Sunday, August 2, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
A trio of business groups is suing San Francisco to protect the First Amendment rights of companies that sell and market sugary drinks.
On 24 July, the California Retailers Association, the American Beverage Association and the California State Outdoor Advertising Association filed a lawsuit to prevent mandatory warning labels on soda ads. The San Francisco ordinance, which was passed in June by nine votes to zero would cover soda ads on billboards, buses, transit shelters, posters and stadiums.
The plaintiffs argue “the city is trying to ensure that there is no free marketplace of ideas, but instead only a government-imposed, one-sided public ‘dialogue’ on the topic — in violation of the First Amendment.” They hope the District Court will overturn the city government’s decision.
The label, which must cover 20 percent of the ad, reads “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.” The labels mimic warning signs placed on cigarette packs.
Drink manufacturers will not only have to comply with producing warning labels but will be subject to a wave of new restrictions. Baylen Linnekin, chief executive of Keep Food Legal, writes, “the law would prohibit soda makers from identifying the products they sell while protesting against the law on public space. It bars ads advertising soda, Frappuccinos, or some Jamba juices on public property.”
Linnekin identifies two violations of the First Amendment in the city ordinance. One being the government preventing speech with which it disagrees and two, compelling the speaker to switch their language to that preferred by the government.
Government efforts to label certain products with health warnings have taken a knock in recent years. The California plaintiffs may draw hope from the 2012 case where tobacco companies won a major victory after a federal appeals court struck down requirements for cigarette packs to display graphic health warnings.
Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the District of Columbia Circuit, who voted with the majority in the case, wrote ”this case raises novel questions about the scope of the government’s authority to force the manufacturer of a product to go beyond making purely factual and accurate commercial disclosures and undermine its own economic interest — in this case, by making ‘every single pack of cigarettes in the country a mini billboard’ for the government’s antismoking message.”
The Food and Drug Administration which was pursuing the policy has not attempted to reintroduce the graphic labels.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
A new study says that less than 5 percent of colleges and universities surveyed have policies in place that respect the First Amendment right to free speech, while more than half are violating either the First Amendment or free speech promises made by these schools.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is an educational nonprofit that reviews 437 college and university speech codes every year in an effort to "defend the individual rights of students and faculty members at colleges across the country," said Azhar Majeed, director of FIRE's Individual Rights Education Program.
FIRE puts schools into three categories: red light, yellow light and green light. Red light ratings are for schools that have at least one policy that violates student and faculty freedom of expression, and in the group's 2015 poll, 55.2 percent of these schools got the red light. That's a slight improvement from the 58.6 percent of schools that got a red light rating in the prior survey,according to FIRE's website.
Green light ratings are for schools whose policies uphold the First Amendment, but only 21 of the 437 schools evaluated this past year received a green light, Majeed said. That's just shy of 5 percent.
"Red light policies are clearly unconstitutional," Majeed said. "Yellow light speech codes are a little bit more ambiguous, often times they are vague in the way they are worded, and so they do encompass some protective speech, but it's not as clearly restrictive as a red light speech code."
FIRE works with schools to be sure their policies do not infringe on faculty members' or students' rights. While public schools are bound by the First Amendment, private institutions are not. However, FIRE examines the promises private schools make in their handbooks on free speech, and then evaluates the supporting policies to make sure they uphold those promises, Majeed said.
Todd Zywicki, foundation professor of law at George Mason University, spent five years trying to improve GMU's speech code rating before finally receiving a green light rating.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Thursday, November 14, 2013
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday morning that Obamacare is a certain unalienable Right, which is no big surprise coming from the Left.
Pelosi was speaking at The Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum when she argued that the president’s health care law is “all about” a great many things, one of them being a core tenet of American life.
“This all about the people, about the seniors, about the children … it’s about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Pelosi said to a gathering at the Newseum, a Washington, D.C. museum of journalism and news. At the top of her remarks, Pelosi gave praise to freedom of the press, and she harked back to it as she continued her explanation of Obamacare-as-product of the Declaration of Independence.
“As we talk about the First Amendment, let’s go back even further than that — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A healthier life, the liberty to pursue your happiness so that you’re not job-locked because you have a preexisting condition or your child does, but you are free — that liberty to pursue your passion, whether you want to be a writer, a photographer, be self-employed, start a business, change jobs. This is a transformative initiative.”
And oh, what a transformative explanation.
This is not the first time the nation’s House minority leader has made these comments – not by a long shot – but it’s comical that she’s continuing to use it as a talking point. Pelosi’s ilk say that it’s Republican obstructionism to the law that will keep people off of health insurance “even if it means half the country dies,” and yet Obamacareis forcing insurance cancellations. So much for the “life” argument. And where is the “liberty” in having to payjacked-up premiums for the same health insurance?
Via Red Alert Politics
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Modern colleges and universities are largely beholden to a prevailing leftist ideology. Officials and professors often indoctrinate students with big government propaganda, providing no accommodation for those who wish to express a dissenting viewpoint.
Unfortunately, these same institutions are also defined by job security, meaning tenured staff members can spew virtually any outrageous opinion in the classroom and still maintain their position. As an administrator at one Kentucky college discovered, however, there is one perspective that is not tolerated on campus.
Kent Robinson, once the Jefferson Community and Technical College’s human resources director, was fired from the position last November. He is now suing the school, claiming he was let go because of his conservative values.
Claiming the school punished him for “sincerely held religious beliefs and practices” and “public displays of support for Republican candidates,” Robinson’s suit alleges the termination violated his First Amendment rights.
Furthermore, it seems Robinson was repeatedly ignored when he attempted to call attention to a number of inappropriate situations on campus.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
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