Political Expression

News & Analysis as of

Pick Your Passion: State’s Trademark May Be Used To Criticize Its Governor

In Dardenne v. MoveOn.org, the Middle Louisiana Federal District Court faced a conflict between trademark protection, on the one hand, and the First Amendment’s protection of political advocacy, on the other. The Court...more

Can An Employer Force Out An Employee For Unpopular Political Views: The Brendan Eich Story

Brendan Eich resigned his post as CEO of Mozilla, a California-based company, in early April after just 14 days on the job. The reason for his sudden departure and short tenure? It became public that in 2008, Eich...more

Can The Political Concerns Of Corporate Officers Be Of Any Concern Of The Corporation?

Suppose a corporation’s Chief Executive Officer becomes involved in a particularly abhorent (but legal) political movement. Suppose further that the Board of Directors is concerned that the corporation’s stockholders,...more

Will "Get Out the Vote" Drives and Non-Profit Voter Guides Be Treated as Regulated Political Activity?

In late November, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to the regulation of political activity by social welfare organizations, commonly known as...more

Public Employees’ Facebook “Like” Is The Internet Equivalent Of A Political Yard Sign

The courts are taking steps to protect communications made via social media; e.g., Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., No. 2:11-cv-03305 (D.N.J. Aug 20, 2013) (holding that private Facebook posts are protected...more

Religious Institutions Update: October 2013

The legitimacy of political speech from the pulpit is much debated. Some contend that religious institutions should be silent, because of separation of church and state or the inaccessibility of divine inspiration to...more

House Elections Committee to Consider Campaign Finance Legislation

The Campaign Finance Policy and Technical Bill (H.F. 863 / S.F. 661) will be heard by the House Committee on Elections on March 7. The bill is an initiative of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board...more

Political Affiliation & Protected Speech Retaliation – Sixth Circuit Widens Circuit Split

The Sixth Circuit recently held that Michigan state employees could base First Amendment political-affiliation and protected-speech retaliation claims on their perceived political affiliations, even absent actual affiliations...more

European Court of Human Rights Finds That Greater Protections Are Required For The Political Beliefs Of UK Employees

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in Redfearn v United Kingdom [2012] ECHR 1878, has held that employment law in the United Kingdom does not adequately protect individuals from dismissal as a result of their...more

"Hey, Take It Outside!" — Politics in the Workplace

Everyone has experienced "workplace politics" (in which Type A employees claw their way to the top while attempting to crush or humiliate coworkers) as well as "politics in the workplace" (in which employees argue about...more

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