Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

Misfire: Gun-permit controversy leads to flawed legislation

Maryland legislator’s bill to prohibit newspapers from publishing information about firearm owners is a baffling backlash against a New York paper’s release of such public records.

Attorney loses bid to keep profane license plate

Maryland Administrative Law Judge Marleen B. Miller backs state’s recall of tag, saying ‘MIERDA’ plate might offend others.

Md. man loses bid to argue literary defense to child-porn charges

Relying on appellate decisions that defendant’s motivation isn’t viable defense in such cases, federal judge says Charles Johnson can’t claim he accessed material for research and writing purposes.

Justice Dept.: Individuals have right to record police activity reports on content of ‘surprising’ letter sent by federal agency to Baltimore Police Department.

First Amendment advocate fights to keep vanity plate

Maryland agency told attorney John T. Mitchell that his personalized tag with Spanish word for excrement shouldn’t have been issued in 2009.

Federal judge OKs size limit for political signs

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A Baltimore County ordinance prohibiting political signs larger than 8 square feet does not violate the First Amendment, a federal judge has ruled.
Stephen V. Kolbe had challenged the constitutionally of the ordinance after being told that he needed to remove a 32-square-foot sign that he placed on his yard last May supporting Maryland gubernatorial [...]

Mayor entitled to immunity after man ejected from meeting

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The mayor of Cumberland, Md., is entitled to qualified immunity from a suit filed by a man who alleged he was tossed out of a city hall meeting in 2006 on the mayor’s orders, a federal judge has ruled.
William A. Taccino contended that Mayor Lee Fiedler had him ejected from the building by [...]

Blog: Schools should Pledge to follow the First Amendment

It has happened again. Another public school student has been punished for refusing to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Once again a public school official apparently needs a history lesson on the First Amendment and freedom.
Nearly 70 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) [...]

States reassessing campaign laws after Citizens United

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information for additional
states since the original was posted Jan. 23.
The major Supreme Court decision Jan. 21 that could change how presidential
and congressional campaigns are funded is also prompting many states to examine
their campaign-finance laws.
Voting 5-4 in Citizens
United v. FEC, the Court overturned Austin
v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce [...]

Md. high court sets legal standard for outing online foes

Ruling in what it called a “confrontation between defamation law and the use of the World Wide Web,” Maryland’s highest court made it harder last week for plaintiffs in libel suits to unmask anonymous online critics.
In its Feb. 27 ruling in Independent Newspapers Inc. v. Brodie, the Maryland Court of Appeals said those who file [...]

Sexual orientation and public schools: all or nothing?

What a difference a day makes.
On Jan. 31, two court decisions and one lawsuit in three states made an already hot fight over sexual orientation in public schools even hotter.
In a case out of Massachusetts, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by parents who wanted school officials to [...]

‘The Wire’ examines Baltimore through prism of the press

For its fifth and final season, the critically acclaimed (but criminally underviewed) HBO series “The Wire” examines the problems of Baltimore through the lens of the newspaper industry in all its failures, foibles, flaws and occasional triumphs.
In previous seasons, the program explored the war on street drug trafficking (Season 1), the economic downturn of the [...]

Trial date set for defamation suit against anti-gay church

Editor’s note: Judge Richard Bennett on June 4 rejected a motion to dismiss the case. The motion, filed by Rebekah Phelps-Davis and Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughters of the Rev. Fred Phelps, had argued that the court would be forced to decide between different religious viewpoints.
BALTIMORE — A trial will be conducted in October in which the [...]

Nader wins some, loses some in fight to appear on ballots

Independent candidate Ralph Nader's effort to be included on the Nov. 2 presidential ballot has both gained and lost ground in the last week.
On the positive side for the Nader campaign, the former consumer advocate scored a victory in his home state of Connecticut when elections officials said yesterday that he would be on the [...]

The big buy: a new way to censor newspapers

It was the kind of day newspaper publishers dream of, with buyers all over town snapping up copies.
The downside for St. Mary’s Today: Sheriff’s deputies were doing all the buying.
At the heart of a fascinating Maryland case making its way through federal courts is the question of whether public officials can limit critical press coverage [...]

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