Journalists, Medical Groups, Big Business Emerge as Biden Allies in Social Media Censorship Case

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President Joe Biden’s administration is getting some big-name allies as it defends against a landmark free speech infringement lawsuit. Their argument: protecting Americans from indirect censorship by government officials undermines the First Amendment, national security, and public health.

Advocacy groups for journalists, academics, doctors, technologists, and big business, and a powerful senator, made various forms of these arguments in friend-of-the-court briefs to the Supreme Court in the days before and after Christmas. 

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Democrats Versus Muslims: Liberal States Back School District’s Ban on Opt-Outs for LGBTQ Lessons

A wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C., doesn’t inherently object to shielding even older students from sexually mature material. It just doesn’t want to give the choice to parents.

Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools pulled a novel that celebrates a promiscuous gay teen sex columnist from high school libraries even as the district was arguing in court that parents cannot opt out their pre-kindergarten children from LGBTQ “storybooks” that portray sex workers, kink, drag, elementary-age romance and gender-identity transitions.

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Commentary: Supporting Censorship Will Backfire on the Right

Free speech has long been one of the most sacred American values. Until recently, commitment to free speech in general was bipartisan and widespread. Almost every American from every political persuasion valued free speech.

There used to be some debate on the margins. Conservatives were wary of extending free speech protection to corrosive things like pornography, and liberals were wary of official speech endorsing religion. But, as recently as the 1990s, neither side believed its opponent should be censored, and the idea of exempting “hate speech” from the normal rule against censorship did not have much traction.

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Commentary: SCOTUS Takes Up Free Speech Case, Putting Biden Administration’s Censorship Regime on Trial

Late Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Missouri v. Biden, a case that may end the Biden administration’s circumvention of the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to Big Tech. The case was initially filed by the states of Missouri and Louisiana, along with various private plaintiffs who allege that social media platforms censored them at the behest of federal agencies. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty ruled for the plaintiffs on July 4, enjoining the agencies from communicating with platforms about “content moderation.” The Biden administration sought relief from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and lost again, making a Supreme Court clash inevitable.

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Jack Smith’s Proposed Gag Order Against Trump Isn’t as Narrow’ as Claimed, Legal Experts Say

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office’s requested gag order against former President Donald Trump is not quite as “narrowly tailored” as he claimed, legal experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Sept. 15 to issue a “narrowly tailored” gag order barring Trump from making public statements that are “disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating” toward any “party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors,” as well as any statements “regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses.” The scope and circumstances surrounding the request — which a hearing scheduled for Monday will consider — are far outside what is normal in criminal trials, experts told the DCNF.

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Schools Cannot Ban ‘Merely Offensive’ Speech on Gender Identity, Appeals Court Rules

Fifty-six years after it exempted antiwar teenagers from First Amendment protections while on campus, a federal appeals court in America’s heartland affirmed students’ speech rights in public schools on an equally contentious subject today.

The St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction Monday against an Iowa school district policy that threatens suspension and expulsion for “intentional and/or persistent refusal … to respect” a peer’s gender identity, finding it’s likely too vague to survive legal scrutiny.

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Commentary: Judgment Day in America

To save America, first save the court system. Because it may be the last institution in the country doing its job — repelling progressive insanity. Four sound, sage judgments last Friday battered the Left all the way up from a local school district to the White House. Two of them made it a very bad day for the trans movement. But all stress the urgency of voting conservative to maintain righteous normalcy, far more than political circuses like last Wednesday’s Fox Business/Univision/RNC-mounted Republican Primary Debate.

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‘Losing Our Freedom of Speech’: Parent Speaks Out Against Middle School’s Explicit Reading List

Cooper Middle School in McClean, Virginia, gave students an age- inappropriate reading list for their 7th grade English class this year, a concerned parent told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Students in the English class were assigned a wide variety of books on topics that spanned from illegal immigration to Black Lives Matter (BLM), according to a copy of the list. Although the reading list clarifies that students will not have to read every single book, one teacher at the middle school said students would have to choose books to read from the provided options unless a parent offered an alternate, school-approved book, an orientation video welcoming students to the class showed.

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Congressional Report Details ‘Pervasive Degradation’ of First Amendment Rights on College Campuses

A congressional report released by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Thursday describes the “long-standing and pervasive degradation of First Amendment rights” on college campuses.

The report, titled “Freedom of Speech and Its Protection on College Campuses,” details the committee’s findings on First Amendment violations such as “cancellations” of events to please “one-sided woke faculty and administrators.” The report provided legislation suggestions to protect freedom of speech and prevent a “plague of illiberalism,” including disclosure requirements of free speech policies and mandated neutrality to prevent colleges from commenting on public policy or social issues.

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Elon Musk’s X Sues California over Alleged First Amendment Violations

Elon Musk’s X Corp. sued California to block a law requiring social media companies to publish their content moderation policies, alleging it violates the First Amendment and coerces censorship.

X, formerly known as Twitter, asserted that California’s Assembly Bill 587 infringes upon its freedom of speech under the First Amendment and California’s state constitution, according to court documents. The law mandates social media companies release reports on how they moderate issues including hate speech, extremism, disinformation and misinformation.

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Federal Judge Rules Texas Law Requiring Age Verification on Porn Sites First Amendment Violation

A federal judge has ruled that a Texas law requiring pornography sites to install age-verification measures violates the Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition against free-speech restrictions.

The law also requires such sites to prominently display warning labels about what some consider the dangers of porn.  

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California Doctors Sue to Stop Mandated ‘Implicit Bias Training’

A medical nonprofit and two California doctors are suing the state medical board to block a law requiring mandatory implicit bias training in continuing medical education.

“Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the government cannot compel speakers to engage in discussions on subjects they prefer to remain silent about,” the suit argued.

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Von Spakovsky: Fulton County Indictment Against Trump and 18 Others Is a ‘Broad Attack on the First Amendment’

Constitutional law expert Hans von Spakovsky has seen his share of questionable prosecutions in his distinguished career.

But he says he’s seen few more abusive than this week’s indictment brought by far left Fulton County, GA, District Attorney Fani Willis against former President Donald Trump.

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College Profs Sue over State Abortion Law, Argue It Criminalizes Classroom Discussion

Idaho professors and teachers unions are alleging that a state law violates their First Amendment rights by preventing them from teaching pro-abortion viewpoints, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the ACLU.

Idaho passed the No Public Funds for Abortion Act in 2021, which prohibits state contracts with abortion providers and bans public employees from promoting abortion, according to Idaho’s legislative website. Public employees who violate the law can be charged with a felony and fired, and professors argue the law has forced them to alter their course modules by taking out entire sections related to abortion due to fear of repercussions, according to the lawsuit.

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Judge Allows Utah Law Requiring Age Verification for Porn Sites to Remain in Effect

A U.S. District Court judge allowed a Utah law requiring age verification for porn websites to remain in effect, dismissing a lawsuit that argued the legislation infringed on the First Amendment and individual privacy, according to a press release.

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) filed a lawsuit on May 3 after a law went into effect in the state of Utah that required porn websites to use age verification screening or face potential civil suits from Utah citizens. Judge Ted Stewart dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday, allowing the law to remain in place, but FSC announced that they plan to appeal the decision, according to a press release.

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Commentary: ‘Free Speech Protection Act’ Takes Center Stage in The Fight for the Soul of America

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“If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.” 

That is what federal judge Terry Doughty wrote in his decision ordering a number of Biden administration officials and agencies from communicating censorship requests to social media companies.

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Catholic Counselor Asks SCOTUS to Reverse Decision Allowing States to Limit Speech Outside Abortion Clinics

A Catholic sidewalk counselor petitioned the Supreme Court Friday to reverse a prior ruling that permits states to enforce laws targeting pro-life counseling outside abortion clinics.

In response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2020, Westchester County, New York passed a law creating a 100-foot “buffer zone” outside abortion clinics where it is illegal to approach another person to engage in “oral protest, education, or counseling” without consent. The law is similar to one the Supreme Court upheld in its 2000 Hill v. Colorado decision, which sidewalk counselor Debra Vitagliano, backed by Becket Law, now asks the justices to overrule.

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House Judiciary Committee Questions Zuckerberg on Potential Censorship on Threads

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerburg asking questions about possible censorship occurring on Threads, Meta’s latest social media platform.

“Given that Meta has censored First Amendment-protected speech as a result of government agencies’ requests and demands in the past, the Committee is concerned about potential First Amendment violations that have occurred or will occur on the Threads platform,” Committee chairman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, wrote in the letter.

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Fired Diversity Official Sues College for ‘De-Centering Whiteness’

Silicon Valley community college officials said “White gays and lesbians” were not welcome in its LGBT center, called Jews “White oppressors” and refused repeated requests to address antisemitism, and forced staff to mouth a “land acknowledgment” that misidentified local indigenous tribes, according to a former diversity official.

The First Amendment lawsuit by Tabia Lee builds on allegations she made against De Anza College, Foothill-De Anza Community College District and officials after they declined to renew her contract this spring, which she called retaliation for challenging its “empty ‘antiracism’ gesture[s]” that reinforce racial stereotypes such as the “noble savage” and for acting like “an ‘uppity’ Black woman.”

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Federal Judge Denies Biden Admin’s Request to Keep Coordinating with Big Tech to Censor Americans

A federal judge denied the Biden administration’s attempt to pause an injunction that bars federal officials from communicating with social media companies for the purposes of censoring protected speech on Monday.

The Biden administration appealed Western District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty’s July 4 injunction on Wednesday, also requesting an emergency order to pause the injunction while the appeal is pending on Thursday night. Doughty denied the administration’s emergency order Monday, finding that plaintiffs would likely succeed in proving the government colluded with social media companies “to engage in viewpoint-based suppression of protected free speech.”

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Judge Orders Biden Administration to Limit Contact with Social Media Platforms

A Louisiana federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Biden administration to limit its contact with social media platforms, determining that the government likely violated the First Amendment by working to censor disfavored political viewpoints online. Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointed U.S. District Court judge, issued a preliminary injunction barring federal officials and agencies from contacting social media firms to seek the removal of protected speech, Politico reported.

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Christian Organizations Celebrate Supreme Court’s Ruling Against Forcing Web Designer to Work for Same-Sex Weddings

Christian groups applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling Friday that held “The First Amendment prohibits Colorado from forcing a website designer to create expressive designs speaking messages with which the designer disagrees.”

Organizations, including the Catholic League, Family Research Council, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, submitted friend of the court (amici) briefs in support of 303 Creative, the custom website design business owned by Lorie Smith.

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YouTube Repeatedly Censors RFK Jr. as Democratic Leaders Demand Reinstatement of 2020 Censorship

The disputed 2020 election now appears in the rearview mirror for YouTube, which is now determining what users can see relevant to the next election.

The Alphabet-owned, video-sharing site and Google sibling has censored at least two videos, and may be throttling a third, featuring Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. shortly after ending a two-and-a-half-year ban on questioning the “integrity” of the last presidential election, saying it accomplished little relative to the potential harm it caused.

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SCOTUS Holds Law Making It Illegal to ‘Encourage or Induce’ Illegal Immigration Does Not Violate First Amendment

The Supreme Court upheld a law that makes it a crime to “encourage or induce” illegal immigration, rejecting the argument that it violates the First Amendment.

The case, United States v. Hansen, stems from Helaman Hansen’s 2017 conviction for running a program advertising a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants through “adult adoption,” which earned him more $1.8 million between 2012 and 2016. Though it affirmed Hansen’s convictions on mail and wire fraud charges, the Ninth Circuit held that the law behind his two counts of encouraging or inducing non-citizens to reside in the United States for financial gain was “overbroad and unconstitutional,” covering “a substantial amount of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

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Maine Gov. Janet Mills’ Administration Sued for Discrimination Against Catholic Schools

St. Dominic Academy in Auburn, Maine filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the administration of Gov. Janet Mills (D) and the Maine Human Rights Commission that alleges the state has continued to “outmaneuver” the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Carson v. Makin by excluding religious schools from its longstanding program whereby students residing in districts without a public school are given the opportunity to attend the public or private school of their family’s choosing.

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Court Rejects Massachusetts Middle-Schooler’s Free Speech Request to Wear ‘Two Genders’ Shirt at School

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston denied 12-year-old Liam Morrison’s request this week for a temporary injunction or restraining order to block his school from prohibiting expression of his view that “there are only two genders” before the court issues its final decision. “MFI [Massachusetts Family Institute] recently filed suit to vindicate the rights of this brave Middleborough 7th-grader to wear a shirt to school that simply stated ‘There Are Only Two Genders,’” the pro-family organization said in a press statement sent to The Star News Network. “After being censored by his school, Liam’s case went viral. MFI has partnered with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to file a federal lawsuit against the school.”

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Analysis: Companies That Ignore First Amendment Rights

A new database shows that some of Americans’ favorite companies—such as Airbnb, Amazon, and Disney—disregard religious freedom and free speech. 

Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization devoted to protecting religious freedom and other First Amendment rights, joined with Inspire Insight, an investment tool that provides data on the religious values of companies, to produce the second annual Business Index ranking companies by Viewpoint Diversity Score. 

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Massachusetts Middle School Doubles Down on Censoring 12-Year-Old’s ‘Two Genders’ Shirt

Massachusetts middle school student Liam Morrison was reportedly told again to remove his shirt Friday, one that said, “There Are Censored Genders,” which he wore to protest his school’s alleged decision to censor his right to free speech.

Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) said it is now preparing to take legal action on behalf of Liam and his parents “to vindicate Liam’s right to speak truth in a culture inundated by lies.”

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Massachusetts Family Institute Defends First Amendment Rights of 12-Year-Old Student Against School That Punished Him for Wearing ‘Two Genders’ Shirt

The Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) announced Tuesday the public policy organization sent a demand letter to the superintendent of Middleborough Public Schools on behalf of a 12-year-old student who was allegedly punished for wearing a shirt that said, “There are only two genders.”

Liam Morrison defended his First Amendment rights to his school committee on April 13, several weeks after he was reportedly taken out of gym class at Nichols Middle School and informed by school staff that complaints had been made about the shirt he was wearing that said, “There are only two genders.”

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Counseling Ban Promotes Gender Identity as Religion, Censors Science, Diverse Critics Tell SCOTUS

First Amendment speech protections may be circumscribed for therapists and medical professionals in the American West, critics warn, unless the Supreme Court scrutinizes a Washington law prohibiting any “regime that seeks to change” a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Christian doctors, pro-life pregnancy centers, pediatricians, gender-critical feminists and a dozen states led by Idaho filed friend-of-the-court briefs last week urging the justices to review the so-called conversion law, warning it prevents providers from sharing research on the harms of hormonal and surgical procedures for gender-confused minors.

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Massachusetts Boy Confronts School Board After Allegedly Being Punished for ‘There Are Only Two Genders’ Shirt: ‘Why Do the Rules Apply to One Yet Not Another?’

A 12-year-old Middleborough, Massachusetts school boy recently defended his First Amendment rights to his school committee after allegedly being sent home from school for making others feel unsafe by wearing a shirt that says, “There are only two genders.” A video of Liam Morrison’s confrontation of his school committee was reported Sunday at the Libs of TikTok Twitter account.

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Catholic Advocacy Group Sues FBI and DOJ for FOIA Documents Related to Government Targeting of Catholics

National Catholic advocacy organization CatholicVote filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit with Judicial Watch Thursday against the FBI and DOJ for failing to provide records requested under FOIA regarding the government’s targeting of Catholics.

CatholicVote President Brian Burch spoke to Fox & Friends Thursday about the lawsuit.

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New Revelations of FBI Efforts to Infiltrate Catholic Church Provoke Storm of Protest

Revelations this week of FBI efforts to develop intelligence sources inside the Catholic Church elicited howls of protest — from Capitol Hill, the Church and an FBI whistleblower.

Amid the latest revelations of political bias and retaliation by the FBI, Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) is calling for the increasingly polarizing law enforcement agency to be purged of politicized personnel and possibly defunded.

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Catholic Advocacy Group Prepared to Sue FBI for Failure to Comply With FOIA on Targeting of ‘Radical Traditional Catholics’

A leading national Catholic advocacy organization says it is prepared to file a lawsuit against the FBI for failing to comply with its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that seeks communications information related to a leaked document that revealed the bureau was targeting so-called “radical traditional Catholics.”

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Lawsuit: Oregon State Officials Deny Woman’s Adoption Application Because of Her Christian Religious Beliefs

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit last week against the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) on behalf of a woman whose application to adopt siblings from foster care was denied because her Christian faith beliefs do not allow her to agree to support the “sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression” of children placed in her home. “Oregon’s policy amounts to an ideological litmus test: people who hold secular or ‘progressive’ views on sexual orientation and gender identity are eligible to participate in child welfare programs, while people of faith with religiously informed views are disqualified because they don’t agree with the state’s orthodoxy,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs, who runs the ADF Center for Conscience Initiatives.

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Commentary: Careful, The RESTRICT Act Could be Used to Censor Any Website in America, Not Just TikTok

S.686, the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act or the appropriately titled “RESTRICT Act” could be used to censor any website in America, not just TikTok.

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Catholic Civil Rights Group Condemns State Legislation to Force Priests to Break Seal of Confession

Bills in the states of Vermont, Delaware, and Washington would include in mandatory reporting laws information about child sexual abuse a priest learns during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a move the Catholic League states lacks sound reasoning.

Last week Catholic League President Bill Donohue warned the “seal of confession” is “under fire” in Vermont, noting the Catholic civil rights organization is once again “doing battle with lawmakers who want to violate” the priest-penitent privilege, mostly in legislation concerning the sexual abuse of minors.

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THREATTOSCOTUS2022: FBI Whistleblowers Say Threat Tags Were Used to Target Conservatives

What do school parents, Catholic attendees of Latin Mass and pro-life activists have in common? They’ve all been branded by the FBI as potential domestic terrorist threats in what whistleblowers say is a growing trend of using intelligence threat tags to enforce cancel culture.

The latest revelation came this past weekend when House Republicans released testimony from an FBI whistleblower who alleged colleagues in the bureau flipped a terrorist threat tag originally created to flag threats against pro-life Supreme Court justices into a signifier that anti-abortion protesters were somehow a threat.

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California Christian Teacher Allegedly Fired for Refusal to Comply with District Gender Policies: ‘The District Cannot Accommodate Your Religious Beliefs’

A California Christian physical education teacher was allegedly fired for refusing to lie to parents about their children’s gender identities at school and reject having males in female locker rooms – both policies that violate her faith beliefs, Fox News Digital reported Wednesday.

Jessica Tapias apparently shared with Fox News Digital the notice she received from the office of Jurupa Unified School District Superintendent Trenton Hansen.

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University of Wisconsin System Survey Shows Free Speech Under Assault on College Campuses

Nearly half of the University of Wisconsin System students who responded believe administrators should ban the expression of views that some students feel cause harm to certain groups of people, according to an extensive survey on campus freedom of speech released Wednesday. 

Some 68 percent of those surveyed say students should report an instructor who says something in class deemed harmful to certain groups. 

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Smithsonian Allegedly Ejects Catholic Students from Museum for Wearing Pro-Life Hats

The staff of the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum allegedly ridiculed, swore at, and then kicked out an entire group of Catholic pro-life students and their chaperones for wearing hats that say “Rosary PRO-LIFE,” reports the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which now represents the mother of two of the students.

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Acquitted Pro-Life Activist Describes Raid of Family Home by FBI and State Troopers

Veteran Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck described to Steve Bannon Tuesday the scene at his family’s home on September 23, 2022, when over 20 FBI agents and Pennsylvania state troopers banged on his door at 6:45 a.m.

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Group Sues Mainstream Media Outlets over Alleged Antitrust, First Amendment Violations

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announced Tuesday night that he and several other plaintiffs had filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against several major news organizations, accusing them of antitrust and constitutional violations.

During a live interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Kennedy, chairman and chief litigation counsel for Children’s Health Defense (CHD), said the lawsuit targets the Trusted News Initiative (TNI), a self-described “industry partnership” launched by several of the world’s largest news outlets—including the BBC, The Associated Press (AP), Reuters, The Washington Post, Google Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter—in March of 2020.  The lawsuit argues that the TNI was launched, in part, because the corporate media organizations believed that smaller independent news outlets were threatening their business models.

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Commentary: From What, Exactly, Is the FBI Protecting Us?

After the tiered releases of the Twitter files, many suspicions have been thoroughly confirmed. Namely, social media monopolies like Facebook and Twitter worked hand-in-glove with the FBI, as well as other government agencies, to suppress accounts and censor stories they jointly deemed misinformation, disinformation, or otherwise harmful to the country during the 2020 election.

The most significant malfeasance arises from the coordinated campaign to suppress the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop. The laptop exposed in great detail Hunter’s dissolute lifestyle, along with his role as the family “bag man” for various overseas financial interests.

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More Evidence Reveals CDC Colluded with Social Media Giants to Silence COVID ‘Misinformation’

America First Legal (AFL) released a fourth set of documents obtained from litigation against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that reveals more evidence of alleged collusion between the nation’s public health agency and social media companies to censor free speech and silence Americans under the government’s label of “misinformation.”

Last week, AFL’s 600-page document release uncovered evidence that Twitter operated a “Partner Support Portal” for government employees and other selective “stakeholders” that would allow them to delete or flag posts viewed as “misinformation,” noted AFL, which is led by former President Donald Trump’s immigration advisor Stephen Miller.

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Virginia Restaurant Cancels Christian Group’s Reservation Due to Its Pro-Life and Traditional Marriage Views

A Virginia restaurant owner denied service to a Christian organization about 90 minutes prior to its private party because the group is pro-life and embraces one man-one woman marriage.

Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, which holds pro-life and traditional marriage values, told The Daily Signal that, following her group’s participation in activities outside the Supreme Court Monday morning, while the justices heard oral arguments in a case to decide if a public accommodation law compelling a creative person’s speech or silence violates the First Amendment, she was informed the Metzger Bar and Butchery was “unwilling to serve” the organization.

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Sen. Mike Lee’s Amendment to Safeguard Religious Liberty for Americans Who Hold to Traditional Marriage Fails By One Vote

Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) religious liberty amendment to the Democrats’ same-sex marriage bill failed by just one vote, 48-49, an outcome that, if the legislation is signed into law, could give a green light to the federal government’s retaliation against nonprofit faith organizations, such as schools and businesses, whose religious beliefs are incompatible with gay marriage.

Senate Democrats voted Tuesday, 61-36, to codify same-sex marriage into federal law with the help of 12 Republicans, as the Senate Press Gallery noted.

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