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Supreme Court decision upholds President Trump’s executive order to restrict entry to the U.S. of travelers from seven countries, five of them predominantly Muslim. In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor cites the president’s own words reflecting anti-Muslim sentiments, saying they make the ban “inexplicable by anything but animus.” (See PEN America’s statement on the implications for cultural, intellectual, and artistic discourse here). Supreme Court also accepts free speech argument in ruling that First Amendment prohibits California from forcing “crisis pregnancy centers” opposed to abortion on religious grounds to post notices on how to obtain the procedure. Reality Winner pleads guilty to leaking a top secret document to a news outlet in whistleblower case. –Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer 

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban
The Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The ruling was 5-4 along partisan lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the conservative majority. Challengers argued that the travel ban exceeded the President’s authority under immigration law as well as the Constitution. 

Sonia Sotomayor Delivers Sharp Dissent in Travel Ban Case
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the president’s travel ban is “inexplicable by anything but animus.” She continued that Mr. Trump had never disavowed any of his statements regarding Islam, and thus had failed “to correct the reasonable perception of his apparent hostility toward the Islamic faith.”

Supreme Court says California Abortion Notice Law is Likely Unconstitutional
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declared a California law that required religiously affiliated pregnancy centers to inform clients about the availability of state-funded services for terminating a pregnancy as probably unconstitutional. Lower courts were divided about whether such notice requirements violate free speech.

Reality Winner, National Security Agency Leaker, Pleads Guilty To Espionage Charge
Reality Winner, the former government contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked a classified document that proved Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, pleaded guilty to an Espionage Act charge Tuesday morning. Winner is the first person to be convicted since Donald Trump became president for leaking government documents to the media.


Poland’s Controversial ‘Holocaust Law’ Set to be Reversed after Global Outcry
At the beginning of the year, the Polish government pushed ahead with a controversial Holocaust speech law that criminalized references to Polish guilt in Nazi atrocities, and was to be enforced with jail time. The bill’s international critics had long argued that it violates freedom of expression.

Japanese blogger Stabbed to Death, Allegedly by Online Harasser with a Grudge
Cyber-security expert and Prolific blogger Kenichiro Okamoto was stabbed to death by an assailant, who then fled. The assailant, Asahi Shimbun, turned himself in saying he “held a grudge” against Okamoto because of their online exchanges and had decided to kill him.

Van Attack on Newspaper is ‘Attack on Free Press’: Dutch PM
A man rammed a van into the Amsterdam headquarters of one of the Netherlands’ major national newspapers before setting the vehicle alight Tuesday, an attack that the Dutch prime minister called “a slap in the face of a free press and Dutch democracy.” It was the second attack on a media outlet followed by Panorama Media.

‘The Sims Freeplay’ Banned in China, Saudi Arabia, & More due to ‘Regional Standards’
Starting July 5, The Sims Freeplay will be banned in China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and Egypt. A community manager at Electronic Arts posted notice in the forums, citing “regional standards.” However, context implies the game’s LGBTQ and non-binary inclusivity might be the reason behind the ban. 

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