The US Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case in which two individuals sued a New York cable-TV public access channel for violating their First Amendment rights by banning them from the channel's services and facilities. In Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, the two petitioners, Halleck and Melendez, argue that the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) unconstitutionally banned them from the public access channel, which they argue is a public forum subject to the First Amendment.
In 2014, Michael Jackson fan Vera Serova brought a class action lawsuit against Sony Music, the Jackson estate, and several songwriters/producers alleging that they created three fake songs recorded by a Michael Jackson impersonator to include on a 2010 posthumous album, Michael. The case moved forward last week in a court hearing about the songs in question: “Breaking News,” “Monster,” and “Keep Your Head Up.”
Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who won a decision before the U.S. Supreme Court in June, is suing again following his refusal to bake a cake to celebrate a gender transition. His refusal resulted in a probable cause finding by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that he had violated Colorado’s public accommodations law.…
In a per curiam (unsigned) opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held on Wednesday that the policy and practice of the Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education to include a prayer in a portion of school board meetings that is open to the public and includes student attendees and participants.
As often happens in June, the Supreme Court released some of its most highly anticipated decisions of the term (many of them decided 5–4 along predictable divisions). This year was no different.
On Thursday the Supreme Court issued a decision striking down a Minnesota law that prohibited political apparel in polling places. In a 7-2 decision, authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the court held that Minnesota’s political apparel ban violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Justice Sotomayor joined by Justice Breyer, filed a dissenting opinion.
Today, in a 7-2 opinion authored by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a baker who refused to create a cake for a gay couple. The Court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s actions violated the baker’s right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.
A federal district court judge has ruled the President cannot block users from his Twitter account based on their political views. The account is a public forum and as such the President's first amendment rights do not out weigh those of his Twitter followers. Read the full opinion and view the case filings at Justia.
Along with other news organizations, the Los Angeles Times has filed a lawsuit challenging California's new execution rules. The complaint alleges violations of the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights to witness and report on executions on behalf of the public. At issue are provisions permitting lethal injection drugs to be concocted outside the view of media observers, and requiring the curtains in the lethal injection chamber to be drawn and media witnesses removed if an execution does not proceed as planned.