First Amendment

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 »

Judge blocks New York’s limitation on outdoor religious services [UPDATED]

Featured image A federal district court judge today issued a preliminary injunction against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to stop them from limiting participation in outdoor religious gatherings as a response to the pandemic. The judge, Gary Sharpe (a Bush 43 appointee), emphasized that, notwithstanding the Wuhan coronavirus, Cuomo and de Blasio permitted, and indeed seemed to bless, outdoor protests following the killing of George Floyd. Judge Sharpe explained »

Media access in one state: Notes (5)

Featured image The Minnesota Department of Health originally included me in its daily press briefings upon my request from April 11 to April 27. They sent me notices with the conference call call-in information, they took my questions by email, and they provided written responses. My questions focused on the nursing home crisis implicit in the data. I wondered why Governor Walz had instituted a statewide shutdown when the crisis involved a »

Media access in one state: Notes (3)

Featured image I set forth the direct and circumstantial evidence supporting my motion for a preliminary injunction in the sworn statement posted in previous installments of this series. I am seeking to be reinstated to the daily press briefings conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health. The motion is to be heard by Judge Donovan Frank later this morning. The only contrary evidence before the court is the sworn statement submitted by »

Media access in one state: Notes on my lawsuit

Featured image I have brought a section 1983 lawsuit in federal court alleging that I have been unlawfully excluded from participation in the daily Minnesota Department of Health press briefings. I have of course reported on these press briefings in my Coronavirus in one state series. I embedded a copy of my complaint in my post on the lawsuit here. We have since amended the complaint to drop the Minnesota Department of »

You Must Comply!

Featured image The Left now tells us that silence = violence. Obviously a false statement, but what else is new? Liberals are trying to bully the rest of us into agreeing with their false narrative that white police departments are persecuting innocent blacks. Anyone familiar with the data–starting with the fact that urban police departments are anything but white–knows this is nonsense. But most people don’t know much about statistics, and anyway, »