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Category archives for: First Amendment

Bill Vastly Diminishing Separation of Church and School Passes Florida Senate, 23-13

| March 24, 2017

The proposal would allow religious speakers and messaging at school-sponsored events, and would allow students to engage in organized prayer groups during the school day and with the participation–though not the sponsorship–of school personnel.

Legislating Free Speech on Florida’s College Campuses? Not So Fast.

| February 27, 2017

A Legislative committee pondered on proposed legislation called the Campus Free Speech Act. Stanley Kurtz, a conservative academic, told lawmakers the measure would defend the right for people to speak their minds at the state’s universities.

I Am An Enemy Combatant

| February 25, 2017

The media has been the enemy since the earliest days of the Republic. But to be an enemy in America is what all of us at one point or another have been or will be. It is an American responsibility. It’s proof of our beloved American citizenship.

Protesters, True Patriots

| February 17, 2017

Freedom for the thought we agree with is as cheap as a Facebook click on the like button. Freedom for the thought that we hate is what separate Americans from thuggery.

1st Amendment Trumps 2nd: Court Says Doctors Have Right To Ask About Guns at Home

| February 17, 2017

Major portions of a controversial Florida law restricting physicians and other health-care providers from asking patients about guns is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled.

Judge Rules No Discrimination In Bakers’ Refusal to Call Gays “Abomination” on a Cake

| February 10, 2017

A customer had accused an Orlando bakery of religious discrimination when the owners refused to make a cake with the words “Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord.”

After NY Cop Salutes Violence Against Anti-Trump Protester, His Online Post Comes Under Review

| February 3, 2017

An anti-Trump marcher got punched in the face. A Port Authority cop posted “Grow up bitches and get a job.” The department’s inspector general gets a referral.

Federal Judge Dubious of Florida Law Requiring Abortion Counselors To Register

| January 30, 2017

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle repeatedly challenged an attorney fpor Attorney general Pam Bondi over the seemingly prosecutorial intent of the law, which penalizes those who don’t register.

Trump’s Middle Finger to Muslims, and Law

| January 29, 2017

The executive order Trump signed on Friday does the opposite of what it aims for: it belittles American law, projects a nation in cowardly fear, alienates its own Muslim communities and endangers our security.

President Fake

| January 27, 2017

We’ve been worried about fake news from all the wrong places. The most promiscuous peddler of fake news is the president himself, Donald J. Trump. That’s dangerous for media, for America and for democracy.

Flagler School Board Finds New Way to Recite The Pledge: With Pixels and iPhone For All

| December 20, 2016

In a retreat at Cattlemen’s Hall on the county fairgrounds today, the Flagler School Board faced a dilemma: there was no flag to which to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. A minor debate ensued, then Superintendent Jacob Oliva found a solution.

Unlikely Alliance of Clergy and Pro-Choice Advocates Sue to Block Florida’s Abortion Law

| December 14, 2016

Plaintiffs including rabbis, ministers and non-profits contend they don’t have medical training and aren’t qualified to offer information not spelled out in the abortion law.

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.

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