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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, July 18, 2022

#FREESPEECH in the News July 18, 2022

Bliss Davis, Content and Programming Coordinator, The City Club of Cleveland

#FREESPEECH in the News July 18, 2022

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.) School board approves new policy for Duval students to exercise free speech on campus

New rules are now in place for Duval County students who want to lend their voice to a cause during the upcoming school year.

On Monday, the school board approved a new policy that outlines how students will be allowed to exercise free speech on campuses.

In the past two years, students have led dozens of demonstrations covering racial equity, dress code, school name changes, and COVID policies. Because of that board members said outlining this policy and these rules is crucial for the upcoming school year.

When writing this new policy the school board wanted to make sure students’ rights are protected – whether they want to speak up, dissent and make their voices heard or sit out of an event as long as doesn’t interrupt their scheduled class time.

2.) Federal Court Grants Missouri Attorney General’s Motion to Collect Discovery from Government Officials, Social Media Companies in Free Speech Lawsuit

the United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana granted Missouri and Louisiana’s motion for discovery in their lawsuit against top-ranking Biden Administration officials for allegedly colluding to suppress freedom of speech, paving the way for the attorneys general to collect discovery and documents from both top-ranking Biden Administration officials as well as social media giants like Twitter, Meta, and others. The lawsuit was filed on May 5.

“In May, Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden Administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress freedom of speech on a number of topics including the origins of COVID-19, the efficacy of masks, and election integrity,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Today, the Court granted our motion for discovery, paving the way for my Office to gather important documents to get to the bottom of that alleged collusion – this is a huge development.”

Missouri and Louisiana filed a Motion for Expedited Preliminary Injunction-Related Discovery on June 17, 2022. That motion was granted today by the United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana. The Court’s decision today clears the way for Missouri and Louisiana to gather discovery and documents from Biden Administration officials and social media companies.

The order states, “The First Amendment obviously applies to the citizens of Missouri and Louisiana, so Missouri and Louisiana have the authority to assert those rights.”

3.) Penn law dean seeks ‘major sanction’ against professor Amy Wax

Controversial University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, whose “racist speech” and inflammatory comments have long generated criticism, once allegedly suggested that it was “rational” to fear Black men in elevators and that Mexican males were more likely than other men to assault women.

Those were among several new accusations of “inappropriate conduct” against Wax contained in a 12-page letter sent to the Penn faculty senate by law school dean Ted Ruger, who wants the senate to convene a hearing and ultimately levy a major sanction against Wax, that could include suspension or firing.

Wax did not respond to a request for comment over the weekend.

In 2021, she invited “renowned white supremacist” Jared Taylor to speak to her class and then have lunch with her and students, according to the June 23 letter, which was obtained by the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a group that advocates for free speech, and posted on its website.

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