What does the March for Science say about GMOs?

The March for Science bills itself as a celebration of science. It warns of “an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus.” “Policies that ignore scientific evidence,” the group says, “endanger both human life and the future of our world.”

The same can be said of the federal government’s plans to mandate GMO labeling.

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Assorted First Amendment links

A federal appeals court based in Philadelphia held that citizens have a First Amendment to record on-duty police officers. Eugene Volokh recites key portions of the case, Fields v. City of Philadelphia, in the Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog. The Atlantic applauds the decision as a “significant milestone” in First Amendment law. Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation pointed out that the court’s decision may be limited in three ways. Slate summarizes the real-world impact of the decision: “Bystander videos may not eliminate police misconduct. But they play a vital role in our national debate about the lawfulness of law enforcement.”

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Free speech, menu labeling, and the $100 cup of coffee

How much would you pay for a cup of coffee? Two dollars? Twenty dollars? How about a hundred?

You’re less likely to buy a cup of coffee if the price jumps from two dollars to twenty. Your chances of purchasing the beverage are even lower if the price skyrockets to a hundred dollars. This is basic economics: as the price rises, demand drops.

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Censorship’s sinister sister

Imagine: Congress enacts two laws to tilt the next election in favor of Joe Smith. The first law forbids voters from speaking poorly of Smith. Typical censorship, and neither you nor a court would hesitate to say that the law violates the First Amendment.

Now consider a second law. This law doesn’t prevent voters from saying anything. Instead, it requires voters to express their support for Smith by placing a “Vote for Smith” sign in their front yard. Does this second law threaten your right to free speech, just as much as law number one?

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