First Amendment

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge says a provision in Delaware's constitution requiring a political balance among state court judges is unconstitutional.

The judge granted summary judgment Wednesday to James Adams, a lawyer who sued Democratic Gov. John Carney over a state constitutional provision that requires Carney to split judicial nominations and judgeships between the two major political parties. The judge said Delaware's constitution violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by restricting government employment based on political affiliation.

Governor's Office, File Photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan for blocking people who disagree with him on his official Facebook page and deleting their comments.

The ACLU sued Tuesday on behalf of four people, saying their First Amendment rights were violated.

The Slants website

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Slants aren't exactly a household name when it comes to music, but the Asian-American rock band has made its mark in the legal world.

The Oregon-based group has spent years locked in a First Amendment battle with the government, which refuses to register a trademark for the band's name because it's considered offensive to Asians.

That fight will play out Wednesday in the nation's highest court as the justices consider whether a law barring disparaging trademarks violates the band's free-speech rights.

creative commons team logal

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has rejected a long-shot appeal from the Washington Redskins challenging a law that bars offensive trademarks. But the justices could still resolve the same issue in another case the court took up last week.
 
The court on Monday turned away an unusual request to hear the team's case even before a federal appeals court has weighed in. The Redskins are appealing the government's decision to cancel its trademarks over concerns the name disparages American Indians.
 

official photos

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A judge says New Castle County's former chief administrative officer can proceed with a defamation suit over his firing last year by County Executive Tom Gordon.

While dismissing David Grimaldi's claims that his firing violated his First Amendment rights and county and state whistleblower laws, the judge ruled Thursday that Grimaldi's defamation claim can proceed.

The judge's ruling is noteworthy for declaring that whistleblower protections do not apply to high-ranking appointees serving at the pleasure of the county executive and governor.

cell phone

BALTIMORE (AP) - A harshly critical Justice Department report says Baltimore police officers routinely discriminate against blacks, use excessive force and are not adequately disciplined for misconduct.

The report being issued Wednesday represents a damning indictment of how the city's police officers carry out the most fundamental of policing practices, including traffic stops and searches and responding to First Amendment expression.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The organizers of a Christmas parade in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, are having second thoughts about allowing a Southern heritage group to march in the parade with a Confederate battle flag.
 
The Sons of Confederate Veterans carried the flag in the parade one week ago despite complaints from the local chapter of the NAACP. The civil rights group wanted the flag banished from the parade.
 
But city officials and the parade organizers defended the group's First Amendment rights to fly the flag.
 

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has unanimously sided with Maryland residents who say a judge prematurely threw out their challenge to the state's 2011 redrawing of its congressional districts
 
The court ruled Tuesday that federal law requires that the Maryland case be heard by a panel of three judges, not the lone judge who dismissed the challenge.
 
Justice Antonin Scalia said the law "could not be clearer."
 

newspaper logo

EMMITSBURG, Md. (AP) - A local elected official in Maryland who achieved instant Internet notoriety after he threatened to sue a newspaper for publishing his name now says he won't sue after all.

Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter said in a written statement Wednesday he was wrong when he told a Frederick News-Post reporter in a Facebook post: "Use my name again unauthorized and you'll be paying for an attorney."

national coalition against censorship

The National Coalition Against Censorship is weighing in on a request by a member of the Indian River School Board to remove lessons from the school curriculum.

These include the definitions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender as well as information on STD’s, HIV and pregnancy prevention instead of abstinence.

The Coalition says to deny students such information because of anyone’s religious or other personal beliefs raises serious First Amendment concerns and would compromise the public education system.

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