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

Another Successful First Amendment Challenge to the Prohibition of Off-Label Promotion for FDA-Approved Drugs

The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prevailed in the latest challenge to the FDA's prohibition against marketing FDA-approved drugs for off-label (or non-FDA-approved) uses. Applying the Second Circuit’s...more

DC Circuit Court Rejects Challenge to SEC Pay-to-Play Rule

The DC Circuit Court has rejected an effort by the New York and Tennessee Republican Parties to set aside Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 206(4)-5. The 2010 SEC rule prohibits investment advisers from providing...more

US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Upholds Decision on Conflict Minerals Rule

On August 18, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion on the rehearing of the lawsuit challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals rule. The ruling upheld the...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms 2014 Opinion on Conflict Minerals Rule

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its 2014 ruling that struck down the requirement that public companies must disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and on their...more

Court Dismisses City’s Copyright Claim Against Critic for Using Council Meeting Clips in YouTube Videos

A California city cannot hold one of its citizens liable for copyright infringement for using clips of city council meetings in his critical YouTube videos, a federal judge has ruled. The August 20, 2015, Order in City of...more

Seeking Injunctive Relief: How Irreparable Harm Has Been Analyzed in Federal and State Courts

One of the most important considerations New Jersey practitioners encounter when seeking injunctive relief is where to file: state (Chancery Division) versus federal (district) court. In non-emergent complex litigation, this...more

SEC’s Conflict Mineral Rule Disclosure Requirement Unconstitutional Again

The SEC’s conflict mineral disclosure rule, enacted under Dodd-Frank, is a continuing source of controversy. An initial challenge to the rules was brought by the National Association of Manufactures. That challenge was...more

Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Some, But Not All, RLUIPA Claims

A federal court in Illinois, in Church of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ v. City of Markham, Illinois (N.D. Ill. 2015), dismissed some of the Church’s religious land use claims while allowing others to proceed. The case is...more

"Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirement Confirmed Unconstitutional"

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 decision (opinion available here), confirmed its earlier decision in April 2014 by ruling that the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

What’s the big hoopla in the City during the dog days of summer? Can the City arrest the topless women in Times Square for...

For years, the Naked Cowboy, dressed in nothing but his underwear, hat, and boots and with a guitar has been posing with tourists in Times Square—causing barely a ripple in the news. This summer the women have joined in on...more

DC Circuit Court Reaffirms Earlier Decision Partially Invalidating Conflict Minerals Rule On First Amendment Grounds

Pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which added new Section 13(p)(1) to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the SEC promulgated Rule 13p-1 (the “Conflict Minerals Rule”), which required that issuers...more

Federal Appeals Court Questions State Senator's Order to Remove a Dissident from the Senate Building

Removal Order Could Have Violated the First Amendment - Salvador Reza, a member of a community group focused on protecting migrant workers, attended an Arizona Senate session during a legislative hearing on a...more

Court of Appeals Confirms that Conflict Minerals Reporting Requirement is Unconstitutional

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its April 2014 decision in NAM v. SEC, where it held that certain portions of the SEC’s conflict minerals reporting requirements unconstitutionally...more

The Confederate Flag is Down in South Carolina, but It's Up in Your Parking Lot: What Should You Do?

There has been considerable press lately regarding efforts to remove the Confederate flag from state capitols, and to otherwise remove public displays of Confederate or similar symbols of "southern heritage." What is often...more

Two Months after Same-Sex Marriages Held Constitutional, Where are the Courts Headed on the Unanswered Questions?

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its monumental decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, et al.; Case No. 14-556, holding that state bans of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. Specifically, the...more

Life Sciences Companies and Free %$&*@# Speech

Irish and NI life sciences companies operating in the US likely are familiar with the concept of “off-label” promotion–providing information about drug/device uses that have not been cleared by the FDA (even where the FDA has...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms Previous Conflict Minerals Decision: Disclosure Requirement Violates First Amendment

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its previous decision striking down a narrow portion of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) conflict...more

Another One Bites the Dust: FDA Doesn’t Like the Fishy Smell of the Latest Court Decision on Off-Label Dissemination

In the most recent court decision, Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. United States Food and Drug Administration, No. 15 Civ. 3588 (PAE) (S.D. N.Y. August 5, 2015), a U.S. District Court granted Amarin's preliminary injunction to...more

Court Upholds Partial Invalidation of SEC Conflict Minerals Rule

On August 18, 2015, a divided panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in National Association of Manufacturers v. Securities and Exchange Commission (“NAM”), upheld its earlier ruling that held...more

SEC’s Disclosure Requirement on Conflict Minerals Again Ruled Unconstitutional — What Now?

In a long-awaited decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC Circuit) reaffirmed its prior decision, striking down one aspect of the SEC’s conflict minerals disclosure...more

Colorado Rules Baker Cannot Refuse Service to Same-Sex Couples for Religious Reasons

In a post last week, I discussed how some believe Tennessee’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) could allow Tennessee businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples despite a recent ruling that...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms That Portions of Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Rules Violate First Amendment

On August 18, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reaffirmed its ruling in National Association of Manufacturers v. Securities and Exchange Commission that portions of the SEC’s...more

Blog: Three-Judge Panel Of D.C. Circuit Again Holds That Mandatory Disclosure Requirement Of Conflict Minerals Rule Violates First...

In November 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for panel rehearing in connection with the conflict minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v....more

Conflict Minerals Rule Still Unconstitutional After Rehearing

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its decision on the conflict minerals rule after a rehearing. In National Association of Manufacturers, et al, v. SEC, the Court adhered to its original...more

Can You Videotape Someone Else’s Conversation?

Careful about protecting the safety of his customers, A.R. Remington, owner of Fishinabarrel Gun Range, installed surveillance cameras to blanket his premises, except the restrooms. Last week while target practicing with his...more

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