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Author: Daniel Ortner

February 24, 2020

The Hill: It’s time for the Supreme Court to treat all speech equally

In a free society, speech at times can be annoying, obnoxious, unsettling or offensive. Panhandlers and political protesters can approach you on the street. Controversial ideas can be expressed on tee shirts, bumper stickers or license plates. And governments cannot block speech merely because it is irritating or bothersome — unless you are talki ...

February 18, 2020

DailyJournal: SB 826, California’s ‘woman quota’ law, is plainly unconstitutional

More than 30 years ago, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals warned that “the notion that women need help in every business and profession is as pernicious and offensive as its converse, that women ought to be excluded from all enterprises because their place is in the home.” Associated General Contractors of California, Inc. ...

February 03, 2020

The Hill: What is UC Davis hiding about its use of diversity statements?

Last month, Abigail Thompson, a professor of mathematics and department chair at the University of California, Davis, wrote a scathing opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal calling out the university's ideological litmus test for job applicants. She suggested that the university's requirement that aspiring faculty members submit "Diversity, Equi ...

January 21, 2020

This Supreme Court case could decide if government scholarships can be used for religious schools

On January 22, 2020, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Espinoza, like PLF’s similar lawsuit Armstrong v. Kadas could potentially end policies like Montana’s that discriminate against religion. ~~~ Few people would argue that parents shouldn't be able to decide how and where to educa ...

December 26, 2019

Officials who block people on social media violate the First Amendment

This piece initially appeared as a syndicated article from Tribune Content Agency in newspapers across the country ~~~ In the social media age, numerous politicians have come under fire for blocking critics from following them on Twitter. The latest is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who recently settled a lawsuit brought by Dov Hikind, ...

October 28, 2019

Trick-or-treating bans violate the First Amendment

What is the scariest thing about Halloween? How about the possibility that trick-or-treaters out after 8 p.m., or teenagers trick-or-treating at any time can be thrown in jail? Unfortunately, that nightmarish scenario is a reality in some parts of the country. For instance, in at least six towns in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, ...