The Supreme Court is in the midst of a relative deluge of controversial free-speech cases at the moment. In January, the court pricked tempers by ruling in Citizens United that corporations and unions have a right to spend funds on political ads targeting specific candidates. Yesterday, the justices shocked America by abandoned "man's best friend" as they struck down a federal ban on videos for commercial gain of animal cruelty. Yet the decision rests on rather firm free-speech foundations (the ruling was 8-1), and the opinion conceded that a more tailored law might be permitted.
Earlier this week, they heard arguments from a Christian student group claiming free-speech violations when they were banned by a university for excluding those opposed to Christian sexual morality (read: gays) from leadership positions. And next week, the court hears arguments on a law requiring publication of the names of signatories on a petition opposing gay-rights. The NY Times filed a brief in support of the state, while the ACRU is defending the signatories (and likened gay activists to NAZIs). These cases are being interpreted as the precursors to an climatic gay-marriage case on the horizon.
Interesting times in the halls of justice.