California Allowed to Ban Liquor Advertising in Liquor Stores

Huh? Banning liquor ads in liquor stores? Yes. That’s what California does. The state law goes back several decades to when (apparently) large alcohol manufacturers tried to use their market power to control distributors and retailers.  That law is still on the books, and is part of California’s three-tiered market system for alcohol: manufacture, distribution, and… Read More California Allowed to Ban Liquor Advertising in Liquor Stores

Court Upholds Ordinance Banning Signs From Wisconsin Freeway Overpass

Gregory Luce and Nicholas Newman, two members of the local Tea Party, placed  banners bearing messages such as “HONK TO IMPEACH OBAMA” on a pedestrian overpass in Wisconsin.  After receiving complaints, the local municipal legislature enacted an ordinance forbidding all signs, flags, and banners (other than traffic-control information) on certain overpasses, or within 100 feet… Read More Court Upholds Ordinance Banning Signs From Wisconsin Freeway Overpass

Chicago May Ban Women from Exposing Breasts in Public

In August 2014, Sonoko Tagami was in Chicago participating in GoTopless Day—an annual celebration of women’s suffrage.  The police cited her for violating a city ordinance prohibiting public nudity. The City of Chicago’s public-nudity ordinance is quite specific.  It prohibits appearing in public “in such a manner that the genitals, vulva, pubis, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum, anus,… Read More Chicago May Ban Women from Exposing Breasts in Public

Gag Order in Comic-Con Trademark Case Violates First Amendment

The San Diego Comic Con (“con” is short for “convention”) is an international convention held each summer in San Diego, California.  Attendance in recent years has been around 130,000. The San Diego Comic Conn (or SDCC for short) sued Dan Farr Productions, the producers of the “Salt Lake Comic Con”—a similar convention but half the… Read More Gag Order in Comic-Con Trademark Case Violates First Amendment

Constitutional for Georgia Man to Give Church Pastor the Finger

This is another case involving the constitutionality of laws that criminalize “disorderly conduct,” this time in Georgia. David Freeman attended a church service and sat in the back. During the service, the pastor asked all teachers present to stand up so that the congregation could recognize and pray for them. Freeman stood up with the… Read More Constitutional for Georgia Man to Give Church Pastor the Finger

Miami Beach’s Anti-Handbilling Ordinance Faces First Amendment Challenge

Solicitation by hand-billing.  We’ve all seen it.  Recently, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the right of businesses in Miami Beach to solicit business via handbilling, even after complaints that hand-billers were annoying and aggressive. Due to these complaints, the City of Miami Beach enacted an anti-solicitation ordinance and an anti-handbilling ordinance. After receiving numerous citations, several… Read More Miami Beach’s Anti-Handbilling Ordinance Faces First Amendment Challenge