Thursday, January 29, 2015

Alabama Judge Faces Ethics Complaint for Gay Marriage Letter; NBC News, 1/28/15

Miranda Leitsinger, NBC News; Alabama Judge Faces Ethics Complaint for Gay Marriage Letter:
"A civil rights group on Wednesday filed a judicial ethics complaint against Alabama's controversial Supreme Court Chief Justice, Roy Moore, saying his comments urging judges to disregard a recent ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban were "encouraging lawlessness."
The Southern Poverty Law Center said it had lodged the complaint with the state's Judicial Inquiry Commission, which could recommend that Moore face ethics charges in the Alabama Court of the Judiciary."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

French Arrests Raise Question: Is Free Speech for All?; Associated Press via New York Times, 1/25/15

Associated Press via New York Times; French Arrests Raise Question: Is Free Speech for All? :
"That has unleashed accusations of a double standard, in which free speech applies to those who mock Islam while Muslims are penalized for expressing their own provocative views. Many Muslims complain that France aggressively prosecutes anti-Semitic slurs, but that they are not protected from similar racist speech.
French police have arrested more than 70 people since the attacks for allegedly defending or glorifying terrorism. The most famous is comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, charged over a Facebook post saying "I feel like Charlie Coulibaly" — a merger of the names of magazine Charlie Hebdo and Amedy Coulibaly, the attacker who killed four hostages at the supermarket. The comic also has repeatedly been prosecuted for anti-Semitism.
Dieudonne later suggested he was being silenced by free-speech hypocrisy. "You consider me like Amedy Coulibaly when I am no different from Charlie," he wrote in an open letter to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
Many countries have laws limiting free speech, and on paper most hate-speech rules do not discriminate against any particular faith or group."

California Bars Judges From Boy Scouts Membership; Associated Press via New York Times, 1/24/15

Associated Press via New York Times; California Bars Judges From Boy Scouts Membership:
"California's Supreme Court voted Friday to prohibit state judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts on grounds that the group discriminates against gays.
The court said its seven justices unanimously voted to heed a recommendation by its ethics advisory committee barring judges' affiliation with the organization.
In 1996 the state Supreme Court banned judges from belonging to groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but made an exception for nonprofit youth organizations.
The Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics in February recommended eliminating the exception to enhance public confidence in the judiciary."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Former Atlanta Fire Chief, Fired Over Book Storm, Files Complaint; Reuters via New York Times, 1/23/15

Reuters via New York Times; Former Atlanta Fire Chief, Fired Over Book Storm, Files Complaint:
"Reed said earlier this month Cochran was not fired due to his religious beliefs, but rather because of questions that arose about his "judgment and ability to manage the department" in connection with the book.
Reed said the city has a clear policy that forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation and that Cochran's published views could be a legal liability.
Cochran consulted the city's ethics officer but not the mayor before he published the book, Reed said."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Terrible new Pennsylvania law muzzles speech, threatens press freedom; Washington Post, 1/21/15

Radley Balko, Washington Post; Terrible new Pennsylvania law muzzles speech, threatens press freedom:
"Pennsylvania just passed an awful new law that bars convicts from publicly discussing their crimes if doing so could cause victims “a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish.” Journalist Christopher Moraff is part of a group that’s suing to have the law overturned. At the Daily Beast, he explains why striking down the law, which he calls the “Silencing Act,” is so important."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo Massacre in Paris; New York Times, 1/7/15

Editorial Board, New York Times; The Charlie Hebdo Massacre in Paris:
"Just days after the 9/11 attacks, an editorial in the newspaper Le Monde declared: “We are all Americans.” In France, “Je suis Charlie” — “I am Charlie” — has gone viral as the words to show solidarity with the victims at Charlie Hebdo. This attack was an assault on freedom everywhere. On Wednesday, the American Embassy in Paris put that message on its social media accounts."

News organizations wrestle with whether to publish Charlie Hebdo cartoons after attack; Washington Post, 1/7/15

Paul Farhi, Washington Post; News organizations wrestle with whether to publish Charlie Hebdo cartoons after attack:
"Ever since a Danish newspaper drew death threats and incited protests by publishing cartoons satirizing the prophet Muhammad in 2005, American news organization have wrestled with a question: to publish or not to publish the offending, if clearly newsworthy, cartoons?
The issue came roaring back Wednesday with the attack on a satirical Paris publication that had republished the Danish cartoons and created its own in the face of violent threats from Muslim extremists. The attack by three gunmen on the publication, Charlie Hebdo, left 12 people dead, including its editor, St├ęphane Charbonnier, who once defiantly posed with a copy of his magazine featuring a cartoon of an Orthodox Jewish man pushing Muhammad in a wheelchair."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

American Apparel updates its ethics code after ousting Charney; Fortune, 1/6/15

John Kell, Fortune; American Apparel updates its ethics code after ousting Charney:
"American Apparel has updated its code of ethics less than a month after firing controversial CEO Dov Charney — a move that could help improve the apparel chain’s tattered reputation as it considers a possible sale, or a turnaround.
The updated policy wasn’t exactly a surprise: American Apparel APP -3.55% in a regulatory filing last month said it would replace its prior code of ethics by Jan. 1 (it appears it slightly missed that deadline). In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company said the revised code was intended to “clarify, update, or enhance the descriptions of the standards of conduct that were expected of all directors, officers and employees of the company.”"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chris Christie’s trip to Dallas on Jerry Jones’s dime raises ethics concerns; Washington Post, 1/6/15

Cindy Boren, Washington Post; Chris Christie’s trip to Dallas on Jerry Jones’s dime raises ethics concerns:
"The trip may comply with the letter of the law, but it’s still raising questions, especially given Christie’s George Washington Bridge scandal.
Jameson Doig, an emeritus Princeton University professor who wrote a book about the Port Authority, said Christie’s relationship and receiving of gifts from Jones “sends the wrong signal if Christie or any of his top aides appear to have a conflict of interest in their relationship to the Port Authority.”
“The governor ought to do all he can to avoid that conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict,” Doig, a member of a panel on overhauling the agency’s ethics rules and structure, told the Wall Street Journal.
The trip may have violated no laws, but it may prove to be a bigger blow to his image than just that orange sweater that became a social-media meme."