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  Recent news
  News stories recently posted throughout the First Amendment Center Online.
 
  Mass. high court: Journalist can't invoke anti-SLAPP law
  Unanimous decision allows real-estate developer to continue defamation lawsuit against Boston newspaper reporter.     02.02.10
 
  High court to decide if petition signers' names are public
  Gay-rights opponents in Washington state argue that publicity about them would lead to harassment.     01.15.10
 
  Congressman introduces federal anti-SLAPP bill
  By David L. Hudson Jr. Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen's spokesman says measure would provide protection for people exercising First Amendment rights.     12.24.09
 
  ACLU challenges Neb. ballot-access requirements
  Group says changes made to state law in recent years are keeping independent candidates and initiatives off the ballot, thereby infringing on protected political speech.     12.17.09
 
  Split decision keeps N.C. ballot challenge alive
  Court of Appeals upholds state law that forces third political parties to collect tens of thousands of signatures to get on ballot, but parties will appeal.     10.21.09
 
  High court justice halts release of petition signers' names
  Anthony Kennedy temporarily blocks 9th Circuit's decision that Washington officials can I.D. those who signed ballot measure on gay rights.     10.20.09
 
  9th Circuit: State can I.D. domestic-partner petition signers
  Federal judge had held that releasing names could chill First Amendment rights of people supporting Washington's Referendum 71 ballot initiative.     10.16.09
 
  Federal judge fines anti-Obama 'birther' attorney $20K
  Scathing 43-page order says California lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz filed 'frivolous' litigation, tried to misuse federal courts to push a political agenda.     10.15.09
 
  Lobbyist fundraising often undisclosed
  AP review finds that few members of Congress are reporting lobbyist help despite new law that was supposed to shed light on ties between lawmakers, capital's influence brokers.     09.17.09
 
  Wash. voters to decide fate of expanded domestic partnerships
  Group says it won't appeal judge's ruling allowing referendum on new law, which would provide more legal rights for gay couples.     09.10.09
 
  D.C. Circuit upholds lobbying-disclosure law
  Three-judge panel finds there is nothing unconstitutional about congressional effort 'to shine increasing light on the efforts of paid lobbyists to influence the public decisionmaking process.'     09.09.09
 
  Federal agencies disclose few meetings with lobbyists
  Paucity of reporting — 197 contacts across all agencies since February — masks activities by lobbyists, clients eager to obtain stimulus money for their projects.     09.01.09
 
  Supporters of gay partnerships sue to stop Wash. referendum
  Lawsuit claims officials have accepted thousands of signatures that aren't in compliance with state law; meanwhile, campaign-finance panel rejects bid to keep initiative donors' names secret.     08.31.09
 
  Ohio law violates ex-legislator's right to lobby
  Federal judge's ruling clears way for Tom Brinkman Jr. to work unpaid for anti-tax group he created.     08.06.09
 
  Federal judge halts release of Wash. referendum signatures
  Gay-rights supporters had planned to publish online the names of everyone who signed petitions seeking to force public vote on new domestic-partnership law.     08.02.09
 
  Groups sue to overturn Pa. voter-soliciting law
  Legal director for ACLU, which filed suit on behalf of ACORN, says statute used to prosecute voter-registration workers imposes 'major burden on constitutionally protected political activity.'     07.26.09
 
  Official says Conn. can't enforce lobbying law against diocese
  Ethics office to drop investigation of Catholic Church and its activity related to March 11 rally at state Capitol.     07.02.09
 
  Okla. governor faulted for vetoing petition bill
  Gov. Henry says measure to protect petition-gatherers from harassment would have interfered with other First Amendment freedoms.     06.14.09
 
  Federal court tosses W.Va. ban on petitions in parks
  Judge rules state agency violated residents' free-speech rights by prohibiting political party from gathering signatures in state park.     06.13.09
 
  White House rewrites curbs on lobbying stimulus
  New rules broaden some restrictions — but loosen others — regarding conversations with administration officials on some projects.     06.04.09
 
  Catholic diocese sues Conn. over lobbying laws
  Church objects to being told it needs to register as lobbyist to hold rallies and use its Web site to oppose legislation.     06.01.09
 
  Ex-Ohio legislator challenges state's lobbying law
  Tom Brinkman Jr. argues that rules, which bar him from working as unpaid lobbyist for anti-tax group he helped create, violate free-speech, petition rights.     05.13.09
 
  Feds dropping charges against pro-Israel lobbyists
  Critics had accused government of trying to criminalize back-channel discussions between officials, lobbyists and reporters that are commonplace in nation's capital.     05.01.09
 
  Groups ask White House to rescind stimulus-lobbying ban
  Critics of policy say it violates lobbyists' free speech and still allows others seeking money from economic package to access administration officials.     04.02.09
 
  Limits on lobbying spark free-speech concerns
  New rules bar lobbyists from having conversations or meetings with federal officials about specific stimulus-package projects.     03.27.09
 
  High court refuses to hear Ariz. appeal in ballot-rules case
  9th Circuit had sided with Ralph Nader, overturning state law that banned out-of-state petition circulators, set June deadline for signature submissions for independent candidates.     03.09.09
 
  Pa. woman, mayor spar over right to petition
  Wilkes-Barre resident's fight to save firehouse raises First Amendment question: When citizens petition their government, can government push back?     01.12.09
 
  10th Circuit strikes down Okla. initiative law
  Panel reverses lower court, says circulation of petitions is 'core political speech,' which deserves highest level of First Amendment protection.     12.19.08
 
  High court won't hear serial litigator's appeal
  Paralyzed man, who sued hundreds of businesses over accommodations for disabled, had challenged order that requires him to get special permission to file new lawsuits.     11.19.08
 
  S.D. measure targeting government-funded lobbying fails
  Opponents, who had labeled initiative a gag law, said it would have restricted free speech, wasted taxpayer money and weakened voice of communities in state decisions.     11.06.08
 
 

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