First Amendment

Where’s the Beef?

Mississippi’s “Veggie Burgers” Ban is Almost Certainly Unconstitutional

Mississippi recently passed a law that has the effect of banning terms like “veggie burger.”  It’s easy to imagine other states passing similar laws. From an environmental view, that’s problematic, because beef in particular is connected with much higher greenhouse gas emissions than plant products.  It’s not just the methane from cow-burps, it’s also all …

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Climate Gag Rules and the First Amendment

Are climate gag rules constitutional? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

There have been recent reports about state agencies that forbid employees from discussing climate change.  Since this is obviously a restriction on speech, it’s natural to wonder what the First Amendment has to say on the subject.  The answer depends in large part on the kind of employee speech at issue. Let’s being with a ban …

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Climate Denial

One key question is whether these statements amounted to factual accusations that Mann had engaged in scientific misconduct.

A D.C. trial judge recently refused to dismiss climate scientist Michael Mann’s libel lawsuits against the National Review and the Competitiveness Institute.  There are some serious constitutional barriers against such libel suits, which are designed to provide ample breathing room for free speech.  Is this one of the rare cases that can jump the hurdles?

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What Does This Logo Mean?

Take a look at the green drop on the bottle of Fiji Water pictured right.  (If you are a rational actor, you won’t buy the bottle for $7, but that’s another story).  What do you think it means?  What if it was accompanied by the website URL “fijigreen.com”? Well, if you are the California Court …

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Iowa’s Attack on Animal Rights Groups and the First Amendment

Industrial farmers have a PR problem: large-scale food manufacturing tends to go hand-in-hand with incidents of animal abuse.  We can disagree about the pervasiveness of the problem, but it is nevertheless a problem.  Iowa’s solution?  Criminalize the whistleblowers. From time to time, animal rights activists infiltrate corporate agribusinesses and film various abuses, such as pigs …

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