Advocate Nick Morphus was published in PJ Media on a recent Pennsylvania controversy that highlights the tension between constitutional rights and public schools.
On the issue of religious freedom and freedom of speech, where do we allow the United States government and the public school system to draw the lines? This is precisely the question that parents at one Pennsylvania elementary school are asking after a student was reprimanded for exercising his religious freedom. Park Lakes Elementary School punished a fifth-grade student named Giovanni for reading the Bible.
You can find the full piece online here.
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Young Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz’s Talking Points Memo article, Revenge Porn Is Awful, But The Law Against It Is Worse was referenced in a recent Slate article on the topic, How to Make Revenge Porn a Crime.
Free speech advocates worry that revenge porn laws are too broad and vague, and thus risk chilling protected speech. Is there a collision here with the First Amendment? These concerns are real, but not insurmountable. Careful and precise drafting is the key. Revenge porn laws can and should make clear that it is a crime to distribute someone’s sexually explicit images without consent if those images do not concern matters of public importance. Worded that way, a law wouldn’t apply, for example, to the woman who published Anthony Weiner’s crotch shots.
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Young Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz was quoted in Wired magazine on the free-speech implications of banning revenge porn.
Many of the discussions of revenge porn — including the exchange between Amanda Marcotte and Cathy Reisenwitz in Talking Points Memo – have focused on free speech, forcing us to consider a false dichotomy between speech and gendered harassment.
Many of the discussions force us to consider a false dichotomy between speech and gendered harassment.
A haze of uncertainty surrounds the definition of revenge porn, as Reisenwitz points out. An overbroad definition of revenge porn could net a reporter publishing screencaps of Anthony Weiner’s more infamous tweets. Although we have in our minds the perfect-paradigm case of a sympathetic victim — a nice girl with a penchant for selfies — and an unsympathetic perpetrator — a spurned, vindictive ex-boyfriend with a blatant streak of misogyny — the web of liability becomes nebulous when we think about cases that fall outside this paradigm. (And things get more problematic when we think about websites and website operators beyond the horrifying IsAnybodyUp.com and the entirely unlikable Hunter Moore.)
The entire article can be found here. The referenced article can be found here.
If you’d like to speak with or book Cathy or any of our Advocates, please contact Young Voices now.