State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) said Friday that she has been banned from posting to her public Facebook page for 30 days, with an additional ban on posting live video for another 30 days. In addition to the ban, Facebook removed some of her posts, including a video showing a woman being shot in the U.S. Capitol and flagged as false Chase’s claims of Antifa involvement in the Wednesday Capitol riot.Read More
The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request made by nine Ohio parochial schools to stop a resolution issued by the Toledo-Lucas County Department of Health that shut down in-person learning in the plaintiff schools.
The court issued a temporary order halting the health department from enforcing the resolution in the schools based on the likelihood the order violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.Read More
On New Years Eve, Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) struck a deal with leaders of the Virginia General Assembly that will provide space for constituents to meet with legislators near the Capitol grounds even though the Pocahontas Building and Capitol Building remain closed to outsiders due to COVID-19.
DeSteph said the out-of-court settlement was a win. “This will allow citizens, subject matter experts, and other professional staff to meet face-to-face with legislators during the upcoming regular session. This is a huge victory for the First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians,” the press release states.Read More
Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Director’s Second Amended Order that All Persons Stay at Home During Specified Hours Unless Engaged in Work or Essential Activity.
Sources inside the state government told The Star in November that the original curfew order came as a reaction to significant backlash from Ohioans as information leaked that Governor DeWine was going to push for another shutdown.
One source said, “people in the room when the decision was made agreed that a curfew wouldn’t do anything significant,” but would be an acceptable compromise the DeWine team would accept.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals backing three Ohio Christian Schools and a community organization who brought a lawsuit against the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. The department issued an order barring in-person learning for all students in grades 7-12 from December 4 to January 11.
Monclova Christian Academy, Emmanuel Christian, St John’s Jesuit and Citizens for Community Values (CCV) are the plaintiffs. The Court demanded a response from Toledo-Lucas County Health Department on Tuesday, December 29.Read More
When Ohio college students return to campus after the holidays, they will be able to speak their mind freely.
Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Forming Open and Robust University Minds Act that protects individuals’ First Amendment rights and prohibits “free speech zones” on public college and university campuses in the state.Read More
State Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) and attorney Tim Anderson filed a petition for injunction against Democratic legislators to preserve constituents’ in-person access to General Assembly members. State Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), Chair of Senate Rules, and Speaker Eileen Filler Corn (D-Fairfax) decided to close the Pocahontas building to the public, which hosts office appointments for both the House of Delegates and State Senate.
“The closure of the legislative office building to the public is contrary to the explicit historical purpose of the building to allow the public access to its elected legislative members, especially during the General Assembly Session,” read the lawsuit. “Most importantly, the right to assemble and address lawmakers at the state and federal levels is fundamentally protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution: a. ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'”Read More
The Ohio House of Representatives made voices on the state’s college campus a little louder this week, if Gov. Mike DeWine approves.
The House passed the “Forming Open and Robust University Minds Act,” which would prevent colleges and universities from limiting political speech on campuses or moving that speech into “free speech zones.”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
Loudoun County School Board voted this week to revise their “Professional Conduct” policy governing employee speech off of school property. Up until the latest meeting, members recommended to approve and accept the policy.
Apparently, public outcry from teachers unions and community members led to this decision.
Free speech is dead in this country.
It isn’t just the First Amendment. That only applies to government action to restrict speech. All forms of free speech are dead or dying.Read More
The Loudoun County School Board will vote on a policy silencing employees who disagree with racial equity practices. The proposal would extend the school’s jurisdiction over off-campus speech, including social media, speeches, and any written forms of communication.
The new policy would govern employee speech “during and after school or work hours, whether on or off school board property, including the property of any school, office, or facility.”
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
Conservative students on college campuses across the U.S. are more likely to self-censor than their more liberal classmates out of fear of backlash or retribution, according to a first-of-its-kind student survey commissioned by RealClearEducation and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
The survey is the largest of its kind – canvasing 20,000 students at 55 U.S. colleges and universities about their experiences with free speech on campuses. Conducted by College Pulse, the survey ranks schools according to how open and tolerant students say they are, among several other criteria, and includes numerous student comments about their experiences.Read More
A free speech advocacy group has sent two letters to East Carolina University after the public college banned gatherings of more than 50 students, but allowed a Black Lives Matter protest on campus.
Southeastern Legal Foundation sent a letter to the North Carolina public university on September 16 seeking information on its enforcement of its coronavirus policies. After receiving no response, the public interest law group sent a follow-up letter on September 24.Read More
Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Professor Alan Dershowitz to the show to explain his lawsuit against CNN.Read More
The lawsuit against former Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph and the Metro government is still pending, one of the plaintiffs, a school board member, says.
Fran Bush is one of three MNPS school board members who are suing Joseph and the Metro government. The other plaintiffs are board members Jill Speering and Amy Frogge.Read More
Three churches are suing the governor and his constituents for executive orders that violate their religious liberties. Defendants in the case are Governor Tim Walz, State Attorney General Keith Ellison, and county attorneys Chad Larson, Tom Kelly, and Donald Ryan. The Thomas More Society filed on behalf of the churches.
The lawsuit cites Article I, Section 16 of Minnesota’s Constitution as state precedent protecting the right to worship: “the right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed.” The lawsuit also cites Christian adherence to the Bible’s commandment for believers to worship together.Read More
The phenomenon of “cancel culture” is a real and growing threat to free speech in America. This rapidly rising threat has caught many Americans off guard.
Since the rise of the nation-state, almost all the serious threats to freedom of speech have come from government or government sponsored agencies. However, this current threat is not from the government – at least not yet.Read More
In his 1989 farewell address, President Reagan asked the rhetorical question, “Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world?”
He followed up with the answer:
Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise – and freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection.Read More
A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court denied a rural Nevada church’s request late Friday to strike down as unconstitutional a 50-person cap on worship services as part of the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.
In a 5-4 decision, the high court refused to grant the request from the Christian church east of Reno to be subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and other businesses to operate at 50% of capacity with proper social distancing.Read More
Self-censorship is on the rise according to a new Cato Institute survey that reports nearly two-thirds of Americans are afraid to share their political views.
A new CATO Institute/YouGov national survey found 62% of Americans say the political climate today prevents them from saying what they believe. This is up several points from 2017 when 58% of Americans said they were afraid to share their political beliefs.Read More
The Columbus City Council is working on legislation to screen the police for affiliations with hate groups or for harboring beliefs consistent with these groups. Last Monday, Shayla Favor, a councilmember and chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, held a meeting at which she presented the outlines of her legislative initiative. There will be another hearing at Wednesday, July 20, at 3 p.m. Favor will then finish drafting police-screening legislation and include it in a larger piece of public safety legislation that will be presented to the city council on July 27, the last meeting before the August recess.Read More
Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Caller Bernadette to the show who reported to the duo about her recent anonymous note that was signed “White Neighbor” regarding the offensiveness of her confederate flag she has displayed on the door of her private property.Read More
Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, McCabe talked about the Navy’s recent call for military personnel to sign a waiver acknowledging that they will not attend indoor religious services. He later discussed whether this was an infringement on the First Amendment rights and how COVID-19 is being used as a tool by those that oppose the Catholic religion.Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education in a 5-4 ruling.
Hailed as a victory for religious freedom, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend religious schools.Read More
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Student Religious Liberties Act into law Friday, a bill that protects prayer and religious expression in public schools.
“No student should have to hide their faith just because they enter a public school. The Student Religious Liberties Act is carefully crafted to ensure school administrators can’t unfairly penalize students of all faiths, or no faith,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values, one of twelve groups that testified in support of the bill.Read More
Facebook, YouTube and other big tech companies are not bound to abide by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a court ruled Wednesday, dealing a blow to conservatives online.Read More
Two conservative activists were mobbed and harassed Monday on Ohio University’s Athens campus while multiple police officers watched.Read More
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit last week filed against Shawnee State University by a professor who claims he was retaliated against for refusing to address a transgender student by the student’s preferred pronouns.Read More
A bill making its way through the Michigan House seeks to tighten the state’s definition of terrorism after a Lake Superior State University student was charged for posting a picture of his AR-15 on Snapchat.Read More
The Buckeye Institute announced on Monday it filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to support lawyers’ First Amendment rights — by ensuring they are not compelled to join bar associations that lobby for political and ideological issues that they oppose.Read More
The Ohio Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that strengthens free speech protections on college and university campuses in the Buckeye State.Read More
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer compared fighting “hate speech” to Detroit’s industrial efforts during World War II in a letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week.Read More
A new bill scheduled to go before the New Hampshire Legislature this year would compel news outlets to retract stories if a defendant is found not guilty of a crime.Read More
General support for the First Amendment has modestly increased among high school students in the past 15 years, but not across all demographics, according to a report released last week by the Knight Foundation.Read More
When I viewed this video, I wondered if it was a hoax. I thought it must be a group of actors trying to make a point about how far restrictions on speech have gone. Unfortunately, the video captures reality in Scotland in 2019.Read More
Those who use the term “illegal alien” in New York City will be hit with a fine as high as $250,000, the city’s human rights panel has determined.Read More
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google over allegations that the tech giant violated her right to free speech.Read More
Cleveland has agreed to pay $225,000 in a settlement with a second protester who was arrested outside of the 2016 Republican National Convention for burning the American flag. As The Ohio Star reported in April, the city agreed to a $50,000 settlement with Steven Fridley, who was also arrested…Read More
Republicans continue to shepherd legislation through the Tennessee General Assembly to protect faith-based child placement agencies against discrimination for exercising their religious liberties provided by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. State Rep. Tim Rudd (R-TN-34) and Sen. Mark Pody (R-TN-17) are the sponsors. The bills are HB 836 and SB…Read More
House Democrats on Thursday voted down an amendment by U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) to protect free speech in House Resolution 1, which seeks to change campaign finance, election and lobbying laws. Tracking information on H.R.1 is here. “Free speech should be protected,” Green said in a hearing at…Read More
by Kevin Daley The Supreme Court will convene Tuesday for its February sitting, in which the justices will consider major cases involving the First Amendment, union power, and email privacy. The cases raise the prospect of serious political and diplomatic repercussions, placing the justices at the center of a…Read More
An Iowa state employee who sued his former employer after being fired for signing his emails “In Christ” lost his court battle Wednesday. According to the Sioux City Journal, a federal jury found Wednesday that Michael Mial, a former employee of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute’s Civil Commitment Unit for…Read More
by Kevin Daley The Trump administration filed an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief Wednesday urging the Supreme Court to protect a 93-year-old war memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, that is shaped like a Latin cross. The court will soon decide whether the cross-shaped World War I memorial violates…Read More
by Neetu Chandak The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday the University of Iowa violated First Amendment rights after deregistering a student Christian group. Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) stopped receiving recognition from the public university in November 2017 due to the organization’s statement of faith, which the university…Read More
by Tristan Justice Federal employees received warning on Wednesday not to discuss the “resistance” or the impeachment of President Donald Trump while on the job under new guidance issued by the Office of Special Counsel, the independent agency that enforces the Hatch Act. The guidance, according to The New York…Read More
by Mark Pulliam The latest theatrics involving Jim Acosta, the left-wing political activist posing as a CNN reporter, perfectly illustrate the reasons why ordinary Americans despise the Beltway swamp: anti-Trump propaganda masquerading as journalism, rude and arrogant “reporters” engaged in 24/7 “resistance,” a federal judiciary so thoroughly dominated by…Read More
On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report: Knoxville Edition – broadcast on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville – Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill talked about Megyn Kelly’s inability to create a base and keep it, CNN’s lawsuit against the White House, and how the usual ‘liberal’ suspects are joining the MSM band wagon…Read More
by Kim Holmes Intolerance and illiberalism, nakedly defined as abstractions or principles, are seldom if ever outwardly embraced by progressives. None but the most extreme will argue that intolerance and censorship are good things in themselves. Normally the preferred course is more subtle. Instead of openly arresting people who…Read More