Us Cheerleader Wins Free Speech Case Against Her Former School
The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a teenager who was kicked off her school cheerleading squad over a profane social media post.
In an 8-1 ruling, it concluded that the Mahanoy Area School District had violated Brandi Levy’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment.
The justices were asked to consider whether public schools had the ability to regulate off-campus speech.
The case affects free speech rights for millions of American school students.
Ms Levy, now an 18-year-old college student, was previously a member of the junior varsity cheerleading squad at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania.
In May 2017, when she was 14, Ms Levy made a Snapchat post after an unsuccessful try-out for the school’s varsity team. She uploaded it while at a convenience store in Mahanoy City.
The post featured a picture of her and a friend raising their middle fingers, with a profanity-laden caption voicing her displeasure at cheerleading, school, softball and “everything.” In another post, she questioned another girl’s selection to the cheerleading squad.
The post was screenshotted by a friend and shown to another pupil, who was the daughter of one of the cheerleading coaches.
As punishment, Mahanoy Area High School coaches kicked Ms Levy off the cheerleading squad for a year.
But the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Ms Levy and her parents, argued that students needed to be protected from censorship and monitoring.
Perez V Posse Comitatus
CIR defended Sachem Quality of Life, a non-profit community group designed to deal with the explosion of illegal immigration in the Farmingville area of Long Island after some local labor groups asserted the organization was violating their rights…
Case Status: Victory. Plaintiff’s motion to dismiss remaining claims was granted.
Does That Mean You Can Say Anything All The Time
Volokh points out that each of these cases also shows specific and very narrow limits to free speech.
In the case of the Ku Klux Klan leader advocating acts that would be crimes if they were carried out, the Supreme Court decision made clear that if his speech were encouraging an audience to immediately commit a crime to immediately loot, riot or burn down buildings, for instance that speech would not be protected by the First Amendment.
In the case of the newspaper that published the inaccurate information, that form of speech would not be protected by the First Amendment if the newspaper published falsehoods knowingly and purposefully.
And using obscenity in a public place would not necessarily be protected, says Volokh, if it were directed at a specific person and intended as fighting words.
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More On Us Schools And Education
- Discrimination Complaints: The Education Department logged a record number of discrimination complaints in 2022, the latest indicator of how social and political strife is reverberating in the nations schools.
- Curriculum Wars: According to a new survey, most Americans are satisfied with their local schools. But one issue remains divisive: teaching children about gender diversity and L.G.B.T.Q. rights.
- Teaching Climate Change: Many middle school science standards dont explicitly mention climate change. But some educators are finding ways to integrate it into lessons.
- Falling Scores: U.S. students in most states have experienced troubling setbacks in math and reading since the pandemic began, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
In urging the justices to hear the case, the school district said administrators around the nation needed a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court on their power to discipline students for what they say away from school. The question presented recurs constantly and has become even more urgent as Covid-19 has forced schools to operate online, a brief for the school district said. Only this court can resolve this threshold First Amendment question bedeviling the nations nearly 100,000 public schools.
Justin Driver, a law professor at Yale and the author of The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court and the Battle for the American Mind, agreed with the school district, to a point.
Minnesota Voters Alliance V Mansky
The story: Minnesota law prohibits the wearing of any political badge, political button, or other political insignia at or about the polling place on election days. In 2010, Andrew Cilek went to his polling place in Hennepin County, Minnesota wearing a T-shirt with the Tea Party logo, the slogan Dont Tread on Me, and an image of the Gadsden flag on it, as well as an anti-voter fraud Please I.D. Me button. An election worker wouldnt allow Cilek to vote unless he removed or covered up the messages after multiple attempts, Cilek was eventually allowed to vote, but the worker recorded his personal information.
The legal question: The Minnesota Voters Alliance argues that the states ban on political apparel violates the First Amendment because its construction is too broad and election officials have too much discretion to decide what is political, thereby hurting protected speech along with active electioneering. The state, however, argues that the Minnesota law is well within established legal bounds for speech restrictions at polling places that protect voters.
Argument date: February 28
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Freedom Of Speech Quotes
Throughout time, people have craved, even when it was denied them, the right to freely express themselves. Freedom of speech quotes have survived centuries, to be used again and again, as people fight for this basic human right. What follows are ten great examples of freedom of speech quotes, wherein folks have either defended the policy as is, or have defended the laws that keep freedom of speech in check.
If we dont believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we dont believe in it at all. Noam Chomsky
Freedom of speech is useless without freedom of thought. Spiro Agnew
Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech. Benjamin Franklin
There has to be a cut-off somewhere between the freedom of expression and a graphically explicit free-for-all. E.A. Bucchianeri
For if men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us the freedom of speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter. George Washington
Those who make conversations impossible, make escalation inevitable. Stefan Molyneux
Freedom of speech gives you the right to stay silent. Neil Gaiman
The Intersection Of School Dress Code Policies And Title Ix
Senior Education Attorney at Husch Blackwell
School dress codes will undoubtedly continue to be a hot topic in education as schools navigate recent court decisions and the new Title IX regulations and update their policies to reflect the new requirements. If you are interested in learning more about school dress code and Title IX, please visit Husch Blackwell’s K-12 Legal Insights blog: . You can also join us for an all-day Title IX and its applicability to school dress codes training on January 18, 2023. You may register here.
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Yohn V California Teachers Association
On February 6, The Center for Individual Rights filed a lawsuit against the state of California and the California Teachers Association on behalf of eight California public school teachers and the Association of American Educators. The teachers are challenging Californias agency shop law, which violates the First Amendment by forcing them to pay annual fees to the union even if they are not a member…
Case Status: Victory
The Freedom To Choose Your Words: Cohen V California
Nineteen-year-old Paul Cohen was arrested for wearing a jacket in a California courthouse that protested the draft with an obscenity. A lower court said that Cohen had the right to speak out against the draft, but not the right to do it with obscene language in a public place.
When the case was appealed to the Supreme Court, the Court disagreed. The Court said that its important that people be free to choose their words, says Volokh. Even if those words are angry words, even words that are seen as offensive words. That itself can be an important part of the message.
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What Is Freedom Of Speech
Freedom of speech is the right afforded to a person to be able to speak his or her mind without fear that the government will censor or restrict what they have to say, or will retaliate against them for expressing himself. People are often confused by this concept, however, thinking that they can say anything that pops into their heads without repercussion. Just because you are allowed to say whatever you want does not mean that you will not suffer consequences as a result it just means that the government cannot violate your right to do so.
The U.S. has many laws that place limits on speech and other forms of expression, which may be seen as harsh restrictions. These include prohibitions against defamation, slander, copyright violations, and trade secrets, amongst others. American philosopher Joel Feinberg posited what is known as the offense principle, which works to prohibit speech that is clearly offensive, or which can harm society as a whole, or a group in particular, such as racial hate speech, or hate speech aimed at someones religion.
Norman Wang V University Of Pittsburgh Et Al
CIR is representing Dr. Norman Wang, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who was disciplined for publishing an article in a scientific journal that analyzed the extent and effect of racial preferences in medical education over the last fifty years. Wang has been on the faculty at the School of Medicine…
Case Status: Victory in District Court. Defendants are appealing.
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Do You Know The Restrictions On Your Freedom Of Speech
Definitely, freedom of speech and expression is the fundamental right and hence it is the birthright of every citizen of this country to express himself or herself freely but many of us interpret it as the matter of absolute right but it is not the fact rather there are reasonable restrictions on your freedom of speech.
So in this article I will discuss the reasonable restrictions applicable on your freedom of speech.
Should There Be Restrictions On Freedom Of Speech
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any person that goes against religion.
It protects the right to free speech, the right to the freedom of press and the right to peaceful assembly. It was adopted on December 15 1791.
Now freedom of speech does not grant you the ability to make threats of violence or incite hatred for particular groups therefore not an argument that freedom of speech limitations would help stop.
Lets say, For Example.
Child suicide rates because its virtually impossible to change those rapes so dramatically by posting up limitations of what a bully can say freedom of speech is important not to be censored with governmental censorship comes governmental corruption.
The government would become corrupt if they limit what can be said through their country?
Now when the government restricts certain unallowable opinions and at the same time pretends to be protecting.
Freedom of speech is essentially saying youre free to say whatever you want as long as you dont say. This is the same principle that existed and even the most pilot Aryan societies seeing that society has free speech becomes meaningless.
Now indeed the only thing about giving the government the power to limit speech is that it will be using power unpredictably the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, Roger Ballwin put it well when he said In order to defend the people, you have to defend the people you hate.
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Related Legal Terms And Issues
- Anti-Federalist A political movement that opposed the creation of a stronger U.S. federal government, and opposed the ratification of the Constitution in 1787.
- Defamation An intentional false statement that harms a persons reputation, or which decreases the respect or regard in which a person is held.
- Copyright A legal device that gives the creator of a literary, artistic, musical, or other creative work the sole right to publish and sell that work.
- Slander An intentional false statement that harms a persons reputation, or which decreases the respect or regard in which a person is held.
- Trade Secrets Designs, practices, processes, commercial methods, techniques, or information that is not generally known by others, which gives a business an advantage over competitors.
Even Offensive Speech Is Protected: Brandenburg V Ohio
In 1964, the leader of a branch of the Ku Klux Klan, a racist organization, was arrested for advocating violence in a speech he gave during a filmed rally. In his remarks he spoke of taking revengeance against African Americans and Jews. The Supreme Court ruled that the inflammatory speech was protected by the Constitution.
In its opinion, the Court drew the distinction between speech that advocates for criminal action in a general way and speech that incites an immediate crime. So if somebody is giving a speech to a crowd outside a building and saying lets go and burn this building down, explains Volokh, that might be punishable.
A great deal of criticism of existing rules, existing laws and existing social institutions involves speech that might be seen as encouraging illegal conduct, says Volokh. People need to be free to express those views.
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Elon Musk Internet Freedom And How The Supreme Court Might Force Big Tech Into A Catch
The bird is freed, Elon Musk tweeted on the night he completed his $44 billion purchase of Twitter.
What he didnt say is that a series of court cases may soon clip its wings.
A self-described free-speech absolutist, Musk has suggested he will loosen Twitters content-moderation rules, allow more objectionable speech to remain on the site, and reinstate some users who have been banned. Three days after reassuring advertisers that he wont let Twitter become a free-for-all hellscape, he demonstrated his own personal freewheeling approach to speech when he tweeted a link to a false conspiracy theory about the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Musks takeover and expected overhaul of Twitter comes at a remarkable time. The law of the internet may be about to enter its most dramatic transition since the days of CompuServe and AOL. As Georgetown Law scholar Anupam Chander has written, Silicon Valley flourished in the United States largely because of a well-crafted legal regime. Lawmakers and courts in the late 20th century enacted various substantive reforms that allowed upstart tech companies to operate without fear of legal liability much as 19th century judges devised common-law principles to promote industrial development. The legal pillars that helped the internet grow are the same ones that would allow Musk to implement many of the reforms he has suggested. But those pillars are under threat.
Friedrichs V California Teachers Association Et Al
CIR represented ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International in a landmark effort to re-establish the right of individual teachers and other public employees to decide for themselves whether to join and support a union…
Case Status: Successfully closed. The Maryland case was dismissed, the Pennsylvania case was settled, O’Keefe entered into a plea agreement in the New Orleans case, and the California case was settled.
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Sypniewski V Warren Hills Rsd
In 2001, CIR working together with New York law firm KMZRosenman filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Thomas Sypniewski, a high-achieving senior at a Washington, N.J., public high school, after he was suspended for wearing a Jeff Foxworthy t-shirt…
Case Status: Victory. Defendant Compton’s motion for Summary Judgment granted on August 31, 2000.
Freedom Of Speech Amendment
The concept of freedom of speech came into being in the United States back in the 1780s, when Anti-Federalists, like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, expressed their concerns that the federal government could eventually become too powerful. To keep the government in check, the Bill of Rights was drafted, which gave us, among other guarantees, freedom of speech, as detailed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which can also be considered the Freedom of Speech Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In addition to offering citizens protection from government interference in the expression of their ideas, the Freedom of Speech Amendment also them with the freedom to exercise ones religion free from persecution. This is known as the Free Exercise Clause. Under this clause, citizens are permitted to adopt any religion they choose, and to take part in the rituals that the religion dictates.
Similarly, the Establishment Clause prevents the government from establishing one official religion that the countrys citizens all must follow. It also prevents the government from developing a preference for, or promoting one religion over another, religion over the lack of religion, or non-religion over religion.
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The State Of Free Speech In 2022
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Knight Foundations Free Expression in America Post-2020 Report
63% of Americans agreed that free speech was an extremely important right and another 28% agreed it was a very important right
Morning Consult: More Regulations for Social Media in 2022?
First Amendment of the US Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or Abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.