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Eugene Volokh

Entries by Eugene Volokh

Freedom of Speech vs. Workplace Harassment Law -- A Big Free Speech Win in the Ninth Circuit

(4) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 5:19 PM

I've long written about how workplace harassment law sometimes violates the First Amendment, so I was especially pleased to see today's Rodriguez v. Maricopa County Community College Dist. (9th Cir.) (written by Chief Judge Kozinski, and joined by retired Justice O'Connor, sitting by designation, and Judge Sandra Ikuta)....

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If You Brandish a Gun in Self-Defense in Kansas, You'd Best Shoot It

(7) Comments | Posted February 12, 2010 | 4:43 PM

From State v. Flint, 2010 WL 445934 (Kan. App. Jan. 29):

[A]fter leaving a bar in Emporia where [Brandon] Flint's fiancee and another man exchanged angry words, Flint walked to his car. Outside, Flint's fiancee and two men continued to talk in a heated fashion. Flint's fiancee fell to the ground...

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Index on Censorship Self-Censors in Article About Yale University Press's Self-Censorship

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2010 | 10:47 PM

The Index of Censorship ran an interview with Jytte Klausen, which was titled (at least in the online version) "See No Evil," and began this way:

Jytte Klausen talks to Index on Censorship about her new book on the Danish cartoons crisis and discusses why it was published without any...

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Publishing a Misogynistic Student Newspaper Column = Sexual Harassment?

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2009 | 5:40 PM

From the Connecticut Post, apparently discussing this column (my backup version is here):

... The Fairfield Mirror ...[, an] independent student publication[,] faces harassment charges before the school's Student Conduct Board....

The controversy erupted over a satirical column in the Sept. 30 edition of The Mirror that poked...

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Muhammad: The "Banned" Images:

(2) Comments | Posted November 9, 2009 | 12:03 PM

I'm pleased to be the first to report that the newly founded Voltaire Press at Duke University has just published Muhammad: The "Banned" Images. The book includes all the images that were omitted by the Yale University Press from Jytte Klausen's The Cartoons That Shook the World --...

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Is the Obama Administration Supporting Calls to Outlaw Supposed Hate Speech?

(13) Comments | Posted October 1, 2009 | 7:54 PM

That's what it looks like, with this Joint U.S./Egypt draft U.N. Human Rights Council resolution (dated Sept. 2005). The resolution generally seems to be an attempt to urge more protection for free speech throughout the world, and some praise it for that; moreover, it lacks the exception...

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He Says "Scary" Like It's a Bad Thing

(25) Comments | Posted September 29, 2009 | 12:50 PM

The Chicago Tribune reports:

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand was quoted in French media as saying, "In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America that has just shown its face."

The law is supposed to be scary to criminals...

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"School Children Singing the Praises of President Obama" (Apparently as a Public School Class Project):

(46) Comments | Posted September 25, 2009 | 1:56 PM

According to Fox News,

The commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Education ordered a review on Friday following the posting of a YouTube video depicting school children singing the praises of President Obama.

Video of the students at the Burlington, N.J., school shows them singing songs seemingly overflowing with...

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Free Speech and Funeral Picketing:

(2) Comments | Posted September 24, 2009 | 6:11 PM

The Fourth Circuit has just reversed — in Snyder v. Phelps — the $5 million intentional infliction of emotional distress / invasion of privacy verdict against the Phelpsians (that's the "God Hates Fags" group) who picketed the funeral of a slain soldier.

The court essentially concluded that, at...

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White House Objects to Poster That Invokes Obama Children

(2) Comments | Posted August 11, 2009 | 5:40 PM

Here's the poster:

According to The Washington Post, "the White House asked the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to take down the ads, which feature Jasmine Messiah, a vegetarian who attends a Miami-Dade County public school that, she says, offers no vegetarian or vegan lunch...

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The Obama/Joker Poster Is Racist, Says Washington Post

(4) Comments | Posted August 6, 2009 | 2:12 PM

How is that, pray tell? Here's the argument:

The Joker's makeup in "Dark Knight" — the latest film in a long franchise that dramatizes fear of the urban world — emphasized the wounded nature of the villain, the sense that he was both a product and source of...

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Tort Liability

(1) Comments | Posted August 3, 2009 | 5:55 PM

Here's a case I ran across in preparing for my Torts class this Fall; I hadn't heard about it before, so I thought I'd note it here, because it's emblematic of one problem with the tort liability system (though not necessarily a problem with all or even most torts...

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Hate Crimes Laws, Anti-Gay Views and Public Accountants

(3) Comments | Posted July 30, 2009 | 4:19 PM

Let me tell you an interesting story, from Ake v. Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs (Pa. Commw. Ct. May 20, 2009), and see what you think of it.

1. In 2001, Kevin Allen Ake was living at a YMCA in Illinois, apparently "so that he could assist...

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Los Angeles City College "Sexual Harassment" Policy Preliminarily Enjoined on First Amendment Grounds

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2009 | 1:26 PM

The case stems from the incident in which a professor in a speech class refused to grade a student's presentation, apparently because of (1) the religious nature of the student's presentation, (2) the student's expression of opposition for same-sex marriage in the presentation, or both. (The professor apparently also...

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Gay Rights Group Planning to Publicly Out Signers of Referendum Petition

(20) Comments | Posted June 16, 2009 | 1:55 PM

The Spokane Spokesman reports:

Petitions were being printed Tuesday for Referendum 71, which asks Washington voters to overturn a new law granting same-sex domestic partners many of the rights of spouses.

But those who sign the petitions may be in for a surprise. Some R-71 opponents have put...

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Rep. Linda Sanchez Defends Proposed Outlawing of Using Blogs, the Web, Etc. To Cause Substantial Emotional Distress Through "Severe, Repeated, and Hostile" Speech:

(4) Comments | Posted May 7, 2009 | 9:47 PM

Yesterday, Rep. Sanchez defended her bill on this subject in an item here on the Huffington Post. Unfortunately, the response doesn't quote or link to the bill, which in relevant part reads:

Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass,...

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U.S. Supreme Court Agreed Today to Hear the "Crush Video" Free Speech Case

(3) Comments | Posted April 20, 2009 | 12:08 PM

Here's my summary and analysis of the case from when the Third Circuit decided it en banc:

The relevant statute, 18 U.S.C. § 48, criminalizes (a) "knowingly creat[ing], sell[ing], or possess[ing] a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of placing that depiction in interstate or foreign...

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Stop All "Disparaging Remarks About Gays and Homosexuals,"

(1) Comments | Posted June 10, 2008 | 3:14 PM

as well as against the university professor and self-described "activis[t] for social justice issues" who filed a complaint against you: That's what the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission ordered Stephen Boisson and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. to do in Lund v. Boissoin. The Commission had earlier...

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Texas Appellate Court Rules Against State's Seizure of the FLDS Children

(1) Comments | Posted May 22, 2008 | 3:00 PM

From the opinion, which is a sharp and detailed rebuke of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (emphasis and some paragraph breaks added):

Removing children from their homes and parents on an emergency basis before fully litigating the issue of whether the parents should continue to have custody...

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Vandalism of Pro-Life Display by University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Student Government Official:

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2008 | 4:51 PM

The Wausau Daily Herald has details; YouTube has video, which seems consistent with the Wausau article. The display was an array of crosses aimed at symbolizing the deaths of aborted fetuses.

For confirmation that the vandal (Roderick King) was a Student Senator, see here. The vandal's...

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