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

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

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

Indiana County Was Wrong to Shut Down Pro-Marijuana Group Rally on Courthouse Steps

So this case is an interesting story about a government failing to accomplish its goals, and a 1999 nativity scene now in the back of a pickup truck. (No, this is not a religion case.) Tippecanoe County in central Indiana is home to Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Purdue University. Back in 1999, the county got… Read More Indiana County Was Wrong to Shut Down Pro-Marijuana Group Rally on Courthouse Steps

First Amendment Claim Plays Critical Role in Texas Sanctuary Cities Case

Last week, a federal district judge temporarily blocked parts of a Texas state immigration law (known as SB4) that would have outlawed sanctuary cities and penalized local officials who did not cooperate with federal immigration-enforcement efforts.  Plaintiffs–a group of cities that challenged the state law–made claims under the First, Fourth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments.… Read More First Amendment Claim Plays Critical Role in Texas Sanctuary Cities Case

Virginia Official Violated First Amendment by Blocking Man From Commenting on Her Facebook Page

This is the second case in the last 7 days involving people using Facebook to raise public-corruption concerns. Brian Davison is a conscious public citizen, active in local politics. Among other things, he’s concerned about potential corruption in his local government–specifically conflicts of interest among the local school board. Earlier this year, Brian went to… Read More Virginia Official Violated First Amendment by Blocking Man From Commenting on Her Facebook Page

San Francisco Allowed to Prohibit Anti-Abortion Medical Clinics from Making False or Misleading Statements

A medical clinic in San Francisco called “First Resort” provided free, pregnancy-related medical services. It was an example of a so-called “crisis pregnancy center.” It was a pro-life non-profit, dedicated to building “an abortion-free world.” Thus, First Resort did not provide abortion services to its patients, nor would it refer its patients to a facility… Read More San Francisco Allowed to Prohibit Anti-Abortion Medical Clinics from Making False or Misleading Statements