FBI’s Desperate Pretext to Keep Spying on Carter Page: He Might Write a Book!

Nine months into a relentless effort to spy on Carter Page with the most awesome surveillance tools the U.S. possesses, the FBI had no proof the former Trump adviser had colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election.

In fact, the bureau hid from the FISA court the fact that it knew Page was actually a U.S. asset who had helped the CIA and that in a secret recording with an informant he had denied all the core allegations against him with significant proof.

Read More

West Virginia School Bus Drivers File Lawsuit Against School Superintendent over Suspensions Related to Capitol Protest

Two veteran school bus drivers from a West Virginia school district have filed a civil lawsuit for suspensions related to their attendance at the January 6 Washington, DC protest.

Tina Renner and Pamela McDonald were suspended by Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson after receiving word the drivers had “posted threatening and inflammatory posts on their Facebook pages, had been present at the Electoral protest march on Wednesday that erupted in violence, and had violated […] leave policy.”

Read More

Commentary: Big Tech’s Conservative Purge Changes the Free Speech Debate

Big Tech’s coordinated silencing of conservative voices, including President Trump’s, signals a crossing of the Rubicon in the debate over government involvement to protect free speech.

Even conservatives like me, who have long argued that small-business competition is the best way to moderate the tech oligarchs’ power, recognize that government may now have an interest in making some large companies, such as basic web-hosting platforms, utilities akin to AT&T.

Read More

Federal Court Preliminarily Sides with Nine Ohio Christian Schools Claiming Toledo-Lucas Co. Health Dept Resolution Unconstitutional

The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request made by nine Ohio parochial schools to stop a resolution issued by the Toledo-Lucas County Department of Health that shut down in-person learning in the plaintiff schools.

The court issued a temporary order halting the health department from enforcing the resolution in the schools based on the likelihood the order violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Announces Health Dept Curfew Order Which Contains Several Exceptions

Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Director’s Second Amended Order that All Persons Stay at Home During Specified Hours Unless Engaged in Work or Essential Activity.

Sources inside the state government told The Star in November that the original curfew order came as a reaction to significant backlash from Ohioans as information leaked that Governor DeWine was going to push for another shutdown.
One source said, “people in the room when the decision was made agreed that a curfew wouldn’t do anything significant,” but would be an acceptable compromise the DeWine team would accept.

Read More

Ohio AG Yost Files Brief in Favor of Religious Schools, Says Health Department Orders Unconstitutional

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals backing three Ohio Christian Schools and a community organization who brought a lawsuit against the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.  The department issued an order barring in-person learning for all students in grades 7-12 from December 4 to January 11.

Monclova Christian Academy, Emmanuel Christian, St John’s Jesuit and Citizens for Community Values (CCV) are the plaintiffs.    The Court demanded a response from Toledo-Lucas County Health Department on Tuesday, December 29.

Read More

Ohio Gov. DeWine Signs Bill That Protects Students’ Free Speech

When Ohio college students return to campus after the holidays, they will be able to speak their mind freely.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Forming Open and Robust University Minds Act that protects individuals’ First Amendment rights and prohibits “free speech zones” on public college and university campuses in the state.

Read More

Ohio Lawmakers Require Free Speech Protection at Colleges, Universities

The Ohio House of Representatives made voices on the state’s college campus a little louder this week, if Gov. Mike DeWine approves.

The House passed the “Forming Open and Robust University Minds Act,” which would prevent colleges and universities from limiting political speech on campuses or moving that speech into “free speech zones.”

Read More

Facebook Demands Academics Disable Ad-Targeting Data Tool

Academics, journalists and First Amendment lawyers are rallying behind New York University researchers in a showdown with Facebook over its demand that they halt the collection of data showing who is being micro-targeted by political ads on the world’s dominant social media platform.

The researchers say the disputed tool is vital to understanding how Facebook has been used as a conduit for disinformation and manipulation.

Read More

Los Angeles Ordered to Pay NRA Six Figures After Losing First Amendment Case

The Washington Free Beacon reports, a federal court ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay the NRA’s lawyer fees of approximately $150,000, just months after he ruled a city ordinance violated the gun-rights group’s First Amendment rights.

The City of Los Angeles tried to penalize any contractor with ties to the NRA. The NRA sued over the ordinance and federal district court judge Stephen Wilson ruled it was an unconstitutional violation of the NRA’s First Amendment rights. The city eventually repealed it and on Tuesday, the judge ordered city officials to pay the NRA’s attorney fees totaling about $150,000.

Read More

Campus Survey: 42 Percent of Students Say Their College Doesn’t Empower Free Speech

Conservative students on college campuses across the U.S. are more likely to self-censor than their more liberal classmates out of fear of backlash or retribution, according to a first-of-its-kind student survey commissioned by RealClearEducation and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

The survey is the largest of its kind – canvasing 20,000 students at 55 U.S. colleges and universities about their experiences with free speech on campuses. Conducted by College Pulse, the survey ranks schools according to how open and tolerant students say they are, among several other criteria, and includes numerous student comments about their experiences.

Read More

Free Speech Group Warns University After it Allowed Black Lives Matter Protest but Banned Other Gatherings

A free speech advocacy group has sent two letters to East Carolina University after the public college banned gatherings of more than 50 students, but allowed a Black Lives Matter protest on campus.

Southeastern Legal Foundation sent a letter to the North Carolina public university on September 16 seeking information on its enforcement of its coronavirus policies. After receiving no response, the public interest law group sent a follow-up letter on September 24.

Read More

Commentary: Is Free Speech at Stake in November?

The phenomenon of “cancel culture” is a real and growing threat to free speech in America. This rapidly rising threat has caught many Americans off guard.

Since the rise of the nation-state, almost all the serious threats to freedom of speech have come from government or government sponsored agencies. However, this current threat is not from the government – at least not yet.

Read More

Commentary: Reagan’s Farewell Warning Was Ignored (And Now We Are Paying the Price)

In his 1989 farewell address, President Reagan asked the rhetorical question, “Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world?”

He followed up with the answer: 

Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise – and freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection.

Read More

US Supreme Court Denies Nevada Church’s Appeal of Virus Rule

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court denied a rural Nevada church’s request late Friday to strike down as unconstitutional a 50-person cap on worship services as part of the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court refused to grant the request from the Christian church east of Reno to be subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and other businesses to operate at 50% of capacity with proper social distancing.

Read More

‘Walking on Eggshells’: 62 Percent of Americans Are Afraid to Express Political Views, Survey Finds

Self-censorship is on the rise according to a new Cato Institute survey that reports nearly two-thirds of Americans are afraid to share their political views.

A new CATO Institute/YouGov national survey found 62% of Americans say the political climate today prevents them from saying what they believe. This is up several points from 2017 when 58% of Americans said they were afraid to share their political beliefs.

Read More

Columbus City Council to Consider Police Hate-Group Screening Legislation

The Columbus City Council is working on legislation to screen the police for affiliations with hate groups or for harboring beliefs consistent with these groups. Last Monday, Shayla Favor, a councilmember and chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, held a meeting at which she presented the outlines of her legislative initiative. There will be another hearing at Wednesday, July 20, at 3 p.m. Favor will then finish drafting police-screening legislation and include it in a larger piece of public safety legislation that will be presented to the city council on July 27, the last meeting before the August recess.

Read More

Conservatives Praise Supreme Court for Ruling States Can’t Discriminate Against Religious Schools

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education in a 5-4 ruling. 

Hailed as a victory for religious freedom, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend religious schools.

Read More

DeWine Signs Student Religious Liberties Act Into Law

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Student Religious Liberties Act into law Friday, a bill that protects prayer and religious expression in public schools.

“No student should have to hide their faith just because they enter a public school. The Student Religious Liberties Act is carefully crafted to ensure school administrators can’t unfairly penalize students of all faiths, or no faith,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values, one of twelve groups that testified in support of the bill.

Read More

Trump Activists Mobbed on Ohio University Campus While Officers Watched

Two conservative activists were mobbed and harassed Monday on Ohio University’s Athens campus while multiple police officers watched.

Read More

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit of Ohio Professor Who Refuses to Use Transgender Pronouns

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit last week filed against Shawnee State University by a professor who claims he was retaliated against for refusing to address a transgender student by the student’s preferred pronouns.

Read More

Buckeye Institute Fights for Lawyers’ Rights to Not Join Bar Associations that Lobby

The Buckeye Institute announced on Monday it filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to support lawyers’ First Amendment rights — by ensuring they are not compelled to join bar associations that lobby for political and ideological issues that they oppose.

Read More

Leftists Accuse Ohio Professor of Harassment for Refusing to Use Transgender Pronouns

A federal magistrate judge recently recommended to a district court that it dismiss a professor’s lawsuit against Shawnee State University, which forced the professor to use transgender pronouns against his beliefs.

Read More

Court: Ohio Man Arrested – Then Acquitted – After Publishing Parody Police Department Facebook Page Can Proceed with Lawsuit

A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is allowing a First Amendment lawsuit to move forward that was filed by an Ohio man who was arrested for – and later acquitted of – making a parody Facebook account of the Parma Police Department.

Read More

Cleveland Agrees to $225,000 Settlement With Communist Who Believes ‘America Was Never Great’

  Cleveland has agreed to pay $225,000 in a settlement with a second protester who was arrested outside of the 2016 Republican National Convention for burning the American flag. As The Ohio Star reported in April, the city agreed to a $50,000 settlement with Steven Fridley, who was also arrested…

Read More

Ohio Catholic School Sues City for Violating First Amendment Rights

A private Ohio Catholic School filed suit Wednesday against the city of South Euclid over a recent anti-discrimination ordinance that, they allege, discriminates against the school’s religious freedom. On April 9, 2018, the City Council of the City of South Euclid passed Ordinance No. 12-17, found in South Euclid, Ohio Code…

Read More

Union Power, Email Privacy in the Balance at New Supreme Court Sitting

by Kevin Daley   The Supreme Court will convene Tuesday for its February sitting, in which the justices will consider major cases involving the First Amendment, union power, and email privacy. The cases raise the prospect of serious political and diplomatic repercussions, placing the justices at the center of a…

Read More

Trump Administration Urges Supreme Court To Protect Cross-Shaped War Memorial

by Kevin Daley   The Trump administration filed an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief Wednesday urging the Supreme Court to protect a 93-year-old war memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, that is shaped like a Latin cross. The court will soon decide whether the cross-shaped World War I memorial violates…

Read More

DOJ Says University of Iowa Violated First Amendment By De-Registering a Christian Group

by Neetu Chandak   The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday the University of Iowa violated First Amendment rights after deregistering a student Christian group. Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) stopped receiving recognition from the public university in November 2017 due to the organization’s statement of faith, which the university…

Read More

Federal Employees Ordered Not to Discuss the ‘Resistance’ on Work Time

by Tristan Justice   Federal employees received warning on Wednesday not to discuss the “resistance” or the impeachment of President Donald Trump while on the job under new guidance issued by the Office of Special Counsel, the independent agency that enforces the Hatch Act. The guidance, according to The New York…

Read More

Commentary: A Profile in Absurdity as Jim Acosta the First Amendment Hero

by Mark Pulliam   The latest theatrics involving Jim Acosta, the left-wing political activist posing as a CNN reporter, perfectly illustrate the reasons why ordinary Americans despise the Beltway swamp: anti-Trump propaganda masquerading as journalism, rude and arrogant “reporters” engaged in 24/7 “resistance,” a federal judiciary so thoroughly dominated by…

Read More

Ben Shapiro Tells Ohio Lawmakers ‘Government Has No Role in Policing Hate Speech’

Conservative author, lawyer, and journalist Ben Shapiro testified Tuesday at the Ohio State House in favor of a bill that would require public universities to provide an equal platform to voices across the political spectrum. HB 758, also called the FORUM Act –standing for “forming open and robust university minds”…

Read More

The Origins of ‘Hate Speech’

by Kim Holmes   Intolerance and illiberalism, nakedly defined as abstractions or principles, are seldom if ever outwardly embraced by progressives. None but the most extreme will argue that intolerance and censorship are good things in themselves. Normally the preferred course is more subtle. Instead of openly arresting people who…

Read More

Analysis: California’s Bill Establishing the ‘Internet Social Media Advisory Group’ Could Run Afoul of the First Amendment

California is one step away from going down the unconstitutional road of government-mandated censorship of Internet speech. The California Senate and State Assembly recently passed S.B. 1424, the “Internet: social media: advisory group” act. This fake news advisory act is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. According…

Read More

A New Campus Invention for Policing Speech

by Dan E. Way   Colleges are using a new tool with the frightening potential to shut down open dialogue. They go by the benign-sounding name of “bias response teams.”  Bias response teams monitor what students and faculty say. They encourage students to report, often anonymously, comments or behavior that…

Read More

Commentary: Political Correctness, Just One Tool In The Arsenal Of ‘Sustainability’

by Kathleen Marquardt, Vice President, American Policy Center   “At its worst, political correctness is nothing different from Orwell’s Newspeak – an attempt to change the way people think by forcibly changing the way they speak.” ~ Urban Dictionary “Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because…

Read More

Generation Z: The Intolerant Ones

Millienals

by Ben Cohen   The post-millennials have arrived. As the oldest millennials turn 37, demographers have designated a new generation for those born after 1996, Generation Z. The oldest members of this cohort just graduated from college and had their first (legal) alcoholic beverages. As they wind their way through college, post-millennials…

Read More

Republican Rep. Gaetz Threatens Twitter with FEC Complaint Over Twitter Suppression, Claims Twitter May Be Giving Opponent Illegal Advantage

Matt Gaetz

by Peter Hasson and Joe Simonson    – Twitter’s recent algorithm change suppressed, or “shadow-banned,” prominent conservatives, including Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a new report found.  – Gaetz is considering filing a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Twitter, he told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  – Gaetz said…

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: SCOTUS Janus Decision Will Make Unions More Accountable to Their Members

Mark Janus

The Janus Decision will not create drastic structural changes to unions.  It will simply make them more accountable to their own members.  And in the case of teacher unions, this greater accountability should focus on making the quality of education front and center, help public education rebuild support from the public for issues like raising teacher pay and school funding, and work for the common good of all students and educators.

Read More

Oregon Forced Us to Close Our Cake Shop – Here’s What the ‘Masterpiece Decision’ Means for Us

Aaron and Melissa Klein

by Aaron and Melissa Klein   We are thrilled for our friend, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop who recently won his case at the Supreme Court. Like Jack, we know what it is like to be treated unfairly by a state agency and mocked, threatened, and abused by critics. We…

Read More

Senate Republicans Aim to Block the Confirmation of an Obama-Era Holdover Hostile to Religious Freedom

Chai Fledblum

by Kevin Daley   A budding coalition of Republican lawmakers is opposing the renomination of Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after President Donald Trump renominated the Obama-era commissioner to another term on the anti-discrimination panel. Much of the institutional religious right has mobilized in opposition to…

Read More