Supreme Court

SCOTUS Bans Demonstrations on Grounds

By |2016-01-14T12:05:06-04:00June 18th, 2013|Blog|

The following post was written by NCAC's summer legal intern, Ryan Gander. Ryan is a current student at Columbia Law School. His interests include philosophy, civil liberties, science fiction, and video games. The Supreme Court has a troubled relationship with the First Amendment and that’s not even talking about what goes on in the courtroom. Since 1949, federal law has [...]

It’s About Time We Have “The Video Game Talk”

By |2019-03-15T17:05:15-04:00July 8th, 2011|Blog|

Last Monday the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 to strike down a California law that banned the selling of violent video games to minors. The Supreme Court ruled that video games are allowed the same protection under the first amendment as books, plays, and movies. The ruling also distinguished the California statute from the Ginsburg vs. New York decision, in which [...]

Reassessing “Decency”

By |2019-03-15T17:04:56-04:00July 1st, 2011|Blog|

On Monday, June 27th, the Supreme Court announced that upon returning from its summer recess in October, it would revisit the Federal Communication Commission's rule that allows it to fine broadcasters for “indecency.” Last year, the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC was violating broadcasters' free-speech rights. The Court also stated that [...]

Moot Court Competition Examines Real Student Cyber-Speech Issues

By |2019-03-13T15:37:41-04:00February 22nd, 2011|Blog|

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 country: Many questions remain in [...]

Update on Citizens United v. FEC: Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

By |2019-03-15T17:03:11-04:00September 9th, 2009|Blog|

Earlier this year, we covered Citizens United v. FEC, a Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of federal election laws.  As we explained in April, “the Court, among other things, needs to determine whether Hillary: The Movie, a 90 minute documentary about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign with a decidedly conservative bias, is considered an “electioneering communication,” or a political editorial [...]

Sotomayor is confirmed: What does it mean for the First Amendment?

By |2019-03-13T18:19:33-04:00August 6th, 2009|Blog|

Judge Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate today as the newest member of the Supreme Court, replacing  Justice David H.  Souter who retired in June.  She becomes the 111th member of the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the third woman and first Hispanic to serve on it. What does her confirmation mean for the First Amendment?  See our [...]

NCAC Files Brief in U.S. v. Stevens, Urging Supreme Court to Reject “Invitation to Censorship”

By |2019-03-15T15:29:03-04:00July 28th, 2009|Blog|

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed this week in an important Supreme Court free speech case, NCAC, joined by the College Art Association, warned that a law banning depictions of animal cruelty violates the First Amendment right to free speech, and the exemption it provides for work with “serious value” rings hollow, given the long history of censorship of disturbing or unpopular [...]

Hillary: The Movie: Political commentary or just a really long political ad?

By |2019-03-13T15:12:40-04:00April 1st, 2009|Blog|

Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the matter of Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission, Case no. 08-205. This is an interesting case in that the Court, among other things, needs to determine whether Hillary: The Movie, a 90 minute documentary about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign with a decidedly conservative bias, is considered an “electioneering communication,” [...]

Pleasant Grove v. Summum: Free Speech or Establishment Clause?

By |2019-03-15T16:22:15-04:00March 10th, 2009|Blog|

According to The Associated Press: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously . . . that a small religious group cannot force a city in Utah to place a granite marker in a local park that already is home to a Ten Commandments display. The case, reported in NCAC’s last issue of Censorship News, involves a Salt Lake City based religious sect [...]

Wyeth v. Levine decision: Victory for the right-to-know

By |2019-03-13T15:14:03-04:00March 4th, 2009|Blog|

The Supreme Court handed down an opinion today that doesn’t seem to be about suppression of scientific information, but it is. Diana Levine lost her arm when a drug manufactured by Wyeth, was administered to her improperly.  Wyeth knew of the risk of this method of administration, but did not disclose it in its warning label.  Because the label had [...]

Rogue censorship

By |2019-03-12T18:32:33-04:00November 10th, 2008|Blog|

Editorial from the Detroit Free Press: Television broadcasts shouldn't be filled with curse words uttered without regard to purpose, time of day or relevance. But it's equally true that the Federal Communications Commission, which has adopted increasingly aggressive but vaguely defined standards for punishing broadcasters who air curse words, shouldn't have such a free hand in suppressing speech. [...] Assuring [...]

The Supreme Court debates fleeting expletives

By |2019-03-12T17:41:47-04:00November 5th, 2008|Blog|

CommLaw Blog is covering FCC v Fox Television in the Supreme Court. But as Marjorie Heins points out at the Free Expression Policy Project, it looks like the case will turn on what should be censored for "indecency" rather than whether or not the FCC's censorship poses a threat to the First Amendment. She writes: Anyone hoping to hear outrage [...]

In the Supreme Court: Wyeth v. Levine

By |2019-03-15T15:15:18-04:00November 3rd, 2008|Blog|

Dahlia Lithwick, who's covering Wyeth v. Levine in the Supreme Court describes the case like this: "Wyeth is being called the most important business case of the year because, if the court finds that the FDA warning occupies the field of drug warnings, it will effectively immunize drug makers from many state tort suits. If it finds pre-emption here, the most business-friendly Supreme Court in decades can cancel the room with two queen-size beds and order a single king for itself and big pharma".