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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Monday, February 05, 2018


Bliss Davis, Content Coordinator, The City Club of Cleveland


As the Citadel of Free Speech here in Cleveland, we work to protect and promote the basis of our democracy by sharing related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century. Here's what's making the news – and what you should know about – in the past week.

“The president does not have the power to make direct, drastic changes to the First Amendment’s protections because the process of altering the Constitution is extremely slow and requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress or at a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of states.”

Former Federal Prosecutor Challenges Students to Define Free Speech, The Cornell Daily Sun

“I do not believe the 1st Amendment allows us to avoid all responsibility for what we say. The suit brought by real estate agent Tanya Gersh, who was targeted by a white supremacist website, is a civil one. She and members of her family have received hate mail and death threats.”

Free speech does not mean neo-Nazis ought to escape responsibility for what they say, The Los Angeles Times

“Because the app is designed to eliminate a paper trail, it is impossible to determine whether the governor and his staff used it to conduct state business out of view of the public, or whether they’re using it for personal and campaign purposes.”

Greitens’ lawyers say ban on using text-erasing app would violate free-speech rights, The Kansas City Star

“The universal single-digit gesture of contempt is now the center of a federal lawsuit May filed last week against the man behind the patrol car’s wheel, Indiana State Police Master Trooper Matt Ames. According to the legal complaint, after seeing May’s middle-finger, Ames went after the driver, issuing him a ticket for ‘provocation.’”

‘Flipping the bird’ at police: Crime or free speech?, The Washington Post

“From Aug. 27 to Sept. 27, UCPD spent $3,910,259 on security fees and other expenses for three events: counterprotests held in response to the “alt-right” rally Aug. 27; conservative speaker Ben Shapiro’s appearance Sept. 14; and events related to the ultimately canceled “Free Speech Week,” which featured a brief appearance from Milo Yiannopoulos and the Patriot Prayer rally that followed on Sept. 26.”

UC Berkeley spent $4 million on ‘free speech’ events last year, The Daily Californian

“The Senate voted 35-2 in favor of a bill exempting students’ personal phone numbers and email addresses from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Many only learned the information was not protected when thousands of students got political text messages this fall during the governor’s race.”

Bills protecting college student phone numbers, free speech advance in Va., WTOP

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