In June of this year, POM Wonderful won "a round in a food fight with Coca-Cola"
in the case about how a fruit juice blend is labeled
. It's a case of commercial speech
, to which John Oliver opined that "in Coke's defense, they only mislead us about what was in their juice. For years, POM Wonderful has mislead us about what is in pomegranates"
. Generally speaking, as long as the labeling isn't incorrect or harmful, it can make bold claims, to a point
. For instance, you can't claim your cereal could improve kids' attentiveness and memory when it doesn't
. Whatever you do, you shouldn't add new labeling to existing
, even if it is to clarify that the product sucks less
, or is asbestos-free
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 1, 2014 -
Don't Execute the Man Who Paralyzed Me
"I would love an hour in a room with him and a pair of wire-cutters and pliers, so I could inflict the same damage on him that he inflicted on me. But, I do not want to kill him, nor do I want to see him die."
posted by maggieb
on Oct 17, 2013 -
"The question was not so much what the bracelets said
but whether school officials used reasonable judgment when they concluded that such apparel was inappropriate and might lead to more egregiously sexual and disruptive displays, all in the name of advocating a cause."
Special bonus: The knockers displayed in a Google ad running below the innocent image of a boobie-bracelet-bedecked wrist.
posted by Bella Donna
on Aug 7, 2013 -
The State of Minnesota has informed Coursera
that it cannot offer courses to Minnesota residents because it has not obtained permission to do so from the state. The Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus blog reports on the story here
. The State was acting pursuant to the "Minnesota Private and Out-of-State Public Postsecondary Education Act,"
which requires schools to register with the state if they offer courses in Minnesota and requires approval if degrees are granted or the words "college" or "university" are used in the name of a school. The law was enacted in 1975 and appears to have been intended to be a consumer protection law. Noted First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh has opined at his blog
that the statute is unconstitutional, at least as applied to a web site that offers its courses for free and does not grant degrees.
posted by Area Man
on Oct 19, 2012 -
Arrested for speaking out! When does an "open-palm pat on the shoulder" become assault? When it's the Vice President's shoulder, that's when.
The Supreme Court of the United States (previously
) will today hear arguments in the matter of Reichle v. Howards
. [more inside]
posted by gauche
on Mar 21, 2012 -
“We’re a free speech site
and the cost of that is that there’s stuff that’s offensive on there.” This was the response of Erik Martin aka hueypriest, General Manager of Reddit, to the accusation on last night’s Anderson Cooper 360
that the “jailbait” subreddit is “borderline kiddie porn.” [more inside]
posted by waraw
on Sep 30, 2011 -
William Lawrence Cassidy has been indicted for a series of threatening tweets
directed towards Alyce Zeoli, aka Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, the leader of a Buddhist organization known as Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) to which Cassidy had belonged. There is however a small problem that federal prosecutors are employing a vague anti-stalking law
that makes 'intentional infliction of emotional distress' through the use of 'any interactive computer service' a felony, rather than focussing more narrowly upon the outright threats. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges
on Aug 1, 2011 -
We have explained that the matching funds provision substantially burdens the speech of privately financed candidates and independent groups. ... We have explained that those burdens cannot be justified by a desire to “level the playing field.”
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down
an Arizona law that provided public funds to candidates who have been outspent by either private funding or independent spending. Link to PDF of full decision. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Jun 27, 2011 -
ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance.
"The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website
Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report
(PDF) claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles
, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying."
posted by homunculus
on Jun 29, 2010 -
Yesterday, in a highly split decision
with six separate opinions, the United States Supreme Court overturned a Ninth Circuit ruling in Salazar v. Buono
. The issue at hand? Whether the location of the Mojave Memorial Cross
represented an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The Ninth Circuit decided that it did, but its ruling has been called into question by the high court on several levels. [more inside]
posted by Riki tiki
on Apr 29, 2010 -
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a criticism
of Burning Man, LLC's Terms and Conditions
, saying that the automatic rights assignment to BMOrg for photos & video taken during the event is "creative lawyering intended to allow the BMO to use the streamlined “notice and takedown” process enshrined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to quickly remove photos from the Internet" and that this is corrosive to our freedom of speech. Burning Man responds
posted by scalefree
on Aug 14, 2009 -
Ward Churchill reinstated
. A jury has found that The University of Colorado wrongfully dismissed the controversial professor, author, and activist. After a day and a half of deliberation, they cited the tenured professor's infamous post-9/11 essay
, wherein he compared technocrats who died in the World Trade Center to "little Eichmanns," as the "substantial or motivating" factor in the University's decision to fire him and awarded him $1.
posted by inoculatedcities
on Apr 4, 2009 -
The Obama Justice Department has released
nine legal memos
from the Bush administration that assert broad extra-Constitutional powers for the president. The memos assert that both the First and Fourth Amendments may be subordinated to the needs of wartime. [more inside]
posted by EarBucket
on Mar 2, 2009 -
Summums want to place their own monument
in a park which contains the Ten Commandments, making the Supreme Court's heads explode
in a a hilariously weird oral argument[pdf]
: "Scalia: I don't know what that means. You keep saying it, and I don't know what it means. [...] Breyer: Suppose that there certain messages that private people had like "eat vitamins"—and then somebody comes along with a totally different content, "ride the roller coaster," and they say this part of the park is designed to get healthy children, not put children at risk." [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur
on Nov 13, 2008 -
A very big day for the Supreme Court. In Morse v. Fredrick
, the Court ruled that a school could suspend a child for holding up a "Bong HiTs for Jesus" banner. (Previous post here
). In Hein v. Freedom from Religion
, the Court held that taxpayers lacked standing to challenged Faith Based Initiatives (previous discussions
). In Wilke v. Robbins
, the Court held that land owners do not have Bivens claims if the federal government harasses landowners for easements. In FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life
, the Court held that the portion of the campaign finance law which had blackout periods before elections on issue advocacy advertising was an unconstitutional restriction of speech (other
). This Thursday, the Justices will deliver their last opinions of the term, including a death penalty case
and the school assignment cases
. (Opinions are .pdfs)
posted by dios
on Jun 25, 2007 -
“If you are denying yourself pleasure then you have to take responsibility for where you are right now. When you get to a place where you are happy
then love comes into your life. When you begin to love yourself then people recognize that and you can start receiving it. Self-pity will get you nowhere. Our society is sexist, racist, ageist, but I am a biological creature with all these amazing gifts of orgasm and I cannot wait for the world out there to change
for me to be happy. I have all the happiness I need inside myself and I’m keeping it. I have denied it and avoided it for myself for too long. I have waited around for other things to be arranged before I gave myself happiness and I’m not going to do that anymore. It wasn’t until I stopped wallowing in all that self-pity and took matters into my own hands
that things started to change for me. . . . Don’t wait around for another person to give that to you, give it to yourself. . . . We have been taught to not like ourselves and it takes a lot to unteach that to ourselves.
There is a lot of conditioning and everyone has their own kind of conditioning that they have to unlearn. . . . All I can tell people about myself is that I give it to myself just as I can. My area just happens to be sex, while others have art, painting or public health or whatever. I’m just as true to myself as I can be.”
posted by jason's_planet
on Sep 23, 2006 -
From the guy
who brought you the Whitewater scandal and the impeachment of President Clinton
for lying about oval antics in the Oral Office, a legal push to make the Supreme Court just say no to "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."
Ken Starr's petition to the Court [PDF]
makes clear that Starr believes this is no laughing matter, but a chance for the Court to make a landmark ruling that will give school adminstrators the power to limit student speech: "This case presents the Court with a much-needed opportunity to resolve a sharp conflict among federal courts
(and to eliminate confusion on the part of school boards,
administrators, teachers, and students) over whether the First
Amendment permits regulation of student speech when such
speech is advocating or making light of illegal substances."
posted by digaman
on Aug 28, 2006 -
SCOTUS strikes down campaign finance restrictions [pdf].
The Supreme Court issued an opinion today in Randall v. Sorrell
, striking down limits on campaign contributions and campaign spending imposed by the state of Vermont. The Court, in a fractured opinion (six separate opinions, including two dissents), concluded that restrictions on both contributions and expenditures ran afoul of the First Amendment. More
from Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog. Expect more from Rick Hasen
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Jun 26, 2006 -