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

Where the First Amendment and Land Use Meet: Planet Aid v. City of St. Johns

Generally speaking, land use regulations and zoning laws arise from practical and aesthetic concerns and considerations, and are driven by state and local law. However, sometimes a community’s desire to regulate a seemingly...more

Status Updates: Appeals court upholds anti-cyberbullying law; better marketing through neural networks; restaurant owner turns the...

Cruel intentions. Laws seeking to regulate speech on the Internet must be narrowly drafted to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, and limiting such a law’s applicability to intentional attempts to cause damage usually...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 4 – A decision in Schlumberger, sort of

Since we published Part 3 that discussed the details of an interesting case here in Houston, Schlumberger v. Rutherford, the First Court of Appeals issued its opinion on Tuesday. The best description of the decision is a...more

Batting Down Generic Plaintiffs’ Amarin Hail Mary Pass

We received a couple of odd anonymous comments to our “breaking news” post about the Amarin First Amendment victory for truthful off-label promotion. Both of them raised the same suggestion: “Does the logic of this opinion...more

Another Successful First Amendment Challenge to the Prohibition of Off-Label Promotion for FDA-Approved Drugs

The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prevailed in the latest challenge to the FDA's prohibition against marketing FDA-approved drugs for off-label (or non-FDA-approved) uses. Applying the Second Circuit’s...more

"Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirement Confirmed Unconstitutional"

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 decision (opinion available here), confirmed its earlier decision in April 2014 by ruling that the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Colorado Rules Baker Cannot Refuse Service to Same-Sex Couples for Religious Reasons

In a post last week, I discussed how some believe Tennessee’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) could allow Tennessee businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples despite a recent ruling that...more

After Further Review: 7th Circuit Strikes Down Anti-Panhandling Law; Concurrence Muses on First Amendment’s Effect on Laws...

What do panhandlers and pro-life demonstrators have in common? According to Circuit Judge Daniel Manion of the Seventh Circuit, the First Amendment now makes it tougher to silence the voice of either in the public square....more

Land Use & Natural Resources Case Law Update Second Quarter 2015

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach - 236 Cal.App.4th 1341 - This case involved the City of Newport Beach’s approval of a mixed-use development project on land located within the coastal zone. Banning...more

A Couple of Law Review Articles We Actually Like

The last couple of times we’ve commented on new law review articles, we haven’t liked what we’ve seen very much. We’re gluttons for punishment, however, and this time we were rewarded. We found a couple of recent law review...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

"DC Circuit Unanimously Upholds Federal Contractor Contribution Ban"

On July 7, 2015, the federal circuit court for the District of Columbia sitting en banc issued a unanimous opinion upholding the federal contractor contribution ban against a constitutional challenge in the long-running case...more

Do You Have The Right To Be Forgotten?

Most of us want to be remembered. But, depending on their past, some people want to be forgotten – or at least they want some of their past deeds to be forgotten. But do you have a right to be forgotten? In the United States,...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Government in Confederate Flag Controversy

As promised in our earlier post, Reed v. Gilbert: Impact to municipalities across the nation, this post provides a summary of Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, a case that, coupled with Reed, has led...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 1

The Texas Anti-SLAPP law is known as the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA” found at Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code at § 27.001, et seq.). “If a legal action is based on, relates to, or is in response to a party’s...more

Alert: Federal Court Upholds Cancellation of REDSKINS Trademark Registration

On July 8, 2015, a federal district court in Virginia upheld a ruling canceling six federal trademark registrations incorporating the term REDSKINS owned by the Washington, D.C. football team. The court agreed with the...more

The Newest Sign for Some Sign Ordinances: Stop

Sign ordinances and regulations are a fixture of city and county zoning and land use regulations, designed to prevent unattractive clutter from obstructing the public view. In creating these regulations, however, local...more

Arizona Town's Content-Based Sign Rules Struck Down by U.S. Supreme Court

Local agencies urged to review sign codes in favor of content-neutral rules - The United States Supreme Court recently struck down portions of an Arizona town’s sign code that subjected ideological, political and...more

IP Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Federal Circuit Abandons “Strong” Presumption That a Limitation Is Not Subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, Paragraph 6 - Supreme Court Rejects Belief of Invalidity Defense for Inducement in Commil...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ordinance Regulating Directional Signs

In the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the United States Supreme Court recently issued a significant decision regarding municipal sign regulation The Town of Gilbert regulated signage differently based on the content of the...more

Texas Specialty License Plates Ruled to be Government Speech by U.S. Supreme Court

No First Amendment Violation - The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, determined that specialty license plates issued per Texas’s statutory scheme convey government speech. As such, the Texas Department of Motor...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update

Garcia v. Google: “Doubtful” Copyright Ownership Claim in Film Performance Does Not Outweigh First Amendment Right to Free Speech - Why it matters: In a closely watched case that tests the limits of copyright protection,...more

Supreme Court Decides Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, No. 14-144, holding that a State’s specialty vehicle license plates constitute government speech, so a State that allows...more

In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for...more

Trademark Review | May 2015

Attorneys’ Fees Might be More Readily Granted in Trademark Cases - Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court relaxed the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in patent infringement cases. Octane...more

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