News & Resources

Congressman Under Investigation by Bar for Public Statements

The Florida Bar has opened an ethics investigation on Congressman Matt Gaetz following a tweet in February that many thought sounded like witness intimidation leading up to congressional testimony by Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former attorney. Congressman Gaetz tweeted: “Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…” He […]

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Federal Judge Stands Up for Press Freedoms in the Age of Assault on the Media

After thoughtful review of the evidence and careful consideration, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker of the Northern District of Florida dismissed a defamation suit against Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Eric Lipton. A former professor at the University of Florida and a vocal proponent for the benefits of GMO crops, scientist Kevin Folta cited 32 statements within Lipton’s 2015 article investigating Monsanto’s ties with the scientist and the academic community in relation to GMOs. […]

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Law Day 2019: We need a free and independent news media

A divine spark burns in each of us, waiting to ignite the light of wisdom and human fulfillment. The spark will wither and die if we are denied the freedom to think and speak and express ourselves as our consciences dictate, unfettered by fear of government retaliation. This is not my idea, nor is it a revolutionary idea. Neither was it completely new to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, John Adams and […]

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Here We Go Again… Is Flipping the Bird Protected by the First Amendment?

Are you getting a sense of déjà vu just reading the headline? Maybe that’s because of this story we blogged about previously. Or even this one — which we dealt with twice! Well, our current story of flipping the bird does not involve a religious sermon or the Commander-in-Chief. Instead, we have an angry woman and a thin-skinned police officer. Back in June of 2017, Michigan police officer Matthew Minard stopped Debra Cruise-Gulyas for speeding. […]

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A Battle Between Human Rights: The Right to Be Forgotten v. The Right to Know and Be Known

As we barrel headlong through the digital age, we are forced to confront new challenges to freedom of speech, privacy, and open government. The European Union recently blazed its own trail on these issues, giving those of us in North America a chance to see how their experiment in balancing these interests succeeds or fails. The Internet has no borders, and that’s part of the challenge. A big part of this is “the right to […]

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It’s Your First Amendment Right to Follow Elected Officials on Social Media, Rules Virginia Court

The Obama era was the first time that social media was truly recognized by elected officials as an effective tool for communicating directly with the public. Because it’s relatively new on the political scene, there are not many precedents set for how social media can lawfully be used by elected officials. However, those precedents are popping up – and quickly. Two Cases: One Open, One Shut Three years ago this month, a court ruled that […]

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