Florida Man Wins Second Supreme Court Case in Five Years Against the City of Riviera Beach

A Florida man named Fane Lozman is on a roll.  (Yes, his first name is Fane; like ‘fame’ but with an ‘n’ instead of an ‘m’.)  In 2013, he won a lawsuit against the City of Riviera Beach at the United States Supreme Court.  And today, he won his second. In the mid-2000s, Fane was… Read More Florida Man Wins Second Supreme Court Case in Five Years Against the City of Riviera Beach

SUPREME COURT OPINION ALERT: Court Strikes Down Minnesota’s Ban on “Political” Attire at Polling Places

Today, the Supreme Court decided Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, which involves whether Minnesota’s ban on “political” apparel at polling places on election day violates the First Amendment.  (We previewed the case here.)  In a 7-2 decision, and in an opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court ruled against the state of Minnesota and struck… Read More SUPREME COURT OPINION ALERT: Court Strikes Down Minnesota’s Ban on “Political” Attire at Polling Places

Gag Order in Georgia Murder Trial Stuck Down

In February 2017, Ryan Duke was arrested and charged with the murder of Tara Grinstead, who went missing almost 12 years earlier.  Tara was a south Georgia high school teacher and beauty queen, and her disappearance and Duke’s subsequent trial attracted substantial media attention.  (Indeed, her murder has its own Wikipedia page.) Five days after… Read More Gag Order in Georgia Murder Trial Stuck Down

SUPREME COURT OPINION ALERT: High Court Rules in Favor of Cake Baker in Same-Sex Wedding Case

Today, the Supreme Court decided Masterpiece Cakeshop, which involves whether a cake baker can be forced to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding.  (We previewed the case here.)  In a 7-2 decision, in an opinion written by Justice Kennedy, the Court ruled in favor of the cake shop and found that the Colorado… Read More SUPREME COURT OPINION ALERT: High Court Rules in Favor of Cake Baker in Same-Sex Wedding Case

Indiana High School’s Nativity Scene Held Unconstitutional

In Elkhart, Indiana, about half an hour east of South Bend, students at Concord High School have, for almost 50 years, participated in the school’s elaborate Christmas concert called their “Christmas Spectacular.”  The students are a huge part of this production; in addition to showing off dance, choral, and instrumental talents, they also design and… Read More Indiana High School’s Nativity Scene Held Unconstitutional

New York Methodist Hospital Exempt from Employment Laws

This case is the next in a series of cases involving whether religiously affiliated organizations must comply with federal employment-nondiscrimination laws.  By way of background, a 2012 Supreme Court decision declared that the First Amendment prohibits federal employment laws from applying to “ministers.”  The Court wrote: “The Establishment Clause prevents the Government from appointing ministers,… Read More New York Methodist Hospital Exempt from Employment Laws

Prisons Allowed to Permanently Deny Inmates Visits with Family

In 1998, Clarence Easterling, a Wisconsin man, was put on probation after being convicted of sexually assaulting a minor female.  Then, three years later, his daughter was born shortly before he was sentenced to 25 years for armed robbery.  Easterling has tried both in 2004 and 2013 to get his daughter to visit him, but… Read More Prisons Allowed to Permanently Deny Inmates Visits with Family