Free speech roundup

  • Guidelines urge UK prosecutors to charge those who “egg on others” to violate social media speech laws [The Register]
  • Mississippi county’s ban on clown costumes probably violates the First Amendment [Eugene Volokh]
  • Propositions placed before voters in Washington, Oregon, Missouri, South Dakota would require nonprofits to disclose donors. Chilling effects ahead should they pass [Tracie Sharp and Darcy Olsen, WSJ]
  • Blogger critical of Houston cancer researcher put through FBI investigation (and cleared) following dubious complaint [Ken White, Popehat]
  • And they’re right. “New York law to combat Citizens United is ‘constitutionally unsound’ says NYCLU” [Ronald K.L. Collins] Would Michael Moore’s anti-Trump film have run afoul of pre-Citizens United law? [Trevor Burrus]
  • Trying to count how many journalists Donald Trump has threatened to sue “quickly turned into a fool’s errand.” [Trevor Timm, Columbia Journalism Review, earlier here, etc., etc.; related, Steve Chapman on corrections] And: Trump libel threat clock resets to zero each time the mogul threatens to sue a journalist or critic. Even more: fearful he will sue, ABA stifles report critical of Trump’s litigation [New York Times]


  • Mississippi county’s ban on clown costumes …

    I had hoped that this was another Onion news item. Alas, no.

    But, the ban does expire on November first. It is apparently in anticipation of Halloween, according to the Kemper County [Mississippi] Messenger newspaper. Whether that is mitigating or aggravating is an open question.

    In either case, though, Kemper County has provided once again clear and convincing evidence to support the occasional cries heard in response to stupid legislation in other states, “Thank God for Mississippi!”

  • I hate to suggest it, but since it’s generally left wing types supporting the proposal to force disclosure of non-profit donors, perhaps the way to overturn these (should they pass) would be to show up on THEIR doorsteps. Give them what they wish for, as it were.