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Category archives for: First Amendment

Not All Speech Is Free: County Slams McDonald for Legal Fees Over “Knowingly False” Claims

| November 17, 2015

Dennis McDonald, the Ronald Reagan Assembly member and frequent critic of government, said he’ll “absolutely” contest the county’s move on First Amendment grounds.

Superintendent Apologizes Over Gender-Neutral 8th Grader Sanctioned for Wearing a Dress

| October 17, 2015

Leon County School Superintendent Jackie Pons apologized to the family of an 8th grader who identifies as neither boy nor girl, but who was accused of violating the dress code for wearing a dress on Tuesday. The violation was, in fact, committed by the school principal.

Anonymous Internet Browsing at the Public Library? Not if Homeland Security Finds Out.

| September 14, 2015

A library that allowed Tor users around the world to bounce their Internet traffic through the library, masking users’ locations reversed course after getting word from the Department of Homeland Security.

“God’s Authority” Has No Place In Civil Government

| September 7, 2015

Kim Davis is not the problem. She’s a symptom of a dangerous movement that seeks to carve out religious objections all over the law books, making civil government a vassal of religious edicts.

Alone Among 50 States, Florida’s Ban on Prison Newspaper Is Upheld

| September 1, 2015

Florida Corrections officials have censored the publications for six years, objecting to certain ads and calling them a security risk. No other state prison system agrees.

SLAPP This: Florida Scores a Big Free Speech Victory Against Intimidation Lawsuits

| August 27, 2015

It was a rare success in the last Florida Legislative session: a new law protecting the public from frivolous corporate or otherwise intimidating lawsuits intended to silence public expression in government issues.

GOP Opens Special Session With Complaints That Fair Districts Infringe on Free Speech

| August 10, 2015

Senators scolded the Florida Supreme Court for trampling on their First Amendment rights as lawmakers began a special session Monday aimed at redrawing congressional districts the court said were gerrymandered to help the Republican Party.

Federal Court Upholds Docs v. Glocks Law Forbidding Physicians From Asking About Guns

| July 30, 2015

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a victory for the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates and a defeat for medical groups that argued, at least in part, that the law infringed on doctors’ First Amendment rights.

Florida’s Impending “Pastor Protection Act” Weds Spurious Scenarios With Homophobia

| July 16, 2015

The proposal is aimed at safeguarding clergy members from being forced to perform gay-marriage ceremonies even though they’re categorically protected from doing so by the First Amendment.

Palm Coast’s Sign Regulations May Be Forced to Loosen, City Attorney Warns

| July 14, 2015

The changes, which would likely relax Palm Coast’s rules, would be required to comply with a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling making the regulation of temporary signs on private property much more difficult.

The Fundamentalists Next Door

| May 24, 2015

It is up to the citizens of Flagler County–no matter your political persuasion or your party affiliation, your social views and religious beliefs–not to allow the voices of ignorance and intolerance decide what information you are permitted to consume.

In a Surprise, U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Florida Ban on Judicial Candidates’ Fundraising

| April 30, 2015

The 5-4 decision, written by Chief Justice Roberts, upholds a ban in a case started by Lanell Williams-Yulee, who in 2009 sent out a mass mailing asking for campaign contributions during her bid for a Hillsborough County judgeship.

Net Neutrality’s Biggest Deal: FCC Rules Would Keep Internet Open

| February 11, 2015

If the FCC ignores big cable and communications companies’ pressure and approves the rules, it would be one of the greatest public policy victories in decades, argue Matt Wood and Candace Clement.

Florida Prison Ban on Beards Violates Muslim Inmates’ Religious Rights, Supreme Court Rules

| January 20, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Florida and six other states could not ban inmates from growing beards for religious reasons. The case originated in Arkansas.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| January 16, 2015

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.

A Muslim Cartoonist on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre: Shame, Fear, But Mostly Hope

| January 13, 2015

Cartoonist Khalil Bendib, an American Muslim and native of Algeria who’s known his share of censorship and death threats, writes of grief and human solidarity in the wake of the attack.

Standing With Charlie Hebdo:
The Right and Duty to Offend

| January 8, 2015

We should celebrate differences of opinion. We have no duty to embrace differences of principles, and in many cases—and this is one of them—we must oppose them, angrily and militantly if need be.

Woman In “Catholic Warrior” Shirt Vandalizes Satanic Temple Display at Florida Capitol

| December 24, 2014

Susan Hemeryck, 54, of Tallahassee, entered the Capitol at 11:23 a.m. and told an on-duty police officer that “she was sorry and had to take the Satanic display,” according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement charging affidavit.

Satanic Temple Display Approved for State Capitol, With Festivus Beer Pole and Nativity

| December 5, 2014

The Florida Department of Management Services this week approved the proposed holiday display from the Satanic Temple, which a year ago was rejected because the agency said its proposal was “grossly offensive.”

FlaglerLive Crosses Half-Million
Reader Mark in October

| November 2, 2014

FlaglerLive ended October with close to 550,000 readers for the month, a new record and further indication that as print struggles to maintain its mass-market appeal, the media landscape is changing too rapidly to accommodate old models.

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Florida Lawyer’s Appeal of Ban on Judicial Candidates’ Campaign Solicitations

| October 2, 2014

Lanell Williams-Yulee was disciplined by the Florida Bar for violating a rule barring judicial candidates from soliciting money when running for judgeships. The U.S. Supreme Court may reverse that rule, affecting 30 states where similar bans are in place.

Lillian Gobitas Klose, Who Defied Mandatory Pledge of Allegiance, Is Dead at 90

| September 7, 2014

Lillian Gobitas Klose was 12 when she was expelled from school for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Eight years later, in the midst of World War II, the U.S. Supreme Court vindicated her decision.

The Phony War Over Campaign Signs

| August 17, 2014

The problem isn’t the county’s ban on campaign signs at the public library, it’s the dismal slate of candidates on this year’s primary ballots, but Flagler’s Ronald Reagan Assembly candidates and Supervisor of Elections Weeks have teamed up to play up a bogus controversy.

County Forcefully Rejects Elections Supervisor’s Claims That Campaign Sign Restrictions Hurt Turnout

| August 5, 2014

Aided by a political candidate, Flagler Supervisor of Elections criticized county rules barring election signs on public property, claiming it lowers turnout and interferes with elections, promoting forceful rebuttals from the county administration.

Hobby Lobby and Religion’s
Assassination of Common Sense

| July 11, 2014

The Supreme Court’s decision granting some companies authority to deny contraception to employees is a reminder that women-hating, science-bashing and religiously-based bigotry veiled as “faith” are alive and well in America.

Birth Control Coverage: Hobby Lobby Decision May Not Be The Last Word

| July 1, 2014

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday saying that “closely held corporations” do not have to abide by the contraceptive coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act may not give those firms the ability to stop providing that coverage after all.

Corporate Religious Liberty: The Supreme Court’s Misguided Decision

| June 30, 2014

When companies have clear policies on religious discrimination, their employees are less likely to be looking for a new job. The Hobby Lobby decision may undercut such successes when companies opt to follow its dictates, writes Joyce S. Dubensky.

Florida Prisons Want To Slash Kosher Offerings; Justice Department Says It Would Be Illegal

| May 22, 2014

In a brief filed Monday, lawyers for the Department of Corrections argued that the law allows Florida to scrap the kosher meals because of the financial burden placed on the “cash-strapped agency.” The state has spent more than $200,000 on the lawsuit so far.

Satanic Temple, Come On Down: Florida Eases Holiday Display Bids at State Capitol

| May 14, 2014

Rather than institute a new policy that would limit displays as some expected, the state Department of Management Services is trying to make the application process easier for groups seeking to put up temporary displays in the Capitol complex. The Satanic Temple will give Florida another chance after being blocked from putting up a holiday display last year.

Supreme Court’s Decision Allowing Prayers at Government Meetings Reverberates Locally

| May 5, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision today allowing explicitly religious prayers at local government meetings had two direct connections to Palm Coast and Bunnell. So the ruling had particular resonance locally—happily for some, not so happily for others.



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