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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 -

RLUIPA Suit Against Colonie, NY Dismissed As Unripe

A federal court in New York has dismissed religious discrimination and related claims alleged by an evangelical Christian church (the “Church”) against the Town of Colonie, New York, its agencies and officials (the “Town”),...more

Supreme Court Ruling Could Contradict Pa. Law

by Barley Snyder on

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision could mean states now will have to allow public funds to be funneled to religious institutions. In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, the Court held that Missouri...more

Yonkers Wins Below: Appeal Pending

The Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (“ICCMW”) has appealed the decision of the Southern District of New York that held ICCMW’s claims were not yet ripe for review and ICCMW did not have the right to supplement...more

Claim Is Gone With The Wind At Death

Two time academy award winner Olivia de Havilland seeks an expedited trial for the lawsuit involving her right of publicity. Olivia de Havilland, DBE v. FX Networks, et al, BC667011 (Superior Ct. Calif., June 30, 2017). The...more

Athletes and Employees Speak Out: Do Your Employment Practices Drop the Ball in Addressing Diversity, Controversial Speech, or...

With the 2017-18 National Football League (NFL) regular season and National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-season underway, many spectators are excited to don their favorite players’ jerseys and cheer on their teams. Yet in...more

Calling President An Idiot May Be Protected Speech (But Maybe Not)

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

“President Trump is a Big Fat Idiot” or, for that matter, “Secretary Clinton is a Sore Loser.” Let’s suppose you see one of your employees tweeting one of these expressions on Twitter during non-work hours from a personal...more

Does FEMA Unconstitutionally Deny Relief to Churches? President Trump Thinks So And He May Be Right

by Jackson Walker on

Hurricane Harvey’s devastation has impacted thousands of people and businesses throughout Texas. Private nonprofits and religious organizations have been playing key roles in providing emergency relief to those who have been...more

Municipality Prevails in Dispute Over Personal Chapel

The City of Brier, Washington (City) has prevailed over claims that it violated the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and other federal law in a dispute over a variance application to construct a...more

You Betcha: “It doesn't make it a gotcha just because it got ya.”

by Sedgwick LLP on

On August 29, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, Jed S. Rakoff, dismissed Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times. The case was filed in June 2017. Judge Rakoff stated...more

California Employment Law Notes - September 2017

Jobseeker Website May Be Compelled To Disclose Identity Of Anonymous Posters Who Criticized Employer - ZL Technologies, Inc. v. Does 1-7, 13 Cal. App. 5th 603 (2017) - ZL Technologies brought suit, alleging libel per se and...more

Racism in Your Spare Time: What Are The Legal Limits for Employers?

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

On Saturday, August 12, as the nation watched, protests in Charlottesville, Virginia regarding the anticipated removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee turned deadly. In the days and weeks after, both the...more

CEOs, Politics and the Law: Guidelines for a New Era in Corporate Social Speech

by Perkins Coie on

In recent weeks, America’s CEOs have spoken out on social issues like never before, placing the business community firmly within the national debate. Likewise, companies are feeling internal and external pressures to...more

Of Dead Sea Scrolls and Criminal Impersonation

Golb v. Attorney General, No. 16-0452-pr (Jacobs, Leval, Raggi), arises out of unusual facts—forged emails by a proponent of one side of an academic dispute—and reaches an unusual result. On habeas review, the Second Circuit...more

Federal Trademark Registration, the First Amendment, and Freedom of Speech: Part II

As the drum roll proceeds to the upcoming Midwest IP Institute in Minneapolis and sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (and Simon Tam fame) on Thursday September 28, in a few days, I’ll be making a stop...more

Ban on Officers Discussing K9 Program Violated First Amendment - Ninth Circuit Decision on Nevada State Highway Patrol Prior...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Regulating speech by government employees is difficult enough. Disciplining an employee for violations of speech policies is degrees of difficulty greater. And, imposing a prior restraint on employee speech is perhaps the...more

Do Constitutional Protections Allow for the Reduction of TCPA Statutory Damage Awards? A Closer Look at Golan

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Sometimes the toughest job a court faces is finding a way to do the right thing. When it comes to the crushing damages afforded by statute for violations of the TCPA, the “right” thing is often to reduce the award to...more

A Special Thank You to Suzan Shown Harjo

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the filing of the petition to cancel the R-Word registrations held by Pro-Football, Inc., the NFL franchise playing near the Nation’s capital....more

Sarah Palin v. The New York Times - Six Lessons for Public Figures in Defamation Cases | Sands Anderson

by Sands Anderson PC on

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the New York Times don’t much like each other. So much so that Palin sued the Times for defamation. Her claim stemmed from a Times editorial that wrongly linked her political action...more

Wyoming Law Criminalizing Crossing Private Property to Collect Resource Data Regulates the “Creation” of Speech

In an unusual case, Western Watersheds Project, et al v. Michael, Attorney General of Wyoming, decided on September 7, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the District Court’s decision upholding...more

Eruv Dispute Prompts Claims of Religious Discrimination Against New Jersey Township

Last month, Bergen Rockland Eruv Association, Inc. (BREA) sued the Township of Mahwah, New Jersey regarding a dispute over the expansion of an eruv. According to the complaint, “[a]n eruv, under Jewish law, is a largely...more

hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp.: A Federal Court Weighs in on Web Scraping, Free Speech Rights, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse...

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

In recent years, a number of firms in a variety of industries have utilized automated research methods, including web scraping tools and certain forms of artificial intelligence such as bots, to gather information from a...more

Gavel to Gavel: Scandalous and immoral (trademarks)

by McAfee & Taft on

Since 1946, federal law has prohibited registration of scandalous, immoral and disparaging trademarks. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court found the prohibition on disparaging trademarks to be unconstitutional, creating...more

Public Official or Private Citizen? In Free Speech Cases, Courts Must Decide

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

First Amendment retaliation claims may be getting harder to pursue for state employees, as courts seem increasingly likely to view speech as part of the employees' roles as public officials rather than as private citizens....more

Texas Anti-Sanctuary Law Blocked

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

In a ruling that may help to diminish the fears of some undocumented individuals seeking aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia enjoined some key provisions of Texas’ anti-sanctuary...more

High School Football Coach Does Not Have The Right To Pray On The 50 Yard Line After The Game – Lessons From The Ninth Circuit...

Does a school district violate the First Amendment when it prohibits a football coach from kneeling on the fifty yard line and praying with students and members of the public at the end of each high school football game? The...more

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