First Amendment

On June 23, 2021 the U.S. Supreme Court, in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., No. 20-255, 594 U.S. __(2021), affirmed (8-1) a Third Circuit decision that a school’s subjecting a cheerleader to disciplinary action for an off-campus vulgar “Snapchat” post violated her First Amendment rights. Justice Breyer delivered the majority opinion, in which Justices…

Read More SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Snapchat Cheerleader’s First Amendment Rights
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In Vail v. The Town of Cayuta et al, 2021 WL 1788523 (WDNY May 5, 2021), the court held that plaintiff (a public employee and candidate for public office) plausibly alleged a First Amendment retaliation claim. This decision is instructive as to when speech is “on a matter of public concern”, which it must be…

Read More First Amendment Retaliation Claim Survives Motion to Dismiss; Sign-Removal Accusation Was a “Matter of Public Concern”
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In Murray v. Williamsville Central School District, 2021 WL 1610201 (WDNY April 26, 2021), the court, inter alia, dismissed various constitutional claims asserted by plaintiff – a middle school teacher – who alleges that his employer (the defendant school district) deprived him of his liberty interest in his reputation and free speech rights after he…

Read More Court Dismisses Teacher’s Section 1983 & 1st and 14th Amendment Claims Arising From Alleged Showing of Pornographic Film to Students
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In Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York, 592 U.S. ___, 2020 WL 6948354 (U.S. Nov. 25, 2020), the U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency application for injunctive relief, enjoining Governor Cuomo from enforcing New York Executive Order 202.68‘s 10- and 25-person occupancy limits applicable to houses…

Read More SCOTUS Enjoins Governor Cuomo’s COVID Restrictions on Houses of Worship
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In Geller v. de Blasio et al, 2020 WL 2520711 (S.D.N.Y. May 18, 2020), the court denied plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to enjoin the City of New York from enforcing an Executive Order of March 25, 2020 and its restriction on non-essential gatherings. This decision provides a primer of how…

Read More Court Rejects First Amendment Challenge to NYC Executive Order Restricting Non-Essential Gatherings
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A California federal court recently dismissed (with prejudice and wthout leave to amend) Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign’s lawsuit against Google. In this case, captioned Tulsi Now, Inc. v. Google, LLC et al., 2:19-cv-06444-SVW-RAO (C.D. Cal. March 3, 2020), plaintiff primarily asserts that Google violated plaintiff’s First Amendment rights by briefly suspending its verified political advertising account for…

Read More Court Dismisses Tulsi Gabbard’s “First Amendment” Lawsuit Against Google; Clarifies That Google is Not the Government
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From Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University v. Trump, 2019 WL 2932440 (2d CIr. July 9, 2019): Considering the interactive features, the speech in question is that of multiple individuals, not just the President or that of the government. When a Twitter user posts a reply to one of the President’s tweets, the message…

Read More Trump Twitter Blocking Violates the First Amendment, Second Circuit Holds
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Today, March 3, 2019, marks the 100th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), an important First Amendment case setting the stage for the modern interpretation of the First Amendment. The unanimous Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., upheld the convictions, under…

Read More “Shouting Fire in a Theatre”: Schenck v. United States Turns 100
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