First Amendment

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech... more +
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech or the press, preventing citizens from peacefully assembling, or interfering with citizens' ability to petition the government for redress of their grievances. The First Amendment is one of the most sacred aspects of the American legal tradition and has spawned a vast body of jurisprudence and commentary. less -
News & Analysis as of

D.C. Circuit Rules A Provision Of The SEC Conflict Minerals Rule Violates The First Amendment

On April 14, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs. v. SEC, 2014 BL 102614, D.C. Cir., No. 13-5252, 4/14/14) upheld all aspects of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s conflict mineral rule,...more

Risks Of Tribute Advertisements Are Focus Of Seventh Circuit Decision

Think the First Amendment protects your business from liability for running an ad congratulating a celebrity or other public figure? Better think again. ...more

"Recent Developments in Aggregate State Contribution Limits After Supreme Court’s Decision in McCutcheon v. FEC"

On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down the aggregate limits imposed on individual contributions under federal law. Although this decision cannot necessarily be read to...more

4th Circuit Unmasks Company Doe & Unseals Entire Record in CPSC Database Case

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rather forcefully reversed one of the key rulings of Maryland District Court Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. in the recent litigation involving the CPSC’s...more

Florida Court: Blogger Entitled To A Pre-Suit Retraction Demand For Alleged Defamatory Comments

In Comins v. VanVoorhis, a Florida court has addressed the question of whether bloggers should be treated as "publishers" under defamation and libel law...more

Appellate Court Issues Opinion on SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule

On April 15, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in the challenge to the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule. We have reviewed the D.C. Court of Appeals decision and find that it leaves much of the SEC’s...more

What’s Next for Conflict Minerals Rules After D.C. Circuit Decision?

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued its long-anticipated ruling in the industry challenge to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals...more

Conflict Minerals – Yet Another Update

If ever there was an SEC rule that refused to slip quietly into the books, it’s conflict minerals disclosure. With the May 31st Form SD filing deadline fast approaching, three things are happening: Companies are focusing for...more

D.C. Circuit Largely Upholds SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule But Supports First Amendment Challenge

On April 14, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, a case that sought to challenge the conflict minerals rule released by the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie

“Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the shot using his Samsung smartphone during a visit to the...more

Conflict minerals rule – limited portion invalidated; June 2 filing deadline looms

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has issued an opinion in the legal challenge to the conflict minerals rule adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in late 2012. A divided court concluded...more

Court Invalidates Conflict Minerals Rule Because It Crosses First Amendment Line

In the end, it’s pretty simple. The court held the conflicts minerals rule and statute embodied in Dodd-Frank violate the First Amendment to the extent the statute and rule require regulated entities to report to the...more

D.C. Circuit Partially Strikes Down SEC Conflict Minerals Rules

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the challenge to the SEC’s conflict minerals disclosure rule filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM”) and...more

Court Ruling Regarding the Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirements

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held today that a portion of the SEC’s conflict minerals reporting regulations – and possibly a portion of the underlying Dodd Frank Act – compel speech in violation...more

Name And Shame No More?

The last few years has seen the rise of so-called “name and shame” laws. The aims of many these laws may be laudable, but yesterday’s decision by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit calls their...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

Circuit Court Largely Rejects Challenges To SEC Conflict Mineral Rules

The SEC largely prevailed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in a suit changing the Rules promulgated by the agency under Dodd-Frank regarding conflict minerals. National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, No.. 13-5252...more

ATF Special Agent’s Whistleblowing Creates a First Amendment Showdown

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special Agent John Dodson is bringing together strange bedfellows — liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and conservatives in Congress....more

SLAPP’d in Los Angeles: A Guide to California’s Anti-SLAPP Law

This post is the first in a series on California’s anti-SLAPP law from the perspective of Los Angeles appellate and trial attorney, Jeffrey Lewis. What is a SLAPP? ...more

"Deliberate Ignorance" Sufficient Mens Rea For Criminal Conviction Under DMCA

As a Circuit judge recently noted in dissent, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) strives to "achieve a balance between strengthening copyright law and preserving consumer rights, promoting technological innovation,...more

Ninth Circuit Issues First Amendment Ruling in Court Filings Access Case

On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit issued an important opinion concerning the First Amendment in Courthouse News Service v. Michael Planet (Apr. 8, 2014 11-57187). Courthouse News Service (“CNS”) had filed the lawsuit against the...more

Capturing Tiger Woods at The Masters

My second favorite golf major, The Masters, starts tomorrow in Augusta, Georgia. And as much as I dislike its history of racism, misogyny, and banning an announcer because he used the terms “bikini-waxed” and “body bags”...more

When Online Behavior Crosses The Line – The Law On Threats, Libel And Just Being Rude

A frequent question we get is what can we do about the online posting about me? Often times, the answer is not much. Lawyers can only help when the online conduct crosses the line into a cognizable cause of action. Figuring...more

Court of Appeals Rejects Constitutional Challenges to Anti-SLAPP Statute, Affirms Dismissal of Lawsuit Targeting Allegedly...

In one of the first published decisions to interpret Washington’s new anti-SLAPP statute, the Washington Court of Appeals this week affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a lawsuit that arose from a consumer boycott of Israeli...more

Affordable Care Act Update April 7, 2014: High Courts Vet Key Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act Government Extends Enrollment...

March 2014 has produced quite a bit of activity regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). On March 24, 2014, oral argument was held in the latest challenges to the ACA in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby...more

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