Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the government's motion for a temporary restraining order to block distribution of the new memoir by former national security advisor John Bolton. Though Judge Lamberth ruled that "Bolton’s unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns," he found that "the horse is out of the barn" regarding Bolton's memoir—which will be published on June 23—and wrote that, "For reasons that hardly need to be stated, the Court will not order a nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir."
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After suing former national security advisor John Bolton for his alleged breach of nondisclosure agreements related to the publication of his book, "The Room Where it Happens," the Trump administration has filed for a temporary restraining order against the book's release. The application is available here and below.
Last week, a controversy in the National Basketball Association (NBA) ignited widespread public conversation about the perils of doing business in China. In a now-deleted post, Daryl Morey, who is the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted a picture of an image that said “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” The Rockets’s owner pushed back, tweeting that Morey “does not speak for” Houston’s team.
Verified Accountability: Self-Regulation of Content Moderation as an Answer to the Special Problems of Speech Regulation
The “techlash” of the past few years represents a moment of quasi-constitutional upheaval for the internet. The way a few private companies have been “governing” large parts of the digital world has suffered a crisis of legitimacy. Calls to find mechanisms to limit the arbitrary exercise of power online have gained new urgency. This task of “digital constitutionalism” is one of the great projects of the coming decades. It is especially pressing in the context of content moderation – platforms’ practice of designing and enforcing rules for what they allow to be posted on their services.
On Tuesday, former intelligence and military officials filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the government's pre-publication review process, which requires former personnel to submit public writing for review before publication. The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, is available in full here and below.
On Feb. 5, the Senate passed a package of Middle East policy bills, including the Combating BDS Act of 2019. The act, which would affect laws on the books in 26 states that prevent state and local governments from doing business with entities that boycott Israel, has reignited debate over whether lawmakers’ efforts to stymie the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel violate the First Amendment.
This essay closely examines the effect on free-expression rights when platforms such as Facebook or YouTube silence their users’ speech. The first part describes the often messy blend of government and private power behind many content removals, and discusses how the combination undermines users’ rights to challenge state action. The second part explores the legal minefield for users—or potentially, legislators—claiming a right to speak on major platforms.
Document: Fourth Circuit Says Virginia Politician’s Facebook Page is a ‘Public Forum’ and that First Amendment Prohibits Blocking Constituents
On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Davidson v. Randall that a Virginia county official who blocked a constituent's access to the official’s Facebook page had violated the First Amendment. The court held that the official’s Facebook account amounted to a “public forum” and that blocking constituent access based on political viewpoints is unconstitutional. The full ruling is below.
The ongoing publicity tour by former senior White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman, once designated as one of the “nastiest TV villains of all time,” is the culmination of the questionable hiring choices made during the early days of the Trump White House.