First Amendment

Washington Post moans about cost of Justice for J6 rally

Featured image In the lead story in its local news section, the Washington Post reported last week that the Justice for J6 rally in D.C. cost government agencies that assisted Capitol Police at least $790,000. The Post seems bothered by this expenditure. So I infer from the fact that the paper rarely reports on the price tag of marches and protests by leftists or, for that matter, their rioting. Whatever one thinks »

A question

Featured image In this post, Scott wrote about Saturday’s “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, D.C. He collected tweets reporting on the substantial, and seemingly predominant, police presence, including that of undercover feds. I was struck by a statement by CBS’s Margaret Brennan, the moderator of Face the Nation. According to this tweet by Nicholas Fondacaro, Brennan said “the strong show of security” by police and the feds “kept the crowds away.” »

Reinstatement of teacher who objected to pronoun policing is upheld

Featured image Tanner Cross teaches physical education at an elementary school in Loudoun County. He is a devout Christian. Loudoun County has enacted a wide-ranging policy in favor of students who claim to be of a gender other than their biological sex. The policy permits students to use restrooms and locker rooms, as well as to compete in sports, on the basis of the gender with which they identify, rather than their »

Joe Biden, enemy of religious freedom

Featured image The Justice Department has dropped a case it had filed on behalf of a Vermont nurse who was forced to participate in an abortion that violates her religious beliefs. Fox News reports on this case here. Roger Severino provides important context here. When a Republican administration abandons a lawsuit brought by its Democratic predecessor, the mainstream media invariably cries foul. Perhaps for this reason, Republican cabinet members often persevere with »

Censorship Is Here. What to Do About It?

Featured image The dark night of censorship isn’t just threatening, it is already here. The most recent case–one of hundreds, if not thousands–is that of Dave Rubin, a popular conservative commentator with a large following on Twitter. Rubin tweeted this: They want a federal vaccine mandate for vaccines which are clearly not working as promised just weeks ago. People are getting and transmitting Covid despite vax. Plus now they’re prepping us for »

In Indiana, a win for religious freedom

Featured image The Trump Justice Department aggressively protected religious rights and liberties. In this post from December 2019, I described five cases in which the DOJ, under the leadership of Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, filed papers in defense of religious freedom. One of them was a case from Indianapolis, Indiana. In that case, the DOJ sided with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis which had been sued for firing a »

First Amendment Win In the Offing

Featured image I think the first time I was really aware of Kamala Harris was when, as Attorney General of California, she launched a strike against conservative nonprofits. The State of California demanded access to donor information that is protected from disclosure by federal law. Harris pretended that California wanted the donor information not to disclose it, but to use it to investigate charitable fraud, but everyone believed that her real purpose »

A victory for sanity in the pronoun wars

Featured image A unanimous panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a professor can pursue a claim that his university violated his First Amendment rights by punishing him for refusing to use feminine pronouns to refer to a male student who identified as female. The professor declined the student’s request on religious grounds. The professor had proposed several compromises as a way of balancing his religious-based concerns with »

Fighting Against Big Tech Censorship

Featured image America’s major tech companies have chosen sides. Thus the news that big tech employees contributed more to Joe Biden’s campaign than any other sector of the economy: Employees at Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, donated at least $15.1 million to President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, according to Open Secrets. The donations eclipsed the amount given from employees in the banking and legal sectors, according to The »

Constraining Cuomo

Featured image The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Agudath Israel and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, holding that Emmy Award-winning Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 inspired numerical capacity limits on their religious services violate the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. The November 25 Supreme Court order (5-4) granted an emergency injunction constraining Cuomo from enforcing the limits pending review by the Second Circuit. The Supreme »

Ninth Circuit to Nevada: You can’t treat churches worse than casinos

Featured image Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth ruled that a church is entitled to preliminary relief against an order by Nevada’s governor that treats the church worse in terms of coronavirus restrictions than numerous secular entities such as casinos, bowling alleys, retail restaurants, and arcades. The decision, by a panel of the court, was unanimous. The church, Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, had been losing on this issue in »

Why not “my fuhrer”?

Featured image At the College Fix Greg Piper has posted a mind-boggling account of the oral argument of the appeal in the First Amendment case brought by Shawnee State University Professor Nicholas Meriwether against university administrators. Piper introduces his long account this way: A public university’s lawyer bumbled his way through oral argument last week on whether his taxpayer-funded client can force a philosophy professor to address a male student with female »

Cutting back on Cuomo

Featured image Near midnight last night the Supreme Court granted temporary injunctive relief from the strictures of the edicts setting capacity limits in houses of worship in certain designated hotspots. The Court’s per curiam ruling in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, limited as it is, nevertheless represents a shift in the Court’s center of gravity on the application of basic First Amendment principles to »

Talking media access

Featured image My friends at Justice and Drew on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130 invited me to discuss the resolution of my First Amendment press access lawsuit against Minnesota Department of Health officials this morning. Drew Lee kindly clipped the audio at my request (below). I would like to note the comments of unqualified support by Fluence Media’s Blois Olson and the Minnesota Reformer‘s Patrick Coolican on the resolution of the »

Talking media access

Featured image Drew Lee has clipped the audio of my segment with him and guest host Max Rymer on Justice & Drew this morning (audio below, rest of the show available in podcast form here). Drew invited me to discuss my lawsuit seeking access to the regular Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 press briefings from which I have been excluded since April 27. See the related post earlier today here. Unfortunately, Drew »

Media access in one state: Justice & Lee edition

Featured image Drew Lee invited me to discuss my lawsuit against officials of the Minnesota Department of Health on the 8:35 a.m. (Central) segment of Justice and Lee this morning. The show is broadcast on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130 and also available via live stream here. I wanted Drew’s audience to have easy access to this update on the status of the lawsuit that I posted on Power Line last »

Media access in one state: A status report

Featured image I have brought a section 1983 lawsuit against Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and MDH press officer Michael Schommer for excluding me from the daily MDH press briefings on and after April 27. Although Malcolm contends she had nothing to do with it, my exclusion from the press briefings on that date and subsequently is undisputed. I published my sworn statement setting forth the facts of the case as I »