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

Status Updates - October 2014 #12

..Unfree speech? In the United States, the First Amendment would likely prevent the prosecution of someone who posted racist or anti-Semitic messages on a social media platform. But social media platforms operate worldwide,...more

Delaware Program Struck Down: Independent Legal Counsel Still Best Avenue for Private Arbitration

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last Monday to not hear a case involving the State of Delaware's effort to create a state-sponsored program where sitting judges could confidentially arbitrate business disputes. Lower courts...more

Advertising Law - October 2014 #3

Permanent Ban From Prize Promotion Business After Sweepstakes Scam - A sweepstakes operator agreed to a permanent ban from the prize promotion business pursuant to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after...more

The NLRB's Latest Digital Developments

Last May, we highlighted a pending National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case where the Board requested comments on whether it should reconsider its view that employees do not have a statutory right to use employer-owned...more

Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group DC Circuit Panel

The DC Circuit has announced that the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group appeal will be heard on October 20, 2014 before Circuit Judges Kavanaugh, Srinivasan, and Senior Circuit Judge Edwards. I thought I would take a quick look...more

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of NFL and against former professional football players who claimed that NFL’s use of video footage...more

Status Updates - October 2014 #5

..Big Brother isn’t just watching. A single mother in upstate New York was surprised to find that she had a Facebook page in her name, complete with photos of her, her son, and her niece. She hadn’t actually set up the page....more

Advertising Law - Oct 2014

FTC Mows Down Astroturfing at Yahoo - The Federal Trade Commission has closed an investigation into “astroturfing” by Yahoo employees and declined to take enforcement action because of the limited number of workers...more

Religious Institutions: October 2014

Timely Topics - Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more

Ninth Circuit Addresses TCPA Text Message Claims

In Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., No. 13-55486, 2014 WL 4654478 (9th Cir. Sept. 19, 2014), a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed several recurring issues in TCPA litigation, including: the efficacy of Rule 68...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part V

—PART V— Not all Native Advertising May Be Commercial Speech under the First Amendment - If there is one thing clear from the case law, it is that the commercial speech analysis under the First Amendment is a...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part IV

—PART IV— Commercial and Noncommercial Inextricably Intertwined Speech - The Bolger court found that the mailings constituted commercial speech “notwithstanding the fact that [informational pamphlets]...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part III

The Evolution of Commercial Speech’s First Amendment Protection - One of the fundamental purposes of the First Amendment is to promote the free flow of information in the “marketplace of ideas.” To that end, the First...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part II

In this five part series, originally published in the Summer 2014 edition of the Media Law Resource Center Bulletin, we take an in-depth look at the native advertising phenomenon and the legal issues surrounding the practice....more

7th Cir. Upholds Springfield's Panhandling Ordinance, Using a Historic Twist

It can’t have happened often (if at all) that a retired Justice would decide a new case based on his reading of an opinion in which he dissented. Yet that is precisely what happened in Thayer v. Worcester, 755 F.3d 60...more

Executing Noriega?

As some of you may recall, I posted about a lawsuit Manuel Noriega brought against purveyors of the Call of Duty video game franchise arising from his depiction in the game. In essence, I suggested that Noriega’s lawsuit was...more

Are the Supreme Court’s exceptions to patentability mandated by the Constitution, or are they just “statutory stare decisis”?

There has been significant commentary, both before and after the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice, that the various judicially created exceptions to patentability under 35 USC § 101 are not only sound, but are also...more

New York Times Supreme Court Correspondent Adam Liptak Discusses Anthony Lewis’ Iconoclastic First Amendment Views

This past Friday, the keynote speaker at the Boston Bar Association’s Annual meeting was Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent for the New York Times. Mr. Liptak focused his remarks on the First Amendment views of his...more

Briefs Now Filed In Support Of And In Response To Petition For En Banc Rehearing In Conflict Minerals Case

On August 15, 2014, in the conflict minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Securities and Exchange Commission (D.C. Cir. 2014), Intervenors-Appellees Amnesty International filed a brief in support of its...more

District Court Refuses to Certify Class of “Non-Liturgical” Protestant Navy Chaplains

Given the rich diversity and array of religions, and the First Amendment prohibitions both on the establishment of religion and impeding the free exercise of religion, the appointment and promotion of chaplains in the...more

Reading the NLRB Signs at the Triple Play Sports Bar

In Three D, LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31. (August 22, 2014), the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee “liking” a status on Facebook is engaging in protected concerted...more

The effect of the American Meat Institute Decision on the Conflict Minerals Rule

As we have discussed over the last few months, the fate of the conflict minerals rule has been uncertain. In April 2014, in the National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM”) case, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit...more

Washington Redskins Challenge the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term...more

Renowned Architect Wins Retraction From The New York Review of Books

On August 25, 2014, The New York Review of Books issued a retraction in response to a defamation suit filed in New York State Court by well-known architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid was selected to design one of the stadiums for the...more

New Mexico Federal Court Rules Ten Commandments Display Outside City Hall Violates Establishment Clause

In Felix v. City of Bloomfield (D. NM Aug. 7, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico found that the display of a five-foot, granite Ten Commandments monument outside City Hall violated the Establishment...more

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