Gag Order in Comic-Con Trademark Case Violates First Amendment

The San Diego Comic Con (“con” is short for “convention”) is an international convention held each summer in San Diego, California.  Attendance in recent years has been around 130,000. The San Diego Comic Conn (or SDCC for short) sued Dan Farr Productions, the producers of the “Salt Lake Comic Con”—a similar convention but half the… Read More Gag Order in Comic-Con Trademark Case Violates First Amendment

Washington Sexting Law Held Constitutional

In Washington State, minor who engage in “sexting”—texting sexually explicit images of oneself to another—can be convicted of child-pornography distribution. (Fair warning: this blog post contains sexually explicit language; we don’t hold back.) Eric Gray, a 17-year-old male, sent an adult woman an unsolicited picture of his erect penis. Accompanying the picture was a message… Read More Washington Sexting Law Held Constitutional

Virginia Official Violated First Amendment by Blocking Man From Commenting on Her Facebook Page

This is the second case in the last 7 days involving people using Facebook to raise public-corruption concerns. Brian Davison is a conscious public citizen, active in local politics. Among other things, he’s concerned about potential corruption in his local government–specifically conflicts of interest among the local school board. Earlier this year, Brian went to… Read More Virginia Official Violated First Amendment by Blocking Man From Commenting on Her Facebook Page

Louisiana Sheriff Prosecutes Blogger, Likely Violated First Amendment

Jennifer Anderson set up an anonymous blog and Facebook page called “Exposedat.” Her goal was to highlight and question intertwined personal and business relationships involving public officials in her parish in Louisiana. (Louisiana doesn’t have counties; they have “parishes.”) She made a particular set of postings that got her into hot water with the local sheriff.… Read More Louisiana Sheriff Prosecutes Blogger, Likely Violated First Amendment

University Suspends Student For Tweeting “Graded” Version of Ex’s Apology Letter

Nick Lutz is a student at University of Central Florida. His ex-girlfriend (not a UCF student) sent him a handwritten apology letter after what one can presume was a bad breakup. So, Lutz ‘graded’ the handwritten letter like a school paper, calling out his ex’s spelling, grammar, and syntax errors.  He included feedback on the her handwriting.  He then posted her letter–with his… Read More University Suspends Student For Tweeting “Graded” Version of Ex’s Apology Letter

FBI’s Gag Orders to Internet Companies Are Constitutional

The FBI sometimes seeks the aid of private tech companies. Those companies have sometimes pushed back. Today’s case is the latest chapter. The FBI conducts national-security investigations. No real surprise there. To help them, a federal law authorizes the FBI to send a “national security letter” or “NSL” to a “wire or electronic communication service provider” requesting… Read More FBI’s Gag Orders to Internet Companies Are Constitutional