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Author: Daniel Ortner

June 17, 2019

A First Amendment win: Supreme Court rules the government can’t control private speech

Property and free speech rights both scored a big victory at the Supreme Court this week, when the Court decided Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck. Although the facts of this case focus narrowly on public access television networks, the Supreme Court's decision has significant implications for all property owners, the internet, and social ...

June 11, 2019

Government regulations for social media companies that censor political speech? No thanks

In recent weeks, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have banned hate groups and controversial figures such as Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, Alex Jones of Infowars, and others. This resulted in a chorus of criticism from politicians (across the ideological spectrum), pundits, and the general public. The Trump admini ...

June 03, 2019

Scar tattoos are a First Amendment right too

Tattoos are one of the oldest forms of expression, and throughout human history, people have assigned deep artistic, religious, political, and spiritual meaning to these pieces of body art. Tattoos are painted onto the human form rather than parchment or canvas, but they are protected by the First Amendment just like a painting by Van ...

May 20, 2019

The Hill: The slippery slope of trying to curb ‘extremist’ speech

The world watched in horror as a deranged killer live-streamed himself murdering Muslims attending two mosques in New Zealand. In the wake of the shooting, many have called for tighter restrictions on "extremist" speech by government. The leaders of New Zealand and France have drafted the "Christchurch Call to Action," a nonbinding resolution that ...

April 30, 2019

Protecting Private Water Rights is in the Public Interest

In the arid west, water is the lifeblood of the region. Stability and security are at a particular premium because individuals and businesses need to know how much water they can rely on in order to make productive use of scarce resources. Accordingly, water rights are some of the most valuable property rights that individuals ...

April 22, 2019

PLF to Supreme Court: Choose freedom rather than religious discrimination

Few people would argue that parents shouldn't be able to decide how and where to educate their children. But the state of Montana is doing just that. When Kathy and Jerry Armstrong's son entered middle school, they felt their local public schools did not adequately nurture the values and character traits they wanted for their ...