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United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Calls for Return to Originalism in First Amendment Jurisprudence

On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in Katherine Mae McKee v. William H. Cosby, Jr., 586 U.S. ___ (2019), a lawsuit concerning Katherine McKee's claim against Bill Cosby for defamation where Cosby's lawyers released a letter allegedly damaging McKee's reputation for truthfulness and honesty. The First Circuit found McKee became a limited-purpose public figure when she made sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby and, as such, would need to prove that the statements in the letter were both false and made with actual malice. United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, writing a concurring opinion in the Supreme Court's denial of certiorari, called for a reconsideration of the doctrinal basis for First Amendment cases concerning defamation and libel. Read More.

Recently Featured Dockets

State of California et al v. Trump et al (filed 2/18/19)
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Sixteen states including California have filed a lawsuit against President Trump over his declaration of an emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. The plaintiff states allege that the president lacks power under the Constitution to allocate funds for constructing a wall along the border because Congress retains the spending power.


Sims v. TRUMP et al (filed 2/11/19)
U.S. District Court for the District of District Of Columbia

Plaintiff Clifton David Sims seeks a declaratory judgment that Defendants Donald J. Trump and the United States of America infringed on his First Amendment rights by having the Trump campaign file an arbitration claim against him for purported breach of a non-disclosure agreement in regards to his book "Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House."


PUBLIC CITIZEN HEALTH RESEARCH GROUP et al v. ACOSTA et al (filed 1/25/19)
U.S. District Court for the District of District Of Columbia

A lawsuit filed by two public health groups to block the Trump Administration amendment of an Obama-era rule which requires most employers to electronically submit detailed reports of all workplace injuries to the Department of Labor each year.


USA v. STONE (filed 1/24/19)
U.S. District Court for the District of District Of Columbia


CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES v. COHEN et al (filed 1/16/19)
U.S. District Court for the District of District Of Columbia

Plaintiff Center for Immigration Studies filed a civil RICO lawsuit against Defendants Richard Cohen and Heidi Beirich, who operate the Southern Poverty Law Center, alleging that SPLC's designation of CIS as a hate group constitutes wire fraud and racketeering.


NATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO et al v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al (filed 1/11/19)
U.S. District Court for the District of District Of Columbia

A lawsuit filed by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association related to the US government shut down, which argues that it is unlawful to require their employees to work without pay.


McLane Company, Inc. v. Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (filed 1/11/19)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Plaintiff McLane Company, Inc. filed a complaint for damages and permanent injunctive relief against Defendant Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. for violations of the Sherman and Clayton Act. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant abused and continues to abuse its market and monopoly power to prevent, delay, exclude, restrain, and/or suppress competition in the United States in the Single-Serve Brewer Market and Compatible Cup Market to impose supra-competitive prices in the Compatible Cup Market.

Other Legal News

Argument preview: Justices to consider whether First Amendment applies to public-access channels
SCOTUSblog, February 19, 2019

Next week the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case involving free speech and public-access television channels. Although the issue may sound somewhat obscure, internet giants like Facebook and YouTube are paying close attention, fearing that the court’s ruling could have ripple effects that limit their ability to control their content. The First…


Argument analysis: Justices seem divided about government right to challenge patents in administrative process
SCOTUSblog, February 19, 2019

The justices have a light calendar this week, with only two arguments. If the first argument of the week (Return Mail Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service) is any guide, they’ve spent their extra time focusing carefully on the relatively thin session. At first glance, Return Mail is a simple statutory case, involving another in a…


As Ruth Bader Ginsburg Returns, Supreme Court Acts on Death Penalty and Pollution Cases
The New York Times, February 19, 2019

Justice Ginsburg, 85, asked crisp and clear questions of both sides in a patent case in her return to the bench about two months after cancer surgery.


When Does Kicking Black People Off Juries Cross a Constitutional Line?
The New York Times, February 18, 2019

The Supreme Court will consider whether a Mississippi prosecutor’s long record of excluding black jurors amounted to unconstitutional race discrimination.


Not an Administrative Law Bang but a Whimper
Justia's Verdict, February 4, 2019

NYU law professor Samuel Estreicher comments on Kisor v. Wilkie, a case currently before the US Supreme Court that raises the narrow question whether a court should accept an interpretation by the Department of Veterans Affairs of its own technical regulation but also gets at a broader question of judicial deference more generally. Estreicher argues that when agencies interpret their own regulations, courts should afford those interpretations only Skidmore respect, not the higher Chevron-style deference that has come to be commonplace.


Press Release Regarding Justice Ginsburg
Supreme Court of the United States, December 21, 2018

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a pulmonary lobectomy today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in a fall on November 7. According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology...