Suing Ideas & Leaders

Imagine suing an idea. Well, you don’t really have to imagine, since a Louisiana police officer tried to do just that. Injured in a protest, the officer tried to sue the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Judge Brian A. Jackson stated “A hashtag is patently incapable of being sued.” He also tried to sue “Black Lives Matter,” but... Continue Reading →

First Amendment @ The Border

image credit: The Washington Post Since the 2016 Presidential election there has particular political attention paid to the “border crisis.”  Depending on your political ideology, this term, “border crisis” means two different things. Conversation has turned into an outcry, on both sides.  The Trump administration has pushed for a literal “border wall”, increased security, harsher... Continue Reading →

What Makes Them “Tick”?

I was in high school when the Charlie Hebdo shooting happened in Paris. The shooting, which killed 12 people and injured 11, was in response to comics published by the satirical newspaper that depicted the Prophet Muhammad. Islam forbids depictions of the Prophet, and in nations where Islamic law is in place, those who create... Continue Reading →

M*rry Ch**stmas

Photo from It’s the most wonderful time of the year: hot chocolate is being consumed by the gallons, stockings are being hung by the chimney with care, Target looks like Santa’s workshop after a robbery, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Actually, maybe not snow, I don’t think the Red Line... Continue Reading →

Climate Change Denial: Opinion or Libel?

When it comes to issues of libel and defamation, I usually find myself siding with the press. I think of cases like Hustler Magazine v. Falwell or Bollea v. Gawker, or even New York Times v. Sullivan. But what if statements of opinion in the press invalidate accurate facts about important issues like climate science? ... Continue Reading →

Hate Speech and the Classroom

An Indiana University professors’ racist, sexist, and homophobic comments throughout the years recently came to light via Twitter account SheRatesDogs, but the University provost stated that it was not enough to fire him (though she did denunciate him and his actions). The quote I find most troubling about provost Professor Robel’s statement, however, is this:... Continue Reading →

Where the First and Second Amendments Meet

Charels Donnelly, 23: “I will shoot any woman any time for any reason.” Police in Redmond, Washington seized Charels Donnelly’s weapons from his home after assessing the threat of Donnelly’s social media posts, including an image of Donnelly holding two AK-47 rifles with the caption “one ticket for joker please,” as well as posts regarding... Continue Reading →

How to Handle Hate Speech

In most countries other than the USA, hate speech is a crime. In fact, in Germany you can end up spending five years in prison for hate speech. The United States has a long history of trying to deal with this type of speech, and currently there are pretty tight restrictions on criminal punishments for... Continue Reading →

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