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    1st Amendment Tag

    Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, sued Donald Trump for defamation over Trump's assertion that Daniels' lied about supposed threats against her. She is represented in the case by Democrat presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti. Those alleged threats were covered by us on April 17, 2018, Internet Works Feverishly to Identify Sketch of Stormy Daniel’s Alleged Threatener After Her Attorney Posts Reward Offer:

    Among New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's leading political enemies is the National Rifle Association. Long before the Parkland Shooting and the national movement to pressure companies to sever ties to the NRA, the NRA was battling Cuomo's absurd gun control legislation, the so-called SAFE Act. That legislation had to be partially rewritten because, among other things, it would have exposed police to criminal liability and effectively banned most pistols because of the limitation of magazines to 7 bullets.

    In Janus vs. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees), the Supreme Court (in a 5-4 decision) ruled that government unions cannot require non-members to pay union dues. Earlier this week, Obama-appointed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her minority dissent to the Janus ruling that the Court had "weaponized the First Amendment."

    The Supreme Court, in the case of Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, ruled that a Minnesota law that banned “political badge, political button, or other political insignia" at polling places on Election Day was unconstitutional. The case was brought by voters who, among other things, wanted to wear a Tea Party Patriots tee shirt (see featured image, via MVA Facebook):

    If you have not heard of Bias Response Teams, then you haven't been around campus in the last decade. These teams, often referred to at BRTs, are the equivalent of SWAT teams standing by to enforce campus speech and conduct codes. All of the problems we have documented with campus sexual assault kangaroo courts apply equally to BRTs - the teams enforce often vague standards highly dependent on how a complainant feels, there is an opaque process with little due process, and the results often track accepted campus political correctness rather than a search for the truth. Yet the punishments can cause lasting damage.

    I have to admit, I fell asleep at the baker's wheel. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was argued to the Supreme Court earlier this month and I, didn't cover it. Not out of lack of interest, but more feeling like we're chasing a swarm of daily dust ups created by (1) Trump Derangement Syndrome in all its many and varied forms, (2) Trump on Twitter, (3) media reacting to Trump on Twitter, (4) Alabama, (5) War on Women and #MeTwo, (6) Men at Work, (7) the End of the World. Plus, it was end of the semester, and things were busy. Excuses, I've had a few.

    I'm still trying to get my mind around the Vassar College campus reaction to my planned lecture on "hate speech" and free speech, which I wrote about in Safe Spaces and Safety Teams at Vassar College for My Lecture on Free Speech. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff were whipped into a frenzy by factually false accusations against me and regarding my appearance. There were many false accusations. In this post, I'll address just one aspect, that I supposedly posed a threat to campus safety.

    On October 25, 2017, I gave a speech at Vassar College on "An Examination of Hate Speech and Free Speech on College Campuses." The main sponsor was the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union, which also sponsored my 2014 speech at Vassar. Other sponsors were Students for Liberty and the Leadership Institute. The lecture originally was advertised as "'Hate Speech' is Still Free Speech, Even After Charlottesville." The name was changed because the sponsoring student group filed for funding under another title, so we were asked to use that approved title. Regardless of title, the planned discussion of hate speech sent a portion of the campus into a vicious smear campaign against me.

    Reem's bakery in Oakland, CA, has been a center of controversy because of the full-wall mural of Rasmea Odeh. Rasmea is the former military member of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who was convicted in Israel in 1970 of the 1969 supermarket bombing that killed two Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. She also was convicted of the attempted bombing of the British Consulate. Rasmea and her supporters have concocted a phony claim that Rasmea only was convicted because of a false confession extracted after 25 days of sexual torture. That claim is demonstrably false, yet the claim is repeated non-stop to this day, as I discuss in The Lies of Rasmea Odeh and Her Supporters Exposed.

    As detailed extensively in prior posts, Sarah Palin sued the NY Times for defamation based on an Editorial regarding the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. James Bennet, Editorial Page Editor, was the primary author of the Editorial, working off a draft prepared by a news staffer. I discussed the suit and the motion to dismiss filed by The Times in a prior post, NY Times defense: Palin Crosshairs Editorial Wasn’t Actually About Sarah Palin. Please read the prior post for background and links to pleadings and motion to dismiss papers.

    We're living in a very dangerous time. Several things are coming together that pose a serious threat to the liberty of anyone who is right-of-center. While there are many factors at work, I've been focused in recent days on three: (1) Antifa becoming a part of the anti-Trump Resistance; (2) politically-motivated denial of access to the internet at the gatekeeper level; and (3) attempts to weaken free speech protections in the name of social justice.

    As detailed extensively in prior posts, Sarah Palin has sued the NY Times for defamation based on an Editorial regarding the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Recent developments have revealed that James Bennet, Editorial Page Editor, was the primary author of the Editorial, working off a draft prepared by a news staffer. I discussed the suit and the motion to dismiss filed by The Times in a prior post, NY Times defense: Palin Crosshairs Editorial Wasn’t Actually About Sarah Palin. Please read the prior post for background and links to pleadings and motion papers.
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