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Navy Walks Back Termination of LGBTQ Speaker Who Criticized Trump on Twitter

The United States Navy has walked back its decision to fire human rights activist Melanie Nathan from a Pride Month speaking event, according to Nathan’s attorney. The reason for the firing was reportedly because Nathan trashed President Donald Trump on Twitter.

Celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon that the Navy has agreed to pay Nathan “the full amount she had been promised for the speaking engagement.” It also sent Nathan a letter expressing “sincere[] regrets” for “any inconvenience.”

Bloom accused the Navy of violating Bloom’s First Amendment rights.

In a statement, Bloom said:

It is well settled constitutional law that Americans have the right to criticize our government . . . Ms. Nathan is a shining example of the courage it takes to oppose the U.S. government’s growing authoritarianism, and I hope she inspires others to stand up for their rights.

Nathan, through Bloom, reminded the Navy in a June 22, 2018 letter that a federal judge had recently declared that President Trump “violated the First Amendment for blocking citizens on Twitter who were critical of him.” The judge’s ruling said that “when the government . . . actively restricts ‘the right of an individual to speak freely [and] to advocate ideas,’ it treads into territory proscribed by the First Amendment.”

Bloom said that Nathan is not required to keep the settlement confidential.

In announcing the settlement, Nathan took another swipe at the president:

After seeing Donald J. Trump, in his capacity as President of the United States, so shamefully capitulate American interests on the international stage in Helsinki, I am more resolved than ever to assert my First Amendment rights and to fight any attempt to silence me.

A sampling of Nathan’s tweets uncovered the following:

[Image via MSNBC screengrab]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University.  He is the anchor and executive producer of Law&Crime Daily on the Law&Crime Network.  The broadcast is a recap of the day's most compelling trials and court proceedings.  He also serves as an editor for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only.  You should not rely on it for legal advice.  Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.  Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.