County Official Facebook Ban of Citizen Ruled Unconstitutional

A county official in Virginia banned a local on her Facebook page after the latter accused the official of nepotism.

The ban was ruled unconstitutional on the basis of the First Amendment:

Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudon County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors, banned Brian Davison from her Facebook page for just 12 hours. But according to a federal judge in Alexandria, that brief banishment in February 2016 was enough to violate Davison’s First Amendment rights…

… [U.S. District Judge James] Cacheris rejected Randall’s contention that her Facebook page “is merely a personal website that she may do with as she pleases.” He notes that she and her chief of staff created it shortly before she took office, that it it lists her official position and contact information, and that she uses it primarily for official purposes such as describing the supervisors’ work, implementing their policies, documenting her appearances as a representative of the county government, and communicating with her constituents.

Read more about it on Reason.

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Treasury Secretary’s Wife Apologizes After Mocking Instagram User

Ms. Louise Linton shared a photo on Instagram of herself getting off a government plane on a trip to Kentucky with her husband, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. She tagged the photo with brand names she was presumably wearing.

Someone commented: “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.”

Ms. Linton went on a tirade about that comment, drawing attention to herself. She then changed her account settings to private after receiving criticisms.

“Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!” she wrote. “Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?”

Ms. Linton went on: “I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.” After that, she included emojis of a curled bicep and a face blowing a kiss.

“You’re adorably out of touch,” she said, later adding, “your life looks cute” before concluding, “Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”

For the record, the government did not pay for Ms. Linton’s trip:

A Treasury Department official declined to comment on Ms. Linton’s post. But the official said that the Mnuchins reimbursed the government for the trip, and that Ms. Linton was not compensated by any of the labels she promoted with hashtags.

Read more about it at the New York Times.

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CNN Commentator Fired After Tweeting “Sieg Heil!”

Jeffrey Lord said he was mocking Angelo Carusone’s call to boycott Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, making a reference to censorship, when he posted the words “Sieg Heil!”.

CNN did not accept his explanation and fired him almost immediately.

 

Jeffrey Lord, the indefatigable defender of President Trump whose advocacy turned him into an unlikely political celebrity, was fired by CNN on Thursday after a convoluted Twitter exchange in which he evoked — mockingly, he said — a Nazi salute.

Mr. Lord received the news by telephone while on his way to CNN’s Manhattan studio in a town car provided by the network, which ferried him from his home near Harrisburg, Pa.

After Mr. Lord, 66, learned that his contract had been severed, the car turned around. “I didn’t have to walk; I thanked them for that,” he said in a telephone interview from the road.

Read more about it at the New York Times.

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