Scrolling Headlines:

UMPD crime alert informs campus of motor vehicle theft near Rudd Field Sept. 17 -

September 22, 2017

‘It’ has revitalized the modern monster movie -

September 21, 2017

UMass Republicans feel ostracized in political climate -

September 21, 2017

Irma hits Cuba, putting rain cloud over students’ study abroad plans -

September 21, 2017

UMass football travels to Tennessee for its first Power Five game of 2017 -

September 21, 2017

UMass women’s soccer looks ahead to Thursday matchup with Davidson -

September 21, 2017

Perussault and the Minutewomen are ready for the start of A-10 play -

September 21, 2017

Behind the “Hate has no home at UMass” campaign -

September 21, 2017

A-10 field hockey notebook: VCU, St. Joseph’s, and Lock Haven dominate -

September 21, 2017

Video games as art -

September 21, 2017

A-10 men’s soccer notebook: Davidson falls to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg -

September 21, 2017

Glazed and confused: what youth should know about vaping -

September 21, 2017

Trust the professors, and trust the system -

September 21, 2017

Beauty that exists all around you and how to notice it -

September 21, 2017

Student death reported to the University Sept. 19 -

September 20, 2017

Domestic violence and experience of Muslim women lecture kicks off seminar series -

September 20, 2017

Students demand bathroom accountability -

September 20, 2017

Small trashcan fire broke out in Kennedy Hall -

September 20, 2017

Immigration policy discussed in public teach-in -

September 20, 2017

Massachusetts men’s soccer ties Central Connecticut State in double overtime -

September 20, 2017

Cases to watch for during the Supreme Court term

Who gets to regulate the sale of violent video games? And what’s the balance between the right to privacy and freedom of speech? Those are two issues to be addressed by the Supreme Court, which began its fall term this week. Here’s a look at two of the more controversial cases the court will hear.

Snyder, Albert v. Phelps, Fred W., et al.

This suit was filed by Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine killed in Iraq against the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Members of the church protested at the funeral of Snyder’s son, Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder. Some signs at the protest carried the message “God Hates Fags,” but the church, led by Pastor Fred W. Phelps, claims they were not directed at the Marine. Snyder claimed that the protesters caused him emotional distress, and he was awarded $11 million jury verdict, which an appeals court later threw out on First Amendment grounds. This case concerns the issue of freedom of speech and First Amendment rights for a group to protest at a private funeral.

Due to the sensitive issue of First Amendment rights, 22 news organizations filed a brief in support of the Westboro Baptist Church’s right to protest at private funerals. Supporters included the Associated Press, the New York Times Co., NPR and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Supporters for Snyder include the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), who seek to protect the rights of veterans and believe that the Westboro Baptist Church violated Snyder and his family’s right to privacy.

Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association

This is another high profile First Amendment case, which will decide if states have the right to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors. The court has not set up principles for the regulation of violent material like it has for sexual material, leaving violent materials like video games in a grey area. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown argued that violent video games are similar to sexual materials, which the government can protect children from. The lower court and appeals court, which ruled on the case before the Supreme Court agreed to hear it, both ruled that states did not have the right to regulate the distribution of violent video games to minors under the First Amendment.

Supporters for regulation of the sale of violent video games to children includes the Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund (EFELDF), a non-profit organization that describes itself as “pro-family.” The organization argued in a brief supporting the restrictions, that violent video games leads to violent and aggressive behavior.

This case has garnered a wide range of supporters for the First Amendment rights of video game distributors including the Motion Picture Association of America and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

ON THE WEB

News-2-Know is a blog created by B.J. Roche’s Journalism 301 class. Every weekday, an author will write about a topic that is newsworthy and provide links on additional resources. To read the rest of the entries, click here.

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