NEWSFLASH! 7/8-8/5

The Knight First Amendment Institute recently filed a lawsuit against President Trump alleging that he violated the First Amendment when he blocked seven Twitter users from following his account after they criticized his administration and its policies. The suit argued that Trump’s social media account is a “public forum” under the First Amendment and thus users cannot be excluded merely because they are critical of the President. Last month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of the seven Twitter users. The appellate court justified the decision on the finding that Trump uses his Twitter account “to conduct official business and to interact with the public.”

The Second Circuit’s ruling against President Trump has recently been used to justify a similar lawsuit against New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who also has blocked Twitter users in the past for espousing critical views of her and her policies. The district court where the lawsuit was filed has yet to rule on the lawsuit.

South Dakota lawmakers have passed a bill requiring that the national motto—“In God We Trust”—be displayed in every public school in the state. The bill specifically requires that the motto must be displayed in areas where students are likely to see it and its sponsors have noted that they believe the motto will inspire patriotism. While there has been vocal support for the new law across the state, critics have stated that the motto is exclusive in nature and possibly violates the Establishment Clause.

A Nevada man has brought a lawsuit against Nevada election officials claiming that they violated his First Amendment rights in denying his attempt to register a new political party for state ballots: the “WTF Party.” Stating that the name’s acronym includes a well-known profanity, officials declined the man’s request. The lawsuit is filed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Matal v. Tam in which the Court held that the Asian-American rock band The Slants have the right to trademark their disparaging name.

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