First Amendment

Biden hits the fan in the Fifth Circuit, part 2

Featured image A month ago the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the Biden administration’s plea to set aside Judge Terry Doughty’s preliminary injunction in Missouri v. Biden. Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum ruling in support of the injunction is posted online here. Judge Doughty’s injunction is separately posted here. I anticipated the appellate proceedings in “Walk away, Joe.” Having listened to the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit, I threw caution to »

In re the censorship regime

Featured image Zach Weissmueller takes a deep dive into Missouri v. Biden with (plaintiff) the great Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and attorney John Vecchione in the Reason podcast (video below). Reason provides background for the podcast here. We have covered the lawsuit and the underlying issues of the epidemic and social media censorship repeatedly on this site. The historical review captured in the video is enraging and the related clips included light it »

Biden hits the fan in Fifth Circuit

Featured image On Independence Day last month, Western District Louisiana federal district judge Terry Doughty preliminarily enjoined the Biden administration from continuing its censorship regime in place. Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum is posted online here. Judge Doughty’s preliminary injunction is posted here. I anticipated the interlocutory appellate proceedings in “Walk away, Joe.” The government’s appeal of Judge Doughty’s preliminary injunction came before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit for oral argument »

Thought for the day

Featured image Columbia Law School Professor Philip Hamburger and his New Civil Liberties Alliance colleague Jenin Younes write in their column “The Biden Administration’s Assault on Free Speech” in today’s Wall Street Journal: [T]he nation needs to come to terms with the reality and scale of the assault on free speech. Our government has established a vast system of censorship. By keeping it largely secret, it has been able to exert unconstitutional »

The Facebook Files: More Censorship Revealed

Featured image Rep. Jim Jordan’s House committee has been trying for some time to extract documents from Facebook relating to the Biden administration’s leaning on that platform to censor content. Jordan eventually threatened to hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt, and Facebook finally produced the files. Jordan has now released some highlights on Twitter. These documents, similar to the Twitter files, clearly show the administration’s effort to use the social media companies to »

Media access in one state revisited

Featured image The Minnesota Reformer is a “progressive” left-wing site edited by Patrick Coolican. I came to know and respect Patrick when he was a reporter covering Minnesota politics for the Star Tribune. Patrick and Stephen Montemayor wrote the Star Tribune’s 2019 story (“New documents revisit questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history”) delving into Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage to her brother. The story was three years late, but otherwise excellent. Anyone »

Memo to Supreme Court: Save the First Amendment!

Featured image The First Amendment is under unprecedented attack, as the Democratic Party has weaponized one federal and state agency after another to go after its opponents. An important instance of this phenomenon is the effort by Democratic banking regulators to deprive disfavored organizations of access to our financial system. The issue is raised in NRA v. Vullo (the link goes to Eugene Volokh’s discussion of the case). The facts underlying the »

In Dominion’s lawsuit, Fox’s brief

Featured image In a nearby post I link to Dominion’s brief in support of its motion for summary judgment in the defamation case it has brought against Fox Corporation and Fox News Network (FNN). The Fox entities have also moved for summary judgment dismissing the claims. Fox Corporation’s 32-page opening brief denying responsibility is posted here. FNN’s 192-page opening brief is the one of interest and is posted here. Deadline has posted »

“Hate Speech” Fails Again

Featured image The liberals’ crusade against free speech consists largely of trying to except “hate speech” from First Amendment protection, followed by characterizing pretty much anything they don’t like as “hate speech.” This effort has made considerable headway in the thinking of ill-educated people, especially recent college graduates. But it has encountered a stone wall in the courts. The most recent instance is yesterday’s decision by Judge Andrew Carter of the Southern »

Democrats Try to Criminalize Free Speech

Featured image Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has introduced legislation that would make advocates of “white supremacy” guilty of conspiracy if someone commits a “hate crime” that supposedly is inspired by them. The legislation, H.R.61 “Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023,” introduced last Monday by Democratic congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, seeks to “prevent and prosecute white supremacy inspired hate crime and conspiracy to commit white supremacy inspired hate crime.” The »

Safe From the Sign of the Cross

Featured image It is easy for Americans to forget how rare, and how precious, our guarantee of free speech is. Even the United Kingdom, the country from which we inherited most of our historic freedoms, does not recognize anything like our First Amendment. This fact was brought home by the recent declaration of a “safe zone” in Bournemouth, England. Rod Dreher has the story. It has to do with the sacrament of »

Bravo, Judge Silberman

Featured image Yesterday I briefly noted Fifth Circuit Judge James Ho’s keynote remarks at the Federalist Society’s sixth annual Kentucky chapters conference. With a little work I was able to obtain a copy of Judge Ho’s remarks. I hope to revisit them with a few quotes from the text in the next day or two or three. In my comments I referred to Senior D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Laurence Silberman as »

A Huge Win for Free Speech [Updated]

Featured image This is seismic: a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Texas’s new law banning viewpoint discrimination by the major social media platforms. The case is NetChoice v. Paxton, and the opinion is by Judge Andrew Oldham. Oldham is a brilliant guy with a gilt-edged pedigree. He also was once the General Counsel to Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The Texas law is similar to the one I »

The O’Keefe Project: Footsteps getting closer

Featured image It has been evident that the Biden Justice Department is out to get James O’Keefe and Project Veritas since O’Keefe et al. were raided last year under federal search warrants procured by the FBI. Although O’Keefe was instructed to remain mum, the authorities promptly leaked news of the raid to the New York Times. All this in the matter of Ashley Biden’s diary. We have followed the story in more »

Biden Administration Calls For Censorship On Energy

Featured image This is shocking, or would be in a sane world: Gina McCarthy, the Biden administration’s National Climate Advisor, is openly calling on tech companies like Facebook and Twitter to censor any dissent from the administration’s “green” fantasies. McCarthy says the tech companies “have to stop allowing” people to disagree with Biden. No doubt the people she wants to censor include Steve Hayward and me, among many others: Biden's National Climate »

Potentially, A Big Win for the 1st Amendment

Featured image It has been widely reported that the Biden administration has leaned on tech companies, including social media companies, to censor content with which the administration disagrees. This is not a secret. On the contrary, the administration’s spokespeople have bragged about it, and Congressional Democrats have publicly applied pressure to tech employees, in committee hearings, to censor in accordance with the administration’s preferences. The social media companies tirelessly tell us that »

The O’Keefe Project: Unseal me here

Featured image I’ve followed the government’s investigation of James O’Keefe and Ashley Biden’s diary since the New York Times broke the story with a little help from its friends in the national security establishment. What did O’Keefe do wrong? What makes it a federal case? This much is clear to me: the Biden Justice Department is out to get James O’Keefe. Pending before the court that signed off on the search warrants »