prohibit any kind of picketing...
March 19, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
Freedom-of-speech restrictions could worsen coronavirus crisis: Watchdog
An independent democracy advocacy organization is warning that authoritarian regimes are using the global coronavirus outbreak to suppress freedoms of speech and restrict fundamental rights outside of the scope of public health needs.
The nonpartisan Washington-based Freedom House said in a statement Thursday that they have observed “concerning signs” of efforts to increase surveillance and downplay failing responses to contain the spread of COVID-19 that could worsen the spread of the virus...
March 11, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
How much freedom of speech can your license plate have? New suit could decide
After an honorable discharge following four oversea tours, Paul Ogilvie bought a car and wanted to combine two of his nicknames to create a personalized license plate.
He decided on “OGWOOLF,” a combination of his military nickname, using the first two letters of his last name and “woolf,” an online screen name he’s used since 1999...
March 4, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
Judge rejects Tulsi Gabbard’s ‘free speech’ lawsuit against Google
Last July, Hawaii representative and longshot Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of violating her First Amendment rights to free speech when it briefly suspended her campaign's ad account. On Wednesday, California's Central District Court rejected the suit outright...
February 21, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
Federal judge orders city to cease enforcing free speech restrictions at Millennium Park
People who want to pass out literature or evangelize in Millennium Park will now be able to do so after a federal judge has temporarily barred the city of Chicago from restricting free speech privileges there.
U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey granted a preliminary injunction Thursday that allows people to evangelize and campaign in the park...
February 21, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
How group led to ‘free speech booth’ at St. Louis airport
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (AP) - Tucked near a rarely used escalator in Terminal 1 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport is a blue sign that hangs over a nondescript stand announcing in all caps the spot’s purpose: FREE SPEECH BOOTH.
Underneath the sign on a recent morning sat Gregory Brown, 66, and Charles Ryskamp, 70, calling out to travelers and asking for donations in exchange for books about their Hare Krishna beliefs. Most passed without a second look...
February 12, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
Coronavirus: Li Wenliang’s death prompts academics to challenge Beijing on freedom of speech
Hundreds of Chinese, led by academics, have signed an online petition calling on the national legislature to protect citizens’ right to freedom of speech, amid growing public discontent over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak...
January 16, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
Wikipedia is unblocked in Turkey after more than two years as court deems ban ‘unconstitutional’
Turkey lifted its more than two-and-a-half year block on Wikipedia on Thursday, after the country’s top constitutional court ruled the ban unconstitutional. The ruling comes as a win for free speech advocates in a country whose government is widely accused of increasingly eroding citizens’ democratic rights...
January 10, 2020 | Freedom of Speech
Brazil’s top court overturns ban on Netflix’s ‘gay Jesus’ film, calls it ‘free speech’
BRASILIA, Brazil, January 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Brazil’s Supreme Court overturned a ban on Netflix’s streaming of a blasphemous film in the country that depicted Jesus as homosexual. The ban was in effect for about one day.
The president of the Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli, said yesterday that Netflix should be permitted to continue offering comedy film The First Temptation of Christ because “freedom of speech” is fundamental in a democracy...
December 4, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Sexual harassment guidelines at two Colorado colleges restrict free speech, watchdog group says
A national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting free speech on college campuses dinged two Colorado universities over their sexual harassment policies, saying the schools’ definitions of harassment include constitutionally protected speech.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, known as FIRE, on Wednesday published its annual report rating nearly 500 colleges around the country, including 14 public and private schools in Colorado...
November 20, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Art Laffer shouted out of campus lecture by protesters: They ‘clearly don’t want free speech’
In yet another attempt by young protesters to stifle free speech, students at Binghamton University shut down a lecture Tuesday by former Reagan administration economic adviser Art Laffer.
The economist, a regular guest on Fox News Channel, was invited to speak about economics by the school's College Republicans. However, as soon as Laffer approached the podium, protesters with a bullhorn jumped up on desks shouting -- with the intent to shut down Laffer's speech...
November 13, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Wisconsin board backs away from free speech restrictions
DARLINGTON, Wis. — A county board in southern Wisconsin has backed away from a plan to prosecute journalists over their reporting on a water quality study and discipline elected officials for how they handle information about the research.
The Lafayette County Board on Tuesday night put off a decision on how to release information about private wells contaminated with fecal matter.
The board shelved a resolution that said journalists would be prosecuted if they didn't quote a county news release verbatim when reporting on water quality. It also had threatened to punish officials who talked publicly without getting government permission...
October 29, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Dave Chappelle defends freedom of speech from ‘cancel culture’: ‘First Amendment is first for a reason’
Dave Chappelle spoke in favor of freedom of speech for comedians in the U.S. while accepting the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday.
The 46-year-old stand-up comedian received the accolade at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He went off-the-cuff while accepting the award onstage, USA Today reports...
October 23, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Why a lawmaker floated a bill to penalize use of a profane word (that rhymes with witch)
Massachusetts state Rep. Daniel Hunt has spent much of his week dodging rhetorical bullets. The nasty emails have poured in by the hundreds, he said. So have the nasty tweets and phone calls.
The Democrat from Boston became the target of viral outrage Monday after he introduced a bill in the state legislature that would penalize use of the word “bitch” in certain contexts. Under the proposed legislation, penalties would extend from fines of up to $200 to as much as six months in jail for repeat offenders...
October 15, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Hong Kong protesters slam LeBron James for comments about China, free speech
Furious Hong Kong protesters burned and stomped on LeBron James basketball jerseys on Tuesday as the Lakers superstar faced mounting outrage over his comments on their pro-democracy demonstrations.
Activists vented their fury by chanting profane slogans and holding up signs supporting Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, whom James on Monday called “misinformed or not really educated” for a since-deleted tweet of a meme that said “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”...
October 8, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
NBA commissioner Adam Silver: ‘We will protect our employees’ freedom of speech’
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has stood firm in defending what he called the league’s values and the personal freedom of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to support protesters in Hong Kong, despite facing vehement attacks from Chinese fans and partners.
“The long-held values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression, and Daryl Morey enjoyed that right as one of our employees,” said an emotional Silver as he met the media before the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets exhibition match in Tokyo on Tuesday evening...
October 2, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Singapore ‘fake news’ law comes into effect, critics concerned of threat to free speech
Singapore’s controversial “fake news” law took effect Wednesday despite critics warning the new rules may serve to suppress free speech by giving the government the power to determine what is false.
The law, which was passed in May, requires news and social media sites to correct content the government deems false or damaging and, in some cases, entirely remove the content...
August 25, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Blasphemy laws are quietly vanishing in liberal democracies
UNTIL LAST month, a Greek citizen could be jailed for up to two years for “publicly and maliciously blaspheming” against God, the Greek Orthodox church or “any other permitted religion”. In one of its last acts before losing an election, a leftist government quietly dropped this article as part of a revision of the criminal code...
August 21, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Federal judge rules in favor of A-State in free speech case
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The 1st Amendment and in particular, free speech, is not absolute, with rules created by state and local governments, making the exercise of free speech not absolute in certain cases, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
United States District Judge J. Leon Holmes ruled in favor of Arkansas State University on the claims of Turning Point USA at Arkansas State University and Ashlyn Hoggard, dismissing the complaint of the group and Hoggard with prejudice...
August 10, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
White House proposal would have FCC and FTC police alleged social media censorship
A draft executive order from the White House could put the Federal Communications Commission in charge of shaping how Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and other large tech companies curate what appears on their websites, according to multiple people familiar with the matter...
August 2, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
University of Florida pays $66K to settle free speech case
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The University of Florida has agreed to pay $66,000 and make some policy changes to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a conservative student organization.
Young Americans for Freedom claimed in the lawsuit filed in December that the school violated its members' free speech rights by denying equal access to student activity funds to pay for guest speakers...
July 23, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
What Gets To Be A ‘Burger’? States Restrict Labels On Plant-Based Meat
It's a case of animal versus vegetable — and the steaks are high.
A growing number of states have been passing laws saying that only foods made of animal flesh should be allowed to carry labels like "meat," "sausage," "jerky," "burger" or "hot dog."...
July 6, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Heavy police presence in Washington for “Demand Free Speech” rally
Washington — Police in Washington, D.C., were on alert Saturday for possible clashes between right-wing groups and counter-protesters holding demonstrations in the nation's capital, but the "Demand Free Speech" rally remained largely peaceful. There were no major incidents reported at the protests in Freedom Plaza, just a few blocks from the White House...
July 1, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Ricky Gervais calls out liberal activists for ‘milkshaking’ trend, limiting free speech
Controversial comedian Ricky Gervais took a shot at the recent trend of left-leaning activists throwing milkshakes at conservative politicians, pundits and protesters.A growing viral trend in the U.S. and U.K. has seen political figures get milkshakes thrown on or at them by liberal activists who disagree with the target’s views. Brexit leader Nigel Farage was the target of a milkshaking incident in May. Antifa protesters clashed with Proud Boys in Portland, Ore. over the weekend when some of the demonstrators threw milkshakes said to be mixed with quick-drying cement, raw eggs and pepper spray...
June 24, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban On Trademarking ‘Immoral,’ ‘Scandalous’ Words, Symbols
In a win for advocates of free speech, the Supreme Court has struck down a ban on trademarking words and symbols that are "immoral" or "scandalous." The 6-3 decision is also a victory for those seeking trademark protection for profane and even racist brand names.The case was brought by clothing designer Erik Brunetti, who sought to trademark the phrase FUCT. The decision paves the way for him to get his brand trademarked...
June 10, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Alabama Prohibits “Free Speech Zones” at Universities
Alabama's public colleges and universities will be required to adopt speech policies that allow students to freely express their thoughts throughout the campus under a new law signed by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey last week.Under the measure, universities are prohibited from establishing "free speech zones," or designated areas where students are allowed to express their opinions about controversial issues. Such demonstrations often must be approved by campus officials ahead of time...
May 31, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Alabama Lawmakers Pass Free Speech Bill, Bar Campuses From Creating ‘Free Speech Zones’
Alabama legislators passed a bill that set expectations and restrictions for how college campuses handle free speech.The passing of the bill came about two months after President Donald Trump invited several students who claimed they were censored at their campuses to the White House. After hearing their stories, Trump signed an executive order requiring colleges to promote free speech or risk losing federal research funds...
May 28, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Supreme Court limits free speech claim in arrests
Washington (CNN) The Supreme Court on Tuesday said an individual cannot make a claim that he was arrested in retaliation for exercising his free speech if police had probable cause for his arrest.The ruling is a victory for law enforcement, which argued in favor of a bright line rule that officers could follow that would also defeat possible frivolous claims from defendants objecting to their arrest...
May 15, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
New Zealand’s Ardern Calls On Social Media Companies To Stem Terrorist Content
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she was one of many who saw horrifying footage of the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch when the video of it started auto-playing in her social media feed. In the wake of the violence in which 51 people were killed, New Zealand immediately imposed new gun control measures and introduced legislation that would ban most semi-automatic firearms...
May 8, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Florida man plans free speech fight after arrest over ‘obscene’ truck sticker
MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man who was jailed after refusing to remove what authorities called an obscene sticker from his vehicle's window said Tuesday that he is fighting the charges and will defend his constitutional right to free speech.Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was arrested Sunday and charged with misdemeanor counts of violating Florida's obscenity law and resisting an officer without violence, a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report said...
April 24, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Fired state worker sues Kentucky governor over free speech
FRANKFORT, Ky. — An ex-state employee is suing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, claiming she was fired due to her ties to a group that supported teacher sickouts that shut down school districts to protest GOP-backed legislation.The federal suit filed Wednesday alleges Charissa “Chris” Cooke’s First Amendment rights were violated...
April 9, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Suit targets California’s ban on ‘Come on You Whites’ plate
LOS ANGELES — A soccer fan says in a lawsuit that the California Department of Motor Vehicles violated his First Amendment rights by rejecting a personalized license plate he said would celebrate his favorite team, but which the DMV determined might be deemed offensive.Jon Kotler applied for a plate that would read “COYW,” an acronym of the slogan “Come on You Whites” used by supporters of London-based Fulham Football Club, according to the federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Fulham players wear white jerseys...
March 31, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg calls for more government regulations in op-ed
It's rare that CEOs will call for more regulations from the government instead of fewer, but Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg admitted the social media giant could use some more oversight.Zuckerberg openly lobbied for regulation in four areas in a new opinion piece for The Washington Post published Saturday...
March 27, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Kim Reynolds signs bill requiring Iowa universities to respect ‘free speech’ on campus
Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday signed a bill requiring state universities and community colleges to adopt policies respecting "free speech" on campus, a controversial measure that Democrats said could allow discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community."I am proud to sign this legislation into law which protects free speech on college campuses," Reynolds said in a news release. "Our public universities and community colleges should always be places where ideas can be debated, built upon, and creative thoughts flourish without limits."...
March 21, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Trump to Sign Executive Order Protecting Campus Free Speech
President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order Thursday afternoon that would withhold federal funding from public and private colleges and universities that do not protect free speech on campuses.As explained by a White House senior official, in order to qualify for federal research dollars, public colleges and universities would have to certify that they are complying with the First Amendment, and private colleges and universities would have to certify that they are in compliance with their own policies...
March 18, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Bill Insures Freedom Of Speech On Campus
Public postsecondary institutions in Kentucky would be required to adopt freedom of speech policies for students and faculty under legislation passed by the General Assembly. The measure was sent on to the governor for his signature. Senator Will Schroder of Wilder says it provides free expression in most open areas on campus. “The Supreme Court has said that open areas to the public should be open for free speech to everyone, so students should be allowed, as long as they’re not interfering with classes or the learning environment...
March 11, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Campus free speech bill opens debate on discrimination
DES MOINES, Iowa —
Iowa lawmakers advanced a bill Monday that some say would increase freedom of speech at the state’s colleges and universities.
The free speech on campus bill allows all student groups, regardless of their beliefs, access to all benefits and privileges made available to student organizations...
March 5, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Trump vows executive order to protect campus free speech, but critics, including U. of C. president, call it a dangerous move
President Donald Trump’s proposed executive order to protect free speech on college campuses follows a growing chorus of complaints from conservatives that the nation’s universities are attempting to silence their voices when they’re heckled, disinvited or their presence on campus is otherwise discouraged.
Critics — including University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer, a frequent champion of free speech — counter that it would give federal officials dangerous authority to interfere in campus speech issues...
February 26, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Kinzinger’s office says border remarks are freedom of speech
MADISON, Wis. — A spokeswoman for Congressman Adam Kinzinger says he shouldn’t face discipline for criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ decision to withdraw troops from the U.S. southern border. Kinzinger, R-Channahon, is a pilot and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He ripped Evers Monday on Twitter and on Fox News for ordering Wisconsin troops to pull out of Arizona...
February 18, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Free speech policy stirs controversy at University of Michigan
University of Michigan student Sydney Whack remembers the frustration she and other African-American students felt a year ago when the name tag outside the dorm room of one of her friends was vandalized with the N-word.
At the time, UM officials said the resident adviser handled the incident properly in West Quad by reporting it to university housing and diversity staff. In addition, community meetings were held with residents...
February 12, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Organization names KU as one of the worst universities for free speech, cites removal of flag art, social media policy
The removal of an art installation featuring a modified American flag has made the University of Kansas one of the worst colleges or universities in the country for protecting the freedom of speech, according to a national advocacy organization.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, also known as FIRE, on Tuesday put KU on its list of 10 institutions of higher learning that it says are the worst at protecting rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment...
February 6, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
New York fast-food workers’ payroll law survives free speech challenge
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a restaurant industry lawsuit challenging a New York City law requiring fast-food employers to send money that workers want deducted from their paychecks to nonprofits, including groups they might oppose...
February 5, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
CA Appeals Court Rules Soda Health Warning Label Violates Free Speech
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Jan. 31 to block San Francisco's Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warning Ordinance, requiring health warnings on advertisements for soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. The American Beverage Association and other retail groups had sued to block the ordinance...
January 25, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Ricky Gervais says freedom of speech is getting lost, slams political correctness on Twitter
Comedian Ricky Gervais blasted political correctness and chastised his critics for painting him with a broad brush for advocating for what he calls "freedom of speech."
The 57-year-old creator of the U.K. version of “The Office” took to Twitter Wednesday to sound off on some left-leaning people who were quick to denounce him after controversial comments he made in the past...
January 21, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Federal Judge Recognizes Free Speech for Cannabis Producer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Jan. 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time in history, a Federal Court order has recognized the First Amendment protections guaranteed to producers of medical cannabis.
The 37-page ruling comes after Ultra Health, New Mexico’s #1 Cannabis Company, filed a complaint against New Mexico State Fair officials for unconstitutional attempts to limit Ultra Health’s rights to display a cannabis educational booth at the 2017 State Fair...
January 9, 2019 | Freedom of Speech
Rubio, Tlaib trade barbs over Israel, free speech
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) got into a heated exchange with freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) over freedom of speech and a proposed bill to protect Israel from boycotts.
Rubio introduced a bill this week with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that seeks to counter the "boycott, divestment, sanctions" (BDS) movement by allowing state and local government to boycott U.S. companies who engage in boycotts of Israel...
December 4, 2018 | Freedom of Speech
Man goes to light festival, tells kids there is no Santa
A Florida man may be in trouble with a bunch of parents after telling their children there is no Santa Claus…
December 4, 2018 | Freedom of Speech
Foundation wins campus free speech settlement against UC Berkeley
The Young America’s Foundation has won a legal battle, forcing a major college campus to give conservative speakers the same freedoms they give to other speakers…
November 26, 2018 | Freedom of Speech
Justices weigh free-speech case involving Alaska’s ‘Arctic Man’ event
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday waded into a freedom of speech case resulting from an arrest at Arctic Man, a snowmobile and ski-race event that draws thousands to a remote campsite in Alaska…
November 26, 2018 | Freedom of Speech
Wisconsin students will not be punished for apparent Nazi salute photo
A Wisconsin school district will not punish students who were photographed last spring while appearing to give the Nazi salute, a district official said…
November 13, 2018 | Freedom of Speech
Conservative Ben Shapiro touts free speech at Ohio State, attracts protesters
Former Breitbart editor and conservative media personality Ben Shapiro told a crowd at Ohio State on Tuesday night that government exists only to protect life, liberty and property, not to provide services such as housing and health care...
November 5, 2018 | Freedom of Speech
Court rejects free speech claims of convicted stalker
A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of a man found guilty of stalking a New Hampshire teenager…
October 29, 2018 | Freedom of Speech
Calling Muhammad paedophile ‘not protected by free speech’
A European court has upheld the blasphemy conviction of an Austrian woman who called the Prophet Muhammad a paedophile…
- Tinker v. Des Moines Viewing Guide
- Tinker v. Des Moines Viewing Guide Answer Key
- Freedom of Speech: General
- Freedom of Speech: Commercial
- Freedom of Speech: Campaign Finance
- Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940)
- Bethel v. Fraser (1986)
- Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
- Champions of Freedom – The Founders
- Snowden and the NSA
- Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
- F.E.C. v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2007)
- Texas v. Johnson (1989)
- Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982)
- Skokie and Brandenburg
- College Bill of Rights
- Clement Laird Vallandigham: Resounding Silence
- Free Speech, Banned Books, and Civil Discourse
- WikiLeaks: Should the U.S. Charge Assange with Espionage?
- Free Speech Versus Privacy: Snyder v. Phelps (2011)
- The Stolen Valor Act and False Speech
- Free Speech or “Safe” Speech?