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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 26, 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.

1.) Another California Intrusion On Businesses' Free Speech Fails In Court

A California judge has struck down a state mandate regulating the free speech of business entities.

In Inc. v. Becerra, law AB 1687 required that the entertainment database remove information about specific users if said user requested the information be removed, specifically the age of the user. Those in favor of the mandate state this is necessary to avoid potential discrimination from the entertainment industry.

The state of California says the law regulates speech and is therefore unconstitutional. Judge Vince Chhabria agreed, stating all facts can be used as a potential basis for discrimination and that argument should not be used to limit free speech, among other conclusions.

2.) Critics Warn Bill Advancing in WY Senate Could Chill Free Speech

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wyoming says a new filing in the senate will limit the free speech of protestors in the state.

Senate File 74 will make it illegal to impeded “critical infrastructure” in the state. Included under this umbrella are oil refineries, oil and gas pipelines, as well as storage facilities. It is believed these new regulations are designed to severely limit access to protest sites such as Standing Rock.

Under this new law, protestors could be arrested for trespassing, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine as much as $100,000.

Opponents say the bill unnecessary because of existing trespassing laws.

3. Wisconsin labor unions file lawsuit over Act 10, saying it violates free speech

The Operating Engineers of Wisconsin Local 139 and Local 420 have filed a lawsuit against Act 10, which say they say violates their rights to free speech.

Act 10, proposed by Governor Scott Walker, limits the collective bargaining right of most public employees. It was proposed as a budget bill to help erase the state’s deficit. The bill requires that unions must have majority support from employees for bargaining each year, not just from voters.

Opponents say this bill further puts the onus to put forth a measure on the backs of those not sharing an opinion, thus silencing those who do.

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