Free speech roundup

  • Following similar rulings in Charleston, S.C., and Washington, D.C., federal judge rules Savannah violated First Amendment when it passed law forbidding unlicensed tour guides [Andrew Wimer, Institute for Justice]
  • Pursuing a leak, San Francisco cops raid home of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody, hold him captive, seize his equipment [Yashar Ali, CNN] “SF police got warrant to tap journalist’s phone months before controversial raid” [Evan Sernoffsky, San Francisco Chronicle] Update: judge revokes warrant and says cops didn’t tell her target of wiretap was a journalist [Billy Binion, Reason]
  • Breadth of the Julian Assange indictment and implications for the First Amendment [Eugene Volokh]
  • Three concepts of “hate speech” related to religion, and their different legal treatment: “speech that denigrates religion as such; speech that threatens imminent violence against believers; and speech that insults or denigrates believers on the basis of religion” [Mark Movsesian and Marc DeGirolami podcast, Center for Law and Religion, St. John’s]
  • New York disciplines a civil servant over political opinions he expressed on Facebook. Can it do that? [Center for Individual Rights]
  • “Goldsmith … was charged with simple misdemeanor harassment for a Facebook post he made expressing his criticism of the policing methods he witnessed by an Adams County sheriff’s deputy at a local town festival.” [ACLU] Speaking of that organization: “ACLU (N.H.) Challenging Criminal Libel Statute” [Eugene Volokh last winter]


  • I have to ask one thing. Where was Mr. Davi’s union at during all of this?

    • As a disclaimer, I don’t know anything about this case beyond the linked article. Also apologies if this is a double post – something weird happened on my end the last time I tried to submit.

      If I were to guess, the growing political activism of unions in general, and the most common direction that activism leans towards, is no secret. Mr. Davi was disciplined for expressing a political opinion. It seems plausible that Mr. Davi’s union may not have been as motivated to defend him as they would have been had he been disciplined for expressing the opposite opinion.

      • I think you are reading my mind. Nice value he’s getting for his dues money.

  • Re: Goldsmith
    I saw no threat in Goldsmith’s post. Were it to be taken literally, he’s offering deputy Dorsey, whom he believes to be irrational and violent, a job opportunity should he lose his position with Adams County. It’s a type of compassion that we need more of.
    If it’s not to be taken literally then the complaint should be tossed.

  • It’s not like AFGE will represent even when the acknowledged behavior is specifically forbidden by the contract. If you don’t pay dues, they will not insure that their contract is enforced unless some dues paying person complains.

    • Where does it say that he didn’t pay his dues?

  • With respect to Goldsmith, he should swear out a criminal complaint against the cops who did this to him.

    With respect to Davi, he should swear out a criminal complaint as well. 18 USC 242.

    I laughed a little when I saw in Goldsmith’s complaint that the First Amendment does not tolerate this behavior on the part of the police—um no. The First Amendment is simply a bunch of words on the page—what doesn’t tolerate this behavior is the commitment to the rule of law. And, by the way, when plainly applicable criminal laws aren’t enforced against government officials, it undercuts the belief in the rule of law.

  • Re: hate speech against religion, “denigrating religion as such” is wrong? “Religion is sucks and is stupid and religious people are stupid” — there’s something wrong with saying that? Bill Maher must be worried.