Tag Archives: Supreme Court

What public school students are allowed to say on social media may be about to change

Student speech in public schools has less protection than speech by adults in the community at large. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Scott F. Johnson, Concord Law School

After a high school cheerleader in Pennsylvania dropped a series of F-bombs about her school in a Snapchat post over a weekend in the spring of 2017, she was suspended from the cheerleading team and sued the school district, claiming the suspension violated her First Amendment rights.

Social media has an ever-growing presence in students’ daily lives. As a result, schools are increasingly faced with the question of whether they can discipline students for remarks made online about school or school officials. The answer is not entirely clear because of different court decisions in different judicial districts.

The United States Supreme Court agreed in January to hear the Pennsylvania school’s district’s case, and its decision may provide some clarity on the issue. Continue reading

Share Button

48 Years After Landmark Ruling, Advocates Push to #ReimagineRoe and Build Abortion Justice

Roe is the floor. We want an end to Hyde. We want people to access abortion care, when they need it, without discrimination, stigma, or harm.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams.  Published 1-22-2021

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Pro-choice demonstration in front of SCOTUS. in June 2016. Photo: Jordan Uhl/flickr/CC

Nearly a half-century after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that access to safe, legal abortion is a constitutional right, advocates are now pushing the Biden administration and Congress to

urgently and aggressively pursue a bold reproductive justice agenda.

While advocates have fought to protect Roe v. Wade since 1973, 48 years later to the day—with a new pro-choice administration and Democrats in control of both chambers of Congress—calls are building to #ReimagineRoe and treat the high court’s landmark ruling as a floor rather than a ceiling for reproductive rights and healthcare. Continue reading

Share Button

Rights Advocates Alarmed by US Spy Agency’s Purchase of Warrantless Phone Location Data

“Congress must end this lawless practice and require the government to get a warrant for our location data, regardless of its source.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-22-2021

Image: Free Press

Digital rights advocates reacted with alarm to a report published Friday detailing how Defense Intelligence Agency analysts in recent years bought databases of U.S. smartphone location data without first obtaining warrants.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is part of the Department of Defense and is tasked with informing military and civilian policymakers about the activities and intentions of foreign governments and nonstate actors. Continue reading

Share Button

‘A Big Deal’: Lawmakers Reintroduce Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

“We cannot allow the wealthiest individuals and corporations to flood our elections with cash through complex webs of super PACs and dark money groups that put special interests above the will of the American people.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-21-2021

Occupy Tampa displays signs at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Photo: Liz Mc/Wikimedia Commons/CC

n a bid to reverse the outsize influence of corporations and the wealthiest Americans over the nation’s electoral process, a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers on Thursday reintroduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

The reintroduction of the Democracy for All Amendment in the 117th Congress—led by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), John Katko (D-N.Y.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)—occurred on the 11th anniversary of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commissiona 5-4 ruling which affirmed that corporations are legal persons and that they, labor unions, and other outside groups could spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the outcome of U.S. elections. Continue reading

Share Button

With Deep Fossil Fuel Ties, Justice Barrett Called to Recuse Herself From Pending Climate Case

“Barrett posing as an impartial judge in this hearing for climate accountability is about as safe as the Big Bad Wolf giving Little Red Riding Hood directions to Grandma’s house.”

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-12-2021

Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her Circuit Court confirmation hearing. Screenshot: C-SPAN

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett—confirmed just ahead of President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in November—is being called to recuse herself from an upcoming decision regarding a potentially landmark climate case now pending.

“Barrett posing as an impartial judge in this hearing for climate accountability is about as safe as the Big Bad Wolf giving Little Red Riding Hood directions to Grandma’s house,” said Lindsay Meiman, U.S. communications manager at the climate action group 350.org. “We demand Barrett immediately recuse herself of any and all cases concerning climate and the fossil fuel industry, starting with the upcoming Baltimore vs. Big Oil hearing.” Continue reading

Share Button

“In Case There Was Any Doubt Regarding ‘Stand By'”: Four People Stabbed After Pro-Trump DC Rally

“This is all on you, Republicans. You have enabled all of this.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-13-2020

Proud Boys in Washington DC on December 12, 2020. Photo: Julie Pillay/Twitter

At least four people were stabbed Saturday as supporters of President Donald Trump, including maskless Proud Boys in helmets and bulletproof vests, descended on the nation’s capital and clashed with counterprotesters—violence that some critics tied to the president’s pre-election directive to the self-described “western chauvinists.”

During a debate ahead of his loss in November, Trump had told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by,” which swiftly elicited criticism that he was inciting violence. Designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys are known for their white nationalistanti-Muslim, and misogynistic rhetoric as well as their presence at the infamous 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Continue reading

Share Button

“That’s His Priority as the Pandemic Rages On”: McConnell Readies Lame Duck Push to Further Pack Courts With Trump’s Judicial Appointees

“It is literally sickening to see Mitch McConnell continue to indulge his partisan obsession with confirming far-right judges, instead of taking action on the Covid pandemic that continues to spin out of control.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-15-2020

Photo: Gage Skidmore/cc/flickr

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is under renewed fire from progressives for refusing to act on a pandemic relief package for struggling Americans while moving to advance more of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.

“Today marks six months since the House passed the HEROES Act, but guess what McConnell is focused on this week: judges,” Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, tweeted Sunday. Continue reading

Share Button

The Next Challenge: Keeping the Nation Together

By Chris Winters. Published 11-4-2020 by YES! Magazine

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris after their victory speeches. Photo: Amit Heerawan/Twitter

So here we are the day after Election Day—can we just call it Election Week from now on? Or Decision Month if this stretches into December?—and the presidential race again remains undecided.

For the left, this feels all too familiar, the ghost pains of 2016 throbbing in the hole where our souls used to be.

Outcome aside, the fact that this race is even close is a shocking wake-up call for those of us—myself included—who believed that, with the scales off their eyes, Americans would choose decency over crude savagery, compassion over cruelty, professionalism over abject incompetence, honesty over absolute corruption. Continue reading

Share Button

Trump’s Pennsylvania lawsuits invoke Bush v. Gore – but the Supreme Court probably won’t decide the 2020 election

Judges can intervene in elections, but the Supreme Court really prefers not to. Jantanee Phoolmas/Moment via Getty Images

Steven Mulroy, University of Memphis

The Trump campaign has filed two lawsuits in federal court over ballot counting and voting deadlines in Pennsylvania, threatening to take the election to the Supreme Court. Both consciously echo the two main legal theories of Bush v. Gore, the infamous Supreme Court case that decided the contested 2000 presidential election.

But this race is not likely to be decided by the Supreme Court.

There are several reasons, sitting at the intersection of law and politics, why the ghosts of Florida past won’t rise again in Pennsylvania. As a law professor who’s authored a book on election reform, I rate success in Trump’s efforts to wrench back Biden’s lead through litigation as a real long shot, though not out of the question. Continue reading

Share Button

As Trump Says ‘Must Have Vote Total’ on Nov. 3, Nearly 400 ‘Protect the Results’ Rallies Planned to Fight Election Night Theft

“We think the likelihood of activation is high,” the Protect the Results coalition says.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-27-2020

In the face of increasing signs that President Donald Trump will try to prematurely declare victory on Election Night next Tuesday—even before millions of valid mail-in and absentee ballots are counted—momentum is building for a massive grassroots counter-offensive across the country to make sure that every vote is counted and any effort by the GOP to steal the election is thwarted.

Less than two weeks after progressive advocacy groups Stand Up America and Indivisible announced that they, along with a coalition of 135 national and state organizations, are organizing “Protect the Results” demonstrations for Nov. 4, the number of planned events had more than doubled by Tuesday. Continue reading

Share Button