April 3, 2014 |
If you drive down Buckeye Road at the southern edge of Lima, Ohio, you'll pass an industrial complex where General Dynamics makes armored vehicles for the U.S. military. But if you stop and take a photograph, you just might find yourself detained by military police, have your camera confiscated and your digital photos deleted. Which is exactly what happened to two staffers for the Toledo Blade newspaper on Friday, in an unacceptable violation of the 1st Amendment and common sense. According to the Blade, staff writer Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser had just covered a news event at another Lima-area factory and decided to take photos of other businesses for future use, a common media practice.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 |
Money won. Doesn't it always? It was not a big surprise that the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision toda y striking down certain limits on federal campaign contributions was divided along partisan lines. Conservative justices sided with the idea that money equals speech, and that speech should be limited as little as possible. (Justice Clarence Thomas said there should be no limits at all.) Money, argued the losing liberal minority, drowns out other, equally protected political speech.
March 11, 2014
Re "Guns in the modern world," Letters, March 6 It's an interesting position to suggest the 2nd Amendment should only protect the right to bear the arms in use when the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Following this logic, the protections provided by the 1st Amendment must be similarly restricted to the technology of the time. Speech using radio or television or a blogger's commentary on the Internet would not be protected by the 1st Amendment, since "what they had in mind" were quill pens, hand presses and unamplified voices.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered Google to remove from the Internet all copies of an anti-Muslim film that forced an actress from her home because of threats on her life. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said a trial judge erred when he refused to grant an injunction ordering the removal of the film, “Innnocence of Muslims,” from YouTube, which is owned by Google. The film sparked worldwide violent protests. "While answering a casting call for a low-budget amateur film doesn't often lead to stardom, it also rarely turns an aspiring actress into the subject of a fatwa,” 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2014 |
Two men who were repeatedly kicked out of Los Angeles City Council meetings for violating public comment rules won part of a free-speech lawsuit against the city last year. But a jury recently awarded them only a few dollars for their trouble. The meager awards are the latest turn in a long-running case that pitted the Venice Beach performers against council rules banning "personal, impertinent, unduly repetitive, slanderous or profane remarks. " Like many government bodies across the country, the council has often wrestled with how to regulate public comments and keep meetings orderly.
January 31, 2014 |
A California law that prohibits therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of children and adolescents survived another legal challenge this week. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced that an earlier decision by a three-judge panel upholding the law wouldn't be reconsidered by a larger group of 11 judges. That was the correct decision. But a judge who believes the law should be reconsidered on free-speech grounds raised an important question in his dissenting opinion.