It comes out this March: The First Amendment and LGBT Equality: A Contentious History (Harvard University Press, 320 pp.). The author is Carlos A. Ball, the Distinguished Professor of Law and Judge Frederick Lacey Scholar at the Rutgers (Newark) Law School.
Professor Ball is a prolific writer; his books include: Same-Sex Marriage and Children: A Tale of History, Social Science, and Law (2014); The Right to be Parents: LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood (2012); From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Cases That Have Changed Our Nation (2010); and The Morality of Gay Rights: An Exploration in Political Philosophy (2003) and he is a co-editor of Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law (2014).
In late March of next year, Professor Ball will turn his attention to the intersection of First Amendment freedom and LGBT equality. Here is the abstract of his forthcoming book:
“Conservative opponents of LGBT equality in the United States often couch their opposition in claims of free speech, free association, and religious liberty. It is no surprise, then, that many LGBT supporters equate First Amendment arguments with resistance to their cause. The First Amendment and LGBT Equality tells another story, about the First Amendment’s crucial yet largely forgotten role in the first few decades of the gay rights movement.”
“Between the 1950s and 1980s, when many courts were still openly hostile to sexual minorities, they nonetheless recognized the freedom of gay and lesbian people to express themselves and associate with one another. Successful First Amendment cases protected LGBT publications and organizations, protests and parades, and individuals’ right to come out. The amendment was wielded by the other side only after it had laid the groundwork for major LGBT equality victories.”
“Carlos A. Ball illuminates the full trajectory of this legal and cultural history. He argues that, in accommodating those who dissent from LGBT equality on grounds of conscience, it is neither necessary nor appropriate to depart from the established ways in which American antidiscrimination law has, for decades, accommodated equality dissenters. But he also argues that as progressives fight the First Amendment claims of religious conservatives and other LGBT opponents today, they should take care not to erode the very safeguards of liberty that allowed LGBT rights to exist in the first place.”
Headline: “Pharmacy Argues There’s A First Amendment Right To Secretly Sell Execution Drugs”
Writing in BuzzFeed, Chris McDaniel reports that a “pharmacy whose drugs have been used in 16 Missouri executions is arguing that its actions are political speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, and that its identity should remain secret.Death row inmates in Mississippi subpoenaed information from the Missouri Department of Corrections — including about the drugs and supplier — months ago. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has attempted to have the subpoena quashed, but so far has been unsuccessful. . . .”
“In the past two weeks, the supplier has spoken up for the first time, under the pseudonym ‘M7.’ In a motion filed late Friday night, M7 said its drug sales are political speech. . . .”
“Missouri has paid M7 more than $125,000, all in cash, for execution drugs, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The amount they are paid per execution — $7,178.88 for two vials of pentobarbital — is well above market value, and experts have expressed concern that the cash deals could violate federal tax law.”
“‘The fact that M7’s expression of political views involves a commercial transaction does not diminish M7’s First Amendment rights,’ the pharmacy’s attorneys wrote in Friday’s court filing.”
“Selling execution drugs ‘is an expression of political views, no different than signing a referendum petition or selling a t-shirt.'”
Headline: “Court rules 3D printing not protected under First Amendment”
Greg Camp, writing in Guns.com, notes that the “Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that designs of firearms to be used on 3D printers are not protected by the free speech provisions of the First Amendment. The court, siding with the State Department, found that such designs could constitute an export, given the lack of borders on the Internet, and as such would pose a danger to national security.”
→ Defense Distributed v. United States Department of State (5th Cir., Sept. 20, 2016) (District Court opinion, August 4, 2015 — here)
College Campuses & Free Speech Read More