First Amendment Newsflash 12/4-12/17

Welcome to First Amendment Newsflash, the First Amendment Law Review’s bi-weekly roundup of the latest in free expression and religious freedom news and commentary. Check here every other Sunday for a new edition! Need First Amendment news in the meantime? Follow FALR on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jamie


Federal Court News

The Supreme Court takes partisan gerrymandering case to determine whether partisan gerrymandering retaliates against voters for their past support of a party’s candidate, violating the First Amendment.

A federal judge rejected a Catholic organization’s request to force metro to post its Christmas advertisements, affirming that the transit agency’s decision to ban posters featuring a religious-themed scene does not violate an organization’s First Amendment right.

Federal appellate judge is to consider Border Patrol’s right to keep observers and protesters at least 150 feet from a controversial checkpoint in southern Arizona.

Nebraska state senators and University of Nebraska officials are drafting separate proposals for new policies to referee free speech on campus.

A federal jury rejected a professor’s claim that Florida Atlantic University officials violated his constitutional rights when they fired him for stating the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a hoax.

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration from enforcing new rules that could significantly reduce women’s access to free birth control after a state attorney general claimed the new rule violated the First Amendment for promoting employer’s religious beliefs over the constitutional rights of women.

Value Village is suing Washington State Attorney General claiming that the Attorney General’s office’s insistence on the company disclosing what percentage of its sales prices go to charity violates the company’s free speech rights.

A judge denied an emergency request for relief funds by three Texas churches damaged during Hurricane Harvey that are suing the federal government for its treatment of houses of worship in distributing disaster aid.

A federal lawsuit claims that a Louisiana city official violated the free-speech rights of black community leaders who were removed from a public meeting when they tried to talk about a black man’s fatal shooting by police.

Pharmaceutical companies sue to block a new California law that would require them to give advance notice before big price increases.

A federal judge allowed bikini barista stands to stay open as the suit challenging the new dress code ordinances makes its way through court.

A federal judged ruled a provision in Delaware’s constitution requiring a political balance among state court judges as unconstitutional for violating the First Amendment.

A protestor who grabbed conservative commentator’s “It’s OK to be White” speech was charged with attempted larceny and disorderly conduct. The conservative commentator, Lucian Wintrich’s, breach of peace charge was dropped.

A civil rights activist, DeRay McKesson is suing Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, claiming she defamed him while discussing a lawsuit against Black Lives Matter.


State Court News

An Iowa Supreme Court justice temporarily ordered the state’s largest newspaper not to publish the contents of court records legally obtained by one of its reporters that were inadvertently filed publicly.


Other News

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas called for a Kansas City school district to eliminate a policy prohibiting public complaints about individuals at board meetings.


That’s it for your First Amendment Newsflash December 4-December 17. We will be taking a brief break for the holidays, but we will see you back for more First Amendment news on January 7!

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