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What, exactly, is a media influencer? According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencers are individuals who have a following in a particular niche, with which they actively engage. Influencers can include "industry experts and thought leaders," like journalists, academics, and industry experts.

These definitions are handy if you're trying to make sense of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's announcement that it will be compiling a searchable database of media influencers that can be used to monitor social media and traditional news sources. So how scared should these media influencers be to show up on a government list?

There's more than one way to skin a cat, they say, and there's more than one way to run an election. Although the majority of state and federal elections stick with the model of she-who-gets-the-most-votes-wins, some jurisdictions are testing other voting methods.

Maine, for example, just authorized "ranked choice" voting, otherwise known as "instant runoff" voting. So how does that work, and is it a better way to elect a public official?

When to Sue a School for Racial Discrimination

It's unfortunate, but racial discrimination can occur anywhere, including at schools. In fact, you don't even have to be a student to experience racial discrimination at a school. Just ask four Native American parents who have sued a Montana school district for racial discrimination.

In their lawsuit, the parents claim that they were not allowed into a basketball game because they weren't white. More specifically, they allege that a school official told them, "We don't have any workers yet so we are only letting in white people." If this is true, it seems like a pretty clear case of racial discrimination. But, you may wonder about other instances when a school can be sued for racial discrimination.

What Is Prior Restraint?

If Michael Wolff'sTrump tell-all book, Fire and Fury, reminds you of Shakespeare, it's probably the bard's take on life from Macbeth: "it is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing." The same might be true of the bluster around the book, with Trump's lawyers (as usual) sending a threatening cease and desist letter, and publishers responding in kind.

Trump clearly didn't want the book to be published (or maybe he has a stake in the book and is boosting sales by tweeting about it), but does the president or the courts have the power to ban a book before it comes out?

Over the past six months, the U.S government has been split on transgender military service, with the president tweeting a ban, transgender service members suing over the tweets, the Secretary of Defense defying the president's order, and ultimately a federal court blocking the order.

All that political and legal back-and-forth looks to be over -- starting January 1 of this year, transgender people are now allowed to enlist in the military. And, according to the Department of Justice, the Trump administration won't continue to challenge transgender military service in court.

In the wake of more and more mass shootings, the House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a bill that would require each state to recognize concealed carry permits issued in other states.

Proponents of the new law claim it would reduce confusion caused by conflicting state laws on gun ownership and ease travel for gun owners. Opponents say that states with strict gun control laws would be forced to follow much looser firearm restrictions passed by other states. So how would concealed carry reciprocity actually work?

We all know that you need to register in order to vote. But did you know that you also need to vote in order to vote? At least according to Ohio election officials you do.

Since 1994, the Ohio secretary of state's office has had a voter purge process whereby it compiles a list of registered voters who have gone two years without casting ballot and mails them a confirmation notice. If the voter neither returns the notice nor participates for the next four years, the voter will be automatically struck from the rolls.

Larry Harmon was once such voter purged from Ohio's voter rolls, and his lawsuit against the state is heading to the Supreme Court. Here's a look.

California Governor Jerry Brown this weekend signed the Gender Recognition Act into law, allowing state residents to choose or change gender on a birth certificate to be female, male, or nonbinary. It is the first state do so, and is the third, along with Oregon and Washington, D.C., to allow gender neutral drivers licenses.

While the bill applies to new birth certificates, it also eases the restrictions on birth certificate and drivers license changes, eliminating the requirement that a gender change applicant have undergone any treatment prior to the change. Here's a look at the new law.

The morning of Monday, October 2, 2017, Windfern High School Principal Martha Strother witnessed senior student India Landry sitting during the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance over the school's intercom. Landry had allegedly been sitting through the pledge since her freshman year, "around 200 times in class through six or more teachers without incident." But Principal Strother's response on this occasion was curt and definitive: "Well you're kicked outta here."

Landry was expelled from Windfern High, told she would only be allowed to return if she "was going to stand for the pledge like the other African-American [sic] in her class," and finally readmitted after negative coverage of the expulsion from local news. All of which, and Landry's mother's lawsuit against the school district, begs the question: can public schools discipline students for peaceful protests?

In America, we pride ourselves on our freedom of speech, and readily point to how much we support the First Amendment, even when it protects speech we don't like, like racist, sexist, or fascist ideas.

But the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are American creations, and their protections don't follow us as we travel. And Europe isn't so welcoming to hate speech. Therefore the First Amendment may not apply to our social media speech, if that speech is appearing on platforms in the European Union.