For years, Republicans and fair-minded people have expressed concern about the unequal application of the law in the area of First Amendment protections. For example, churches during the COVID-19 pandemic were famously restricted from meeting, but protests for the “Black Lives Matter” movement were allowed to go forward. Last week marked the courts stepping in to push back and uphold the First Amendment:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a unanimous 3-0 decision, found that two anti-abortion groups had plausibly alleged that the D.C. government “discriminated on the basis of viewpoint in the selective enforcement of its defacement ordinance.”
The groups, the Frederick Douglass Foundation and Students for Life of America, sued the D.C. government in 2021 after local police arrested two protesters who wrote “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” on a public sidewalk during an August 2020 demonstration.
The foundation claimed D.C. authorities abandoned enforcement of the anti-graffiti law during widespread protests in the city following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Yet that same summer, the group claimed, the restriction was “vigorously” enforced against them.Read more
This week is shaping up to be another historic week at the Supreme Court, which is expected to release the remaining decisions from its 2022-2023 term. Two of the most closely watched cases are challenging the alleged race-based admissions policies of Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill. As Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino pointed out on Fox News, Americans are tied of the discriminatory, race-based college admissions policies.
The majority of Americans do not want race factored into college admissions.— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) June 26, 2023
I hope the Supreme Court will finally clarify that it is unconstitutional to use race-based admissions to discriminate against students.
📺 @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/lGw0k7fIzf
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights held a hearing titled "An Ethical Judiciary: Transparency and Accountability for 21st Century Courts" to promote anything but ethics and transparency in the judiciary. The hearing was another effort to promote legislation that would impose unworkable recusal standards on the Supreme Court Justices and chill the speech of amici who want to make their voice heard on the most important legal issues of the day.
Witness Thomas Dupree explains how the Democrats' proposed legislation would chill the speech of amici who file briefs with the Court. pic.twitter.com/yqx320SEmR— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) May 3, 2022
On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that he submitted an offer to acquire Twitter. The Washington Post reported:
Elon Musk has launched a $43 billion hostile takeover bid for Twitter, the social network that the eccentric billionaire behind Tesla uses as a hobby to connect with his 81 million followers — saying he believes the platform is essential to the functioning of democracy.Read more
Last week, the Republican National Committee filed a complaint against the January 6th Committee to stop the enforcement of an "overbroad" and "unauthorized" subpoena compelling Salesforce to produce "sensitive and proprietary data over more than a two month period, which would give the Select Committee unprecedented access to the RNC’s internal political strategies and to private, personal information regarding its supporters." While it is common practice for companies like Salesforce to decline compliance with similar subpoenas during pending litigation, a new request for an injunction from the RNC explains that Salesforce plans to comply unless the court intervenes.Read more
In a recent Election Law Blog post, liberal Professor Rick Hasen said what everyone is thinking, but no one wants to admit. Even those on the left are getting tired of Democrat election lawyer Marc Elias (of Steele dossier infamy):
Marc is a controversial figure in the election law world, and he’s become something of an online bully, castigating those who disagree with him even on issues of strategy and tactics who might be natural allies. And once Marc attacks, he has 600,000 Twitter followers who follow suit and believe (thanks in part to some of Marc’s own posts and media appearances) that Marc is singlehandedly fighting against attempts to suppress votes and subvert election outcomes. (In fact, much of this work is done by voting rights lawyers, many without any affiliation with the Democratic Party.) I get lots of messages from election lawyers and professors complaining about Marc but reluctant to voice their criticisms publicly. . .Read more
The scandal behind the most infamous attack of the Democrats' and Biden Administration’s war on the First Amendment grew larger today. In a letter today by 17 state attorneys general to the National School Boards Association, whose letter allegedly started the effort of the Department of Justice to label parents speaking at school board meetings “domestic terrorists,” notes:
Recent reporting and e-mails not only make clear that NSBA likely colluded with the Biden administration, but also suggest that Biden administration officials may have participated in the development of the September 29 letter and asked you to sign it. In your e-mail to the NSBA Board dated September 29, 2021, you specifically stated that you had been “in talks over the last several weeks with White House staff, they requested additional information on some of the specific threats, so the letter details many of the incidents that have been occurring.”Read more
The blowback from the Biden Justice Department's latest overreach has now reached the state level.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association tells Delaware Valley Journal it disavows a letter last week from the national school board group asking that parents protesting education policy be investigated as possible violent domestic terrorists, That letter resulted in swift action from Attorney General Merrick Garland — and a swift backlash from advocates of parental rights and opponents of federal interference in local law enforcement.Read more
The Supreme Court reaffirmed strong First Amendment protection against voyeuristic government compulsory disclosure rules last week in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta. While we wrote about this last week, this is an important decision that deserves a second look. The Court ruled that California cannot require non-profit religious, charitable and civic organizations to disclose their donors to the state as a condition of soliciting contributions from Californians. The California requirement was started by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris. The Court’s opinion is a rebuke to the now Vice President.Read more