First Amendment Free Speech

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

Michigan Attorney General Intervenes in Suit Against Consumer Reports to Defend Constitutionality of Michigan Privacy Laws

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief this week intervening in a federal lawsuit between a subscriber of Consumer Reports magazine and publisher Consumers Union of the United States (“Consumers Union”) to...more

Exhibition Interference Shows That Public Institutions Still Struggle with First Amendment

Use of Confederate Flag in California Painting and Klan Imagery in Massachusetts Leads to Removal of Controversial Works - Two recent interventions by public authorities to remove controversial works of art underscore...more

See You In Court! - December 2016

The last game for the Nutmeg Knights couldn’t come fast enough for veteran Nutmeg Board of Education member Bob Bombast. A defensive tackle on the legendary 1984 team, Bob bleeds Nutmeg persimmon and gold and attends every...more

Texas Judge Blocks DOL Persuader Rule with Nationwide Permanent Injunction

On November 16, 2016, a Texas federal judge permanently blocked the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from enforcing its persuader rule in National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Thomas E. Perez, et al., Case...more

Implementation of DOL's New Persuader Rule Permanently Blocked

A federal court in Texas has issued a decision permanently blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the final version of its "persuader rule." See National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Perez...more

Guest Post – The FDA’s Two-Day Meeting on Manufacturer Off-Label Communications

Today’s guest post is by Liz Minerd, a Reed Smith associate, who closely followed the online feed of the recent FDA meeting that the Agency called to discuss what changes would be appropriate in its off-label promotion...more

Supreme Court to Review Registrability of Disparaging Trademarks

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition for certiorari to consider the constitutionality of a provision of the US trademark laws directed to the registrability of disparaging...more

But First, Let Me Take A Selfie: The Changing Legal Landscape On Ballot Box Photography

If you take the time to vote in this year’s presidential election – but your ballot is not documented on social media – did you really vote at all? Many prolific social media users are determined to take ballot box...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Ruling on Personnel Decision based upon Perceived Political Affiliation Impacts Public Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a matter involving “perceived affiliation”, bringing clarity to the matter, where the circuits provided discordant rulings. As a result, personnel actions based upon even mistaken...more

Supreme Court to Decide if Disparagement Provision in the Lanham Act is Invalid Under the First Amendment

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to review Lee v. Tam, better known as “THE SLANTS” case, to assess the constitutionality of the Trademark Office’s refusal to register disparaging marks under Section 2(a) of...more

Controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule Partially Blocked

On October 24, 2016, a federal judge enjoined the U.S. government from enforcing certain provisions of the controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. The decision was handed down from Judge Marcia Crone in the U.S....more

The First Amendment: Without a Friend in the 2016 Election Cycle?

With Election Day less than two weeks away, it’s an interesting time for the First Amendment. Unlike the Second Amendment where party lines appear strong, the 2016 presidential candidates’ stance on First Amendment issues and...more

Preliminary Injunction Halts Enforcement of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule

Federal contractors recently scored a significant victory when a preliminary injunction blocked much of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule from taking effect. The rule, based on a 2014 executive order, was issued in August...more

Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. -- Judge Mayer on the First Amendment

Decided September 30th, this Federal Circuit case is already making waves. The majority opinion seems to be at tension with the Court's outcome in BASCOM Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, but the real...more

Upcoming FDA Public Meeting on Speech and Medical Products

As a reminder, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a two-day public meeting on November 9 and 10, 2016 regarding “Manufacturer Communications Regarding Unapproved Uses of Approved or Cleared Medical Products.” ...more

A Contentious Presidential Election, #BlackLivesMatter and Bathroom Laws: Addressing Polarizing Current Events in the Workplace

It is practically impossible these days to turn on the news, get on the internet or listen to the radio without hearing about some polarizing event. Whether it is a debate over the presidential candidates, the...more

Lee v Tam

The Supreme Court agreed on September 29 to consider whether a provision of the Lanham Act that allows the USPTO to refuse to register “disparaging” trademarks violates the constitutional right to free speech. The case is...more

Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2016) - Just When You Thought the Federal Circuit Was Softening...

Intellectual Ventures I LLC ("IV") sued Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro (defendants) for infringement of various claims of three U.S. Patents (Nos. 6,460,050; 6,073,142; and 5,987,610). The District Court held the asserted...more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

Don’t Be Offended: Supreme Court Set to Decide Whether Offensive Trademark Ban Violates First Amendment

The United States Supreme Court, on September 29, 2016, granted certiorari in a case involving petitioner Simon Tam, his band, The Slants, and the band’s attempt to register their band name as a trademark. Commentators...more

Political Speech in the Workplace

The upcoming presidential election between two larger-than-life characters, each capable of stirring intense emotional reactions from both sides, is sure to produce some spirited debate around the water cooler this fall. ...more

Brandmarking - Volume 5, Number 2 - October 2016

Supreme Court Review of “Disparagement” Trademark Case May – or May Not – Implicate First Amendment, Impact Washington Redskins Case - The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear one of two high-profile cases that...more

Is a Consumer Trade Association’s Speech Covered by the DC Anti-SLAPP Act?

When a consumer trade association “speaks” about the health effects of a product, is its speech on an issue of public interest, and thus within the scope of the DC anti-SLAPP statute, or is it in furtherance of the...more

Local Campaign Finance Reform: What Local Agencies Can – and Cannot – Do (Part 2)

Last week, PublicCEO ran Part 1 of this article that explored the relationship between free speech and campaign finance laws, Super PACs and their influence on campaign finance, and how the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens...more

SCOTUS to Decide Constitutionality of State "No Credit Card Surcharge" Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether state laws that prohibit merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases violate the First Amendment. The petition for certiorari granted by the Supreme Court...more

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