March 28, 2011
Someone who boasts of a military honor he didn't receive is contemptible, but is he a criminal? Congress thought so when it enacted the Stolen Valor Act, which provided for fines or prison time for anyone who "falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States. " But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has taken the wiser view, concluding that such misrepresentation, however offensive, is protected by the 1st Amendment.
May 5, 2012 |
Before you click that "like" button in Facebook, you should know that a judge in federal court asserted that this is not protected under the 1st Amendment. In what boils down to a wrongful termination case (Bland vs. Roberts) brought before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, four former employees of a sheriff up for reelection claimed that they were fired after, among other things, he discovered that they "liked" his opponent's campaign page on Facebook.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2013 |
Scary monsters adorning the outside of singer Chris Brown's Hollywood Hills home are his personal art and he isn't about to give up his 1st Amendment right to expression because of a city citation, his attorney said. Mark Geragos, the singer's attorney, has filed an appeal with the city of Los Angeles over a citation he received after his neighbors complained about the 8-feet-tall neon figures with bulging eyes and fangs on the walls of his designer home. The enforcement citation was issued last month over "unpermitted and excessive signage" on his home on leafy, narrow Rinconia Drive.
August 15, 2010
The photograph that accompanies this editorial depicts Alberd Tersargyan, who is accused of killing a Los Angeles couple, their 8-year-old daughter and a fourth victim, a prostitute shot dead on Sunset Boulevard. His likeness has been publicly circulated by the Los Angeles Police Department, has been seen by countless television viewers and is widely available to anyone conducting the simplest Internet search. His image is no secret, and it is uncontested that his status as a criminal defendant gives him no right or power to prevent it from being viewed publicly.
June 17, 2010
UC Irvine officials recently recommended a one-year suspension for the Muslim Student Union, the group that appears to have been behind the disruption of a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on the campus in February. It's an apt punishment for what was clearly an inappropriate protest, although it will satisfy neither conservative politicians such as Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine), who wrote a letter to the university's chancellor urging that the group be permanently banned, nor defenders of the Muslim group, who think the students were only exercising their free-speech rights.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 1999
The 1st Amendment was meant to be used, not abused. CARL ROBERTS Simi Valley