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%).
The state has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $690,084 in attorneys’ fees and costs resulting from a successful First Amendment challenge to Tennessee’s unconstitutional Billboard Act.
Just over a year ago, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion in Thomas v. Bright (previously Thomas v. Schroer for the two most recent Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT commissioners) a case that goes back more than a dozen years. The Sixth Circuit court affirmed that Tennessee’s Billboard Regulation and Control Act of 1972 was unconstitutional based on its content-based regulation of free speech, The Tennessee Star reported.