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freedom of expression

2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Oral Argument in FCC v. Fox, continued

March 5, 2012

Two days ago I summarized the issues in this case.  Yesterday's post described the Solicitor General's presentation to the Supreme Court in oral argument.  Today I describe the television broadcasters' arguments to the Court, through their attorneys Carter G. Phillips and Seth P. Waxman.  The transcript of oral argument is available here.

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Rush Limbaugh, Larry Flynt, and the Westboro Baptist Church: Is Limbaugh Protected by the First Amendment?

March 5, 2012

Over the course of three days conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh repeatedly defamed Sandra Fluke, a third-year Georgetown law student, calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute."  If found guilty of slander or intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), Limbaugh would be liable to Ms. Fluke for millions of dollars in actual damages, and his potential […]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: FCC v. Fox Television Stations, No., 10-1293 (Vagueness, Freedom of Expression)

March 3, 2012

The last time this case came before the Supreme Court in 2009 it was for âfleeting expletivesâ uttered by Cher at the 2002 Billboard Music Awards broadcast by Fox and by Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton at the same event in 2003.  The Supreme Court decided that case not on constitutional grounds but rather under principles of […]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Reichle v. Howards, No. 11-362 (First Amendment)

February 28, 2012

On June 16, 2006, Stephen Howards was arrested by the Secret Service after he said something to Vice-President Richard Cheney and touched or pushed his shoulder, and then lied to them about whether he had done that.  As a result Howards sued several of the Secret Service agents for violating his rights under the First […]

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Petitioner's Brief in Hosannah-Tabor Church and School v. EEOC

September 8, 2011

In this case, described generally in yesterday's post, a teacher, Cheryl Perich, who suffers from narcolepsy, is suing her former employer, the Hosannah-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, on the ground that she was fired because she threatened to file a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The parochial school that is the defendant in this case […]

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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association

June 28, 2011

Yesterday the Supreme Court released its decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.  The Court struck down a California law that made it illegal for merchants to sell violent video games to children.  The Court found that this law violates the First Amendment.

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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.

June 24, 2011

The Supreme Court has issued its decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.  The most significant aspect of this case is that the Court, by a vote of 6-3, recognizes that business enterprises have a First Amendment right to sell and purchase information generated by commercial transactions.  This case extends and expands the recent trend finding that […]

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2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Three Significant Omissions from the Court's Decision in Snyder v. Phelps

March 4, 2011

I agree with the result that the Supreme Court reached in Snyder v. Phelps, the military funeral protester case.  However, the Court failed to adequately discuss three matters.

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Supreme Court Decides Snyder v. Phelps, Military Protester Funeral Case

March 2, 2011

     The Supreme Court issued its decision in Snyder v. Phelps this morning.   Here is a brief summary of the decision.

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Libertarianism: (Part 1) Four Strands of Liberty under the Constitution

May 23, 2010

     Liberty appears in four guises under the Constitution: freedom of belief, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, and liberty of contract.

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The Veil and the Burqa – Constitutional to Ban or Restrict?

July 6, 2009

     Five years ago France prohibited students in public schools from wearing head scarves and veils or other conspicuous religious symbols.  Two weeks ago in a dramatic speech to the French Parliament, President Nicolas Sarkozy denounced the wearing of the burqa as a symbol of "enslavement" and requested legislation that would outlaw the practice in France.  […]

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The Pending Federal Hate Crimes Legislation – Part 1

June 29, 2009

     On April 29 the House of Representatives adopted a bill (H.R. 1913) entitled the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009."  This legislation has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.  The law would make it a federal offense to commit violence against someone because of the person's "race, color, […]

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