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

Shock the Monkey: Police Officer Photo Post on Social Media Costs Him His Job

When is a “joke” so not funny that you lose your job? The Mississippi Court of Appeals gave some direction on that question, affirming the City of Meridian’s termination of a police officer for an inappropriate (arguably...more

Facebook Fake News Problem May Impact Businesses Operating Open Web Sites

Recent criticisms lobbed at Facebook for fake news stories on its platform that allegedly tipped the election in Donald Trump’s favor may spell trouble for businesses operating open websites where users can post content. ...more

Having Election News Withdrawal?

Supreme Court Decides Case on Protected Political Activity in Public Employment - Some of us may have had enough of all things election by now. But the United States Supreme Court decided a case last April that...more

Not All Faith-Based Communications Are Protected By The Clergy-Penitent Privilege

The clergy-penitent privilege (also known as the clergy privilege, confessional privilege, priest–penitent privilege, clergyman–communicant privilege, and/or ecclesiastical privilege) is a recognized form of privileged...more

Anything Worthwhile For Product Liability Defendants In The 21st Century Cures Act?

We blogged about possibly interesting nuggets in the 21st Century Cures Act (“21CCA”) back in February, 2015 – when it was only 400 pages long. In true congressional fashion, it’s now twice as long and loaded up with enough...more

Monthly TCPA Digest - November 2016

We are pleased to present the latest edition of our Monthly TCPA Digest, providing insights and news related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This month’s issue features updates on the latest regulatory...more

Michigan Attorney General Intervenes in Suit Against Consumer Reports to Defend Constitutionality of Michigan Privacy Laws

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief this week intervening in a federal lawsuit between a subscriber of Consumer Reports magazine and publisher Consumers Union of the United States (“Consumers Union”) to...more

Texas Federal Court Permanently Enjoins DOL “Persuader Rule”

It has been a busy month for the federal courts in Texas, and a long one for the United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”). As we blogged here last week, on November 21, 2016, the United States District Court for the...more

FDA Holds Hearing on Off-Label Communications

After several high-profile defeats in both district and circuit courts involving the off-label promotion of regulated products and the First Amendment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now engaged in a...more

When Trademark Registration is a Nice Gesture

Representations of gestures can be trademarks. For example Facebook’s Application No. 85020073 covers a depiction of a thumbs up gesture followed with the word “LIKE” in a rectangle...more

Exhibition Interference Shows That Public Institutions Still Struggle with First Amendment

Use of Confederate Flag in California Painting and Klan Imagery in Massachusetts Leads to Removal of Controversial Works - Two recent interventions by public authorities to remove controversial works of art underscore...more

Supreme Court Update: Order List November 2016

The Court has been relatively quiet since our last missive—we're still waiting for the first signed opinion of the term—but we suspect your minds have been focused on other branches of government over the last few weeks...more

Rocky Mountain Sign Law Blog: Installation of Ten Commandments On City Hall Lawn is Government Speech, Violates First Amendment

Earlier this month, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Bloomfield, New Mexico’s installation of a Ten Commandments monument on the lawn in front of city hall violated the Establishment Clause of the First...more

See You In Court! - December 2016

The last game for the Nutmeg Knights couldn’t come fast enough for veteran Nutmeg Board of Education member Bob Bombast. A defensive tackle on the legendary 1984 team, Bob bleeds Nutmeg persimmon and gold and attends every...more

Permanently Barred: ‘Persuader' Rule Not Persuasive to Texas Judge

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Persuader” Rule is unlawful and should not become law anywhere in the United States. That is the holding of an order issued on November 16, 2016, by United States Senior Judge Sam R....more

Five Important Themes to Watch in the Reform of FDA’s Off-Label Communications Policy

As we’ve previously reported, FDA has recently been forced to reexamine its legal position and enforcement policies related to drug and device manufacturers’ off-label communications. Although the Agency has for years...more

DOL Persuader Rule Blocked by Federal Judge

On November 16, 2016, a District Judge in the Northern District of Texas permanently blocked the U.S. Department of Labor from enforcing a new regulation that would have increased disclosure requirements for employers that...more

Texas Judge Blocks DOL Persuader Rule with Nationwide Permanent Injunction

On November 16, 2016, a Texas federal judge permanently blocked the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from enforcing its persuader rule in National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Thomas E. Perez, et al., Case...more

DOL's 'Persuader' Rule Permanently Blocked By Texas Court

As we explained in our March 24, 2016 alert, on March 23, 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) finalized its “persuader” rule, which would have required that employers and legal consultants report all pay arrangements...more

Facial RLUIPA Claims Against Mobile, AL Dismissed

Earlier this year, the Thai Meditation Association of Alabama and several individual plaintiffs (“the Center”) filed suit against the City of Mobile, Alabama (“the City”), alleging that the denial of its application to...more

Implementation of DOL's New Persuader Rule Permanently Blocked

A federal court in Texas has issued a decision permanently blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the final version of its "persuader rule." See National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Perez...more

USPTO Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Its Right to Deny “Offensive” Trademarks

I previously wrote about a Supreme Court case pitting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act against the First Amendment, the Federal Circuit, the Slants and, lurking in the...more

Guest Post – The FDA’s Two-Day Meeting on Manufacturer Off-Label Communications

Today’s guest post is by Liz Minerd, a Reed Smith associate, who closely followed the online feed of the recent FDA meeting that the Agency called to discuss what changes would be appropriate in its off-label promotion...more

How Might a Trump Administration Affect Our Sandbox?

No, we’re not here to muse about how our lack of contact with advanced extra-terrestrial civilizations might be due to an unfortunate proclivity for “intelligent” life to invent technology that destroys their home planets...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – November, 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last week, we had three teachers “take the knee” during the playing of the National Anthem at a whole-school pep rally. Fortunately, only a few of the students noticed their actions. Originally...more

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