A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Daily Yonder: In historic First, protests spread to more than 3,000 towns across United States

By John W. Miller Special to KyForward As one of the only black kids growing up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (pop. 5,800), 21-year-old Chris Dyson kept a low profile. But when he saw protests over the murder of George Floyd sweep through American cities this month, he decided it was time to step up. He got on Snapchat and announced he was leading a protest in the western Pennsylvania town against...

Kentucky man wins case in federal court, allowing his personalized license plate to say ‘I’M GOD’

A federal court today cleared the way for a Kentucky man, backed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU of Kentucky, to obtain a personalized license plate reading “IM GOD,” finding the Transportation Cabinet’s denial of that plate violated the First Amendment. In November 2016, Ben Hart filed a lawsuit after he was denied the personalized license plate. Kentucky Division of Motor...

Alison Lundergan Grimes recognizes annual essay contest winners during ceremony at Sweet 16

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recognized four Kentucky high school students for winning her office’s 30th annual essay contest in a ceremony Thursday at Rupp Arena during the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes honors the winners of her office’s 30th annual essay contest at the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16...

Rick Sanders: KSP safeguards citizens, employees and facilities, in full view of First Amendment

There has been significant media coverage in recent weeks surrounding protests by the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. Some sources have suggested that this group is somehow being arbitrarily “shut out” of access to the building because of the content of their message. This is simply not true. While the Kentucky State Police (KSP) works daily to safeguard...

Bill Straub: Opining on greatest of journalism as it once was (or wasn’t), why it’s better than alternative

The late Jimmy Breslin, the greatest columnist in the history of the world (and my personal journalistic hero), was renowned as a reporter who could care less about what other people thought of him. “You’re supposed to be scruffy and despised,” Breslin once growled regarding his chosen profession. “You’re not supposed to be honored.’’ Indeed, despite claims to the contrary, news...

Rural Blog: Kentucky Supreme Court to decide if anonymous Topix critics should be unmasked

Are anonymous posters on Topix protected by the First Amendment? Should posters be held accountable for slanderous accusations? If so, to what lengths should authorities go to uncover their identities? These are some of the questions that could be answered by the Kentucky Supreme Court in a case being heard this week in which an Eastern Kentucky lawyer and chairman of the airport board has sued two...

Lewis Donohew: First Amendment does not give clerks the right to refuse to give licenses

Following the recent Supreme Court ruling permitting same-sex marriage, the controversy that arose in some of our Kentucky counties involving the First Amendment has raised an emotion-laden question. The clerks state their religious beliefs won’t let them issue marriage licenses to these couples and claim having to do this would violate their religious freedom. Would it?   This caused me to...

EKU President Michael Benson: Our right to lobby government affirmed again and again

Most students in my American Government class at Eastern Kentucky University can readily list the rights enumerated in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly — along with the establishment clause and free exercise clauses relative to religion. What they tend to forget, however, is one of the most powerful and important rights which each American possesses: “to...

Advocate for student expression rights to give 8th State of First Amendment Address at UK

One of the nation’s most-respected advocates for student expression rights will deliver the eighth annual State of the First Amendment Address at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, Arlington, Va., will speak in the auditorium of the William T. Young Library, on the state of First Amendment rights for high school and college students. The event is open...

Marcus Carey's on the Marc: Christmas tree is not a violation of the First Amendment

Well, it’s almost Christmas, which means it is that time of year when once again the debate continues whether to call a decorated coniferous tree a “holiday tree” or a “Christmas tree” or some other name in order to give atheists their moment in the sun.   They can’t be content with the absence of faith in their own lives, so they need to prance their belligerence before the world...