The Roberts Court has repeatedly assured the nation that the First Amendment protects everyone, regardless of popularity and regardless of viewpoint. The Court has a chance to put its doctrinal money where its free-speech mouth has been. It should do that as soon as possible by summarily reversing a recent atrocious Fifth Circuit decision called Mckesson v. Doe—rather than waiting until a Louisiana policeman has a chance to bankrupt a civil-rights activist with enormous litigation costs.In this decision, a conservative panel of the Fifth Circuit—without even hearing oral argument—mounted a frontal offensive on a venerable First Amendment precedent that has protected unpopular speakers for four decades. The panel’s three judges (E. Grady Jolly from Mississippi, Jennifer Walker Elrod from Texas, and Don Willett from Texas) flatly defied that precedent and allowed a punitive lawsuit to proceed against DeRay Mckesson. Mckesson is one of the founders of Black Lives … [Read more...] about Don’t Let the First Amendment Forget DeRay Mckesson
Amendment 2 court cases
NEW DELHI|BENGALURU: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government about the status of draft intermediary guidelines on social media accountability, and deferred the matter related to linking of Aadhaar with user accounts of Facebook and other online platforms to September 24. Justice Deepak Gupta asked the government for its stance on the issue and the draft intermediary guidelines, stressing that the matter needs to be decided as early as possible. He said the court may give more time if the Union of India is considering framing something in the near future. Draft amendments to the intermediary guidelines, which make social media companies more accountable for content posted on their platforms, were released by the government last year but have not been finalised yet. The court reiterated that it will only hear a transfer petition at this point and not the merits of the case. In August, Facebook and WhatsApp sought the transfer of four similar petitions on linking social media … [Read more...] about Supreme court asks govt for social media accountability norms
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday aimed at weakening the enforcement of a law that bars churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates. A look at the law in question, known as the Johnson Amendment: WHAT IT DOES The law prohibits tax-exempt charitable organizations such as churches from participating directly or indirectly in any political campaign to support or oppose a candidate. That means no donations to candidates’ campaigns and no public statements explicitly on behalf of or against a candidate. ___ WHAT IT DOESN’T DO It doesn’t stop religious groups from weighing in on public policy or organizing in ways that may benefit one side in a campaign. Plenty of religiously grounded organizations or movements — Roman Catholic bishops, the Christian Coalition, you name it — have delved fiercely into political causes, and preachers of the left and right are not shy about exhorting their … [Read more...] about AP Explains: The fuss over Trump and the Johnson Amendment
“Police officers conduct approximately 29,000 arrests every day,” Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his opinion in Nieves v. Bartlett, an important First Amendment case decided last Monday. That’s roughly the population of Georgia cuffed and stuffed on an annual basis.One might think that many arrests is too many. One might wonder about the degree to which factors such as race, immigration status, and wealth contribute to individual arrests. One might even wonder about the percentage of cases in which the power to arrest is abused.America’s chief justice, however, worries more about the overworked police than about the people they arrest. Arresting that many folks is “a dangerous task that requires making quick decisions,” he wrote—so many people, so little time. It is thus the job of the Court “to ensure that officers may go about their work without undue apprehension of being sued.”If that’s the appropriate aim for an … [Read more...] about John Roberts Strikes a Blow Against Free Speech
The Indian government has introduced a controversial bill offering citizenship to illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries if they belong to non-Muslim minority groups.Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who have entered India illegally can apply for citizenship if they can prove they originate from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan.GettyThis bill only intends to provide protection to the persecuted minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.The government argues that minorities in those countries are dwindling, and that they face persecution on the grounds of their faith. The legislation has been criticised as discriminatory in India because it excludes Muslims seeking citizenship as well. So what is the situation facing non-Muslims in those three neighbouring states?How many non-Muslims?Amit Shah, India's Home Minister, says Pakistan's non-Muslim population has dwindled dramatically since 1951. This follows the mass exodus of … [Read more...] about Citizenship Amendment Bill: Are India’s claims about minorities in other countries true?
From employment rights to environmental standards, many of the most cherished legal protections in British life could be rewritten at will by the government under sweeping new powers proposed by the “great repeal bill”. David Davis, the minister in charge of shepherding this giant legislation through parliament, insists such authority will only be used to carry out whatever “technical changes” are deemed necessary to keep British law functioning as he negotiates the UK’s departure from the European Union. But campaigners and lawyers from both sides of the political spectrum have sounded alarm bells about the precedent, practicalities and purpose of a bill described as “one of the largest legislative projects ever undertaken” by the House of Commons library. The great misnomer The first and perhaps most cosmetic concern is that the exercise has been deliberately misnamed. Though styled after the radical great reform bill of 1832, it could, as … [Read more...] about ‘Great repeal bill’ offers little detail and even less security