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Cheerleader vulgar post invites confrontation with the First Amendment

The previous key is from another era. In 1969, in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, the Supreme Court allowed students to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, but said disruptive speech, at least on school grounds, could be punished.

Distinguishing between what students say on and off campus was easier in 1969, before the rise of social media. Nowadays, most courts have allowed public schools to discipline students for social media posts as long as they are related to school activities and threaten to disrupt them.

A divided panel of three judges from the Third Circuit took a different approach, announcing that a hardline rule would appear to limit the ability of public schools to deal with many types of disturbing student speech on social media, including racist threats and cyberbullying.

In a concurring opinion, Judge Thomas L. Ambro wrote that he would have ruled for the student on more limited grounds. It would have been enough, he said, to say that his speech was protected by the First Amendment because it did not disrupt school activities. The majority were wrong, he said, to protect all off-campus speech.

In a brief urging the Supreme Court to hear the school district’s appeal, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association said the line drawn by the Third Circuit was too crude.

“Whether a disturbing or harmful tweet is sent from the school cafeteria or after the student has crossed the street on her way home, it has the same impact,” the brief said. “The formalistic Third Circuit Rule renders schools powerless any time a hate message is sent off campus.”

The student, represented by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Supreme Court that the First Amendment protected her “colorful expression of frustration, performed in a fleeting Snapchat on her personal social media over the weekend,” off campus, containing no threats. or harassment or mention of her school, and this did not cause or threaten to disrupt her school. “

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Lockdowns, Round 2: New virus surge invites restrictions and dismissal

The scene was familiar: Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, facing a rapid increase in the coronavirus outbreak in her state, stood in front of a lectern and grimly announced new restrictions intended to prevent the virus from spreading uncontrollably.

Within hours, the reaction began.

As the coronavirus crisis escalates with renewed force in the United States, surpassing 11 million total cases and threatening to overwhelm hospitals across the country, governors, mayors and other officials order restrictions and find themselves again in the cross-streams of public health and economics. crises.

California, Washington state, Michigan and Oregon have closed indoor restaurants, among other measures. In Chicago, a new stay-at-home notice went into effect Monday. In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney introduced a sweeping new set of coronavirus rules, including a ban on most private gatherings indoors, with a call for understanding: “We’re not taking any of this away. lightly, ”he said. “Believe me, more than anything in the world, I wish none of this was necessary.

The new wave of restrictions come at a time when health officials across the country are reporting more new cases and more hospitalizations from the virus than ever before, and experts warn that 100,000 to 200,000 more Americans could die from the virus in the coming months. if no meaningful action is taken.

But the new restrictions are meeting resistance, and it has been particularly fierce in Michigan, where Governor Whitmer, a Democrat, said Sunday night she would shut down restaurants inside, shut down casinos and movie theaters, and would stop learning in person at top schools and colleges for three weeks. A Republican state lawmaker quickly called for his impeachment, and Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump’s coronavirus adviser, urged residents of the state to “stand up” in protest.

“The only way it stops is for people to stand up. You get what you accept ”, Dr Atlas written on twitter. On Monday, Ms Whitmer said the statement left her “breathless”.

“It’s just incredibly reckless, considering everything that’s happened,” said Ms Whitmer, who faced fierce opposition for her coronavirus restrictions in the spring: Mr Trump tweeted a call for “Free Michigan,” and state Capitol protesters chanted, “Lock her up. She was then the target of an alleged kidnapping plot by an extremist anti-government group, authorities said.

Dr Atlas said later on Sunday that he did not intend to incite violence.

The tense political atmosphere is a throwback to an earlier pandemic era, when protesters who were angry at business closures shouted without masks in state capitals and Mr. Trump encouraged right-wing protests demanding the reopening of the economy. These tensions eased over the summer after viral outbreaks subsided in many states. Governors have made plans to open businesses and restaurants, and some of the millions of jobs lost in the pandemic have returned.

But now the pandemic arc has returned to crisis levels almost everywhere.

The country is now registering more than 150,000 new cases per day on average, more than ever. More than 69,000 people are in hospital with the virus, the highest number in the pandemic. Reports of coronavirus-related deaths have risen 64% over the past month, to more than 1,100 people per day. And governors and mayors return to lecterns and video feeds where they held daily briefings in the spring, this time to announce urgent new restrictions and plead for respect.

“It sounds a lot like spring,” said Crystal Watson, senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Dr Watson said she feared hospitals in many cities would soon be overwhelmed, as they were in New York and other places on the East Coast during the peak of spring.

“But it’s also a lot worse than spring because this virus is now much more widespread,” she said. “It’s not just one part of the country that is experiencing this push. It’s every state.

As in the spring, the latest closure measures were often led by Democratic officials, who tended to be more willing than Republicans to impose restrictions on businesses and issue mask warrants. The governors of Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington who have announced new restrictions in recent days are all Democrats.

The same goes for Governor Gavin Newsom of California, who said Monday his state was “pulling the emergency brake” on its plan to reopen.

It moved most of California’s most populous counties into the most restrictive level of the state’s multi-level reopening plan, meaning restaurants inside and some other businesses that had been allowed to reopen with limits should close again. Mr Newsom added that the state was exploring options to impose a curfew.

But as the pandemic spreads far and wide, reaching more rural areas and large swathes of Republican-ruled states than it touched in the spring, Republican officials hesitated in the face of excessive government action. have also exercised their authority more forcefully. The Republican governors of North Dakota and Utah imposed mask warrants last week; The Iowa governor followed suit on Monday, also announcing curfews at restaurants and bars and restrictions on the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings.

So far, few officials have reverted to the most restrictive measure used in the spring, a full stay-at-home order. But the Navajo Nation has reinstated its stay-at-home order after health officials warned of the virus spreading out of control in dozens of communities across the vast reservation.

The order, one of the most aggressive antivirus measures in the country, went into effect Monday and is set to last for three weeks. During this time, all roads in the Navajo Nation are closed to visitors, residents are required to stay at home except for urgent travel, and most government offices will be closed. Essential businesses like gas stations and grocery stores are allowed to open, but only from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Having warned that serious action was needed to prevent another wave of deaths, Philadelphia officials on Monday announced sweeping measures to shut down indoor restaurants, gyms, museums and libraries, shut down learning in person in high schools and colleges until the end of 2020. and ban all indoor gatherings of people from multiple households, even in private homes.

“It means no indoor parties, group meals, football watching groups, no inter-household visits, no indoor weddings, funerals, baby showers,” said Dr Thomas Farley , city health commissioner. “We know this is a very strong policy, but it affects the most important distribution sites.”

The virus killed around 1,700 people in Philadelphia in the first months of the pandemic, overwhelming the city’s funeral homes. As Covid-19 hospitalizations skyrocket in the city again, Dr Farley warned that the virus could kill a similar number of Philadelphians this fall and winter if left unchecked.

Under the new rules, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people for every 1,000 square feet of space, which Dr Farley said meant banning fans from football games. Sports for youth, community and schools will be canceled. High schools and colleges have been told to switch to distance learning, but daycare centers and elementary and middle schools will be allowed to remain open.

“The bottom line is this: If we don’t do anything to change the trajectory of this epidemic, the hospitals will become full,” Dr Farley said. “They will have a hard time treating people, and we will have between several hundred and a thousand dead by the end of the year.”

Reporting was contributed by Kathleen gray, Marie fazio, Jill cowan, Simon romero and Bryan pietsch.

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‘A New Day in America’: Biden’s victory invites spontaneous celebrations

“I feel liberated,” said Linda Gomez, 37, an activist who has advocated for the rights of convicted criminals and who has herself been imprisoned previously. She added, “Today is people’s day.”

Ms Gomez, like others there, said voting against President Trump would not be enough to achieve the changes voters were looking for.

“We need to make sure things get implemented,” she said. “We have to hold Biden accountable.”

Sitting outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Christian Hanna, 31, stopped his afternoon bike ride to follow election news after noticing his phone balanced on the handlebars of his motorcycle, “exploded” with the updates.

Mr. Hanna is a registered Republican who has said he disagrees with the divisive tone of Mr. Trump’s speeches and also disagrees with parts of Mr. Biden’s record. He said he voted for a third party candidate, Jo Jorgensen.

He said some of his friends on social media were popping champagne bottles while others were saying, “Fight this, fight it. He read a tweet from Mr Trump in which the president claimed to have won the election, and said it made him reflect wistfully on how John McCain accepted defeat in 2008.

“I believe in decorum,” said Hanna, who added that he was considering changing his recording to independent. “I believe in dealing with wins and dealing with losses with grace.”

Across the street, four sheriff’s deputies sat in an unmarked black SUV, monitoring the situation.

Julie bosman reported from Chicago, Lucy tompkins from Bismarck, ND, and Sabrina Tavernise from Washington. Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker in Seattle, Tim arango in Los Angeles, Sarah Mervosh in Cleveland, Frances robles in Miami, Stacy M. Brown in Harrisburg, PA and Kathleen gray in Lansing, Mich.