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FIRST AMENDMENT Free-speech advocates push Elon Musk to fight ‘state-sponsored censorship’: petition

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Do you want to join the global ask for Elon Musk to help free speech champions combat a “mounting trend of government suppression” of free speech? Sign your name.

In an open letter to Elon Musk, more than 50 human rights groups, journalists, commentators and think tanks asked the owner of X, formerly Twitter, to “harness” the social media platform to combat “threats to free expression often come at the hands of businesses treating employees unfairly for sharing their views.

“Free speech is broadly protected by every major human rights treaty; however, in the West, speech increasingly is targeted by ‘hate speech’ laws. In other regions, blasphemy laws target minority groups, sometimes with the sentence of death. These repressive laws are two sides of the same coin – both punish those who speak out against state-approved views,” the letter states.

“Even more insidious is the mounting trend of government suppression of speech with the imposition of serious penalties, and even criminal sanctions, for free expression,” the letter says.

“For a truly comprehensive response to free speech restrictions, our request is that you extend this important offer to cases of state-driven censorship,” the signatories wrote.

In an Aug. 5, 2023, X post, Musk announced, “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill. No limit.”

https://twitter.com/adfintl/status/1722972881083105772?s=42&t=XbTlOeAo2IlxtW93MRjFLQ

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Elections

BREAKING: IL judge orders state election board to remove Trump from primary ballot

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Cook County Judge Tracie Porter issued a lengthy ruling Wednesday which orders the state election board to remove former President Donald Trump from the Illinois primary ballot on March 19. Porter wrote Trump is disqualified from the presidency due to his actions relating to the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Porter said she was aware her “decision could not be the ultimate outcome,” given that higher courts will have a chance to weigh in; she also put her order on hold until Friday in anticipation of an appeal.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the State Board of Elections voted unanimously last month to reject the same bid to block Trump from Illinois’ ballot under the 14th Amendment. But Porter found the board’s decision to be “clearly erroneous.”

The 14th Amendment bars from “any office, civil or military, under the United States” anyone who previously took an oath as an “officer of the United States” to support the Constitution but then engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.”

Trump’s lawyers have told the U.S. Supreme Court the amendment doesn’t apply because the president is not an “officer of the United States” under the Constitution and because he did not engage in “anything that qualifies as ‘insurrection.’”

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the “U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule on the controversy soon — and appeared skeptical of the arguments to kick Trump off Colorado’s ballot. The clock is ticking on the nation’s high court given that Colorado’s primary election is Tuesday.” Porter also said her order would be put on hold if the Supreme court’s ruling is ultimately “inconsistent” with hers.

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