Packingham v. North Carolina

State statute violated the First Amendment by forbidding registered sex offenders from accessing websites if the site allows minors to be members, because the prohibition was not sufficiently narrowly tailored to the state’s interest in protecting minors.  This decision strikes down a North Carolina statute that makes it a felony for a registered sex offender…

Matal v. Tam

The prohibition on trademarking offensive or disparaging marks—here, an Asian dance rock band called “The Slants”—violated the First Amendment, since the prohibition serves no substantial governmental interest and is not narrowly drawn.  The Lanham Act’s anti-disparagement provision which bars registration of trademarks that disparage persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols violates the First Amendment.  A…

Park v. Board of Trustees of the California State University

A discrimination suit challenging a tenure decision is not subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike even if the decision followed a public hearing and statements made at the hearing are used as evidence of bias.  A suit is not subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike simply because it attacks a decision reached or…

Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman

New York statute forbidding retail sellers from charging higher-than-stated prices to customers who pay with credit cards must satisfy the First Amendment test for regulations of commercial speech.  As interpreted by the Court of Appeals, New York’s General Business Law section 518 forbids retail sellers from stating one cash price for their goods or services…

Puri v. Khalsa

Lawsuit over whether plaintiffs were wrongly excluded from board member positions in nonprofit religious corporations that controlled a religious organization, was not barred under the ministerial exception since plaintiffs’ claims would not interfere with a religion’s freedom to choose its own ministers.  The ministerial exception, which the 9th Circuit has held applies to any claim…

Parisi v. Mazzaferro

Civil harassment injunction which barred defendant from writing defamatory letters about plaintiff did not violate defendant’s First Amendment rights, but the trial court’s order needed to clarify that defendant was allowed to conduct bona fide petitioning activity in letters to governmental officials about plaintiff.  The trial court did not impermissibly infringe on defendant’s First Amendment…

Welch v. Brown

State statutes prohibiting licensed mental health providers from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with minors do not abridge the religious freedom of either therapists or the minors in their care.  Bus. & Prof. Code 865, 865.1 and 865.2 prohibit state licensed mental health providers from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with minors while…

Lone Star Security & Video, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles

Ordinances banning mobile billboards were content-neutral and reasonably tailored to traffic needs, thus overcoming advertisers’ facial First Amendment challenge.  This decision upholds a decision against a facial First Amendment attack ordinances of Los Angeles and several other cities which prohibit mobile billboards—that is, motor vehicles whose principal purpose is displaying advertising.  The ordinances are content…

Heffernan v. City of Paterson

Policeman stated a viable claim for wrongful termination in violation of his First Amendment rights by alleging that he was demoted because the police department mistakenly thought it observed him supporting a rival candidate for mayor instead of the incumbent.  A policeman stated a claim for termination in violation of his First Amendment rights by…

O’Brien v. Welty

A regulation banning conduct by California state university students that “threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including intimidation and harassment” is not unconstitutionally overbroad or vague, because the words “threatens or endangers health or safety” give context and meaning to the prohibited “intimidation and harassment.”  A regulation banning conduct by state…