Come back in the weeks ahead, when this site will looking at three new First Amendment issues that broke out today:
* The Nation reports that a four-page draft of an executive order is circulating among federal employees and advocacy groups. The draft would extend religious exemptions for hiring and providing goods and services to non-religious private companies, state and local governments and others. Religious organizations such as churches, schools and hospitals have used the exemptions over same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, gender identity, contraception and abortion.* This morning, President Donald J. Trump suggested in a tweeted that federal funds be withdrawn from a state university over the cancellation of a speech. He tweeted, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
The night before, a speech by right-wing writer and self-described “supervillain of the Internet” Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled at the University of California’s Berkeley campus after demonstrators set fires, broke windows and threw objects. Yiannopoulos is an editor at Breitbart News. Trump adviser Steve Bannon was a founding board member of the site. A December appearance by Yiannopoulos at Michigan State University led to less-violent protests.
* At the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump promised to “totally destroy” a 1954 U.S. law that means churches and religious institutions jeopardize their tax-exempt status if they get involved in politics.
This Michigan State journalism class was working on about 20 stories surrounding developments un the First Amendment when these events happened. Bookmark us to follow these and other stories.