Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dolphin escapes, no shots fired by St. Johns County Sheriff's Deputies. Whew!

From St. Augustine Record:

LAW & ORDER: Beached dolphin rescued in Ponte Vedra Beach

St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies responded with others Tuesday after an injured dolphin beached itself in Ponte Vedra Beach.
The deputies assisted the biologists and a veterinarian on the scene as they evaluated its injuries before “moving it to a blow-up pool,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The injuries, which are not shown in the accompanying photos were thought to have possibly been caused by a boat propeller.
The dolphin was taken to Sea World for treatment a had “a good prognosis,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

  • Edward Adelbert Slavin
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Thankfully, no bullets were fired at the dolphin by St. Johns County Sheriff's Deputies.
  • Just now

Sunday, February 25, 2018

My Prediction: Florida First Amendment Hero Fane Lozman's SECOND Supreme Court Victory; Oral Argument February 27th (SCOTUS Blog, Palm Beach Post, WaPo)

I reckon Florida First Amendment hero Fane Lozman will win his second Supreme Court case. Arrayed against Mr. Lozman are the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, the InJustice Department, National Conference of Mayors, and the formidable forces that want you, fellow citizens, to stay in your place and never criticize government officials at government meetings.

2/27/2018 5:03 PM UPDATE:  
READ TRANSCRIPT OF U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument HERE.

2/27/2018 11:00 PM UPDATE -- USA Today and Associated Press stories added down below.

Yes, as I predicted, the oral argument went well for Mr. Lozman (but inflammatory USA Today headline writer called him an "agitator).

Why this matters: Freedom of speech is under attack nationwide, globally and right here in corrupt St. Johns County, Florida by the likes of County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK and twin cites of St. Augustine Beach and St. Augustine. The whole world is watching. If you can be kicked out, handcuffed and arrested for speaking out against corruption in public meetings -- if journalists can be arrested for reporting the news -- then our "democracy" is done. The stakes are huge. I predict that heroic South Florida government watchdog Fane Lozman will AGAIN prevail before the U.S. Supreme Court. This time, the Supreme Court ruling may be 9-0 -- unanimous -- as it is so often in key First Amendment cases. Developers, big-shot crooks, bullies, bigots, governments (cities, counties, states and the federal Department that calls itself "Justice") are all afraid, very afraid. But they will NOT be permitted to trample and stamp out the rights of activists and journalists under our First Amendment. Expect a SCOTUS decision on or before June 29, 2018.

Too often, reporters and government watchdogs are being arrested, as at President Trump's inauguration. The Palm Beach Post reports that, "According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, 32 reporters were arrested last year while covering news events, such as protests at President Trump’s inauguration. More than 90 were arrested while covering Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011 and 2012, the media attorneys wrote."

Locally,  journalists and activists are in the sights of controversial St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID SHOAR's corrupt, white supremacist, developer-driven political machine, which covered up the homicides of Michelle O'COnnell and Andrea Sheldon. Sheriff SHOAR has attacked FDLE Special Agent Rusty Ray Rodgers for doing his job too well in the Michelle O'Connell case, where his coverup was exposed by three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Walt Bogdanich in The New York Times and PBS Frontline.

I've been standing up to that political machine's works and pomps since April 11, 2005, when I first spoke at a City of St. Augustine Commission meeting, opposing Fifteenth Amendment civil rights violations in City annexations. WILLIAM BARRY HARRIS, then City Manager, now works for SHOAR. Crooked HARRISS said to me at the conclusion of the meeting, "I could have you arrested for disorderly conduct." I calmly replied, "I could write an article about you." Not one residential annexation has taken place since April 2005, ending the intentional dilution of African-American voting strength here.

It was not just one (1) article that I wrote.

There have been more than 2.5 million hits on this blog since 2006, and more than 10,000 posts.

Hick hack HARRIS retired in June 2010. Then he went to work for his former SAPD Chief, SHERIFF SHOAR, by coincidence, just in time to help SHOAR cover up Michelle O'Connell's homicide in the home of St. Johns County Sheriff's Deputy JEREMY BANKS on September 2, 2010.

We, the People have won more than 70 public interest victories here since 2005, when a federal court ordered Rainbow flags to fly on our historic Bridge of Lions in honor of Gay Pride, vindicating First Amendment values and defeating homophobic HARRISS's cruel rule.

First, a retired federal agent, reform St. Johns County Commissioner Ben Rich, Sr. was elected (2004-2008).  Since 2006, we've helped elect some honest reformers, like:

  • St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver, 
  • St. Augustine Beach Commissioner Maggie Kostka, 
  • St. Johns County Commissioners J. Kenneth Bryan (2008-2012) and Henry Dean (elected in 2016, currently Chair); 
  • Anastasia Mosquito Control District (AMCD) of St. Johns County Commissioners Jeanne Moeller (2006-date), John Sundeman (2006-2010) and Janice Bequette (2008-2016).

The "good people" of St. Johns County hunger for truth and justice.

We are disgusted at "Business As Usual."

"Business As Usual" -- That's what The St. Augustine Record  a/k/a MULLET WRAPPER, actually endorsed, in haec verbs in 2014 in its ineptly-written, unctuous, unsuccessful endorsement of Sheriff SHOAR's pal, corrupt St. Augustine Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR..

That was during the dark quarter century when the developer-directed WrecKord was owned by the developer-coddling, white supremacist MORRIS COMMUNICATIONS gang from Georgia (1982-2017)

In the amicus curiae brief filed in support of Mr. Lozman by Florida's First Amendment Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, it states that chilling effects on free speech rights and self-censorship as a result arbitrary power and oppression is a problem in small towns where the:
risk of self-censoring is particularly acute in interactions between individuals and their local governments—especially in smaller cities and towns. In these smaller towns, citizens are much likelier to in- teract with government officials on a regular basis. Government critics are more likely to be known to of- ficials—and police are more likely to have relationships with office holders. It is no coincidence that, in a number of the examples discussed above and in the instant case, the retaliatory arrests at issue were effected by local government officials in smaller cities and towns. See, e.g., Public Data, GOOGLE, 27 (last visited Dec. 21, 2017) (Riviera Beach, Florida, where petitioner Lozman was arrested, has a population of 34,244; Pittsboro, Indiana, where plaintiff Baldauf got into an altercation with a police officer in a convenience store, has a population of 3,283; Huber Heights, Ohio, where 63-year-old plaintiff Laning was pulled over, arrested, and forced to ride in a police car while the officer did “donuts,” has a population of 38,019). The greater degree of interaction between citizens of smaller towns and their local governments gives rise to both increased opportunities for retaliation and more severe chill when retaliation occurs.

Here is Fane Lozman's website:

Below are two "curtain-raiser" articles from The Palm Beach Post and The Washington Post, preceded by legal analysis from SCOTUS Blog.  For more, go to the Supreme Court docket to read the Supreme Court's orders and briefs here.

Ed Slavin's Note: The Post's headline writer badly ly needs to have his/her consciousness raised -- the Post's unfortunate use of the term "provocateur" is pejorative, resembling the line from St. Johns County Sheriff Shoar's consigliere, maniacal MATTHEW DANIEL CLINE, da "Undersheriff."

CLINE is the undistinguished, unethical, prevaricating graduate of a failing for-profit law school on I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Watch corrupt CLINE, the bumbling bumptious bully, infamously and egregiously use the term "provocateur" as he and SHOAR had journalist Jeffrey Marcus Gray ejected from our county-owned World Golf Village Convention Center last year, lying in two-part harmony with SHOAR that the government facility is "privete property."

Watch video of SHOAR and CLINE's March 23, 2017 civil rights violation, including CLINE's judgmental jerk use of the term "provocateur" here:

Given the ordinary, customary meaning of the term "provocateur" I think that amazing Amazon billionaire Jeffrey Bezos, owner of the The Washington Post, and his English-challenged editors, might wish to apologize to Mr. Lozman for its offensive headline.



The correct term for people standing up to corruption in Florida is "patriots."

Here's the video of Mr. Lozman's arrest:

Here are the SCOTUS BlogPalm Beach Post and Washington Post articles before the hearing, followed by USA Today and Associated Press articles after the hearing, and a detailed SCOTUS Blog Argument Analysis based on thorough reading of the transcript:

Posted Wed, February 21st, 2018 3:11 pm

Argument preview: Justices to consider whether probable cause defeats claims of retaliatory arrest for First-Amendment-protected expression

On November 15, 2006, Fane Lozman rose to speak during the public-comments portion of a regular public meeting of the City Council of Riviera Beach, Florida. What followed was anything but a run-of-the-mill discussion about the intricacies of local government. To the contrary, when Lozman began to talk about “corrupt local politician[s],” he was cut off by a councilperson and asked to cease that line of commentary. When Lozman refused to comply, he was arrested, handcuffed and removed from the meeting.
In February 2008, Lozman filed a Section 1983 suit against Riviera Beach in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He alleged, among other things, that his arrest constituted retaliation for First-Amendment–protected activity. Specifically, Lozman charged that his arrest amounted to payback for two categories of protected expression: his then-pending lawsuit against the city under Florida’s Sunshine Act, and his extensive public criticisms of city officials and policies, including and preceding his remarks on November 15.
After a jury returned a verdict for the city, Lozman sought a new trial, which the district court denied, and he filed an unsuccessful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The 11th Circuit acknowledged Lozman’s “compelling” argument that the district court had given erroneous jury instructions on retaliatory animus. The court of appeals held, however, that any such error was harmless, because the jury had found that the arresting officer had probable cause to arrest Lozman. The court relied on an earlier 11th Circuit case, Dahl v. Holley, which held that a plaintiff cannot prevail on a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim if there was probable cause to justify the arrest.
On Tuesday, February 27, the Supreme Court will consider whether the 11th Circuit was correct in holding that the presence of probable cause necessarily defeats a claim of retaliatory arrest for First-Amendment-protected expression. In 2006, in Hartman v. Moore, the Supreme Court held that probable cause bars First Amendment claims alleging retaliatory prosecution. The court has yet to determine, however, whether to extend the Hartman rule (the “probable-cause bar”) to the retaliatory-arrest setting. Although the 2012 case Reichle v. Howards presented that very question, the court resolved Reichle on the narrower grounds of qualified immunity. Currently, the federal courts of appeals are split on the issue.
In urging the Supreme Court not to extend the probable-cause bar to retaliatory-arrest claims, Lozman argues that there are key distinctions between the prosecution and arrest settings. In this vein, he characterizes Hartman as having “rest[ed] entirely on the fact that prosecutors … are absolutely immune from suit.” Given this immunity, a retaliatory-prosecution claim necessarily entails a representation that a non-prosecuting official induced a prosecutor to conduct a prosecution for retaliatory reasons. To prevail in such a case, when there is probable cause to support the grounds officially given for prosecution, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the official grounds are distinct from the prosecutor’s subjective, retaliatory motives. Such a showing necessarily entails a complicated causal chain. More importantly, the process of identifying and litigating over that chain undermines the prosecutorial independence and corollary “‘presumption of [prosecutorial] regularity’” that immunity is meant to protect. In contrast, Lozman maintains, the causal chain is relatively “straightforward” in the retaliatory-arrest setting. Additionally, he posits that “no potentially responsible actor” in that setting is beyond scrutiny.
Lozman also argues that a probable-cause bar poses far greater risks to First Amendment interests in the retaliatory-arrest context than in the retaliatory-prosecution context. In the prosecution setting, “the putative plaintiff will have an indictment or charging instrument that cabins the probable cause inquiry by identifying a specific crime.” Yet “in retaliation cases involving arrests, the ‘subjective reason for making the arrest need not,’” under Devenpeck v. Alford, “‘be the criminal offense as to which the known facts provide probable cause.’” A probable-cause bar in the arrest setting thus immunizes state actors who cause arrests to be made in retaliation for protected speech, so long as they can show that there was probable cause to arrest the speaker for jaywalking, speeding, disturbing the peace or committing any criminal violation at all.
To illustrate the potential for abuse, Lozman points to the facts of his own case. Shortly after his arrest, Lozman was given a “notice to appear” that listed two charges: “disorderly conduct” and “resisting arrest without violence.” Both charges were soon dismissed by the state’s attorney, who found “no reasonable likelihood” that they could be prosecuted with success. At the trial in Lozman’s Section 1983 suit, the question resurfaced as to whether there had been probable cause to arrest him for a crime. The trial court judge concluded that no probable cause had existed to arrest him for either charging offense. The city then “identified two new candidates” for provisions that Lozman might have violated: a prohibition on “‘trespass after warning’” and a law against “‘willfully interrupt[ing] or disturb[ing] any school or any assembly of people met for the worship of God or for any lawful purpose.’” After initially leaning toward the trespass provision, the district court settled on the willful-disturbance law as the one “at play here.” Ultimately, the latter offense was the only one “as to which the jury was asked to assess probable cause.”
For its part, the city denies that there are meaningful, material distinctions between the retaliatory-arrest and retaliatory-prosecution settings. It maintains that each type of claim presents the same fundamental causality problem: “[S]omething other than [retaliatory] animus – the prosecutor’s independent decision to prosecute, or the officer’s decision to arrest for reasons unrelated to animus toward the arrestee’s speech – may have led to the supposed retaliatory action.” Nor do retaliatory arrests threaten free-speech interests any more than do retaliatory prosecutions. If anything, the opposite is true, because a “criminal prosecution is a far greater intrusion on a defendant’s liberty than an arrest.” The city also dismisses the notion that the arrest setting is comparatively rife with the potential for government abuse of the probable-cause bar. “Rarely,” the city notes, “is an officer who harbors some ill will towards a speaker present at the exact moment the speaker does something that gives probable cause for an arrest.” And in any event, “arrests backed by probable cause pose little danger to the freedom of speech.” Far greater threats are posed by “arrests unsupported by probable cause.”
The city also stresses the practical value of the probable-cause bar in the retaliatory-arrest setting. The city observes that “officers must often consider protected speech when deciding whether to make an arrest.” For example, speech might “provide ‘evidence of a crime.’” Or it might influence an officer’s assessment of whether a suspect threatens public safety. With a probable-cause bar in place, officers can “make arrests in such circumstances without fear of having to later litigate whether their real motivation was preventing [crime] or punishing speech.” To illustrate this point, the city highlights the example of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which does not impose a probable-cause bar. The city summarizes a number of retaliatory-arrest cases that went to trial in the 9th Circuit, and suggests that they lacked merit.
Among the questions to watch for from the justices are those designed to tease out the practical dangers each party’s position might pose. For example, the city might be asked to grapple with scenarios in which government officers intentionally and openly retaliate against protestors for their protected speech by targeting those people for aggressive enforcement of laws against minor transgressions, such as jaywalking. Lozman’s attorney might be pushed, on the other hand, to consider the limits of a complainant’s ability to state a claim for retaliatory arrest based on speech that is protected but that may show violent impulses on the speaker’s part. It will be interesting as well to see to what extent, if at all, the justices’ questions reflect recent events, such as the demonstrations and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, protests against President Donald Trump’s administration, and protests by Black Lives Matter. And of course, we can count on old First Amendment chestnuts like the chilling effect and the heightened value of “core” political speech to crop up throughout the discussion.

Lozman faces Riviera Beach in U.S. Supreme Court for rare second time

Posted: 8:00 a.m. Saturday, February 24, 2018

When a Palm Beach County jury in 2014 cleared Riviera Beach council members of violating the free-speech rights of self-described “corruption fighter” Fane Lozman by having him arrested for berating them at a public meeting, city leaders celebrated.
“I hope Mr. Lozman takes from this that there was no retaliation,” said attorney Ben Bedard, who represented Riviera Beach in the month-long trial in U.S. District Court. “I’m hoping he moves on with his life and leaves the city alone.”
In retrospect, city leaders should have known better than to hope their longtime nemesis would quietly fade away.
On Tuesday, five years after the 56-year-old former U.S. Marine, commodities trader and self-made millionaire notched his first U.S. Supreme Court victoryagainst the city, he will be back for round two.
Lozman — possibly the first person, other than hired lawyers, to win a return trip to the high court to contest two starkly different issues — acknowledges that the thorny First Amendment battle he is asking justices to decide is far more important than the one that took him to Washington in 2012 and that the Supreme Court decided in 2013.
Back then, he argued that the city illegally seized and destroyed his 60-foot, two-story home docked at the Riviera Beach marina by using centuries-old maritime laws. In the case, which Chief Justice John Roberts called his favorite of the term, the court agreed with Lozman, ruling that everything that floats is not a boat.
This time, Lozman claims that one of Americans’ most cherished rights — the ability to speak freely without fear of arrest — is at stake.
“If I lose this case, it will be a sad day for our democracy,” said Lozman, who made a fortune inventing software that tracks stock market volatility. “Our country will slide further into a police state, where municipalities and its elected leaders and public servants will be immunized from any penalties for retaliatory arrests.”
To shore up his weighty claim, he points out that First Amendment groups and civil libertarians are backing his efforts to make it easier for people to win civil lawsuits alleging that they were arrested because police or elected officials didn’t like their views. Claiming news reporters are increasingly targeted by police for arrest for simply doing their jobs, more than 25 media organizations also have joined Lozman’s appeal.
Constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams, who helped the New York Times win the right to publish The Pentagon Papers over the objections of the Nixon Administration, has thrown his considerable legal weight behind Lozman and his legal team from Stanford University Law School.
“Arrests made in retaliation for the exercise of First Amendment rights are a particularly chilling form of governmental response to constitutionally protected but officially disfavored speech,” Abrams wrote on behalf of the Virginia-based Institute for Free Speech.
Riviera Beach, which has spent more than $1 million battling Lozman in court, has its own formidable backing.
Claiming the ability of police to do their jobs would be compromised if Lozman wins, Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall has asked to address the court during Tuesday’s oral arguments. Organizations representing cities and counties and the attorneys general for 10 states and the District of Columbia are also supporting Riviera Beach, which is represented by attorney Shay Dvoretzky and two other former clerks for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
“Adopting Fane Lozman’s contrary rule will have significant negative effects on state and local governments,” wrote attorneys representing the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
“It will make it more difficult to maintain order and safety at local government meetings, public protests and demonstrations, and political rallies,” they continued. “Also … local governments, in addition to their officers, will face an increased likelihood of defending against meritless lawsuits based on lawful arrests.”
Those who all-too vividly remember the clashes the council had with Lozman after he moved his floating home to Riviera Beach in 2005 and began fighting the city’s now-scuttled multi-billion-dollar redevelopment plan say they are surprised the dispute has attracted such high-powered attention.
To Ann Iles, a Riviera Beach councilwoman when Lozman was arrested, the issue is simple: “I don’t think that just because you have a First Amendment right to speak that you have a right to attack people personally,” she said. “He would attack us, he would attack our staff. He was disruptive.”
During the 2014 trial, Bedard told jurors Lozman had attended 121 council meetings and spoken 296 times. “Does that sound like someone whose First Amendment rights are being impeded?” he asked.
But Lozman countered with a transcript of a closed meeting the City Council had convened to discuss his lawsuit. In it, council members discussed hiring a private investigator that one of them said “would help to intimidate” him.
That trial in federal court settled a 2008 First Amendment retaliation lawsuit Lozman filed against the city after he was led from the council chambers in handcuffs in 2006 when he refused to leave the podium, seconds after he began talking about recent arrests of a county commissioner and West Palm Beach city commissioner — subjects that Riviera council members declared irrelevant.
In the suit, Lozman alleged that city officials launched a campaign against him after he sued them to block the redevelopment plan by accusing them of violating the state’s open meeting laws. They demonized his dachshund, had him arrested and later destroyed his floating home, he claimed at trial.
Constitutional lawyer Bruce Rogow, a professor of law at Nova Southeastern University Law Center who has argued 11 cases before the Supreme Court, said petty disputes often create far-reaching law. He cited the 2007 “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case in which the high court expanded the ability of educators to stifle students’ First Amendment rights.
Like the Bong Hits case, which involved a banner flown by an Alaskan student, Lozman’s case made it to the Supreme Court, in part, because of what is often described as the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which handles cases in nine western states from its courthouse in San Francisco.
In those nine states, a First Amendment retaliation claim doesn’t turn solely on whether a police officer had probable cause to make an arrest. It is just one of several factors that are considered. The more conservative Atlanta-based 11th Circuit, which decides appeals from Florida, Georgia and Alabama, bars First Amendment retaliation lawsuits if cops can show they had probable cause to make an arrest. The different ways of handling such cases throughout the country set the stage for the issue to be decided by the Supreme Court.
Lozman argues that Riviera Beach simply manufactured a reason to arrest him. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence, but the charges were dropped by state prosecutors. In the 2014 civil trial in which Lozman alleged retaliation by the city, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley allowed the city to argue that Lozman violated an obscure law, disturbing a lawful assembly.
Lozman claims Hurley’s ruling sunk his case because as long as the city could claim it believed he had violated some law he couldn’t win his retaliation claim. Such a standard hurts anyone who wants to prove they were punished for expressing unpopular views and empowers elected officials and police to illegally curb the public’s First Amendment rights, Lozman said.
They can always come up with some bogus little misdemeanor to argue that they had probable cause,” he said.
So-called “catch and release arrests” happen frequently, wrote attorneys for the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press, Dow Jones & Co. and more than two dozen media organizations. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, 32 reporters were arrested last year while covering news events, such as protests at President Trump’s inauguration. More than 90 were arrested while covering Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011 and 2012, the media attorneys wrote.
“Arrests such as these thwart the well-established First Amendment right to record police activity in public, which is a crucial function journalists must be able to perform in order to ensure that the police remain accountable to the public they serve,” the media attorneys wrote.
Attorneys for the First Amendment Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union said average citizens are also regularly arrested without cause. Such arrests have dire consequences.
“Retaliatory arrests not only silence the individual in question, but also send the message to others in the community that expression of disfavored views may result in being taken into law enforcement custody,” attorneys for the two groups wrote.
However, attorneys for cities, counties and state governments argue that someone’s incendiary speech often alerts police or other public officials that a person is dangerous. Further, people often make derogatory comments about cops or society in general when faced with arrest. To allow them to then argue that they were arrested because of their words, not their actions, would have a chilling effects on police, the governments’ attorneys wrote.
“Officers frequently encounter intoxicated and verbally combative suspects, and they must make split-second decisions in volatile circumstances,” wrote Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth. “Exposing officers to retaliation claims for arrests that were supported by probable cause risks eroding their willingness to make lawful arrests required to protect public safety.”
Noting that it is rare for people to be ejected from public meetings, attorneys representing cities and counties said there are times when it is necessary. “Maintaining order at these meetings can unintentionally abridge speech, as where a citizen must be removed because he or she is causing a disturbance,” they wrote.
Abrams and some of the others who support Lozman suggest a compromise similar to that embraced by the 9th Circuit. While police or elected officials could be allowed to argue that they had probable cause to arrest someone, that would be only one of the factors that would be considered.
“If the presence of probable cause alone defeats the existence of a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim under all circumstances, arrests rooted in an effort to stifle protected speech will become judicially unscrutinized and undisturbed throughout the nation,” Abrams wrote.
Like many other constitutional questions that come before the court, the eventual ruling could have far-reaching consequences, Rogow said. “It will set some precedent,” he said.
It could also affect Riviera Beach if the court overturns the jury verdict and orders a new trial. Lozman was seeking about $500,000 from the city, including the cost of his floating home. While he previously persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court that it was destroyed illegally, a federal judge ultimately decided it was worth only $7,500 — far less than the nearly $270,000 Lozman sought.
For now, however, Lozman says the battle isn’t about money. “At this time in our nation’s history, when there’s been such an assault on the First Amendment, I’m just so grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed me to defend the First Amendment,” he said. “It’s a special privilege we have as Americans.”