First Amendment

Yesterday, in Ross v. Lichtenfeld et al., the Second Circuit (WALKER, Leval, Pooler) held that a government clerk’s claim of First Amendment retaliation should have been dismissed, because she was speaking pursuant to her official duties.  The Court applied the rule of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), that “when public employees make statements…

Read More Second Circuit Dismisses First Amendment Retaliation Claim

In a March 22, 2012 opinion (authored by Judge Ralph Winter), the Second Circuit held, in Cuff v. Valley Central School District et al., that the defendant school did not violate a student’s First Amendment rights by suspending him for six days after he created a crayon drawing in which he expressed his desire to…

Read More 2d Circuit Upholds Suspension of 10-Year Old Who Expressed Desire to Blow Up School

Last Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court (scroll down for decision) explored the interaction between the laws prohibiting employment discrimination (here, the ADA), on the one hand, and the First Amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, on the other. The Supreme Court Recognizes…

Read More Supreme Court Recognizes “Ministerial Exception” to Anti-Discrimination Laws

In Nagle v. Marron et al. (decided Dec. 12, 2011), the Second Circuit vacated a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a schoolteacher (Nancy Nagle) who alleged, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, that she was denied tenure and terminated in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights – namely, reporting a fellow teacher for abusing students…

Read More Second Circuit Vacates Discmissal of Teacher’s First Amendment Retaliation Claim

On November 14, 2011, two railroad enthusiasts/photographers – Ernest Steve Barry and Michael Burkhart – filed a lawsuit (Barry v. City of New York, 11-cv-5533 (EDNY filed 11/14/11)) in Brooklyn federal court alleging that in August 2010 they were detained and issued summonses for violating MTA Rules regarding the production of identification upon demand (21 NYCRR 1050.6(d)(3))…

Read More Subway photographers file federal suit following summonses for taking subway pictures and failing to produce identification

NY Supreme Court Judge Michael Stallman today issued an order denying a petition for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the city from, inter alia, evicting the OWS protesters from Zuccotti Park and enforcing the park’s owners’ rules. The court found that the rules – which prohibited, inter alia, “camping and/or the erection of tents or other structures” and…

Read More Judge denies Occupy Wall Street application for TRO to prevent NYC from evicting protesters from Zuccotti Park

In Jackler v. Byrne, 658 F.3d 225 (2011), the Second Circuit vacated the trial court’s FRCP 12(c) dismissal of plaintiff probationary police officer’s Section 1983/First Amendment retaliation claim.  Plaintiff alleged that he was fired because he refused to follow instructions to retract a report that implicated a police officer in the use of excessive force…

Read More Second Circuit Vacates Dismissal of First Amendment Retaliation Claim Brought by Police Officer Fired For Failing to Submit False Report