Follow us on 3 new First Amendment issues

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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.

Trump tweet: "If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?"

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* This morning, President Donald J. Trump suggested in a tweeted that federal funds be withdrawn from a state university over the cancellation of a speech.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.

  • Rick Kooi

    Extract:
    “Too many libertarians hate the left more than they love liberty.
    One response I’ve heard to my pushing back on their take on Trump is that ‘well Obama/Clinton was/would have been worse!’
    No, actually he wasn’t and I don’t think she would have been.
    Yes,
    they might have expanded the regulatory state, but there would be no revival of torture,
    no wall,
    no registry,
    no trade war,
    no attempt to muzzle the media, etc.
    Trump is a tin-pot dictator wannabe (and starting to be),
    without an ounce of knowledge or respect for constitutional limits on government,
    who threatens the foundational institutions of the liberal order.
    Obama was not.
    Clinton is not.
    I confess to some schadenfreude myself as the left squirms in the aftermath of a defeat they didn’t see coming.
    But every time Trump opens his mouth,
    the fundamental threat to liberty he and his supporters embody overwhelms that.
    Now, more than ever, libertarians need good-hearted, open-minded people on the left as allies in an attempt to preserve the things we agree on…..”