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

Hundreds Erupt in Elation After Sterling Heights Mosque Denial

In the RLUIPA Round-Up post, we noted that the City of Sterling Heights, Michigan, is facing a federal lawsuit following its denial of the American Islamic Community Center’s (Center) zoning application to build a 20,500...more

Minister or Not? Gay Bias Case Turns on Employee’s Role

Seyfarth Synopsis: A federal judge has allowed a discrimination lawsuit to proceed against the Archdiocese of Chicago. The plaintiff alleges that his engagement to another man resulted in his termination. The church sought...more

Religious Institutions Update: August 2016

When was the last time your organization reviewed your insurance policies? Not all policies are equal. Many religious organizations are underinsured. Most should have general liability, property, professional liability,...more

Lessons in dealing with an “equal opportunity” harasser

A new opinion released by the Tenth Circuit provides practical tips to employers dealing with multiple employee complaints alleging generalized harassment and/or discrimination throughout the workplace....more

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

As we previously reported, there are five pending lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule. Our Client Alert on the new rule outlines the significance of the rule and the implications of the...more

Guns and Motorcycle Clubs Oh My! – What’s an HR Manager To Do?

Seyfarth Synopsis: A couple of Circuit Court decisions last week may cause some trepidation for your company’s HR managers as they shuffle through the off-duty activities of company employees that get brought onto the...more

Can Starbucks Tolerate Cannabis Parody?

A couple of weeks back, I captured this image from a t-shirt for sale in Starbucks’ backyard — at a shop in the Pike Place Market area of Seattle...more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #2

Electric Toothbrushes Battle It Out Before NAD - In a battle over electric toothbrushes, the National Advertising Division determined that Procter & Gamble can support superiority claims for its Oral-B models challenged...more

Airbnb Sues Anaheim Over Law That Makes Website Liable for Illegal Short Term Rentals

Airbnb recently filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Anaheim over a new law that penalizes short-term rental sites like Airbnb for hosting listings that violate the City’s rental regulations. The new law, which went...more

California Supreme Court Curbs Responses to Anti-SLAPP Motions

Elected Officials’ Free Speech Rights Analyzed - Individual elected officials are exercising their right to free speech when they cast their votes — even if those votes might be the result of corruption or based in a...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Section 1983 First Amendment Retaliation Claim Not Necessarily Precluded By Age Discrimination in Employment...

On August 5, 2016, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not preclude a First Amendment retaliation claim under section 1983 of the federal Civil Rights...more

Off-Label Marketing – Industry Groups Step into the Breach

We have been waiting, literally for years, for the FDA to revise, clarify, update, or simply pay attention to, its off-label promotion regulatory position in light of repeated governmental First Amendment losses in Sorrell v....more

There Are Limits to Connecticut’s Employee Free Speech Law

It has long been recognized as a matter of federal constitutional law that public employees cannot be deprived by the government of their right to freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment, even though the government...more

Calif. Supreme Court Resolves Conflict in Anti-SLAPP Procedure, Provides Guidance to Litigants

The California Supreme Court resolved a decade-long conflict among lower appellate courts in its watershed opinion Baral v. Schnitt, Case No. S225090, 2016 WL 4074081, *1 (Cal. Sup. Ct. Aug. 1, 2016). Now, courts must allow a...more

Business Litigation Report - July 2016

Article: Increase in Vertical Price Restraint Enforcement in China - In recent months, Chinese anti-monopoly enforcement actions scrutinizing and penalizing pricing-related issues have noticeably increased. A growing...more

California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute Untangled

On August 1 the California Supreme Court finally resolved a split of authority among California’s appellate courts over operation of the anti-SLAPP statute, Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, in the mixed cause of action...more

Federal Judge: Arkansas Law Prohibiting Political Robocalls is Unconstitutional

A federal judge in the U.S. District for the Eastern District of Arkansas recently held that an Arkansas state law prohibiting political robocalls is unconstitutional. Under the Arkansas Code, - It is unlawful for...more

Massachusetts Church Alleges Solar Panel Denial Violates Religious Freedom

A Massachusetts Superior Court is soon to consider the interplay of three important planning principles – historic preservation, sustainable development, and freedom of religion. A Unitarian Universalist church is suing the...more

July 2016: Appellate Update

The Effects of an Eight-Justice Supreme Court. Since Justice Scalia’s passing in February, the Supreme Court has operated with only eight justices, and it will continue to do so for as long as the Senate declines to consider...more

Cert. Petition Seeks to Clarify “Public Official” Under New York Times v. Sullivan

More than 50 years ago, the Supreme Court issued its foundational First Amendment decision New York Times v. Sullivan. The Court held in Sullivan that the First Amendment protects all published statements about public...more

Book Review: The World According to Star Wars

It was right after our selfie with Minion Captain America that we saw it. We were marching up and down the aisles, dodging empire storm troopers. Bright lights and backbone-rattling sounds shot out of the Nickelodeon and Star...more

2(c) or Not to See Political TM Speech?

That is the question, at least for the day. It’s also a question we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will address. In particular, does a careful focus on the USPTO’s routine application of Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act,...more

A One-Two Punch Case With An Off-Label Twist

When we were young(er), we had a pretty good memory. It is not bad now, as far as we recall, particularly when it comes to pulling up bits of esoteric nonsense. For more important stuff, we find qualifiers like “vague” and...more

Sikh Temple files suit after Oyster Bay, NY ordered it to stop work and then required SEQRA review

Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center, Inc. (the “Temple”), on June 29, 2016 in the Eastern District of New York, sued the Town of Oyster Bay, New York, the Town Board, and several Town Officials (together, the “Defendants”) after...more

Michigan Township Prevails on Federal Religious Discrimination Claims

A federal court in Michigan has ruled that Genoa Charter Township did not violate federal law in denying a church’s application for a special use permit to operate a religious school. Livingston Christian Schools (LSC)...more

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