Tag: free speech

This Case Isn’t (Only) About a Confederate Flag License Plate

If it were displayed on a specialty license plate, would you consider the image of a Confederate flag to be an expression of government speech or private speech? (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles) In Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board rejected the Texas Division of the

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Must All Signs Be Treated the Same?

Update: the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for this case on Monday, January 12, 2015. Municipal codes treat signs differently, meaning that spray-painted signs like this might not be allowed to remain in your neighbor’s yard for longer than necessary. (Getty Images) The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert,

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Do Buffer Zones Survive After McCullen?

In a unanimous opinion in McCullen v. Coakley the Supreme Court held that a Massachusetts statute making it a crime to stand on a public road or sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion clinic violates the First Amendment. Massachusetts adopted this statute because protesters routinely violated a previous statute. Petitioners were “sidewalk counselors” who

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Lane v. Franks Leaves Local Governments Holding their Breath

The Supreme Court held unanimously that the First Amendment protects a public employee who provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by a subpoena, outside the course of his or her ordinary responsibilities. But what about the much more likely scenario:  An employee provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by a subpoena, which is part of an employee’s

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NLC Joins Public Safety Buffer Zone Case

Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak. It looks like an abortion case…but it really isn’t.  It just happens to have come up in the abortion clinic context.   It’s actually a speech case; a time, place, and manner case.  And local governments use

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