University of Minnesota Beats First Amendment Challenge to ‘Heckler’s Veto’ Against Ben Shapiro Event

Ben Shapiro speaking

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.

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Central Michigan University College Republicans Respond to Student Who Tweeted About Defacing Their Sidewalk Display

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.

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The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Backs West Michigan University Athletes Seeking Vaccine Exemption

Two football players who attend Western Michigan University

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.”

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Judge Could Rule on Florida’s Vaccine Passport Ban Next Week

Mask on passport Vaccination card on blue background

A Leon County circuit judge could make a ruling on the lawsuit against Florida’s vaccine passport ban as soon as late next week. The lawsuit was filed by Bead Abode Inc., a Sarasota-based craft store where attorneys for the company have argued it violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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Commentary: Biden’s Attack on Public School Parents Cannot Stand

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.

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‘Totalitarian Tyranny’: Parents Groups Slam Attorney General Garland for Turning FBI on Their Activism

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.

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More Than 180 Minnesota Health Care Workers Sue over Vaccine Mandate

More than 180 Minnesota health care workers spanning statewide hospital systems filed a federal lawsuit over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, seeking an injunction to block the upcoming rule.

The lawsuit follows weeks after President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 employees and facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare. Defendants named include St. Mary’s Duluth, University Of Minnesota Physicians; Mayo Clinic; North Memorial Health Care; Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital; St. Luke’s Hospital Of Duluth; and Minneapolis Radiation Oncology.

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Chaplains Ordered to Interrogate Guardsmen Seeking COVID Vaccine Exemption

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.

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Web Designer Forced to Publish Messages Countering Her Religious Faith Asks Supreme Court to Hear Case

Person coding a website

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.”

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Oregon School Board Bans Educators from Displaying BLM and Gay Pride Symbols

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.

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Michigan GOP Sues over Gov. Whitmer Campaign Funding Maneuver

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.

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Loudoun County School Board Passes Policy That Protects First Amendment Rights in Response to Teachers’ Lawsuit

The Loudoun County school board voted on a revised professional conduct policy to specifically mention “Protected Speech” and the First Amendment rights of employees.

The new policy is a response to Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) teacher Tanner Cross who went viral for his comments at a school board meeting in May, where he spoke out against the district’s gender policy and was put on administrative leave shortly afterward. On Aug. 30 the Virginia Supreme Court ruled to reinstate him, calling his removal “likely unconstitutional.”

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Florida State University Supreme Court Reinstates Student Senate President, Acknowledges First Amendment Violations

The student Supreme Court at Florida State University has reinstated Jack Denton to his position as president of the Student Senate after he was removed for his Catholic beliefs. During Denton’s lawsuit against FSU, the student Supreme Court at the school ruled that the other senators were not tolerant of Denton’s religious beliefs.

Denton was removed from his position as senate president in June due to his Catholic beliefs about BLM and other leftist organizations, as Campus Reform previously reported.

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Southeastern Legal Foundation’s Braden Boucek Explains Springfield, Missouri’s Equity Training Asking Teachers to Rate Themselves on Oppression Matrix Chart

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Southeastern Legal’s Braden Boucek to the newsmakers line to explain the CRT lawsuit against the Springfield, Missouri public school board requiring equity training of its teachers.

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Potential Ohio Legislation Aimed at Curbing Social Media Censorship

Social media companies would not be allowed to censor Ohioans from expressing their views without notifying the user and offering an appeal process or risk being sued under a proposed bill.

Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Canfield, said he plans to introduce legislation that prohibits social media platforms from censoring users unless statements violate state or federal law.

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In Suppression of First Amendment, Biden Forbids Immigration Judges from Using the Term ‘Alien’

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.”

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Akiva Cohen Weighs in on the Probable Outcome of Donald Trump’s Big Tech Lawsuit

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Big Tech and First Amendment New York Attorney Akiva Cohen to the newsmakers line to explain the mechanics of Former President Trump’s lawsuit.

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Mesa Public Schools Updates Dress Code Policy to be ‘More Equitable,’ Will Define ‘Hate Speech’ Based on Dictionary

Mesa Public Schools (MPS) updated their dress code policy to make it more equitable and prohibit “hate speech.” Nowhere in their current policies does MPS define “hate speech.”

As reported by The Arizona Sun Times last month, MPS General Counsel Kacey Gregson said that students would have a right to express their political beliefs unless it could be perceived as “hate speech,” promoting violence, or immediately or potentially causing substantial interference with the learning environment.

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Commentary: The Battle Against Big Tech Is an Existential Fight for Conservatives

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

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. 

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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Trans Bathroom Law

A federal judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton issued a temporary injunction stopping the state of Tennessee from enforcing its new bathrooms signage law. 

HB 1182 requires businesses that allow both biological sexes to use the same bathroom, locker room, or other typically-single sex area, to post signage reading “this facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex regardless of the designation of the restroom.” 

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Big Tech Alternative CloutHub Announces Autonomy from Social Media Giants

CloutHub, a major social networking alternative to Big Tech giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, announced its full autonomy from Silicon Valley.

Along with new features, CloutHub founder and CEO Jeff Brain said the company now hosts its product on its own servers, making it completely independent from Big Tech. Many social media companies rely on Big Tech for hosting services. Amazon is one of the largest hosting services in the world, and has caused trouble for alternative social media sites that used its servers. 

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CloutHub Founder Jeff Brain Reacts to Trump’s Big Tech Lawsuit

Jeff Brain

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.”

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45th President Donald Trump at Press Conference Announcing Big Tech Lawsuit: ‘The Credibility of the Mainstream Media Is the Lowest It’s Ever Been’

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.”

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Former Trump Legal Aide and Visiting Fellow of IWF Law Center May Davis Talks Background and Big Tech

May Davis

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed former Trump legal aide and visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum Law Center, May Davis to the newsmakers line to describe her experience and Big Tech legislation.

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Supreme Court Rules Against California Requirement That Exposes Non-Profit Donations

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.”

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Loudoun County Teacher Takes Gender Pronoun Fight to Virginia Supreme Court

After an elementary school teacher in Loudoun County was suspended for voicing his opposition to using students’ preferred gender pronouns at a school board meeting, his case might be headed to the Virginia Supreme Court. 

Tyson Langhofer, an attorney for Byron Tanner Cross who is an elementary physical education teacher in the district, has filed a brief with the state’s highest Court asking it not to hear Loudoun County’s appeal on the issue. 

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U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Student in Free Speech Case

U.S. Supreme Court

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.

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2nd Vote Advisers Dan Grant: ‘Companies Should Be Inspired by the First Amendment’

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed 2nd Vote Advisors Dan Grant in studio to discuss his recent meetings with red-state treasurers and the divesting in corporations that do not promote the First Amendment.

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Trial Update on Tennessee Principal Placed on Leave for Warning Students About Social Media Censorship

A lawsuit filed by a Shelby County Schools (SCS) principal placed on leave for warning students about social media censorship is making steady progress. As The Tennessee Star reported in January, Cordova High School Principal Barton Thorne had lectured students during a weekly “principal’s message” on the importance of free speech and the marketplace of ideas following the Capitol Hill riot, which he condemned.

Shelby County Board of Education (SCBE) reinstated Thorne the day that he filed the lawsuit against them. The Liberty Justice Center (LJC) is representing Thorne in the case, Thorne v. Shelby County Board of Education. In the lawsuit, Thorne alleged that SCBE violated his right to free speech and had damaged his career, reputation, and family through their response to the public and media.

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Michigan High School Valedictorian Forbidden from Mentioning Christianity in Graduation Speech

Silhouette of graduate holding up graduation cap

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.”

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FSU Settles Discrimination Lawsuit with Former Student Senate President Jack Denton

The Florida State University

Florida State University has settled a lawsuit filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of Jack Denton, the former Student Senate President who was removed from his role for criticizing Black Lives Matter. 

After the death of George Floyd, Denton advised fellow students in a Catholic group chat not to donate to Black Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) or Reclaim the Block, leftist organizations who support anti-Catholic teachings. 

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Commentary: The List of Contraband Symbolism, Political Views, and Speech Will Grow

Confederate flag blowing in wind

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.”

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Minnesota School District Adopts Black Lives Matter Slogan as Privileged ‘Government Speech’

BLM protest

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.

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Pentagon Says it Isn’t Biased on Political Violence Despite Rank and File Concerns, Spokesman Says

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.”

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Trial Set for Next May in Student Lawsuit Against District for Banning Biblical Shirt While Allowing LGBTQ Speech

Next May, a student will head to trial against Overton County Board of Education for banning her Biblical shirt while allowing LGBTQ-themed attire and paraphernalia. Court documents show that the board attempted to mediate with the family on Monday. The record indicates that mediation wouldn’t resolve the issue.

“Written discovery has been exchanged that is sufficient to evaluate and discuss settlement substantively,” stated the joint report. “At this stage it does not appear that mediation will successfully resolve this case. However, depositions are scheduled which could help lead to settlement.”

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House to Vote on Bill Prohibiting Emergency Regulations, Closures on Churches, Religious Institutions

In Tennessee, houses of worship may never have to worry about blanket policies shutting them down during a state of emergency. Specifically, a proposed bill would limit state, political subdivisions, or public officials from imposing restrictions or outright prohibiting churches or religious organizations from operating. 

The bill would also limit the authority of county health officers to mandate quarantines. It wouldn’t extend its protections to those places of worship where an outbreak has occurred.

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Wedding Venue Sues Northam For Not Allowing Expanded Capacity at Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor wedding venue Belle Garden Estate (BGE) is suing Governor Ralph Northam over Executive Order 72.  The governor has begun relaxing restrictions on outdoor activities, allowing the lower of either 1,000 people or 30 percent capacity at many outdoor venues. However, outdoor wedding venues are not included in those relaxed restrictions.

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Tennessee Principal Sues Shelby County Schools for Violating First Amendment Rights

A Memphis-area high school principal has filed suit against Shelby County Schools for violating his First Amendment rights after he was suspended for telling students social media and technology companies pose a threat to free speech.

Cordova High School Principal Barton Thorne was placed on administrative leave by the district in January after expressing concern to students over the way unregulated tech and social media companies have the power to control conversations and shut down discussions online.

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Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee Kills Ban on Cyber Flashing

Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler’s (D-Virginia Beach) HB 2254 passed with unanimous support in the House of Delegates. The bill would ban people from sending unsolicited obscene images to others. But after the House sent the bill to the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted eight to five to table the bill February 17, citing concerns that the bill could be applied too broadly.

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Gubernatorial Candidate Cox Rolls Out Big Tech Accountability Plan

Gubernatorial candidate Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) announced a plan Wednesday to hold Big Tech accountable for protecting free speech. The plan expands regulation and enforcement with transparency requirements, bans on de-platforming elected officials, and $100,000-per-day fines for violating tech companies.

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Pharmacy Student Sues University of Tennessee for Alleged Free Speech Violations

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) initially expelled a student for content on her personal social media accounts. Officials claimed that the nuclear pharmacy student, Kimberly Diei (’23), used speech that violated the university’s conduct policies, though Diei has claimed they never informed her of which specific policies she’d violated. Neither of her profiles or any of her content identified Diei as a UT student or mentioned the school in any capacity. Only after Diei obtained legal help did the university reverse her expulsion.

Diei was investigated by the school’s Professional Conduct Committee on two separate occasions based on anonymous complaints. The first investigation occurred during Diei’s first month on campus in September 2019 regarding her Instagram and Twitter accounts in general. Following its review, the committee required Diei to write an apology letter. About a year later, Diei came under investigation again and was expelled for posting several explicit tweets referencing pop culture.
Diei was investigated by the school’s Professional Conduct Committee on two separate occasions, instigated by anonymous complaints from other program students. The first investigation occurred during Diei’s first month on campus, September 2019, regarding her Instagram and Twitter accounts in general; the committee required her to write an apology letter. About a year later, Diei came under investigation again and was expelled for posting several explicit tweets referencing pop culture.

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FBI’s Desperate Pretext to Keep Spying on Carter Page: He Might Write a Book!

Nine months into a relentless effort to spy on Carter Page with the most awesome surveillance tools the U.S. possesses, the FBI had no proof the former Trump adviser had colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election.

In fact, the bureau hid from the FISA court the fact that it knew Page was actually a U.S. asset who had helped the CIA and that in a secret recording with an informant he had denied all the core allegations against him with significant proof.

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All Star Panelist Dr. Carol Swain Talks Parler Shutdown, Reality Czars, and the Current Orwellian Climate of America

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Dr. Carol M. Swain in studio to examine the First Amendment in the Orwellian climate of today.

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TechLife: State Gov. Relations Manager for the Heartland Institute Samantha Fillmore Discusses Big Tech and the First Amendment

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Heartland Institutes State Gov. Relations Manager Samantha Fillmore to the newsmakers line to discuss their position on Big Tech and censorship of its users.

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Middle Tennessee State University Free Speech Center Releases First Amendment Report for Students

There are nine practices that could significantly improve the climate of free speech on American college campuses nationwide. This, according to a report released by Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU) Free Speech Center last week, aimed at offering best practices for First Amendment advocacy, activism, and engagement amongst college students.

The nine practices proposed were: physical environments incorporating the First Amendment, social media engagement, cultural boundary bridging, writing exercises, case studies, targeted campus events, hands-on engagement, building bridges, and a combination of assessment and iteration. Examples of these practices included establishing monuments enumerating the First Amendment rights, or offering exercises where students experience loss of these rights momentarily by exchanging their First Amendment freedoms for a free lunch.

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Host Leahy and Crom Carmichael Take Listener Calls Regarding Big Tech and Censorship

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio and took calls from listeners that questioned Big Tech, Section 230, and the right of free speech.

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West Virginia School Bus Drivers File Lawsuit Against School Superintendent over Suspensions Related to Capitol Protest

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.”

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Tennessee REALTORS® Bans ‘Hate Speech’ by Members

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) banned all “hate speech” by its members – not just in members’ professional capacity, but in every aspect of their lives. The policy changes were approved by the NAR Board of Directors during a meeting on November 13.

The policy on hate speech encompasses an array of broad issues: “harassing speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” Collectively, these speech-related issues fall under what the NAR terms “public trust,” which also includes misappropriation of client or customer funds, or property and fraud that causes significant economic harm.

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Commentary: Big Tech’s Conservative Purge Changes the Free Speech Debate

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.

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