First Five Newsletter: October 24, 2019

First Five
Facebook’s plan for the 2020 election, space in newspapers for political candidates deemed unconstitutional and more!

First Five Column

Lata Nott reflects on a recent university investigation on the handling of sexual harassment complaints and if their Title IX policy violates the First Amendment. Read the column. A plain text version is available for publishers here.


In an effort to save local news, New York legislators are proposing a first-in-the-nation bill to force cable companies to offer independent local news.


Facebook has outlined several different ways it plans on handling content around the 2020 U.S. presidential election, including labeling news that is disputed by third-party checkers as “false information” and flagging content from state-sponsored media outlets.


A federal district court judge held that a group of former sex offenders may proceed with their lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC’s) restrictive policy on internet access for those convicted of sex crimes.


A research paper from the University of Virginia School of Law discusses the history behind Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, the 1974 U.S. Supreme Court case that found a Florida state law requiring newspapers to allow equal space to political candidates for rebuttals was unconstitutional.


Writing for the New York Daily News, Eugene Volokh argues that the prosecution of two University of Connecticut students for violating Connecticut’s racial ridicule law is unconstitutional. “[T]he government may evenhandedly punish true threats of violence,” Volokh writes. “It may evenhandedly punish personal, face-to-face insults that are likely to start a fight. But it has to use laws that actually cover such behavior, and those laws have to apply neutrally, rather than targeting racist views or religious ridicule or any other viewpoint.”

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