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

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

Federal Court Says New York City Schools Can Prohibit “Religious Worship” In School Facilities

As reported in the New York Times, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a school district could prohibit outside community groups from using school facilities for “religious services” without violating the...more

Does The First Amendment Allow Journalists To Lie To Their Subjects? U.S. Senator Accuses Documentary Film Makers Of Fraud

On April 1, 2014, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin issued a press release accusing Adroit Films of fraud. Manchin had agreed to be interviewed by the media company for a documentary about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Aggregate Limits on Federal Campaign Contribution are Unconstitutional

On April 2, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that aggregate contribution limits, those limits placed on an individual’s overall direct contributions during a two-year election cycle, were...more

“River Crabbing” Chinese Search Engine Battles for Freedom of Expression in the U.S.

In 2004, the Chinese Communist Party announced a new national goal of building a “Harmonious Society.” Since then, this goal has often been cited by the Chinese government as a reason for Internet censorship. In Mandarin,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Aggregate Contribution Limits

On Tuesday morning, a divided United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (572 U.S. ____ (2014)), striking down a portion of federal campaign finance law that...more

In McCutcheon, the Supreme Court Strikes Down the FEC's Biennial Aggregate Limits

In the most significant campaign finance decision since Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court today struck down the Federal Election Commission's biennial aggregate limits. In McCutcheon v. FEC, the Court left in place...more

Regulation Requiring Spaced-Out Digital Billboards Does Not Violate First Amendment

We've all seen it before: a person says something rude, which elicits a "watch your mouth" response, and the foul-mouth person replies, "Hey, I have a right to free speech!" Touché. A lesser-known use of the First Amendment...more

UNMASKING BLOGGERS: Hedge Fund’s Bid To Unveil Blogger’s Identity Highlights First Amendment, Trade Secrets Clash

America’s reverence for anonymous speech is as old as the republic itself, tracing its roots to Thomas Payne’s pamphlet “Common Sense” and the Federalist Papers. But the right to speak namelessly has limits, and hedge fund...more

Minority Television Project, Inc. v. FCC and Lincoln Broadcasting Co.

Petition For Writ of Certiorari

Questions Presented: 1. In 1969, this Court held in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969), that the First Amendment permits the government to restrict the speech of broadcasters in ways that this Court...more

Religious Institutions - March 2014

Under state and federal law, "whistleblowers" are a protected class and a broader category of persons than intuitively you might guess. When we imagine the quintessential whistleblower, the individual is usually someone who...more

Cyberlaw: Of Athletes And Video Games

Can a video game company use an athlete’s likeness in a game without his or her permission? The answer is maybe. The Ninth Circuit recently rejected Jim Brown’s Lanham Act Section 43 claim against Electronic Arts, Inc....more

The Constitutional Rights of Students Wearing American Flag Shirts on Cinco de Mayo Were Not Violated When They Were Required to...

On Cinco de Mayo 2010, when school officials at a California high school became aware of a potential altercation between two groups of students, they asked the students wearing shirts bearing images of the American flag to...more

New Reprint Guidance Maintains Bipartisan Status Quo

On February 28, 2014, the FDA issued its most recent unofficial guidance on distribution by manufacturers of research concerning off-label uses. With minor textual revisions, this new Guidance essentially restates the safe...more

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