February 17, 2022 3:14 pm

The Satanic Temple Sues Newsweek for Libel

Check out the Complaint, filed today, and the article over which the lawsuit is brought, “Orgies, Harassment, Fraud: Satanic Temple Rocked by Accusations, Lawsuit.”

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February 17, 2022 2:37 pm

Let’s Go Brandon, Fly Your Anti-Biden Flag

Kokomo officials agree not to enforce ordinance banning “obscene, indecent, or immoral” signs against flag that says “Fuck Biden and fuck you for voting for him.”

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February 17, 2022 2:11 pm

“Let Me Kidnap Your Daughter and See If You Don’t Get Angry” = Punishable Threat Against Judge

From People v. Brown, decided today by the Colorado Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Judge James Casebolt, joined by Judge David Furman (over a dissent by Judge Lino Lipinsky): When does a statement by an irate and angry respondent parent in a dependency and neglect (D&N) case rise to the level of a…

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February 17, 2022 1:15 pm

The Men Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Were Convicted of Murder. Now They Are on Trial for Racism.

According to a former federal prosecutor, the seemingly redundant case sends “the message that the Justice Department won’t tolerate this type of racist hatred.”

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February 17, 2022 1:08 pm

David Cole (of the ACLU and Georgetown Law) on the Ilya Shapiro Matter

David Cole, longtime Georgetown law professor who’s now the National Legal Director of the ACLU, writes in the New York Review: Shapiro’s message was offensive, but if academic freedom is to mean anything, [Shapiro’s] two tweets can’t be a firing offense. And without academic freedom, the voices suppressed are as likely to be those of…

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February 17, 2022 7:56 am

Police Officer Can’t Litigate Libel Lawsuit Pseudonymously

From today’s Ohio Supreme Court decision in State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer & Volokh v. Shanahan (written by Justice Stewart); congratulations to my excellent pro bono lawyer Jeffrey M. Nye on the victory: In July 2020, a Cincinnati police officer using the pseudonym “M.R.” filed a complaint for injunctive relief in the Hamilton County Court of…

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February 16, 2022 2:30 pm

Jacob Mchangama: How Hate Speech Laws Punish Minorities

In the new book Free Speech, the Danish activist defends radical self-expression from Socrates to social media.

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February 16, 2022 11:04 am

Emerson College “[D]erecogniz[es] TPUSA Chapter After Publicly Denouncing Its ‘China Kinda Sus’ Stickers”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (Graham Piro) reports: The controversy arose after the group distributed stickers reading “China Kinda Sus” on campus—stickers that the administration, after initially suspending the group, later conceded were intended to criticize China’s government, not its people. Not that it would matter, as either criticism would still be protected under Emerson’s firm promises to protect freedom…

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February 16, 2022 10:17 am

Palin v. NYT Jurors “Learned of the Court’s” Decision Against Palin Before Rendering Verdict

“The jurors repeatedly assured the Court’s law clerk that these notifications had not affected them in any way or played any role whatever in their deliberations.”

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February 16, 2022 5:03 am

Some History of Insults of Lawyers, and Whether They Are Libelous

“He hath no more law than [a monkey/bull/goose]” vs. slight mischaracterization of legal advice.

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February 15, 2022 2:20 pm

Case Can’t Be Sealed Just Because Party Alleges There Are False Statements in Pleadings

From Continental Indemnity Co. v. Timothy Coffey Nursery/Landscape, Inc., decided yesterday by Magistrate Judge James Wicks (E.D.N.Y.): Defendant Timothy Coffey is the owner, founder and president of Defendant Coffey Nursery/Landscape (“Coffey Landscape”) and Defendant Ann Amiaga is Coffey Landscape’s office manager. Defendant Isaac Orellana was performing tree trimming and tree removal services for Coffey Landscape…

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February 15, 2022 1:35 pm

Perhaps the S. Ct. Will Reconsider the “Actual Malice” Libel Test — but Not in Palin v. N.Y. Times

Sarah Palin will doubtless appeal the verdict against her, and will almost certainly lose. Under existing libel law, she could only prevail if she could show so-called “actual malice,” which basically means that the Times knew that the statement about her was false (knowing falsehood), or at least published it with a “high degree of awareness of…

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February 15, 2022 5:01 am

Speech-Based Expulsion from Private Club Doesn’t Violate Massachusetts Civil Rights Act

From yesterday’s Report and Recommendation by Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell (D. Mass.) in Koppel v. Moses: [According to the Complaint,] Koppel and Moses at one point were friends and fellow MIT graduate students. Both belonged to a student-run computer science club called the Student Information Processing Board (“SIPB”), which Moses was the Chair of at…

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