First Amendment Cases from the Supreme Court’s 2016-17 Term

The Supreme Court just wrapped up its 2016-17 term, during which it decided four First Amendment cases. In three of them, the Court ruled against the government. In the fourth, the Court sent the case back down for further consideration: Missouri Must Pay Church for Resurfaced Playground   Federal Government Cannot Ban Disparaging Trademarks  … Read More First Amendment Cases from the Supreme Court’s 2016-17 Term

Missouri Must Pay Church for Resurfaced Playground

This was by far the Supreme Court’s most newsworthy First Amendment case this term. (You may have read about it in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, or other news organization.) Missouri has a program that will partially reimburse schools, daycares, and other entities if they resurface their playgrounds with rubber from… Read More Missouri Must Pay Church for Resurfaced Playground

Federal Government Cannot Ban Disparaging Trademarks

Okay, this is not the case involving the NFL football team from Washington, D.C., but it’s related. A young man named Simon Tam is the leader of an all-Asian-American band named “The Slants.” (They got the idea for their name from asking their friends about what Asians have in common, and they replied “slanted eyes.”)… Read More Federal Government Cannot Ban Disparaging Trademarks

North Carolina Cannot Prohibit Sex Offenders from Using Facebook

This case has the potential to be one of the most important First Amendment cases you might never hear about. Lester Packingham plead guilty in 2002 to “taking indecent liberties with a child” for having sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was 21. This made him a registered sex offender. Fast forward 8 years.… Read More North Carolina Cannot Prohibit Sex Offenders from Using Facebook

New York Law Prohibiting Surcharges for Credit-Card Users Might Violate the First Amendment

So this was not a full-blown First Amendment case, but it involved an important question that courts sometimes have to answer in First Amendment cases: is the government regulating speech or conduct? (Generally speaking, speech is protected by the First Amendment and conduct is not.) Expressions Hair Design is a company that specializes in…well you… Read More New York Law Prohibiting Surcharges for Credit-Card Users Might Violate the First Amendment