Secretary of State Pompeo hints that US may go after TikTok, directly threatening freedom of speech



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.”


Trump vows to designate antifa a terrorist group. Here’s why DOJ officials call that ‘highly problematic’

ABC News


In particular, current and former government officials have repeatedly worried that officially designating a U.S.-based group as a terrorist organization could have significant First Amendment consequences.

The First Amendment protects the rights of Americans who like spewing “hateful speech” and “assembling with others who share the same hateful views,” so “unless an organization engages solely in unprotected activity, such as committing crimes of violence, any designation of a (U.S.-based) organization as a terrorist organization … would likely run afoul of the First Amendment,” Mary McCord, the former head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, told a House panel in January.


Doctors say federal rules on discussing abortions inhibit relationships with patients

Connecticut Public Radio

There have been a few other examples of American laws that attempt to restrict doctors’ speech, according to sociologist Carole Joffe, but most have been struck down by the courts for violating the First Amendment.

Joffe, a professor at University of California, San Francisco who studies abortion, points to a 2011 Florida law that attempted to prevent doctors from asking their patients about whether they own guns.


The Trump administration’s dangerous free-speech brief

National Review

The Trump Administration’s Dangerous Free-Speech Brief | National Review

The Trump administration argues for a limited pro-life victory that would expand state power over speech.


Trump calls libel laws ‘a disgrace’ during Cabinet meeting

Boston Globe

President Trump said during a Cabinet meeting that people shouldn’t be able to say things that are false and then ‘‘smile as money pours into your bank account.’’