CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2007 |
The most important free speech case now before the California Supreme Court carries neither the heft of the Pentagon Papers nor the emotion of Nazis seeking to march in Skokie, Ill. In fact, the figure at the center of the case, a Christian evangelist in Newport Beach, makes a highly unlikely 1st Amendment hero.
January 27, 2007 |
The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court Friday to unseal secret documents filed by the Bush administration in support of its warrantless domestic surveillance program. The administration announced last week that it was suspending the electronic surveillance program and says the ACLU case challenging its constitutionality should therefore be dismissed. It has filed some of its arguments under seal, preventing the ACLU from seeing them.
January 20, 2007 |
The Supreme Court set the stage Friday for striking down a part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that bars the broadcast of corporate and union-funded ads just prior to an election. Three years ago, the justices narrowly upheld the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 and its rule against corporate-funded broadcast ads, which was adopted to prevent powerful interests from using their money to sway elections in the final weeks of a campaign.
January 20, 2007 |
An outspoken journalist who repeatedly clashed with Turkish authorities here over recognition of the early 20th century slaughter of Armenians was shot to death Friday afternoon on a busy downtown street. Hrant Dink, who as editor of a Turkish Armenian newspaper was the leading voice for his ethnic community, was killed a week after he wrote about threats from unknown forces who he said regarded him as "an enemy of the Turks."
October 17, 2006 |
In a setback for the Boy Scouts, the Supreme Court turned away a free-speech challenge to a Berkeley policy that denies city-subsidized dock space to a Scouting group because it excludes gays and atheists. The court's action lets stand rulings in California and elsewhere that have said cities, schools and colleges may deny public benefits to groups that refuse to comply with broad nondiscrimination rules involving religion and sex orientation.
October 6, 2006 |
Turkey will be the featured country at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2008, a choice that could invite controversy after two recent court cases raised questions about freedom of expression in the European Union candidate. Turkish publishers consider the honor a chance to shift the spotlight from the 2006 court cases to its cultural heritage and the 20,000 books published each year in the country.
October 3, 2006 |
In a setback for lawyer and TV commentator Gloria Allred, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a free-speech challenge to the increasingly common practice of judges issuing "gag orders" for all the lawyers in highly publicized criminal cases. The order turning down Allred's appeal came on an unusually quiet first day of the court's fall session. By law, the justices open their term on the first Monday of October.
September 27, 2006 |
Fifty-six Kurdish mayors went on trial in Turkey's latest freedom-of-speech case. They are accused of helping terrorists by writing a letter arguing to keep a Kurdish television station on the air. The Danish-based Roj television station is banned in Turkey. It often features leaders of the main outlawed Kurdish guerrilla group speaking by satellite telephone from northern Iraq. Their comments are accompanied by images of rebels being trained or attacking Turkish soldiers.
September 22, 2006 |
One of Turkey's leading authors, Elif Shafak, was acquitted of "insulting Turkishness" -- a charge that many Turks viewed as an embarrassment and an obstacle to joining the European Union. The speedy court decision was seen as a step toward securing greater freedom of speech, but critics said that until the law was abolished, Turkey would remain a place where authors were regularly put on trial. Analysts said the government was reluctant to change the law because it had broad support.
July 4, 2006 |
Marchers in today's Fourth of July parade will be able to carry signs reading "Support Our Troops ... Bring Them Home Now," according to a compromise decision hammered out Monday among the village, the marchers and a federal judge. After complaints about those signs last year, the village's parade committee ruled that no "political propaganda" or advertising could be carried by marchers, and that signs should only reflect the themes of the parade -- "Let Freedom Ring" and "Support Our Troops."