When two rights conflict, which one is given priority? This was the question recently put before a federal court in Washington state, where a group of strippers were trying to prevent their real names and other personal information from being shared publicly even though state law seems to require that their identities be released upon request. [More]
For more than two years, a carpet cleaning company in Virginia has been trying to compel Yelp to turn over the identities of reviewers the company accuses of posting false and defamatory information. While both a trial court and a state appeals court have told Yelp to fork over that info, the crowdsourced reviews site has not yet done so — and tomorrow it takes its case before the highest court in Virginia. [More]
A good deal of the footage coming out Ferguson, Missouri, this week has been provided by non-journalists, using their phones to record and photograph events. At the same time, reports claim that police are attempting to block both ordinary citizens and journalists from documenting the situation. What these officers either don’t know or aren’t saying is that you have the legal right to photograph the police, even when they tell you not to. [More]
It’s nothing new for drivers to poke fun at the police, but two Indianapolis police officers weren’t in a joking mood when they pulled over a driver with a bumper sticker reading “unmarked police car” taped in her back window and made her remove it. She’s now suing, claiming her First Amendment rights to free speech were violated. [More]
If I go on Facebook and tell someone in Florida that I am going to beat him into a bloody pulp and maybe kidnap his kid for good measure, I’m in violation of federal law. But does it matter whether I actually intend to do any of these things or if I’m just ranting with no intention of getting up from my comfy couch to do anyone any harm? That’s the question the Supreme Court will soon have to decide. [More]
UPDATE 11/18: We’ve been in touch with Jen after numerous readers reached out to Consumerist saying they wanted to help with her case. She’s going to keep us in the loop about her situation, but wanted share a message with those who’ve been supporting her and her husband. “If you could just convey to everyone how much we deeply appreciate all the support the internet has generated, that would be wonderful,” Jen writes. Our readers are the best. [More]
Companies don’t ever want the public to know they’re involved in lawsuits. This is one of the many reasons that a growing number of businesses now force consumers to agree to mandatory arbitration for resolving disputes; it keeps the fight out of the public eye and often doesn’t allow for multiple consumers to join their complaints. Tomorrow, a federal appeals court will hear arguments regarding a case that ultimately could give companies the ability to litigate cases under a veil of secrecy. [More]
If you want to ask people for money on the streets of Middle Township, NJ, you’ll need to get a permit, as local lawmakers have passed an ordinance aimed at reining in what some view as out-of-hand begging and panhandling in the area. [More]
While we’ve heard about cases where you can say, strip down naked in front of the Transportation Security Administration, an act that a judge found to be protected speech under the First Amendment, it’s a different matter when it comes to using your words to express your thoughts about pat-downs. A mom who reportedly berated TSA officers attempting to pat-down her daughter found that out the hard way. [More]
Do you ever get so angry that you just start tearing off your clothing in public? No? Us either, but one Oregon man was upset enough by Transportation Security Administration measures he found invasive, he stripped down to his birthday suit while in line at Portland’s airport. Luckily for him, a judge thinks that’s just fine. [More]
Attention mean commenters: watch what you say or the Justice Department will hunt you down. Seriously! The U.S. Attorney in Nevada subpoenaed the Las Vegas Review-Journal to reveal the identities of two anonymous commenters whose statements could be read as mildly threatening to jurors involved in a tax case, if you’ve never read internet comments before.
The court noted that “were the ‘Federalist Papers’ just being published today via e-mail, that transmission by Publius would violate the [current Virginia] statute.”
A NY restaurant trade group is asking a court to outlaw a New York City Heath Board regulation that will require primarily large chain restaurants and fast food outlets, such as McDonald’s and Burger King (who have standard menus,) to display the calorie count of their menu items on the menu.