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

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

Court Partially Strikes Down Campaign-Finance Laws of Austin, Texas

In the spirit of the 2018 midterms, campaign-finance laws in Austin, Texas were recently challenged by Donald Zimmerman, a former City Council member.  Specifically, he challenged three restrictions of a law enacted via a ballot initiative in 1997.  These three restrictions were (1) a $350 cap on contributions per contributor per election, (2) a prohibition… Read More Court Partially Strikes Down Campaign-Finance Laws of Austin, Texas

No First Amendment Right of Public Access to Court Documents in Death Penalty Cases

In general, the public has a First Amendment right to access court documents in both civil and criminal cases. Larry Flynt lives in Missouri and tried to access confidential (or “sealed”) court records in a death-penalty case.  Specifically, he wanted access to documents about Missouri’s death-penalty protocol and medical members of its execution team, questioning… Read More No First Amendment Right of Public Access to Court Documents in Death Penalty Cases

Baltimore’s Regulations for Pregnancy Center Held Unconstitutional

Once again, abortion and the First Amendment collide. The Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns (“CPC”) is a nonprofit Christian organization that provides free pregnancy services including pregnancy tests, sonograms, and childcare education.   It also provides fee childcare products such as diapers, clothing, and books.  In keeping with its religious mission, it does not offer… Read More Baltimore’s Regulations for Pregnancy Center Held Unconstitutional

Kentucky City Allowed to Prohibit Unsolicited Newspaper Distributions

In 2017, Lexington, Kentucky passed an ordinance that penalizes the distribution of unsolicited literature (pamphlets, ads, etc.) to households outside of six specific delivery methods of delivery.  The Herald-Leader, a news-media company in Lexington, publishes and distributes its Community News by leaving it on people’s driveway—not one of the six permitted methods—but allows residents to opt-out of delivery… Read More Kentucky City Allowed to Prohibit Unsolicited Newspaper Distributions