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

Eleventh Circuit Strikes Down Florida’s No-Surcharge Law

On November 4, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit struck down Florida’s no credit-card surcharge statute as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. See Dana’s Railroad Supply v. Attorney General, Florida, No. 14-14426, 2015 WL...more

Take Your Damn Free Speech Elsewhere: T Public Property Not a Legal Public Forum

The MBTA, we learned this week, is reworking its already strict guidelines for advertising on T property. Metro Boston’s transit system wants to prohibit “ads concerning political issues or matters of public debate,”...more

The FTC Pressures Press Interactions, Defies Commercial Speech Doctrine

On Tuesday, the FTC joined the Department of Justice and several other federal agencies in announcing numerous recent and ongoing actions against dietary supplement marketers. The FTC, in its discussions, highlighted a case...more

Protestors at Your Door—First Amendment Law Insight

Protest politics appears to be reaching new heights not seen since the 1960s. Protests on Wall Street, at public universities and in private places have become a favored method for addressing social issues. At the Mall of...more

Municipal Legal News: Volume 1, Number 2 November 2015

Employment Requirements for Building Officials - The Michigan Attorney General has interpreted a recent law requiring municipal building officials to be “employed” by a municipality to mean that building officials cannot...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Additional ACA Birth Control Mandate Cases

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the consolidated appeals of seven cases involving employer provision of birth control under the Affordable Care Act. In its 2013 Hobby Lobby case, the Court concluded that the...more

D.C. Court of Appeals Denies Request for Rehearing on Conflict Minerals Rules

On November 9, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied petitions filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Amnesty International requesting a full panel rehearing of its...more

Magistrate Judge Recommends Issuance of Preliminary Injunction to Hope Rising Church

Plaintiff Hope Rising Community Church is one step closer to obtaining a preliminary injunction against Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, as U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell issued a Report and Recommendation to allow the...more

Happy Veteran’s Day/In Praise of Free Speech and a SD Fla. Decision

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. This is a holiday that escapes the attention of too many people – until they stare at their empty mailboxes in puzzlement. It is a federal holiday, but most of us go about our usual business....more

Mizzou: A Personal Note on Racism, Firings and a Free Press

I have been watching the events at my alma mater that led to the resignation of MU System President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin from afar. While I had heard inklings of discontent, I had no idea it was at this...more

Florida “No Credit Card Surcharge” Law Unconstitutional, 11th Circuit Rules

A Florida law that prohibits merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases but allows a discount for cash purchases violates the First Amendment, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th...more

Blog: D.C. Circuit Denies SEC’s Petition For Rehearing En Banc In Conflict Minerals Case

Hot off the press: The D.C. Circuit today issued a per curiam order denying the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for a rehearing en banc in Natl Assoc. of Manufacturers v. SEC, the conflict minerals case. No...more

Online Negativity: How to Fight Back

The internet is a powerful channel for communication, with great strengths compared to other media. It has been referred to as the "largest public space in human history”. Internet communications can reach an unlimited...more

Media and political campaigns: From the era of free air time to that of free online advertising

The increasing influence of mass media in political campaigns has been an issue of concern for campaign finance regulators worldwide during the past decades. The role of media often goes beyond merely informing the citizens...more

Court Dismisses Police Officers’ Class Action Complaint Regarding Anti-Tattoo Policy

In a recent order in Medici, et al. v. City of Chicago, Case No. 15 C 5891, 2015 WL 6501153 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 27, 2015), Judge Charles P. Kocoras of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a...more

California Reaffirms First Amendment Right to Record Police in Public

As deputy U.S. marshals detained a group of people in Beatriz Paez’s neighborhood, the 34-year-old South Gate, Calif. resident began recording the incident. Video from another camera-wielding bystander rolls as a different...more


In appealing the cancellation of six trademarks, the Washington Redskins filed their opening brief in the Fourth Circuit this week. Cancellation of the team’s REDSKINS trademarks was upheld by a federal district court in...more

Nomadic Church Sues New Jersey Township Over Denial of Use Variance

A predominantly African American Church of about 25 members known as My Father’s House Ministry, Inc. (Church) is suing Delanco Township, New Jersey over allegations that the Township violated both the Religious Land Use &...more

Garçon to FanDuel: Check please!

What are a veteran NFL player’s name, image, and likeness worth in the burgeoning (but recently beleaguered-by-lawsuits) daily fantasy sports gaming industry? NFL wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s putative class action lawsuit...more

Advertising Law - October 2015 #4

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Application of VPPA to Free App - The latest decision interpreting the application of the Video Privacy Protection Act in the context of twenty-first century technology provides positive news for...more

Sixth Circuit Files Win for Bankruptcy Debtors Harassed During Automatic Stay

Creditors of bankruptcy debtors beware: a recent opinion from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals makes clear that creditors cannot circumvent the ban on collection efforts following the petition for bankruptcy by trying to...more

The Limits to Ordering Computer Monitoring as a Special Condition of Supervised Release in the Federal Court System

There are limits to when a Federal District Court Judge may order computer monitoring by United States Probation as a special condition of supervised release. While it can be argued that individuals on supervised release...more

Halloween Ghouls, Zombie Nativities, Toilets with Antlers, and other Offensive Holiday Displays: Zoning Law, the First Amendment...

It’s that time of year again. Seasonal holiday displays are beginning to dot our subdivisions and public spaces. Although most will conform to mainstream cultural, religious and societal norms, the ones that don’t create...more

Employment Matters Newsletter, Fall 2015

With Experimental Benefits Come Additional Legal Considerations - Corporate experimentation, combined with innovative employment practices designed to promote more flexible work environments, may be transformative. These...more

Second Circuit Upholds New York Ban on Credit Card Surcharges

Why it matters - New York’s ban on credit card sales transactions surcharges was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing a federal court judge’s 2013 ruling striking down the law and joining the majority...more

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