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

Instagram for Sale: Artist Richard Prince’s New Portraits Sparks Controversy

In the past week, several news outlets and social media channels have been buzzing about artist Richard Prince’s exhibit New Portraits, which first debuted at the Gagosian Gallery on September 19, 2014 and was reborn with...more

Florida drone bill passed into law, more concerns raised about its restrictions

At the end of April, we posted on the passing of S.B. 766 through the Florida State legislature, and now on May 14, 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, in the State of...more

State Supreme Court Strikes Down Washington’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

The Washington Supreme Court this morning invalidated the state's broad anti-SLAPP statute, holding in a unanimous opinion that the law violates the constitutional right to a jury trial. The decision strikes the statute in...more

No Certification Where Class Representatives Have Conflicting Interests

Seventy-eight of the over 4,000 Michigan childcare providers who received state subsidies for offering services to low-income families voted to oppose having their union dues deducted from their subsidy payments. Six of the...more

The First Amendment Trumps Trademark Rights in Radiance Found, Inc. v. NAACP

When a pro-life columnist publicized a biting article criticizing the NAACP’s stance on abortion rights, the NAACP retaliated with a cease and desist letter accusing the columnist of trademark infringement. When the dust...more

Garcia v. Google Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, May 18, 2015

Ninth Circuit sitting en banc reverses 2-1 panel decision that required Google to remove anti-Islam video from YouTube based on actor’s claim of copyright in her five-second appearance, holding that “a weak copyright claim...more

Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Contractor Labor Posting Requirements

In 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13496 requiring federal contractors to post a new notice of employee federal labor rights. Among other things, the posting advised contractors’ employees of their rights to...more

Yelp Fights for the Right to Complain Anonymously

In e-commerce, user reviews can make or break a business. Review sites such as Yelp are a double edged sword for merchants and service providers: on one hand satisfied customers can generate buzz about the company and bring...more

Free Speech for All . . . Except Judges?

Last month, in one of the most closely-watched cases of the October 2014 Term, the U.S. Supreme Court held that States may prohibit judges and candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds. The...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more

Ninth Circuit En Banc Reverses Injunction Against YouTube Display of “Innocence of Muslims”

In Garcia v. Google, No. 12-57302 (9th Cir. May 18, 2015), the en banc Ninth Circuit reversed a prior panel decision and held that an actress was not entitled to a preliminary injunction removing all copies of a film from...more

Second Circuit Rules PATRIOT Act Does Not Authorize Government's Bulk Telephone Metadata Collection Program

In yet another reminder of the importance of maintaining the privacy of personal information, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in ACLU v. Clapper, issued a unanimous decision striking down the National Security Agency’s...more

Fatwas & the First Amendment: 9th Circuit Reverses Takedown Order of Video that Preceded Benghazi & Cairo Protests

A young actress agreed to appear in a low-budget, Middle Eastern themed action film. The producer re-cut and over-dubbed the video, which included five seconds of the actress’ performance, fashioning it into “Innocence of...more

Religious Freedom and the Affordable Care Act

The fascinating interplay that weaves between the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to march...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

Illinois Federal Court Addresses Lawsuit by Christian Leafletter on Public School Property

In a recent decision in the Northern District of Illinois, a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a school district in a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of a local resident who was leafleting and proselytizing...more

Sixth Circuit Rules Against St. Johns, Michigan Ordinance Banning Charitable Donation Bins

In a decision that should be of interest to many of our readers, the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a federal district court’s ruling that an ordinance in the City of St. Johns, Michigan (City) prohibiting the use of charitable...more

Ruling Guides Cities on How to Regulate Holiday Displays

A high-profile case that provides guidance on how local governments might approach holiday display regulations without violating constitutional rights was decided last week by a federal appellate court. The City of Santa...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

KIND LLC faces challenges from FDA on its labeling claims. KIND LLC, a New York-based natural foods company, says it is working closely with the FDA to address issues raised by the agency in a warning letter over label...more

Eleventh Circuit Dismisses RLUIPA Complaint of “Indigenous/Aboriginal Free Moorish National”

In Bey v. City of Tampa Code Enforcement (11th Cir. 2015), the plaintiff Nura Washington Bey (“Washington”) sued the City of Tampa and its Code Enforcement Officer, Steven Mateyka, after Mateyka cited Washington in connection...more

Local Court Ruling Takes the Hands off of Hands On: Tensions between Fairness Ordinances and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

Businesses should keep a close eye on a case that continues to develop in Lexington, Kentucky, as it highlights the current tensions between emerging, evolving antidiscrimination paradigms and rights of free expression and...more

Statements Made in HOA Recall Election Campaign are Subject to Anti-SLAPP Protection

A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or “SLAPP” is a civil lawsuit brought to either prevent or punish another person for exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government or to speak about public...more

A Scandalous Mark to Some, Free Speech to Others: Federal Circuit to Decide Whether Controversial Limit on Trademark Registrations...

The Federal Circuit has decided to revisit the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act in the case of In re Shiao Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 27, 2015). Section 2(a) of the Lanham act allows the...more

IP Newsflash - May 2015

FEDERAL CIRCUIT CASES - Subjective Term Not Indefinite when Intrinsic Record Provides Reasonably Certain Scope - On remand from the Supreme Court, on April 27, 2015, the Federal Circuit reassessed whether...more

SCOTUS Affirms Sanction of Florida Judicial Candidate

On April 29, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed a Florida Supreme Court decision upholding disciplinary sanctions against Lanell Williams-Yulee, a candidate for County Court Judge in Hillsborough County....more

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