Scene 7 – Levin's “Liberty Amendment” for Congress to Override the Supreme Court
Scene 7 – Levin's “Liberty Amendment” for Congress to Override the Supreme Court
Police Kill Free Speech in San Antonio Cops
To The Police: You Are NOT The Enemy (Unless You Choose to Be.) – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS – http://policecrimes.com/police.html – The Supreme Court recommends you D…
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Police Kill Free Speech in San Antonio Cops – Video
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is arguing in the U.S. Supreme Court that Ohios election law banning candidates from making false statements with malice is unconstitutional.
DeWine says the law has a chilling impact on free speech and on organizations that want to advertise against a candidate, according to legal filings.
Ohio law prohibits the use of false statements in both candidate campaigns and ballot issue campaigns, reads the website of Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler. Included in statute are specific prohibitions against making false statements about a candidates schooling or training, indictments or convictions, treatment for a mental illness or voting record as a public official.
DeWine argues that the law polices not just false speech, but speech that indisputably is protected under the First Amendment.
The legal challenge involves a case in which a political action committee was accused of violating state election laws by making false statements in a tweet, as well as another case in which a billboard owner refused to put up a nonprofits sign after the candidate it criticized, former Rep. Steve Driehaus, Democrat, filed a complaint with the state elections commission.
DeWine says the law intimidates opponents and makes them waste time and money responding to complaints.
The speaker is forced to use time and resources responding to the complaint, typically at the exact moment that the campaign is peaking and his time and resources are best used elsewhere, DeWine wrote. In other words, the state has constructed a process that allows its enforcement mechanisms to be used to extract a cost from those seeking to speak out on elections, right at the most crucial time for that particular type of speech. And if the allegations turn out to be unfounded, there is no possibility of timely remedy.
Sources: Springfield News-Sun, Columbus Dispatch
A constitutional melee has erupted at Purdue University in Indiana, which is under fire from a donor for deleting religious language from an honorary plaque against his wishes.
Lawyers for Purdue alumnus Michael McCracken say the public university is violating his First Amendment rights by refusing his request that a reference to Gods physical laws be included on a plaque in a conference room named after his parents.
The university agreed to install the plaque located in a new research building with an inscription of his choosing after Mr. McCracken and his wife made a pledge of $12,500 to Purdues School of Mechanical Engineering, according to a letter sent by his attorneys to a university attorney last week.
Mr. McCracken, who earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue, asked that the conference room be named after his parents and requested that the plaque state: To those who seek to better the world through the understanding of Gods physical laws and innovation of practical solutions. In honor of Dr. William Ed and Glenda McCracken, according to the letter, written by Robert Kelner, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP.
Purdue rejected the language, claiming that the generic and nonsectarian reference to Gods physical laws amounted to an impermissible government endorsement of religion, according to Mr. Kelner. The plaque that was installed mentioned only Mr. McCrackens parents, he said.
The Universitys current position violates the McCrackens First Amendment rights, wrote Mr. Kelner in his letter. Mr.McCracken is also represented by the Liberty Institute,a conservative legal group.
The university didnt respond to a request for comment Monday. Purdues legal counsel told the Indianapolis Star in a statement that while Purdue has a great deal of understanding and sympathy for the disappointment of the McCracken family, it doubts thatthe courts would find this private speech as the donors counsel argues.
The universitys lawyer also expressed concern that if Purdue were to grant Mr. McCrackens request, the university would face lengthy and expensive litigation that would wipe out the value of this donation many times over.
Citing a 1995 First Amendment ruling handed down by the Supreme Court, Mr. Kelner wrote in his letter: The Supreme Court has made clear that private religious speech, far from being a First Amendment orphan, is as fully protected under the Free Speech Clause as secular private expression. By refusing to allow the McCrackens to refer to God on the plaque, the University has impermissibly prohibited private religious speech while at the same time permitting secular private expression in other plaques and forums.
Mr. Kelner said that in late January he suggested a different wording that would make it clearer that the university isnt endorsing the religious language on the plaque. It would read instead:
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University in First-Amendment Clash With Donor Over Reference to God on Plaque
Inside Key Supreme Court Decisions – First Amendment
Advocacy group 99Rise.org secretly records a protester interrupting the Supreme Court. This is a portion of their video. Supreme Court expert Sean Parnell re…
A Texas man is waiting for the US Supreme Court to decide if exercising Second Amendment rights means citizens might be giving their Fourth Amendment protections. The Rutherford Institute is pushing the high court to hear the no-knock warrant case spurred by the SWAT-team style forceful entry into John Quinns home.
Rutherford Institute attorneys are making the argument that making legal gun ownership and possession grounds for law enforcement officers to evade Fourth Amendment protections both improperly limits and penalizes citizens Second Amendment rights. The Rutherford Institute, a non-profit Constitutional Rights organization, also argued in the US Supreme Court petition that legally possessing a gun is not sufficient cause to disregard Fourth Amendment protections and initiate no knock warrants.
The Second Amendment versus the Fourth Amendment case began in Collin County, Texas in 2006. After following the procedure to obtain a warrant to search for drugs which allegedly could be in the possession of the homeowners son, the police officers allegedly decided to forcibly break into the home based entirely on the suspicion that guns were also present inside the resident. John Quinn was asleep in bed when the loud sounds of the officers entering the home began. The officers did ultimately find cocaine in the home less than a single gram.
Texas police officers did obtain a warrant based on the suspicion that John Quinns son may possess drugs, but the warrant did not permit the officers from entering the home without either knocking or announcing their entry. During the raid on the residence, Quinn was shot by the officers as the startled man attempted to grab his legally owned gun. According to statements in Quinn v. State of Texas, the man believed he was about to become a victim of a home invasion.
John W. Whitehad, the institutes president, had this to say about the no-knock warrant case:
Whatever the issue might be, whether its mass surveillance, no-knock raids, or the right to freely express ones views about the government, weve moved into a new age in which the rights of the citizenry are being treated as a secondary concern by the White House, Congress, the courts, and their vast holding of employees, including law enforcement officials. The disconnect, of course, is that the Constitution establishes a far different scenario in which government officials, including the police, are accountable to we the people. For it to be otherwise, for government concerns to trump individual freedoms, with government officials routinely sidestepping the Constitution and reinterpreting the law to their own purposes, makes a mockery of everything this nation is supposed to stand forself-government, justice, and the rule of law.
Lower courts in Texas rejected John Quinns objection to the execution of a no-knock warrant stating that the police officers knew there were guns inside the home and were therefore justified in the decision to make an unannounced forced entry. Following that same logic, every registered gun owner in the United States has reduced Fourth Amendment rights. The number of violent and unnecessary deaths to both homeowners and law enforcement officers in such situations are staggering to consider. A scared child running to daddy could easily be caught in the crossfire.
Long-established Fourth Amendment standards dictate that police officers must knock and announce their presence at a home before opting for a forcible entry. Law enforcement officers may however, go the no knock route immediately if a threat of violence or the potential that evidence could be destroyed is present.
[Image Via: Shutterstock.com]
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Texas Second Amendment Case Headed To Supreme Court
The Obama Administration has engaged in an unprecedented assault on the First Amendment which is accelerating as he expands the reach of government using regulatory powers well beyond their legal limitations.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote in McCulloch v. Maryland, one of our nations foundational legal decisions, that the power to tax is necessarily the power to destroy. Rather than being warded off by this admonition, Obamas IRS is in the process of formalizing regulations that would eliminate the tax exempt status of social welfare groups that engage in political discussion. The net effect is to give the government the power to tax political speech, and destroy this basic right.
The Federal Communications Commission, not to be outdone, proposed to put researchers into newsrooms and editorial offices of media outlets with an agenda of using their coercive power over the broadcasting licenses of radio and television stations to push them toward covering certain content in a way pleasing to the government.
Although the study is now being reviewed after a firestorm of protest, there can be no doubt when its alternative is presented, as it will be, with this Administrations obsession with Rush Limbaugh, and their proven willingness to use government against their political opponents, stations broadcasting Rush may be first in line for special researcher attention.
On the business front, the Securities Exchange Commission, yes the SEC (not the scandal ridden college football conference) is engaged in rulemaking that would require publicly traded corporations to disclose donations to social welfare groups in an attempt to stop them from protecting their corporate interests against an avaricious government that has a constant knife to their throats.
The Labor Department and the National Labor Relations Board are seeking to tilt the scales toward Big Labor by forcing union elections as quickly as ten days after a union calls for them, and effectively denying a company advice on what can be legally said to their employees and how they can say it.
In Wisconsin, conservative supporters of Governor Scott Walker have had their homes raided by a local prosecutor who doubles as an ardent opponent of Walkers in a blatant legal attack on these citizens ability to participate in the political process. The simple fact that this Gestapo-like tactic can occur in a state that was the cradle of the original progressive movement which opened politics to public participation is particularly chilling.
The aforementioned FCC is also actively seeking to control content that Internet Service Providers allow to filter through to Internet users through benign sounding net neutrality rules. This extension of government power over Internet content, no matter the stated purpose, necessitates monitoring and bureaucratic judgment over whether ISP providers are complying effectively giving government veto authority over this democratizing speech vehicle.
We know that Obamas Department of Justice has wiretapped AP reporters phones in an attempt to break constitutionally protected source confidentiality, and FoxNews reporter James Rosen is being prosecuted by this Administration for reporting national security news.
And Obamas Department of Homeland Security conducted an early morning raid of the home of a Washington Times reporter over alleged firearm violations. During the raid, they happened to confiscate the reports notes related to an investigative report dealing with malfeasance at the TSA. These notes included the names of her internal agency whistleblowers ending not only the reporting, but also most likely the careers of the whistleblowers involved.
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The disintegration of the First Amendment
FREEDOM WON 28 years ago. Freedoms lost last week.
Media organizations and netizens mark the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolt with a Black Tuesday campaign to protest the Cyber Libel provision of Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The Supreme Court last week declared the Cyber Libel provision of R.A. 10175 as constitutional, effectively expanding the coverage of the countrys 80-year old libel law into the digital domain.
Media and online groups have protested the ruling, saying the decision reverses what already appeared to be a libertarian trend in the courts in the interpretation of libel laws.
Libel is defined in Article 323 of the Revised Penal Code as a criminal offense, punishable with both a prison term and damages. Media and lawyers groups have been pushing for the decriminalization of libel, saying the law has been used to harass and cow the Philippine press.
In addition, the Philippines is unique in that an allegedly libelous statement is presumed to be malicious until proven otherwise by the accused. This implies that the accused is already presumed to be guilty until he proves himself innocent before the courts.
Exactly a week ago today, Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of R.A. 10175s cyber libel provision, which recognizes that libel can be committed online, but only by the original authors and producers of the material. Not included in the crime of cyber libel are those who receive or respond to the material.
At the same time the Tribunal struck down several provisions of the law as unconstitutional, particularly the take-down clause which would have allowed the government to deny or restrict access to digital hardware and material even without a warrant, and the real-time collection of traffic data.
The decision came exactly a week before the nation commemorates the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolt, when press freedom was restored in the country.
Media organizations have pointed out that the Cybercrime Act and the SC ruling on the law effectively reverses many of the freedoms gained in EDSA by unduly restricting freedom of expression and freedom of the press even in the internet.
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Freedom won, freedoms lost; Black Tuesday on EDSA anniv
WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) — Proponents of the right to carry a handgun outside the home are riding high following two federal appeals courts rulings in their favor in a wave of Second Amendment fervor.
In Illinois, a 2-1 federal appeals court panel ruling in 2012 forced the willing Legislature to formulate rules for gun permits. At the time, Illinois was the only state in the Union that didn’t issue permits. State police, who must issue the permits, now expect at least 400,000 applications a year.
U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner said the 7th Circuit panel’s majority opinion was guided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside,” Posner said at the end of his opinion. “The theoretical and empirical evidence [which overall is inconclusive] is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense.”
Though Illinois now has handgun carry permits, its requirements are among the strictest in the nation, the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake reported. Besides a fee of $150 for a permit that lasts five years, applicants must take 16 hours of training. A three-hour refresher course is required for renewal.
Any establishment that sells alcohol is allowed to ban handguns on its premises.
In California, a 2-1 appeals court panel ruling earlier this month struck down restrictions on permits for open and concealed carry of handguns. No word yet on whether the state, which created the restrictions in law, or cities and counties, which actually construct and implement the restrictions, will ask the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing or ask the U.S. Supreme Court for review.
The U.S. Supreme Court itself, in 2008′s District of Columbia vs. Heller and in 2010′s McDonald vs. Chicago, struck down handgun bans in the two cities with a 5-4 ruling that recognized that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to bear arms for defense in the home.
In Illinois, the dispute between gun control advocates and opponents appears to be settled, largely because of the Legislature. But would the the California ruling survive a rehearing before the entire 9th Circuit, considered the most liberal appeals court in the country.
And if California officials ask the U.S. Supreme Court to step in, would the California ruling survive high court review?
Keeping concealed carry free
The publisher did what had to be done about Donigers book. Now lets make space for free expression
Ever since news broke of Penguin Indias agreement to withdraw The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger, writers, academics and readers have been crying foul and shooting the publisher. This reflexive round has succeeded in catapulting the issue of free speech to primetime news and page one. But continuing to target Penguin is unfair and undesirable.
In the battle for expanding free speech, it is now time for a round of review and reflection.
On rewinding the tape, we see that the publisher has been neither saint nor sinner. Penguin erred in publishing the Indian edition, but the vociferous criticism has been of its withdrawal.
The first argument is that the publisher should have waited for the court order and, if necessary, appealed to the higher courts. Indeed, if the author or publisher felt the book was legal, they should have done just that.
But what if they felt the book was illegal, which is what they seem to imply when blaming Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code?
When people say, The book might be legal. How did Penguin conclude it was illegal? they ignore the everyday publishing environment in which acquisitions editors routinely reject manuscripts they believe are illegal; they do not wait for court orders.
But just as officials take bribes in the hope that they will not get caught, editors occasionally cross the line and publish what they know to be illegal. Recall Donigers recent statement: Penguin India took this book on knowing that it would stir anger in the Hindutva ranks.
It thus appears that the publisher felt the book would offend the religious beliefs of a section of Hindus, and still published it, thereby arguably violating the letter of the law.
True, Penguins assessment is subjective. Another publisher who feels the book does not offend religious feelings can publish The Hindus and, if challenged, take the matter to the Supreme Court because legal battles are fought between parties who dispute whether a book is legal, not between those who agree that a book is illegal.
Dont shoot the penguin
Some selectmen argue town should own land; not private owners
February 22, 2014 2:00 AM
YORK, Maine Ownership of York’s beaches is on the Board of Selectmen agenda for 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 24, in the York Public Library.
Selectmen chairman Ron Nowell has said that the only way to protect public access is for the town of York to buy its beaches. Most are privately owned, he said.
The Feb. 4 state Supreme Court decision in the Goose Rocks Beach case favoring private property rights over public access means residents and tourists use York’s beaches at the owners’ pleasure, he said.
Assessor Rick Mace said Friday he does not tax anyone for what he called town beaches.
York has four beaches used by the public: Long Sands Beach, York Harbor Beach, Short Sands Beach and Cape Neddick Beach. The town has a deed to most of Short Sands Beach, but the other beaches are at least partially privately owned, according to Nowell.
There is currently no impediment to public access.
Cape Neddick Beach in particular has been subject to questions of ownership.
In 2011, a Cape Neddick Beach Task Force said there were three owners: two on Shore Road and one on Agamenticus Avenue. The task force recommended the town work cooperatively with the owners for continued public use of the beach.
A California court overturned concealed carry restrictions for gun owners in most of the state. Second Amendments advocates are heralding the legal decision are a great victory in one the states with the most stringent gun laws in the country.
A divided federal appeals court struck down a laws that permitted California to restrict as they see fit the Second Amendment right to carry a concealed weapon in public. The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals 2-1 ruling overturned state restrictions related to the carry of concealed handguns in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Orange County, and other densely populated areas.
The majority faction of the California concealed carry ruling determined that the restrictions amounted to an infringement upon Second Amendment freedoms. The court ruling went on to say that the right to bear arms was violated because law-abiding residents were prohibited from carrying a handgun in public unless they proved a need for protection with specific reasons, to the issuing county.
Judge Diarmuid OScannlain had this to say about the California gun control decision:
We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry. But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.
The current concealed carry permit restrictions in California will remain in place temporarily, pending appeals to the ruling. San Diego County officials have already voiced a desire to seek a rehearing in the Second Amendment case. The elected officials want an appeal in front of a larger panel and fully envision the fight being ultimately heard by the US Supreme Court.
The California concealed carry hearing stems from a 2012 change to existing state statute. The revision took away the right of citizens to conceal carry unloaded guns in public. Ammunition had to be carried separately. Exactly what good an empty gun would do during an attack remains to be seen it is unlikely the stalker, thief, or rapist would allow the intended victim time to unzip a pouch and put bullets into a handgun. Gun owners rightfully argued that the restrictions made it impossible to defend themselves when outside of their home and infringed upon Second Amendment protections.
San Francisco gun owners filed the lawsuit arguing that their constitutional rights had been violated. Even though the men and women requesting concealed carry permit had pass the required training and background check, they still were denied the right to self-defense because they could not cite specific reasons why they needed to carry a gun. A response noting the world is a big bad place while waving a copy of the Bill of Rights in the air should have been sufficient.
What do you think about the California concealed carry ruling?
This article appeared on The Blaze on February 21, 2014. Until the Supreme Court ruled in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects the right to armed self-defense, many lower courts gave this important provision short shrift.
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The Second Amendment Case the Supreme Court Must Take
Media watchdog Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) on Thursday joined the opposition to the online libel provision of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, saying it threatens a person’s right to free expression and press freedom.
“While crimes committed over the Internet such as child pornography need legal sanctions, the Cybercrime Act throws such a wide net it penalizes even legitimate expressions of opinion online,” the CMFR said in a statement.
According to the CMFR, the “original” libel law in the Revised Penal Code has been “problematic for free expression and press freedom since 1932,” and has been used to “silence” journalists.
“The libel law has also been declared excessive by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which in 2011 asked the Philippine government to review the law towards eliminating the penalty of imprisonment,” it noted.
However, the group said the government still used the libel provisions of the Revised Penal Code as part of sanctions against online libel, and raised the penalties.
“The Act adopts the 82-year old Revised Penal Code (RPC) provisions on libel, but raises the penalties by one degree, from a minimum of six months imprisonment in the RPC per count of libel to a minimum of six years,” the CMFR said.
“Libel as provided for in the RPC thus remains today as problematic as it has been for over 80 years to press freedom and free expression, and in addition has become an even bigger constraint on free expression when committed online,” it added.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the online libel provision in the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is constitutional, although it struck down others, including one that empowers the Department of Justice (DOJ) to restrict or block access to data violating the law.
However, the high court clarified that only original authors of libelous material are covered by the cybercrime law, and not those who merely received or reacted to it.
President Benigno Aquino III signed the law in 2012 to stamp out cybercrimes such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 Issue 07, Volume 18.
RIVERSIDE – Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Stone today praised a federal court decision favoring gun owners who want to carry concealed handguns for personal defense, saying the ruling was a victory for “Second Amendment rights.”
“I’m in shock,” Stone said when informed about the 2- 1 decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego. “I can’t believe the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a ruling that actually upholds the Constitution.”
Stone drew parallels between the court decision and a resolution he authored in November 2009 that called on Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff to remove barriers law-abiding residents might otherwise face when applying for concealed firearms permits.
“My resolution stated simply that if a law-abiding person comes forward and says, ‘I want to carry a gun for personal protection,’ they should be granted that request,” Stone said.
The Peruta case involved five San Diego County residents, led by Edward Peruta, who had sought or were considering obtaining permits to carry concealed pistols for protection. According to court papers, the plaintiffs’ applications had either been rejected — or they feared that, based on county criteria, they would be rejected.
The plaintiffs sued the county, alleging violations of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. They specifically pointed to the statewide standard, applied in San Diego and the state’s 57 other counties, of requiring gun permit applicants to demonstrate “good cause” in order to justify being granted a permit.
The plaintiffs argued that the criterion was arbitrary and opened the door to abridging “constitutionally protected conduct” rooted in the Second Amendment, according to the Ninth Circuit ruling.
The lawsuit made no headway in state court, resulting in the federal appeal.
Ninth Circuit Judges Diarmuid O’Scannlain and Consuelo Callahan ruled that the Advertisement [ Casa Tiene Vista ] state’s “good cause” provision was inconsistent with previous rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court that recognized “the right to protect oneself against public and private violence, thus extending the right in some form to wherever a person could become exposed to … violence.”
It has not been a good week for free speech in India. First, there was Penguin Indias decision to withdraw Wendy Donigers The Hindus from circulation, under legal pressure from fringe right-wing groupsmuch criticized in the media. Fresh on its heels followed Reporters Without Borders annual report, which placed India at a damning 140th place out of 180 countries in terms of press freedoms. Yet even as free speech liberals attempt to regroup, and take stock of a deteriorating situation, there is yet another lawsuit winding its way through the Calcutta High Court, which could have devastating consequences for the independent press in India.
In December, Sahara India initiated a libel lawsuit against Mint Journalist Tamal Bandyopadhyay for his yet to be released book, Sahara: The Untold Story. On December 10, the Calcutta High Court judge stayed the release of the book. Initial indications do not look good for Bandyopadhyay and his publishing house, which has also been made a party to the suit. After reproducing one impugned paragraph, the Judge observed, Prima facie, the impugned materials do show the plaintiffs in poor light.
It is interesting that the impugned paragraph in question specifically states that the allegations it makes are unverified: More such incredible tales abound about Sahara, none that could be substantiated, is the precise wording of the sentence. How the case for libel can be made out even after that express disclaimer is unclear. But what is truly staggering is the amount Sahara is claiming in damages: Rs. 200 crore! It is an amount that no journalist can afford to pay, and one that would drive most publishing houses out of business. (Although the facts are different, the amount is reminiscent of the Rs 100 crore a Pune Court ordered Times Now to pay in damages, for a fifteen-second clip wrongly showing Justice P.B. Sawants photograph in a story about a scam, back in 2011).
It would be bad enough if this was a one-off case. It is particularly alarming, however, because it fits into a larger pattern: the blatant abuse of libel and defamation laws by corporations and individuals in positions of power, to silence critical voices. Hamish McDonalds The Polyester Prince, chronicling the rise of Dhirubhai Ambani, was not published by HarperCollins in India, after legal pressure. Just last month, Bloomsbury agreed to withdraw Jitender Bhargavas The Descent of Air India, a book highly critical of then-aviation minister Praful Patels role in the downfall of the airline, and apologized to Patelagain, under threat of a defamation suit. And now this.
The trend is obvious, and its implications can hardly be understated. Not only do Indians lose access to important books examining the workings of power and capital in India, the nexus between politics and industry, and other similar issues of vital public interestbut the inevitable effect, as incidents such as these pile upwill be pervasive self-censorship by journalists. Who would want to risk a 200-crore lawsuit, to be contested against a corporation with unlimited resources? And if public debate on these matters is killed, we will be much poorer for it.
Is there a solution? Yes, there is. It lies with the Courts, and it is called the rule in New York Times v. Sullivan.
It is a rule that has been favourably referred to by the Supreme Court in some of its free speech cases, and in the last decade, by the Delhi High Court. Yet if there was ever a time to end the ambiguity, and incorporate it directly into Indian law, the time is now, when press freedoms stand at a critical crossroads.
In many respects, New York Times v. Sullivan presented a similar fact situation: the use of libel law by a powerful actor, in an attempt to stifle reporting on a critical issue of national importancethe American Civil Rights movement. On March 29, 1960, the New York Times carried an advertisement that described some of the actions of the Montgomery Police force against civil rights protesters. The advertisement carried some factual inaccuracies. For instance, it stated that Martin Luther King had been arrested seven times, whereas he had actually been arrested only four times. It mentioned an incident in which students had been padlocked into a hall to starve them into submission, which actually hadnt happened. And so on. On the basis of these factual inaccuracies, Sullivan, Montgomery Public Safety Commissioner sued for libel. The Alabama Court awarded him damages of 50,000 dollars. New York Times appealed to the Supreme Court. The stakes could not have been higher, because a victory for Sullivan would have led to a slew of similar lawsuits against the New York Times, that would probably have driven it out of business, and made it extremely difficult for other newspapers to report freely on the widespread suppression of civil rights protesters in the American South. Indeed, the respected American free speech scholar, Anthony Lewis, observed that libel laws were the Souths tool of choice to ensure that public opinion would not be swayed by aggressive investigative reporting of police brutality.
The American Supreme Court, in one of its most famous decisions of all time, held in favour of the New York Times. In words that have echoed in the annals of free speech history, Justice Brennan noted:
We consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.
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California Gun Case Sets Stage for Second Amendment Showdown at Supreme Court
California Gun Case Sets Stage for Second Amendment Showdown at Supreme Court.
By: 1 Rajshree
Published February 16, 2014
A Nevada grammar school violated students right to free speech in mandating they wear a school uniform with its motto, Tomorrows Leaders, emblazoned on it, a federal court has ruled.
The Los Angeles Times reports the U.S. 9th Circuit Court unanimously ruled on Friday in favor of one parents legal objection to Roy Gomm Elementary Schools uniform policy. The school is located in Reno.
The “policy compels speech because it mandates the written motto, ‘Tomorrow’s Leaders,’ on the uniform shirts,” Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen reportedly said in her decision, in which she was joined by the other two judges on the three-judge panel that ultimately rendered the opinion.
The Reno school reportedly enacted the uniform policy in 2011, but exempted students who donned the uniforms of national youth organizations, like the Boy Scouts of America, or Girl Scouts of the USA.
The court also found this exemption problematic, in writing, “The exemption explicitly favors the uniforms of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts over all other uniforms . . . and favors the uniforms of ‘nationally recognized’ youth organizations over those of locally or regionally recognized youth organizations.”
The Times reports that in the ruling, the judges cited legal precedent, and specifically a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that ruled a New Hampshire law unconstitutional that mandated state motorists use license plates with the state motto, Live Free or Die.
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California schools uniform regulation violates free speech, court rules
SCOTUS and Second Amendment: To Keep vs. To Bear
LIONEL NY's PIX 11 News Commentary Aired: February 10, 2014 The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide this month whether to hear two cases seeking clarifi…
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SCOTUS and Second Amendment: To Keep vs. To Bear – Video
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