Author Archive | Elizabeth Nolan Brown

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Federal Court Ponders Constitutionality of Prostitution Ban

A federal court heard arguments yesterday challenging California’s criminalization of prostitution, in a case that could have implications for sex work laws across the nation. Brought by the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESPLERP), the constitutional challenge claims that California’s prostitution laws violate residents’ right to privacy, free speech, and free association. […]

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Syrians Say Raqqa Free From ISIS, Bush and Obama Diss Trump, Federal Facebook Regulation Looms: A.M. Links

Syrian forces are declaring victory over ISIS in the Syrian city of Raqqa. Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had some things to say about the Trump administration yesterday. Why Trump can’t handle the cost of war. Laptops in checked bags could be a fire hazard says the Federal Aviation Administration. Spirit animal. […]

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North America’s First ‘Burka Ban’ Passed by Quebec Liberals in Name of ‘Religious Neutrality’

This week, Quebec banned people working in public service or using public services from wearing veils or any sort of facial covering, the first such ban in North America, one echoing “burqa ban” policies passed across Europe. Ushered in by Quebec’s Liberal Party as a way to “foster social cohesion” and “religious neutrality,” and to […]

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Who’s ‘the Harvey Weinstein of’ Sex Work? The Police

Over the past week, woman after woman has come out with allegations against Hollywood studio mogul Harvey Weinstein, everything from advances on colleagues under professional pretenses, to threatening the ruin of actresses who wouldn’t sleep with him, to forcible sexual assault. Fe Ilya/FlickrIt’s left many people wondering “who’s the Harvey Weinstein?” of their respective industries. […]

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Supreme Court Considers: Can Cops Arrest You for Going to a Party Where You Don’t Know the Host?

“Twenty-one people en masse arrested for trespassing for going to a party. Does that feel right?” asked Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a case that sees District of Columbia cops on the hook for false arrest. Neither Sotomayor nor her SCOTUS colleagues seemed impressed with the city’s contention that guests at a 2008 D.C. […]

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Cops Have Hours-Long Standoff With Empty Hardee’s, Trump Wanted More Nukes, Afghanistan Bombing Accelerates: A.M. Links

After a several hour standoff outside a Liberty, Missouri, Hardee’s restaurant, local cops in SWAT gear entered to find the place completely empty. Police had been summoned by Hardee’s workers who said a man with a gun had barricaded himself in the bathroom. President Trump got upset after learning that the U.S. had steadily decreased […]

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Utah May Bring Back Porn Czar to Target ‘Obscenity’ Like Cosmo Magazine

collage via images from Cosmo Hurts Kids and Utah SenateFor the past 14 years, Utah has made do without a “porn czar.” The position—officially known as the “Obscenity and Pornography Complaints Ombudsman”—has been vacant since 2003, though it was never officially eliminated. Now state Sen. Todd Weiler (R–Woods Cross) may revive it, even as the […]

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‘Blatantly Irrational’ Ban on Selling Home-Baked Goods in Wisconsin Must Stop

Institute for JusticeWisconsin’s ban on selling home-baked goods is unconstitutional, with “no real or substantial connection” to consumer protection (and a lot to do with protectionism pushed for by groups like the Wisconsin Bakers Association). That’s what a Wisconsin circuit court ruled in May, anyway. Despite that, the state continued to target small-scale entrepreneurs selling […]

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D.C. Could Become Only U.S. City to Decriminalize Prostitution

Alvaro Fuente/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/NewscomWill Washington, D.C. buck national trends and actually take a stand for sex-worker rights and safety? It will if politician David Grosso gets his way. The at-large councilmember has just introduced a bill to decriminalize prostitution in the District. “I do not think the criminalization of sex workers has worked for the District […]

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