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Category archives for: First Amendment

Citing Secular Protocol, Florida Athletic Association Rejects Schools’ Claim That Prayer Was Muzzled

| October 22, 2016

Florida law does not require, and for good and valid reason does not permit, the FHSAA to promote prayer through state-run public address systems, the athletic association argues.

Court Sees No Crime in Sarasota High Student’s Tweeted Threats to “Shoot Up” His School

| September 29, 2016

A 16-year-old high school student who repeatedly threatened on Twitter to shoot up his school in Sarasota did not commit a crime because his threats were not directed at anyone in particular, the second District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday.

Tampa Christian School Files Suit Over Ban on Loudspeaker Prayer at Football Game

| September 28, 2016

The nonprofit that operates Cambridge Christian School in Tampa said the Florida High School Athletic Association violated its civil rights by banning the private school and its opponent from joining in prayer over the loudspeaker at the game.

Why I Stand For The National Anthem

| September 10, 2016

There is outrage on the anniversary of 9/11: the outrage should be directed at those who have taken for granted the liberty and privilege of being a professional athlete by showing disrespect to our National Anthem by way of protest.

Masked Man Who Taunted Lamb at Sheriff’s Forum Is Unmasked as Whisenant Supporter

| August 9, 2016

Richard Rubin, a twice-arrested local resident and supporter of Mark Whisenant’s sheriff’s campaign, attempted to rattle candidate John Lamb Monday evening by riding masked and in camouflage and holding up a sign claiming Lamb and his family did not live in the county, a false claim.

Fershtay? Appeals Court Rules Florida May Not Halt Offering Kosher and Halal Meals to Prisoners

| July 15, 2016

Florida prison officials argued they had a right to stop offering kosher meals if they got too expensive. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said no in a unanimous decision.

The Closing of the Academic Mind

| March 16, 2016

Any denial of academic freedom is a blow struck against the meaning of a university. The irony today is that some of the most worrying attacks on academic freedom have been coming from inside university.

E Pluribus Un-American:
The Judeo-Christian Smear of Islam

| February 5, 2016

President Obama’s trip to a mosque to reassure American Muslims of their importance should have been unnecessary. It reveals how deep-seated prejudice remains, especially that of conservative Christians who claim to preach acceptance.

Florida’s “Pastor Protection Act” Seen as Defense of Clergy or Latest Bias Against LGBT

| January 31, 2016

The proposal, which was approved this week by a Senate committee, would prevent clergy members from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies contrary to their beliefs.

Florida Prisons, Already Censoring a News Publication, Now Seek to Censor Legal Brief

| December 30, 2015

The Florida Department of Corrections is seeking to block state and national media organizations from filing a brief in a legal battle about whether a publication should be barred from Florida’s prisons.

Artless Censors: The Flagler’s School Board’s Misplaced Allegiance to “Staff”

| December 18, 2015

The Flagler school board shirked its responsibility when it chose to be a cheerleader for a principal instead of offering guidance and oversight after a student’s art work was censored at FPC.

Stillbirth: FPC Art Student May Show His Class Work at a Gallery, But Not At His Own School

| December 3, 2015

A provocative painting by Patrick Conklin, a senior at FPC, was banned from display at his school but allowed at an art gallery, triggering a broad discussion on the lines between expression, censorship, fear and propriety.

Should Government Censor Offensive Speech? 40% of Millennials Say Yes. That’s a Problem.

| November 29, 2015

Surprisingly, the Pew survey finds nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans saying government should be able to stop speech against minorities. Independents are in the middle.

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.



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