1st amendment court cases

Gitlow v. New York, legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 8, 1925, that the First Amendment protection of free speech also applies to. In a series of wide-ranging First Amendment decisions, the Court sounded and strengthened classic free speech themes and principles. Provincial Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1948, the Governor General of India was pleased to promulgate on 1st March, 1948 the Assam High Court Order.

1st amendment court cases -

Symbolic Speech Protected
In 1931, in Stromberg vs. California, the Court determined that "symbolic speech" is protected under the Constitution. The case was spurred by the conviction of a woman who had displayed a red flag in a public place, an action associated with anarchist groups and then criminal under California law.

The Court found parts of the California statute unconstitutional and by implication ruled that the display of symbols could be protected speech. As applied to the arts, this means that not just words, but paintings, music, theatrical performances, and other types of artistic expression are protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.

Obscenity Convictions Constitutional
In 1957, in Roth vs. United States, the Court determined that prosecution for possession or distribution of obscene material is lawful, and that obscene speech is not protected under the Constitution. Sam Roth, a publisher and distributor of magazines and books, had been indicted in 1954 for using the mail to advertise and distribute material with sexual content, notably Aubrey Beardsley's Venus and Tannhäuser. His conviction was upheld.

The "Three-Pronged Test" for Obscenity Established
In 1973, in the most important case on freedom of expression, Miller vs. California, the Court established the "three-pronged test" for obscenity, which still applies today. The case concerned bookseller Marvin Miller's conviction under California obscenity laws for distributing illustrated books of a sexual nature.

In Miller, the Court's decision stated that obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment (a reaffirmation of Roth) and that such speech may be regulated by the state under certain circumstances. In order to meet the definition of obscene material articulated in this case, three conditions must be met:

(a) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest

(b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law

(c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value

The Court also determined that a jury may measure "the essentially factual issues of prurient appeal and patent offensiveness by the standard that prevails in the forum community, and need not employ a 'national standard.'" This establishes a role for the community in making decisions about obscene material.

Obscenity is a narrow category describing materials that meet all three prongs of the definition above. Such material, even if some describe it as art, may be deemed obscene and banned by the state.

"Indecency" is a broader term encompassing material which does enjoy some measure of Constitutional protection, but may still be restricted. For instance, some might find violent images objectionable, even though they do not appeal to prurient interest and thus are not obscene under Miller.

No "three-pronged test" for indecency exists, and although the Court has considered cases involving the arts and proposed standards of decency, the issues of what such standards mean and how they are to be applied have not been resolved.

School Book Selection Covered by First Amendment
In 1982, after years of appeals, the Supreme Court ruled, in Board of Education vs. Pico, that "local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion." The case was brought by students opposing a directive made by the Island Trees School District in Levittown, N.Y. ordering the removal of books considered "anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and just plain filthy" from school libraries.

Speech on the Internet Protected
In 1997, in Reno vs. ACLU, the court found the The Communications Decency Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996 and designed to protect minors from harmful material on the Internet, unconstitutional, ruling that the act abridges the First Amendment.

The full text of these and other Supreme Court decisions can be found at the Supreme Court Collection in Cornell University's Legal Information Institute.

Audio files of the arguments for some of these cases may be available at the Oyez Project at Northwestern University.

Источник: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/whodecides/firstamendment.html

Contents

  1. Bill of Rights
  2. First Amendment Text
  3. Freedom of Speech
  4. Freedom of the Press
  5. Freedom of Religion
  6. Right to Assemble, Right to Petition
  7. First Amendment Court Cases
  8. SOURCES

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech, religion and the press. It also protects the right to peaceful protest and to petition the government. The amendment was adopted in 1791 along with nine other amendments that make up the Bill of Rights—a written document protecting civil liberties under U.S. law. The meaning of the First Amendment has been the subject of continuing interpretation and dispute over the years. Landmark Supreme Court cases have dealt with the right of citizens to protest U.S. involvement in foreign wars, flag burning and the publication of classified government documents.

Bill of Rights

During the summer of 1787, a group of politicians, including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, gathered in Philadelphia to draft a new U.S. Constitution.

Antifederalists, led by the first governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry, opposed the ratification of the Constitution. They felt the new constitution gave the federal government too much power at the expense of the states. They further argued that the Constitution lacked protections for people’s individual rights.

The debate over whether to ratify the Constitution in several states hinged on the adoption of a Bill of Rights that would safeguard basic civil rights under the law. Fearing defeat, pro-constitution politicians, called Federalists, promised a concession to the antifederalists—a Bill of Rights.

James Madison drafted most of the Bill of Rights. Madison was a Virginia representative who would later become the fourth president of the United States. He created the Bill of Rights during the 1st United States Congress, which met from 1789 to 1791 – the first two years that President George Washington was in office.

The Bill of Rights, which was introduced to Congress in 1789 and adopted on December 15, 1791, includes the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

First Amendment Text

The First Amendment text reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

While the First Amendment protected freedoms of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition, subsequent amendments under the Bill of Rights dealt with the protection of other American values including the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury.

Freedom of Speech

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. Freedom of speech gives Americans the right to express themselves without having to worry about government interference. It’s the most basic component of freedom of expression.

The U.S. Supreme Court often has struggled to determine what types of speech is protected. Legally, material labeled as obscene has historically been excluded from First Amendment protection, for example, but deciding what qualifies as obscene has been problematic. Speech provoking actions that would harm others—true incitement and/or threats—is also not protected, but again determining what words have qualified as true incitement has been decided on a case-by-case basis.

Freedom of the Press

This freedom is similar to freedom of speech, in that it allows people to express themselves through publication.

There are certain limits to freedom of the press. False or defamatory statements—called libel—aren’t protected under the First Amendment.

Freedom of Religion

The First Amendment, in guaranteeing freedom of religion, prohibits the government from establishing a “state” religion and from favoring one religion over any other.

While not explicitly stated, this amendment establishes the long-established separation of church and state.

Right to Assemble, Right to Petition

The First Amendment protects the freedom to peacefully assemble or gather together or associate with a group of people for social, economic, political or religious purposes. It also protects the right to protest the government.

The right to petition can mean signing a petition or even filing a lawsuit against the government.

First Amendment Court Cases

Here are landmark Supreme Court decisions related to the First Amendment.

Free Speech & Freedom of the Press:

Schenck v. United States, 1919: In this case, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft during World War I.

The Schenck decision helped define limits of freedom of speech, creating the “clear and present danger” standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech. In this case, the Supreme Court viewed draft resistance as dangerous to national security.

New York Times Co. v. United States, 1971: This landmark Supreme Court case made it possible for The New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the contents of the Pentagon Papers without risk of government censorship.

The Pentagon Papers were a top-secret Department of Defense study of U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Published portions of the Pentagon Papers revealed that the presidential administrations of Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson had all misled the public about the degree of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Texas v. Johnson, 1990: Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas to protest the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

The Supreme Court reversed a Texas court’s decision that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. This Supreme Court Case invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag-burning.

Freedom of Religion:

Reynolds v. United States (1878): This Supreme Court case upheld a federal law banning polygamy, testing the limits of religious liberty in America. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment forbids government from regulating belief but not from actions such as marriage.

Braunfeld v. Brown (1961): The Supreme Court upheld a Pennsylvania law requiring stores to close on Sundays, even though Orthodox Jews argued the law was unfair to them since their religion required them to close their stores on Saturdays as well.

Sherbert v. Verner (1963): The Supreme Court ruled that states could not require a person to abandon their religious beliefs in order to receive benefits. In this case, Adell Sherbert, a Seventh-day Adventist, worked in a textile mill. When her employer switched from a five-day to six-day workweek, she was fired for refusing to work on Saturdays. When she applied for unemployment compensation, a South Carolina court denied her claim.

Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971): This Supreme Court decision struck down a Pennsylvania law allowing the state to reimburse Catholic schools for the salaries of teachers who taught in those schools. This Supreme Court case established the “Lemon Test” for determining when a state or federal law violates the Establishment Clause—that’s the part of the First Amendment that prohibits the government from declaring or financially supporting a state religion.

Ten Commandments Cases (2005): In 2005, the Supreme Court came to seemingly contradictory decisions in two cases involving the display of the Ten Commandments on public property. In the first case, Van Orden v. Perry, the Supreme Court ruled that the display of a six-foot Ten Commandments monument at the Texas State Capital was constitutional. In McCreary County v. ACLU, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that two large, framed copies of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky courthouses violated the First Amendment.

Right to Assemble & Right to Petition:

NAACP v. Alabama (1958): When Alabama Circuit Court ordered the NAACP to stop doing business in the state and subpoenaed the NAACP for records including their membership list, the NAACP brought the matter to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of the NAACP, which Justice John Marshall Harlan II writing: “This Court has recognized the vital relationship between freedom to associate and privacy in one's associations.”

Edwards v. South Carolina (1962): On March 2, 1961, 187 Black students marched from Zion Baptist Church to the South Carolina State House, where they were arrested and convicted of breaching the peace. The Supreme Court ruled in an 8-1 decision to reverse the convictions, arguing that the state infringed on the free speech, free assembly and freedom to petition of the students.

SOURCES

The Bill of Rights; White House.
History of the First Amendment; The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Schenck v. United States; C-Span.

Источник: https://www.history.com

Freedom of Speech: General

How has the Freedom of Speech been interpreted by the Supreme Court? Explore these landmark cases to better understand this important constitutional right.

Schenck v. United States (1919)

Freedom of speech can be limited during wartime. The government can restrict expressions that would create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. Read More.

Abrams v. United States (1919)

The First Amendment did not protect printing leaflets urging to resist the war effort, calling for a general strike, and advocating violent revolution. Read More.

Debs v. United States (1919)

The First Amendment did not protect an anti-war speech designed to obstruct recruiting. Read More.

Gitlow v. New York (1925)

The Supreme Court applied protection of free speech to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Read More.

Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942)

The First Amendment did not protect fighting words which, by being said, cause injury or cause an immediate breach of the peace. Read More. 

West Virginia v. Barnette (1943)

The West Virginia Board’s policy requiring students and teachers to recite the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional. Reversing Minersville v. Gobitas (1940), the Court held government cannot force citizens to confess by word or act their faith in matters of opinion. Read More.

United States v. O’Brien (1968)

The First Amendment did not protect burning draft cards in protest of the Vietnam War as a form of symbolic speech. Read More.

Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)

The Court ruled that students wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War was “pure speech,” or symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment. Read More.

Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)

The Supreme Court held that the First and Fourteenth Amendments protected speech advocating violence at a Ku Klux Klan rally because the speech did not call for “imminent lawless action.” Read More.

Cohen v. California (1971)

A California statute prohibiting the display of offensive messages violated freedom of expression. Read More.

Miller v. California (1973)

This case set forth rules for obscenity prosecutions, but it also gave states and localities flexibility in determining what is obscene. Read More.

Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982)

The Supreme Court ruled that officials could not remove books from school libraries because they disagreed with the content of the books’ messages. Read More.

Bethel School District v. Fraser (1986)

A school could suspend a pupil for giving a student government nomination speech full of “elaborate, graphic, and explicit sexual metaphor.” Read More.

Texas v. Johnson (1989)

Flag burning as political protest is a form of symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment. Read More.

R.A.V. v. St. Paul (1992)

A criminal ordinance prohibiting the display of symbols that “arouse anger, alarm or resentment in others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender” was unconstitutional. The law violated the First Amendment because it punished speech based on the ideas expressed. Read More.

Reno v. ACLU (1997)

The 1996 Communications Decency Act was ruled unconstitutional since it was overly broad and vague in its regulation of speech on the Internet, and since it attempted to regulate indecent speech, which the First Amendment protects. Read More.

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society v. Stratton (2002)

City laws requiring permits for political advocates going door to door were unconstitutional because such a mandate would have a “chilling effect” on political communication. Read More.

United States v. American Library Association (2003)

The federal government could require public libraries to use Internet-filtering software to prevent viewing of pornography by minors. The burden placed on adult patrons who had to request the filters be disabled was minimal. Read More.

Virginia v. Hicks (2003)

Richmond could ban non-residents from public housing complexes if the non-residents did not have “a legitimate business or social purpose” for being there. The trespass policy was not overbroad and did not infringe upon First Amendment rights. Read More.

Virginia v. Black (2003)

A blanket ban on cross-burning was an unconstitutional content-based restriction on free speech. States could ban cross burning with intent to intimidate, but the cross burning act alone was not enough evidence to infer intent. Read More.

Ashcroft v. ACLU (2004)

The Child On-Line Protection Act violated the First Amendment because it was overbroad, it resulted in content-based restrictions on speech, and there were less-restrictive options available to protect children from harmful materials. Read More.

Morse v. Frederick (2007)

The First Amendment did not protect a public school student’s right to display a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”. While students have the right to engage in political speech, the right was outweighed by the school’s mission to discourage drug use. Read More.

Источник: https://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/freedom-of-speech-general

Without any dissent, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case that could have protected the public’s right to record on-duty police officers, but will instead make it even harder to hold police accountable. Failing to prevent police from threatening observers creates a “chilling effect” that undermines the freedom of the press, warned dozens of newspapers, magazines, and media companies in an amicus brief that urged the Supreme Court to take the case. 

For well over a decade, Denver has instructed its police officers to respect the public’s “right to record them performing their official duties in public spaces” and required police supervisors to attend a course on this First Amendment right. Nor was Denver an outlier: In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a “guidance on the right to record police activity” that unambiguously declared that “individuals have a First Amendment right to record police officers.” 

But in August 2014, that training was flatly ignored by multiple officers who tried to suppress footage depicting police brutality. With his Samsung tablet, Levi Frasier recorded an officer repeatedly punching a man in the face, after that man was wrestled out of the car and pinned down by police. After Frasier stopped filming, police demanded to see the video. 

Officer Christopher Evans allegedly told Frasier, “Well, we could do this the easy way or we could do this the hard way,” and pointed to the backseat of a squad car. Frasier saw that as a thinly veiled threat to arrest him. Soon, Frasier found himself encircled by five officers, including Evans, who suddenly snatched the tablet and searched (unsuccessfully) for the footage—all without a warrant.

Fortunately, Frasier was able to provide Fox 31 News with a copy, which ran a story that November. After the altercation went public, the Denver Police Department modified its use-of-force policy, while Frasier sued the officers in federal court.

Although he found partial success at first in the district court, the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals threw out his lawsuit. According to the Tenth Circuit, the officers were entitled to “qualified immunity,” which shields any and all government workers from legal liability, unless they violated a “clearly established” right. 

Even though Denver had instructed its officers since 2007 about the right to film police, the Tenth Circuit declared that “whatever training the officers received concerning the nature of Mr. Frasier’s First Amendment rights was irrelevant to the clearly-established-law inquiry.” Instead, “judicial decisions are the only valid interpretative source” that can clearly establish the law.

Incredibly, the court then refused to decide whether there is a First Amendment right to record police. That effectively gives a free pass to any officer operating within the Tenth Circuit’s jurisdiction, which covers not just Denver and Colorado, but also Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.

Moreover, by deeming training materials “irrelevant,” the Tenth Circuit’s rule in Frasier “undermines the executive’s ability to police its own officers,” which “violates fundamental separation-of-powers principles,” the Institute for Justice argued in its amicus brief. By setting policy, putting officers on notice, and supervising its employees, the executive branch (which includes law enforcement) places clear limits on the power of police officers.  But the Tenth Circuit’s decision “prevents the executive from effectively training its own officers to respect the public’s constitutional rights.” 

Yet without training from the executive branch, “the only way to put officers on notice about their constitutional obligations would be for one officer to go too far, get sued, and for the circuit court to publish an opinion explaining why the conduct was wrong.” That leads to the “absurd result” seen in Frasier, where “despite fourteen years of training, officers can still claim qualified immunity for retaliating against a citizen-recorder today.”

With its decision, the Tenth Circuit is a stark outlier. The First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, covering a diverse array of states, including California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, have all held that filming police is a “clearly established” First Amendment right. In addition, four federal appellate courts—the First, Second, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits—have held that training materials and law enforcement policies “are also relevant” for qualified-immunity analysis, not just court decisions. 

Attorneys for both sides did not respond to requests for comment.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. 

Источник: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2021/11/02/supreme-court-refuses-to-protect-first-amendment-right-to-film-police-brutality/

Supreme Court sides with cheerleader who wrote profane social media post slamming her school


WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with a former cheerleader who excoriated her school in a profanity-laced post on social media, holding that the punishment of her off-campus speech violated the First Amendment.

The 8-1 ruling left unresolved the broader question of when schools may regulate off-campus speech and when such punishment is off-limits. 

"It might be tempting to dismiss [the student's] words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein," Associate Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the majority. "But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary."

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, asserting that the court's opinion left an unworkable standard for schools to try to follow.

When Brandi Levy, who was 14 at the time, failed to make the varsity cheer team in 2017, she and one of her friends posted a vulgar message on Snapchat, exhorting her followers to "F––– school f––– softball f––– cheer f––– everything." The message made it back to her coaches, who cut her from the junior varsity squad. After appealing to school authorities, her parents sued the school district in federal court.

Levy's attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union argued that allowing principals to punish students for their off-campus speech, including on social media, would give schools far too much power to police innocuous interactions with their friends. School officials said they need to be able to discipline bullying and cheating that can begin off-campus or online before working its way into the school building.

Several of the justices said during oral arguments that they were wary of setting a hard-and-fast standard for when schools could regulate off-campus speech, and that hesitancy was reflected in the majority opinion. The court held that schools can sometimes punish a student for something said at home but that their power to do so is more limited than at school.

"The school’s regulatory interests remain significant in some off-campus circumstances," Breyer wrote.

"Thus, we do not now set forth a broad, highly general First Amendment rule stating just what counts as 'off campus' speech and whether or how ordinary First Amendment standards must give way off campus," Breyer wrote.

Breyer said the court would leave that question to "future cases."

Thomas took issue with that approach in his dissent. He wrote that historical factors suggest schools could regulate off-campus speech that could harm the school, its faculty or other students. Thomas said he believes that standard was met in Levy's case.

"The court’s foundation is untethered from anything stable, and courts (and schools) will almost certainly be at a loss as to what exactly the court’s opinion today means," Thomas wrote.

The standard for on-campus speech is more clear. In 1969, a landmark Supreme Court decision, Tinker v. Des Moines, reaffirmed students' First Amendment rights at school, but the court said teachers and principals may regulate student speech in situations when it "materially disrupts" the operation of the school. That case involved a group of students who wore black armbands to protest the war in Vietnam.

Appeal: Supreme Court to hear First Amendment case of cheerleader's vulgar post

Argument: Supreme Court wary of letting schools punish off-campus speech

In Levy's case, the Mahanoy Area School District in Pennsylvania asserted that the standard developed in the Tinker case should apply to off-campus speech. 

Both sides claimed a measure of victory in the outcome.

"The school went too far, and I’m glad that the Supreme Court agrees,” Levy said in a statement after the court handed down its opinion. "I was frustrated, I was 14 years old, and I expressed my frustration the way teenagers do today."

The school district said it was "pleased with and vindicated by" the fact that the court did not block schools from regulating off-campus speech altogether.

"The Supreme Court instead enumerated many examples of situations when school districts can regulate off-campus speech and made it clear that its list was not exclusive," the school district said in a statement.

The justices struggled with the questions involved at oral arguments in April, and several signaled a desire to craft as narrow a ruling as possible. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has two school-age children, repeatedly questioned whether the school district hadn't just overreacted to Levy's post. 

A federal district court ruled for Levy in 2019, finding that – even if the Tinker standard applied off campus – the speech she used wasn't disruptive enough to trigger disciplinary action. The Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit went a step further, holding that Tinker does not apply to off-campus speech.

That created a split with other appeals courts, setting up a different legal standard depending on where students live. 

During nearly two hours of oral arguments, several justices said they were concerned about drawing bright lines in the case. Breyer, whose father worked for decades as a lawyer for the school board in San Francisco, said he was "frightened to death" of trying to write a legal standard for when schools may regulate off-campus speech, particularly when students increasingly communicate with each other – and their teachers – online from home. 

Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who has seven children, said during arguments that although there might be good "policy reasons" for extending a school's authority beyond campus, such as bullying or cheating, she questioned what precedent the court could rely on to rule in favor of the school district.

FacebookTwitterEmail

Источник: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/06/23/supreme-court-backs-cheerleader-first-amendment-case/5271055001/

Trump files suit against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has filed suit against three of the country’s biggest tech companies, claiming he and other conservatives have been wrongfully censored. But legal experts say the suits are likely doomed to fail, given existing precedent and legal protections.

Trump announced the action against Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube, along with the companies’ Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, at a press conference Wednesday in New Jersey, where he demanded that his accounts be reinstated.

Trump has been suspended from the platforms since January, when his followers violently stormed the Capitol building, trying to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win. The companies cited concerns that Trump would incite further violence and have kept him locked out. All three declined comment Wednesday.

“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,” Trump said of the filings. “We’re going to hold big tech very accountable.”

Twitter, Facebook and Google are all private companies, and users must agree to their terms of service to use their products. Under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, social media platforms are allowed to moderate their services by removing posts that, for instance, are obscene or violate the services’ own standards, so long as they are acting in “good faith.” The law also generally exempts internet companies from liability for the material that users post.

But Trump and some other politicians have long argued that Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms have abused that protection and should lose their immunity — or at least have it curtailed.

While conservatives often claim the sites are biased against them, several recent studies have found that isn’t the case. Indeed, posts by conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro, Franklin Graham, Dan Bongino and Dinesh D’Souza are routinely among the most widely shared on Facebook.

The suit against Facebook and CEO Zuckerberg says Facebook acted unconstitutionally when it removed Trump from the platform. Suits against Twitter and YouTube make similar claims. All three ask the court to award unspecified damages, declare Section 230 unconstitutional and restore Trump’s accounts, along with those of several other plaintiffs who joined the suits and have also had posts or accounts removed.

Trump’s lawsuits, however, are likely doomed to fail, said Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University in California who has studied more than 60 similar, failed lawsuits that sought to take on internet companies for terminating or suspending users’ accounts.

“They’ve argued everything under the sun, including First Amendment, and they get nowhere,” Goldman said. “Maybe he’s got a trick up his sleeve that will give him a leg up on the dozens of lawsuits before him. I doubt it.”

“Trump’s suit is DOA,” echoed Paul Barrett, the deputy director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Barrett said Trump was fundamentally misunderstanding the Constitution. “The First Amendment applies to government censorship or speech regulation. It does not stop private sector corporations from regulating content on their platforms,” he said by email. “In fact, Facebook and Twitter themselves have a First Amendment free speech right to determine what speech their platforms project and amplify -- and that right includes excluding speakers who incite violence, as Trump did in connection with the January 6 Capitol insurrection.”

Goldman said he suspected Trump’s legal team knows it is not going to win in court, and suggested Trump was pursuing the suits to garner attention.

Indeed, Trump’s political action committee was already raising money off the announcement by early Wednesday afternoon.

As president, Trump last year signed an executive order challenging Section 230 that was seen as largely symbolic.

“It was always about sending a message to their base that they’re fighting on their behalf against the evil Silicon Valley tech giants,” Goldman said.

Trump’s move comes a week after a federal judge blocked a new Florida law signed by a Trump ally, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, that sought to punish large social media companies like Facebook and Twitter for removing content or banning politicians. The law would have allowed the state to fine the companies $250,000 a day for removing the accounts of statewide political candidates and $25,000 a day for removing the accounts of those running for local office. But U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on June 30 granted a preliminary injunction stopping the new law from being enforced.

The judge said that tech industry groups challenging the law were likely to prevail on their claim that it violated the First Amendment if the case went to trial.

Matt Schruers, the president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a tech industry trade group that includes Facebook, Twitter and Google, said internet companies have a right to enforce their terms of service.

“Frivolous class action litigation will not change the fact that users — even U.S. Presidents — have to abide by the rules they agreed to,” he said in a statement.

Since departing the White House, Trump has continued to repeat lies about the 2020 election, baselessly claiming that he won, even though state and local election officials, his own attorney general and numerous judges, including some he appointed, have said there is no evidence of the mass voter fraud he alleges.

__ O’Brien reported from Providence, Rhode Island. Associated Press writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report from Nashville.

Источник: https://apnews.com/article/lawsuits-business-government-and-politics-c7e26858dcb553f92d98706d12ad510c

Twenty-First Century First Amendment: Public Forums in the Digital Age

October 29, 2018

By Isabel Farhi '19

In 2017, the Supreme Court recognized in Packingham v. North Carolinathat “[w]hile in the past there may have been difficulty in identifying the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views, today the answer is clear. It is cyberspace . . . and social media in particular.” At this point, that proposition seems almost axiomatic—in 2018, we have an election brought into question by Facebook and Twitter trolls who stoked partisan flames, a president announcing policy through Twitter, and all sorts of government entities using social media to inform and communicate with their constituents.

Against that background of the growing ascendency of social media as the site of public discourse, the Fourth Circuit heard oral arguments in Davison v. Randall on September 26.

In 2016, Bryan Davison, a resident of Loudoun County, Virginia, attended a town hall hosted by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, the governing body of the county. That night, angered by comments at the town hall, he posted a comment on the Facebook page of Phyllis Randall, the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, accusing certain members of the Loudoun School Board of corruption (neither Davison nor Randall remember the exact content of the comment). Chair Randall, not wanting personal attacks on her page, deleted the comment and blocked Davison from her page. Twelve hours later, she unblocked him. Davison then sued in the Eastern District of Virginia, pleading a violation of his First Amendment rights, among other claims.

Davison based his theory on traditional First Amendment doctrine: Randall’s Facebook page may not have been an official county-approved page, but she did conduct government business on it (such as announcing snow plowing policies) and she invited constituents to comment and express their opinions on the page. By using her Facebook page in that way, Randall had turned her Facebook page into a limited public forum—a space in which the government cannot limit speech because of its importance to public discussion, such as a traditional town hall. And by blocking Davison from that forum because she disagreed with his viewpoint, Randall engaged in impermissible viewpoint-based discrimination.

Randall, however, took the position that the public forum doctrine is the wrong framework to analyze a Facebook page: a public forum is public space controlled by the government, but a Facebook page is controlled by Facebook as well as the government. And if the page is not a public forum, then Randall’s own First Amendment rights are violated by forcing her to allow all comments.

Judge Cacheris in the Eastern District of Virginia was not the first district court judge to weigh these arguments. Two previous cases, Knight Institute v. Trump in the Southern District of New York and Morgan v. Bevinin the Eastern District of Kentucky, came out opposite ways—the former holding that the President’s Twitter page was a public forum, and the latter that the public forum analysis did not apply to the Governor of Kentucky’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

But Judge Cacheris agreed with Davison and Knight, and held that the Facebook page was a limited public forum. Both Randall and Davison cross-appealed, making Davison the first case to pose this issue to a Court of Appeals and present the chance to create binding precedent. 

The Fourth Circuit panel, consisting of Judges Pamela Harris, Barbara Keenan, and James Wynn, engaged eagerly with the case’s First Amendment issues, apparently understanding that, as Judge Wynn said, this is “a blockbuster case.” The panel generally seemed open to the public forum analysis. At several points, Judge Harris returned approvingly to the analogy to the town hall and how its traditional rules could be applied to a Facebook page.

However, Judge Harris seemed to speak for the panel when she expressed her concern about “the idea that you could have a public forum in which the government can’t restrict speech based on viewpoint but some private party has that right.” Katie Fallow from the Knight Institute, arguing for Davison, countered this concern by pointing to this situation’s similarities to other government-controlled but not owned propertycases, such as privately-owned theaters under lease to the government, which are often deemed public forums. Moreover, following that argument to its limits would say that no social media page could ever be a public forum, a position that the Supreme Court expressed skepticism for in Packingham. The court also searched for limits—was the whole page a public forum, or just the comments section? Fallow told the judges that it was only the interactive space of the comments section where the public had a space to speak. Did it matter that Randall does not have unilateral power, as opposed to an official with the ability to make policy and exert power over social media? Fallow said that it did not. If the Fourth Circuit decides these issues, it will truly be the “exciting stuff” that Judge Wynn promised.

But there’s a rub—standing. Randall only blocked Davison for twelve hours, and the complaint was filed seven and a half months after that ban, months during which time he continued posting on Randall’s page. Randall’s attorney, Scott Gant of Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP, began there in oral arguments, maintaining that there was no actual controversy—that is, Davison was not truly harmed and would not be harmed again.

Of course, Randall testified that she believed that she had the power to block Davison, and, as the court said, the sovereign’s “munificence” in not violating the First Amendment is not enough to mitigate the risk that it could. This lack of limitation could be enough to create an injury for standing purposes, but it is unclear where the court will come out on this.

Davison v. Randall could be a landmark case in pushing the law of the First Amendment into the online world of the twenty-first century. If it creates the precedent that a government official’s social media page can be a limited public forum, that will truly allow social media to be “the most important place. . . for the exchange of views” that the Supreme Court identified it as. Or, as Judge Wynn said, “this could be the case that you might talk about for years . . . or maybe standing gets rid of it.”

Источник: https://law.yale.edu/mfia/case-disclosed/twenty-first-century-first-amendment-public-forums-digital-age

ABA Journal

This year is the anniversary of countless influential U.S. Supreme Court decisions. March 3 marked 100 years since the court established the clear and present danger test for protected speech. In February, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. In June 30 years ago, the court ruled that burning a flag is protected expressive conduct. For whatever reason, years ending in nine correlate to landmark free speech and free press decisions.

Now it’s 2019, the perfect year for the Law Day theme “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.” In honor of the occasion, we created a gallery of nine monumental Supreme Court cases on free speech and free press—all from years ending in the number nine. As you celebrate the rule of law May 1, ponder this, as well: What could 2019 bring for free speech and free press?

Attribution: Captions by Elissa Gray, graphics by Sara Wadford

Источник: https://www.abajournal.com/gallery/nine_first_amendments_cases/

Without any dissent, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case that could have protected the public’s right to record on-duty police officers, but will instead make it even harder to hold police accountable. Failing to prevent police from threatening observers creates a “chilling effect” that undermines the freedom of the press, warned dozens of newspapers, magazines, and media companies in an amicus brief that urged the Supreme Court to take the case. 

For well over a decade, Denver has instructed its police officers to respect the public’s “right to record them performing their official duties in public spaces” and required police supervisors to attend a course on this First Amendment right. Nor was Denver an outlier: In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a “guidance on the right to record police activity” that unambiguously declared that “individuals have a First Amendment right to record police officers.” 

But in August 2014, that training was flatly ignored by multiple officers who tried to suppress footage depicting police brutality. With his Samsung tablet, Levi Frasier 1st amendment court cases an officer repeatedly punching a man in the face, 1st amendment court cases that man was wrestled out of the car and pinned down by police. After Frasier stopped filming, police demanded to see the video. 

Officer Christopher Evans allegedly told Frasier, “Well, we could do this the easy way or we could do this the hard way,” and pointed to 1st amendment court cases backseat of a squad car. Frasier saw that as a thinly veiled threat to arrest him. Soon, Frasier found himself encircled by five officers, including Evans, who suddenly snatched the tablet and searched (unsuccessfully) for the footage—all without a warrant.

Fortunately, Frasier was able to provide Fox 31 News with a copy, which ran a story that November. After the altercation went public, the Denver Police Department modified its use-of-force policy, while Frasier sued the officers in federal court.

Although he found partial success at first in the district court, the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals threw out his lawsuit. According to the Tenth Circuit, the officers were entitled to “qualified immunity,” which shields any and all government workers from legal liability, unless they violated a “clearly established” right. 

Even though Denver had instructed its officers since 2007 about the right to film police, the Tenth Circuit declared that “whatever training the officers received concerning the nature of Mr. Frasier’s First Amendment rights was irrelevant to the clearly-established-law inquiry.” Instead, “judicial decisions are the only valid interpretative source” that can clearly establish the law.

Incredibly, the court then refused to decide whether there is a First Amendment right to record police. That effectively gives a free pass to any officer operating within the Tenth Circuit’s jurisdiction, which covers not just Denver and Colorado, but also Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.

Moreover, by deeming training materials “irrelevant,” the Tenth Circuit’s rule in Frasier “undermines the executive’s ability to police its own officers,” which “violates fundamental separation-of-powers principles,” the 1st amendment court cases for Justice argued in its amicus brief. By setting policy, putting officers on notice, and supervising its employees, the executive branch (which includes law enforcement) places clear limits on the power of police officers.  But the Tenth Circuit’s decision “prevents the executive from effectively training its own officers to respect the public’s constitutional rights.” 

Yet without training from the executive branch, “the only way to put officers on notice about their constitutional obligations would be for one officer bbva compass locations in florida go too far, get sued, and for the circuit court to publish an opinion explaining why the conduct was wrong.” That leads to the “absurd result” seen in Frasier, where “despite fourteen years of training, officers can still claim qualified immunity for retaliating against a citizen-recorder today.”

With its decision, the Tenth Circuit is a stark outlier. The First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, covering a diverse array of states, including California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, have all held that filming police is a “clearly established” First Amendment right. In addition, four federal appellate courts—the First, Second, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits—have held that training materials and law enforcement policies “are also relevant” for qualified-immunity analysis, not just court decisions. 

Attorneys for both sides did not respond to requests for comment.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. 

Источник: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2021/11/02/supreme-court-refuses-to-protect-first-amendment-right-to-film-police-brutality/
Symbolic Speech Protected
In 1931, in Stromberg vs. California, the Court determined that "symbolic speech" is protected under the Constitution. The case was spurred by the conviction of a woman who had displayed a red flag in a public place, an action associated with anarchist groups and then criminal under California law.

The Court found parts of the California statute unconstitutional and by implication ruled that the display of symbols could be protected speech. As applied to the arts, this means that not just words, but paintings, music, theatrical performances, and other types of artistic expression are protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.

Obscenity Convictions Constitutional
In 1957, in Roth vs. United States, the Court determined that prosecution for possession or distribution of obscene material is lawful, and that obscene speech is not protected under the Constitution. Sam Roth, a publisher and distributor of magazines and books, had been indicted in 1954 for using the mail to advertise and distribute material with sexual content, notably Aubrey Beardsley's Venus and Tannhäuser. His conviction was upheld.

The "Three-Pronged Test" for Obscenity Established
In 1973, in the most important case on freedom of expression, Miller vs. California, the Court established the "three-pronged test" for obscenity, which still applies today. The the reach key west spa concerned bookseller Marvin Miller's conviction under California obscenity laws for distributing illustrated books of a sexual nature.

In Miller, the Court's decision stated that obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment (a reaffirmation of Roth) and that such speech may be regulated by the state under certain circumstances. In order to meet the definition of obscene material articulated in this case, three conditions must be met:

(a) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest

(b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law

(c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value

The Court also determined that a jury may measure "the essentially factual issues of prurient appeal and patent offensiveness by the standard that prevails in the forum community, and need not employ a 'national standard.'" This establishes a role for the community in making decisions about obscene material.

Obscenity is a narrow category describing materials that meet all three prongs of the definition above. Such material, even if some describe it as art, may be deemed obscene and banned by the state.

"Indecency" is a broader term encompassing material which does enjoy some measure of Constitutional protection, but may still be restricted. For instance, some might find violent images objectionable, even though they do not appeal to prurient interest and thus are not obscene under Miller.

No "three-pronged test" for indecency exists, and although the Court has considered cases involving the arts and proposed standards of decency, the issues of what such standards mean and how they are to be applied have not been resolved.

School Book Selection Covered by First Amendment
In 1982, after years of appeals, the Supreme Court https www t online de login, in Board of Education vs. Pico, that "local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion." The case was brought by students opposing a directive made by the Island Trees School District in Levittown, N.Y. ordering the removal of books considered "anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and 1st amendment court cases plain filthy" from school libraries.

Speech on the Internet Protected
In 1997, in Reno vs. ACLU, the court found the The Communications Decency Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996 and designed to protect minors from harmful material on the Internet, unconstitutional, ruling that the act abridges the First Amendment.

The full text of these and other Supreme Court decisions can be found at the Supreme Court Collection in Cornell University's Legal Information Institute.

Audio files of the arguments for some of these cases may be available at the Oyez Project at Northwestern University.

Источник: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/whodecides/firstamendment.html

Supreme Court sides with cheerleader who wrote profane social media post slamming her school


WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with a former cheerleader who excoriated her school in a profanity-laced post on social media, holding that the punishment of her off-campus speech violated the First Amendment.

The 8-1 ruling left unresolved the broader question of when schools may regulate off-campus speech and when such punishment is off-limits. 

"It might be tempting to dismiss [the student's] words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein," Associate Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the majority. "But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary."

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, asserting that the court's opinion left an unworkable standard for schools to try to follow.

When Brandi Levy, who was 14 at the time, failed to make the varsity cheer team in 2017, she and one of her friends posted a vulgar message on Snapchat, exhorting her followers to "F––– school f––– softball f––– cheer f––– everything." The message made it back to her coaches, who cut her from the junior varsity squad. After appealing to school authorities, her parents sued the school district in federal court.

Levy's attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union argued that allowing principals to punish students for their off-campus speech, including on social media, would give schools far too much power to police innocuous interactions with their friends. School officials said they need to be able to discipline bullying and cheating that can begin off-campus or online before working its way into the school building.

Several of the justices said during oral arguments that they were wary of setting a hard-and-fast standard for when schools could regulate off-campus speech, and that hesitancy was reflected in the majority opinion. The court held that schools can sometimes punish a student for something said at home but that their power to do so is more limited than at school.

"The school’s regulatory interests remain significant in some off-campus circumstances," Breyer wrote.

"Thus, we do not now set forth a broad, highly general First Amendment rule stating just what counts as 'off campus' speech and whether or how ordinary First Amendment standards must give way off campus," Breyer wrote.

Breyer said the court would leave that question to "future cases."

Thomas took issue with that approach in his dissent. He wrote that historical factors suggest schools could regulate off-campus speech that could harm the school, its faculty or other students. Thomas said he believes that standard was met in Levy's case.

"The court’s foundation is untethered from anything stable, and courts (and schools) will almost certainly be at a loss as to what exactly the court’s opinion today means," Thomas wrote.

The standard for on-campus speech is more clear. In 1969, a landmark Supreme Court decision, Tinker v. Des Moines, reaffirmed students' First Amendment rights at school, but the court said teachers and principals may regulate student speech in situations when it "materially disrupts" the operation of the school. That case involved a group of students who wore black armbands to protest the war in Vietnam.

Appeal: Supreme Court to hear First Amendment case of cheerleader's vulgar post

Argument: Supreme Court wary of letting schools punish off-campus speech

In Levy's case, the Mahanoy Area School District in Pennsylvania asserted that the standard developed in the Tinker case should apply to off-campus speech. 

Both sides claimed a measure of victory in the outcome.

"The school went too far, and I’m glad that the Supreme Court agrees,” Levy said in a statement after the court handed down its opinion. "I was frustrated, I was 14 years old, and I expressed my frustration the way teenagers do today."

The school district said it was "pleased with and vindicated by" the fact that the court did not block schools from regulating off-campus speech altogether.

"The Supreme Court instead enumerated many examples of situations when school districts can regulate off-campus speech and made it clear that its list was not exclusive," the school district said in a statement.

The justices struggled with the questions involved at oral arguments in April, and several signaled a desire to craft as narrow a ruling as possible. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has two school-age children, repeatedly questioned whether the school district hadn't just overreacted to Levy's post. 

A federal district court ruled for Levy in 2019, finding that – even if the Tinker standard applied off campus – the speech she used wasn't disruptive enough to trigger disciplinary action. The Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit went a step further, holding that Tinker does not apply to off-campus speech.

That created a split with other appeals courts, setting up a different legal standard depending on where students live. 

During nearly two hours of oral arguments, several justices said they were how to close my best buy account about drawing bright lines in the case. Breyer, whose father worked for decades as a lawyer for the school board in San Francisco, said he was "frightened to death" of trying to write a legal standard for when schools may regulate off-campus speech, particularly when students increasingly communicate with each other – and their teachers – online from home. 

Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who has seven children, said during arguments that although there might be good "policy reasons" for extending a school's authority beyond campus, such as bullying or cheating, she questioned what precedent the court could rely on to rule in favor of the school district.

FacebookTwitterEmail

Источник: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/06/23/supreme-court-backs-cheerleader-first-amendment-case/5271055001/
Introduction

This page considers the interplay between two provisions of the Bill of Rights: the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech and the Sixth Amendment's guarantee to criminal defendants of a fair trial by an impartial jury.

Our first case, Sheppard v Maxwell, relates to a sensational murder trial that was widely believed to have inspired the television series and movie, The Fugitive.  Convicted twelve years earlier of killing his young wife Marilyn, Dr. Sam Sheppard wins a new trial after his attorney, F. Lee Bailey, succeeds in convincing the Supreme Court that the massive publicity surrounding his original trial constituted a violation of his right to a fair trial.  (In his retrial, Sheppard was acquitted.)  The record in Sheppard shows an out-of-control press first demanding Sheppard's arrest, then calling Sheppard "a liar," printing stories about his refusal to take a lie-detector test, and doctoring crime scene photos to suggest that the murder weapon was a surgical instrument.  The Supreme Court concluded that the trial was conducted in a "Roman Holiday" atmosphere and suggested that trial courts should take "strong measures" to protect fair trial rights.  The Court said that there was no need to decide "what sanctions might be available against the press"--leading some judges, perhaps, to think sanctions might be appropriate in certain cases.

Ten years later, the Court considered the appropriateness of strong measures taken by a judge in a closely-followed murder trial in Nebraska.  Nebraska Press v Stuart considers the constitutionality of a restrictive ("gag") order entered against the press preventing them from publishing information concerning the defendant's confession or "other facts strongly implicative of the accused."  The Supreme Court, ruling unanimously, found the gag order to violate the First Amendment.  The plurality opinion suggested that restrictive orders were only constitutional when justified by a compelling interest and when no less speech-restrictive alternatives were available to protect fair trials.  Concurring, three justices would have held restrictive orders to be a form of prior restraints that were always unconstitutional, while two other justices expressed "grave doubts" that a restrictive order would ever pass constitutional muster.

Finally, in Gentile v State Bar of Nevada (1991), the Court considers whether a criminal defense attorney could be reprimanded by the State Bar for talking about the facts of a criminal case before trial.  Five justices agreed that it is constitutionally permissible to impose restrictions on the speech of attorneys that wouldn't be permissible against the press.  Four justices would have insisted that any punishment of an attorney's speech be justified by a very strong state interest 1st amendment court cases employ closely tailored means.  Gentile wins his appeal, however, with the four votes of the more speech-protective justices plus the vote of Justice O'Connor, who found the rule under which Gentile was punished failed to provide adequate notice.
 

Cases

Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966)
Nebraska Press Assn' v. Stuart (1976)
Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada (1991) 


Marilyn and Sam Sheppard.  Sam Sheppard's conviction for murdering Marilyn was reversed by the Supreme Court in 1966 because of the prejudicial publicity surrounding the trial. 

Questions

1. What measures should a judge take in a celebrated trial to protect the Sixth Amendment rights of a criminal defendant?  Will these measures always be sufficient to guard against the effects of prejudicial pretrial publicity?
2.  After reading Sheppard, could you tell a trial that was unconstitutionally tainted by the effects of publicity from one that wasn't?  Does the Court set forth a clear standard for analyzing whether the right to a fair trial has been violated?
3.  After Nebraska Press, can you imagine a situation in which a restrictive order entered against the press would be found not to violate the First Amendment?
4.  Why doesn't the Court in Nebraska Press worry more about the rights of the criminal defendant?  Does it make sense to say that defendants only have rights to fair trials, not perfectly fair ones?
5.  What test should apply to evaluating the constitutionality of gag orders entered against attorneys, parties, and witnesses?  Should the standard be the same for all three groups?  Should attorneys be free to talk to the press about pending cases?
6.  What standard should apply to a restrictive order preventing jurors from discussing the content of their deliberations with the press?   
Link
Read an account of the case, excerpts from the trial transcript, analysis of the evidence in the case, see images, and examine other materials relating to the Sheppard case:

Sam Sheppard Trial Background

Источник: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/fairtrialissues.htm

New Hampshire’s state motto “Live free or die” is, for many residents, a stirring evocation of the independent spirit of colonial America.

But not all New Hampshirites agree with this well-known slogan that is emblazoned on the state’s license plates. In 1975, George Maynard was sent to jail because he didn’t believe in it.

Maynard and his wife were Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination that teaches that true believers will enjoy eternal life. The couple felt that the state’s motto violated this tenet. So Maynard covered up the “or die” part on his vehicles’ license plates.

Police gave him three different tickets for illegally altering the plates. When he refused to pay the fines, which totaled US$75, he was given a 15-day jail sentence.

Maynard then filed a lawsuit that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment gave Maynard the legal right to cover up those two words. In other words, the First Amendment – which guarantees the right to free speech – can also give people the right to remain silent.

Flowing from free speech

I am a legal scholar, so when I learned that the Supreme Court will decide two right-to-silence cases this term the Maynard case came to mind.

The Maynard decision was not the first time the court ruled in favor of a Jehovah’s Witness’ right to be silent. Both decisions hinge on the justices’ determination that the First Amendment includes, in the court’s words, the right “to avoid becoming a ‘mobile billboard’ for the State’s ideological message.”

It may sound contradictory to say the right to be silent flows from the right to speak, but it is not.

The First Amendment protects a person’s right to convey his own message, to voice her own ideas and not to be compelled to publicly disclose personal beliefs and associations. When the government tries to compel a person to speak its message, these rights are seriously damaged.

The right to free speech is likewise violated when people are required to associate themselves with an idea with which they disagree.

This issue first came before the Supreme Court in 1943, when a West Virginia school board expelled a Jehovah’s Witness student for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because saluting the American flag salute would violate the biblical command “Thou shall not bow down to graven images.”

The court, then lead by Chief Justice 1st amendment court cases H. Jackson, agreed. The First Amendment prevents the government from forcing citizens to express patriotism by saluting the flag.

“If there is any star fixed in our constitutional constellation,” Jackson wrote, “it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribed that what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

Carrying the government’s message

The first case that will return this issue to the Supreme Court’s scrutiny in 2018 is National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. It involves religiously based “crisis pregnancy centers” in California that try to discourage women from seeking an abortion.

New legislation requires those centers to post notices about other women’s health services available in the state, including abortions.

The pregnancy centers have sued the state, contending that the law forces them to speak the government’s message. California contends that the law is a reasonable regulation of licensed medical facilities.

It will be up to the Supreme Court to decide if the clinic’s claimed right “to avoid becoming the courier for the State’s ideological message” is a valid interpretation of the First Amendment.

Disagreeable association

The second right-to-silence case before the Supreme Court this term, Janus v. American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees, tests the related guarantee that people cannot be forced to be associated with an idea they do not hold.

Forty years ago, the court ruled that a union can require non-members to pay an “agency fee” for their representation by the union. The union may not use any part of the agency fee to advance ideological purposes unrelated to the union’s primary function of first federal savings and loan coffeyville ks bargaining.

Now, with Janus v. AFSCME, non-union public employees contend that the required agency fee violates their First Amendment rights because it is not possible to separate bargaining collectively from advancing ideological purposes.

For government workers, they say, issues like salaries, pensions and benefits are inherently political for government workers. And some employees may not agree with the union’s position on those matters.

The unions contend that since all employees benefit from the union’s collective bargaining efforts, allowing workers to opt out of paying the agency fee would enable “free riders.”

Regardless of how the court rules in these two cases, the American right to silence is on trial this year. Both Janus and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates will be decided by the end of June, when the 1st amendment court cases closes its present term.

Источник: https://theconversation.com/supreme-court-to-rule-on-your-first-amendment-right-to-silence-94701
1st amendment court cases

Related Videos

First amendment audit of the US Court of Appeals 9th Dist

1 Replies to “1st amendment court cases”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *