CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2008 |
On a sunny May afternoon, teenagers dismissed from a Beverly Hills middle school gathered outside a restaurant four blocks away and gossiped about their friends. Amid lots of giggling, the conversation among the eighth-graders touched on the prom and limousines but was dominated by an unflattering assessment of a girl at school, who was called a "spoiled brat" and a "slut." "I don't hate her, it's just, I wouldn't prefer to hang out with her for a million years," one girl declared.
July 24, 2008 |
In a nod to criticism that it is stifling free speech during the Olympics, China intends to designate space in three public parks as "protest zones" for people to vent their grievances, officials said Wednesday. Protesters will have to obtain permission from the Ministry of Public Security in advance, giving the names of organizers, the topic and the number of participants. Still, the protest zones are a break from the Chinese government's zero tolerance of dissent.
July 23, 2008 |
A federal appeals court agreed Tuesday with a lower court ruling that struck down as unconstitutional a 1998 law intended to protect children from sexual material and other objectionable content on the Internet. The decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia is the latest twist in a decade-long legal battle over the Child Online Protection Act, which now could head to the U.S. Supreme Court.
July 19, 2008 |
In a setback for the animal rights movement, a U.S. appeals court Friday struck down on free-speech grounds a federal law that made it a crime to sell videos of dogfighting and other acts of animal cruelty. All 50 states have laws against the abuse of animals, the appeals court said, but "a depiction of animal cruelty" is protected by the 1st Amendment. The ruling overturns a Virginia man's 2005 conviction, the nation's first under the law. Robert J. Stevens of Pittsville, Va.
May 20, 2008 |
The Supreme Court gave prosecutors a powerful tool Monday to attack the spread of child pornography online, ruling that people who send messages over the computer offering or seeking sexual images of children can be sent to prison, even when no such pornography exists. The 7-2 ruling, which upheld a 5-year-old law, rejected the claim that such messages were protected as free speech. "This will be a big help," said Patrick Trueman, a Virginia lawyer who led the Justice Department's anti-obscenity unit during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.
April 16, 2008 |
Vice President Dick Cheney does not have to testify as an eyewitness in a civil lawsuit filed against Secret Service agents by a man who says he was wrongfully arrested for criticizing the vice president -- at least not yet, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer ruled Tuesday.
April 1, 2008 |
If a city allows a monument with the Ten Commandments to be erected in a public park, must it also allow other religions and groups to display monuments of their choosing? The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up that question in an unusual dispute over the reach of the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech. In the past, the court has said the free-speech rule applies in parks and officials may not discriminate against speakers or groups because of their message.
March 18, 2008 |
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to rule for the first time in 30 years on what constitutes indecency on broadcast television and radio. The justices will weigh whether federal regulators may levy large fines on broadcasters who let expletives on the airwaves during daytime and early evening hours. The court could rule that the Federal Communications Commission has broad power to decide what is acceptable for broadcasts. Or the justices could conclude that the 1st Amendment's protection for the freedom of speech does not allow the government to punish broadcasters for an occasional vulgarity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2008 |
A state senator wants to protect high school and college journalism teachers from administrators angered by stories written by students. Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) cites at least eight incidents in which journalism advisors in California have been fired or reassigned because of something written by student reporters. He announced the bill Friday during the National College Newspaper Convention in San Francisco. Under the legislation, administrators could not retaliate against journalism teachers who try to protect their students' right to free speech.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2008 |
A coalition of media and public interest organizations went to federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday urging a judge to reconsider his order to shut down a muckraking website that publishes leaked documents from businesses and government agencies worldwide. Lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Citizen and several news organizations, told U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White that two orders he issued last week against wikileaks.