Unconstitutional for Oregon School District to Ban Picketing & Signs During Teachers’ Strike

Medford, Oregon, about 30 miles from the California border, was the site in May 2012 of a planned teachers’ strike that ended up lasting 9 days.  During the strike, some high school students even took to the streets as a show of support for their teachers. About a week before the strike—knowing that it was coming—the school… Read More Unconstitutional for Oregon School District to Ban Picketing & Signs During Teachers’ Strike

Unconstitutional for Police to Detain California Man for Being “Argumentative”

Law-enforcement officers showed up at the house of Merritt Sharp, looking for his son, for whom the officers had an arrest warrant.  They mistook Sharp for his son, arrested Sharp, and put him in the back of their squad car.  Sharp was livid, “loudly swearing” and “threatening to sue them.” A few minutes later, the… Read More Unconstitutional for Police to Detain California Man for Being “Argumentative”

First Amendment Protects Offensive Food Truck Logo

A food truck called “The Wandering Dago” wanted to sell some food at a public plaza in Albany, New York.  However, New York’s Office of General Services denied the food truck’s application to set up shop.  (A “dago” is slur, used disparagingly toward those of Italian descent, and sometimes Spanish and Portuguese.)  The food truck… Read More First Amendment Protects Offensive Food Truck Logo

Court Upholds Federal Limit on Per-Election Campaign Contributions

Laura Holmes and Paul Jost—a married couple who appear to have done political fundraising in the past—challenged a federal law’s per-election ceilings on First Amendment grounds.  That law limits the amount that an individual can contribute to a candidate for a federal office (such as a presidential candidate).  The per-individual limit is $2600.  That same federal… Read More Court Upholds Federal Limit on Per-Election Campaign Contributions

Unconstitutional for Washington to Require Political Parties to Elect Legislative District Chairs

In King County, Washington, the Republican Central Committee had a longstanding practice of appointing (rather than electing) its chairs in each legislative district. Andrew Pilloud, a former Republican candidate for state representative in Seattle, challenged the constitutionality of that practicing.  He argued that state law requires the district chairs for political parties to be elected, not… Read More Unconstitutional for Washington to Require Political Parties to Elect Legislative District Chairs

Federal Government Cannot Prohibit “FUCT” Trademark

You may remember the Supreme Court case from last summer in which the high court unanimously agreed that the Federal Government could not prohibit an all-Asian-American band from trademarking its band name, “The Slants.”  The Court struck down as unconstitutional the law that prohibits “disparaging” trademarks.  We noted earlier that the same federal law also prohibits “scandalous”… Read More Federal Government Cannot Prohibit “FUCT” Trademark