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Californians To Vote On Stripping Common Cause Of Its First Amendment Rights

I recently wrote about SB 1272 (Lieu) which calls a special election for this November 4 at which California voters will be able to cast an advisory vote on whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to overturn the U.S....more

UPDATE: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari For Challenge to Regulation of Speech on Public Broadcast Stations

Two weeks ago, we speculated that the Court would grant certiorari in Minority Television Project, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission (9th Cir. 2013) 736 F.3d 1192 (en banc) (lead opn. of McKeown, J.). In the case, a...more

Supreme Court To Consider Cert. For FCC Regulation Speech On Public Broadcasting Stations

Federal law prohibits non-commercial broadcasters from airing paid advertisements (a) for for-profit entities, (b) issues of public importance or interest, and (c) political candidates. In Minority Television Project, Inc....more

Nancy Hamilton's Notes: 18½ Minutes vs. 2 Years: Then and Now

During the Watergate scandal of 1973 and 1974, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the Nixon White House tapes were the focal point of a media firestorm and the nation's rapt attention,...more

Supreme Court Decides Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus

On June 16, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, No. 13-193, holding that a credible threat of enforcement of a law is sufficient to establish an Article III injury in fact....more

Hershey Is Not So Sweet on Maryland Senator’s HERSHEY Campaign Logo

When you think of The Hershey Company, you think of delicious chocolate candy bars, chocolate kisses, and a fabulous amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company’s brown candy bar wrappers with the HERSHEY’S trademark...more

U.S. House Approves Law Targeting Sex Trafficking Ads, Threatens to Undermine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

On May 20, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014 (“SAVE Act”). If enacted, the bill would expose websites and other media to federal criminal penalties for...more

Pick Your Passion: State’s Trademark May Be Used To Criticize Its Governor

In Dardenne v. MoveOn.org, the Middle Louisiana Federal District Court faced a conflict between trademark protection, on the one hand, and the First Amendment’s protection of political advocacy, on the other. The Court...more

Highlights of Digital Millennium Copyright Act Congressional Hearings

On March 13, 2014, the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, through its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, held hearings regarding the copyright infringement notice...more

Minority Television Project, Inc. v. FCC and Lincoln Broadcasting Co.

Petition For Writ of Certiorari

Questions Presented: 1. In 1969, this Court held in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969), that the First Amendment permits the government to restrict the speech of broadcasters in ways that this Court...more

Report deems NSA telephone records program illegal

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued a report today concluding that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone call records is illegal and should be ended. ...more

As Maine Goes, So Goes The Nation?

On January 9, 2014, Maine’s governor Paul LePage signed a bill into law that would require labeling for foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMO). Eighteen months from the effective date of the bill, any...more

Is the "Like" Button Becoming a Constitutionally Protected Activity?

On September 18, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee's act of clicking the "Like" button on Facebook constitutes speech protected by the First Amendment. This ruling signals an extension of...more

California Proposition Would Expand Duties and Liabilities for Collecting Personal Information

On September 26, 2013, the California Secretary of State allowed proponents of a new ballot proposition to collect signatures for the “Personal Privacy Protection Act.” The Act, if approved, would radically change the privacy...more

The First Amendment Goes Digital – Clicking “Like” on Facebook is Speech

With around 1.15 billion members, Facebook is a massive, global forum for communicating with friends and the world. For many users, it often feels as if their news feeds are clogged with vapid comments about the weather, meal...more

History in the Making as Journalism, Law and Politics Converge for Federal Reporter's Shield

In September of this year, the U.S. Senate began debate on a federal reporter’s privilege. Free Flow of Information Act of 2013, S. 987, 113th Cong. §§ 2-5 (2013). The bipartisan bill to recognize such a privilege was...more

What's in a "Like"? Precedent-Setting Case Poses New Risk for Employers

The ubiquitous thumbs-up icon in Facebook has gained new prominence for private employers. In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that an employee fired for "liking" the campaign...more

Free Speech Protection for Facebook "Likes" by Public Employees

Last week, in Bland v. Roberts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed a constitutional victory to Facebook and two plaintiffs who lost their jobs after displaying online support for the incumbent’s opponent...more

Appeals Court Rules TCPA Does Not Violate First Amendment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not violate the First Amendment by requiring robocallers to identify themselves when making calls....more

Capital Thinking: Technology and Communications

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY - FCC Nominations - The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is expected to hold a confirmation hearing on Republican Michael O’Reilly’s nomination to serve as a...more

DOJ Leak Investigations Raise First Amendment Concerns

Many journalists, constitutional lawyers, and plain old average Americans have expressed alarm at recent revelations about the Obama Administration’s “unprecedented number of leak investigations.”...more

NJ Court Upholds OPRA Denial Over Personnel Records

NJ Court Upholds OPRA Denial Over Personnel Records by Sheri Siegelbaum on May 13, 2013 The Appellate Division recently sided with the Office of the Governor in a dispute over records requested under the New Jersey Open...more

NLRB Gets Busy – Part 2 NLRB Incursion Into Non-Unionized Workplace

In January, we told you about recent activity by the National Labor Relations Board that overturned or departed from settled precedent. As promised, in Part 2 of this Alert series we summarize recent decisions where the...more

Paul Watler's Perspective: Political Ads on Public Broadcast Stations

Does Congress have constitutional authority to ban paid political advertising from public broadcast stations? Ad-weary viewers may learn the answer just in time for the next presidential election. ...more

Jackson Walker's VIA Media Postcard - November/December 2012

In This Issue: - Paul Watler's Perspective: One of the few places of refuge from the political campaign advertising onslaught was public television and radio. That may change depending on a little-noticed First Amendment...more

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