Leonard M. Niehoff, a professor from practice at the University of Michigan Law School who specializes in the First Amendment, spoke with Salon by email about Pompeo’s remarks. After noting that they were not specific enough for him to ascertain what if anything President Donald Trump is considering doing to TikTok, Niehoff argued that “to the extent that he’s suggesting a complete ban on a social media platform that is used by United States citizens to communicate with hundreds of millions of people worldwide, the proposal raises grave concerns under the First Amendment.” He acknowledged that people have accused TikTok of being a form of spyware and added “it’s difficult to assess the constitutionality of the measures without knowing exactly what the government wants to do and why it wants to do it.”
In the 1989 case Texas v. Johnson, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the act of burning an American flag is constitutionally-protected free speech under the First Amendment.
The petitioner in the case, Gregory Lee Johnson, was prosecuted and convicted for violating Texas’ law against flag desecration when he burned a flag outside Dallas City Hall in protest of former President Ronald Reagan.
After a Texas appeals court overturned his conviction, the state of Texas appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled in Johnson’s favor.
In a separate 1990 decision, the Supreme Court also ruled that federal legislation criminalizing flag burning a crime violates the constitution. In United States v. Eichman, the Court struck down the 1989 Flag Protection Act, which made burning or destroying an American flag a federal crime.
The Justice Department had sought a temporary restraining order against Bolton and his publisher, Simon & Schuster, citing what it called the presence of classified information in Bolton’s manuscript. But the book already has been widely reported on, and it is scheduled to be released Tuesday.
“We are grateful that the Court has vindicated the strong First Amendment protections against censorship and prior restraint of publication,” the publisher said in a statement shared Saturday with NPR. “We are very pleased that the public will now have the opportunity to read Ambassador Bolton’s account of his time as National Security Advisor.”
“This Administration has undermined the First Amendment freedoms of Americans of all races who are rightfully protesting George Floyd’s killing,” the members wrote. “The deployment of drones and officers to surveil protests is a gross abuse of authority and is particularly chilling when used against Americans who are protesting law enforcement brutality.”
Handing the Trump administration a defeat, a federal appellate court has upheld an order requiring the White House press secretary to restore journalist Brian Karem’s press credentials.
In an opinion issued Friday, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said Karem lacked fair notice that his press pass would be suspended due to allegedly “unprofessional” conduct.
The decision stemmed from Trump’s July 2019 “social media summit,” which involved convening right-wing activists to discuss alleged bias by tech companies.