Last week’s Supreme Court decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. signified a subtle yet important shift in commercial speech interpretation that may precede increased corporate strength in the legal arena. The opinion, by Justice Kennedy, argues that Vermont did not have grounds to ban pharmaceutical data-mining as it is a form of non-deceptive commercial […]
David Hudson of the First Amendment Center is connecting the dots between the hypothetical case presented in the 2011 First Amendment Moot Court Competition (in which the College Of William and Mary Law School emerged victorious — Go Tribe!) and the questions of freedom and accountability surrounding online speech facing administrators and communities around the […]
There is some good news in the prolonged battle of fleeting expletives in the media, FCC v. Fox Television Stations. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the FCC’s ban on fleeting expletives is unconstitutionally vague. This comes off the heels of a Supreme Court decision upholding the FCC’s authority under the Administrative […]
The activities and viewpoints of Elena Kagan have been put under a microscope since congressional hearings on her nomination to the Supreme Court have started, but one area that senators have not questioned her in are her thoughts and work on the First Amendment. Based on her writings and speeches, both in court and out, […]
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear Curious Theatre Company v. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, meaning that the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that smoking can be banned from a stage stands. This means that issues could arise in any state where there is a catch-all smoking ban in […]
This is a familiar debate. In 1948, the Supreme Court rejected the claim that graphic crime stories and reports corrupt minors and contribute to juvenile crime and anti-social behavior.
In a much anticipated decision, the Supreme Court yesterday struck down a federal statute making it a crime to create, sell or possess “a depiction of animal cruelty.” In the 8 – 1 opinion, the Court characterized the law as “a criminal prohibition of alarming breadth,” because of its potential to criminalize a vast array […]
“[W]hen a public school purports to allow students to express themselves, it must respect the students’ free speech rights,” Justice Alito said in an opinion this week. His words came in a powerful dissent to the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case involving students’ musical choice for the graduation ceremony. Justice Alito, the […]
Earlier this week the Supreme Court denied petition to review a high school student’s challenge to his school’s dress code. In denying review, the Supreme Court has chosen to leave the lower court’s holding intact — a holding that serves as a dangerous curtailment of students’ rights of freedom of expression. Paul “Pete” Palmer was […]
Which of these images would also be illegal if a 1999 law, heard on October 6, 2009 by the US Supreme Court, were to be upheld? Remember – we are talking about images, not the acts themselves. video from circus companies showing workers hooking elephants and striking tigers; footage from factory farms where farmers are […]
Last week, we analyzed cases from the Second Circuit, in which Sonia Sotomayor had some part in deciding, addressing the right to free expression. Still the Supreme Court’s role, and Sotomayor’s judicial style make it difficult to make a broad statement about how she will decide on free expression issues in the years to come.