By: Athina Hinson-Boyte Just Mercy In December, the film adaptation of Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy was released in theaters. It tells the true story of Walter McMillian, a young black man who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. The book shows the injustices and racism of the criminal system … Continue reading Book Bans: First Amendment Violation of Prisoners
Happy Monday! Although FALR staffers are enjoying a week of Spring Break, First Amendment doesn't stop! Here are some recent headlines: The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed a bill that prohibits the state from contracting with any companies that boycott Israel. The law states that the Oklahoma “shall not enter into a contract with … Continue reading NEWSFLASH! 2/24-3/9
By: Mannirmal Jawa Across the Southern United States, Confederate monuments stand on government property as active souvenirs of the Jim Crow era. Local governments that try to remove the statues sometimes run into hurdles. For example, sometimes members of the public protest the removal; the infamous Unite the Right rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville … Continue reading The Right to (Begin to) Right a Wrong
By: Tisha Martin Last August, an Oklahoma District Court Judge held Johnson & Johnson liable for its role in the opioid epidemic in Oklahoma. Oklahoma brought its case against the pharmaceutical company under public nuisance law. The court’s ruling—that a company can be held liable under public nuisance law for the effects of their advertisements—is … Continue reading Combating Fake News with Public Nuisance Law
By: Tim Sookram On May 21, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights promulgated the final version of the “Conscience Rule,” a regulation aimed at protecting the rights of those who cite religious grounds in refusing to perform or assist with certain health care services. Opponents have decried the … Continue reading Tipping the Balance: the Conscience Rule, Religious Freedom, and Health Care
By: Zachary Tooman Lamenting Richard Nixon’s nomination of William Rehnquist for Associate Justice in December 1971, Dr. Hunter Thompson labeled Rehnquist a “vengeful geek” who would, along with fellow nominee Lewis Powell, “reduce the U.S. Supreme Court to the level of a piss-poor bowling team in Memphis,” and create a “disastrous, nazi-bent shift of the … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in the Court: Justice Thomas’s Audience of One in McKee v. Cosby
By: Prakash Kadiri Is giving nutritional advice protected by the First Amendment? Absolutely. Now, what if you’re not licensed by the state but compensated for that advice—is your speech still protected by the First Amendment? A Florida District Court recently said no. In deciding cases like this, courts try to distinguish whether the licensing laws— … Continue reading Professional Speech & Conduct: Do the Courts Know the Difference?
By: Elliotte Kiel Applicant Surveillance to Prevent Fraud In March 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced it is looking into social media surveillance of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants. The agency justified this as part of their “responsibility to detect and prevent fraud.” SSDI pays monthly benefits to people who cannot regularly work … Continue reading Social Security ‘Big Brother’ for the Disabled
By: Lindsay Byers October is a busy month for institutions that are subject to the Clery Act, as they begin releasing their safety reports. While many institutions, like UNC Chapel Hill, might be focused on the shocking uptick of reported sexual assaults on campus, Syracuse University is facing an additional issue. Syracuse students have voiced … Continue reading Categorizing Clery Crimes: The Grey Between Crime and Bias
By: Alison J. Rossi Early in summer of 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that a North Carolina law that banned convicted sex offenders from accessing or using social media websites was unconstitutional. In Packinham v. North Carolina, the Court ruled North Carolina’s law violated the First Amendment. This case has … Continue reading Packingham v. North Carolina: Court Protects Sex Offenders First Amendment Rights to the Internet.