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Tag Archives: First Amendment

Labor & Employment – Public Employees – Civil Rights – Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Qualified Immunity – ADA – Judicial Candidate (access required)

Smith v. Gilchrist Given the complexities of determining when an assistant district attorney is entitled to First Amendment protection when he speaks out on a matter that concerns the District Attorney’s office, the plaintiff-ADA did not have a clearly defined right to give an interview in which he criticized a program closely associated with the DA’s office.

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Constitutional – Civil Rights – False Arrest & Excessive Force – Fourth Amendment – First Amendment – Profanity Arrest (access required)

Elabanjo v. Bellevance Even though plaintiff’s district-court conviction of being drunk and disorderly was overturned on appeal, the conviction conclusively establishes that the defendant-police officers had probable cause to arrest plaintiff on those charges.

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Domestic Relations – Civil Practice – Interlocutory Appeal – Parent & Child – Temporary Custody Order – First Amendment – Religion – Judges (access required)

Sood v. Sood The trial court’s custody order was temporary in that it left open the issues of psychological evaluations of the parties’ mental conditions, the defendant-father’s child support arrearage, and holiday schedules after the 2012 spring break. In fact, the father concedes in his brief that the custody order is temporary. Therefore, the order is interlocutory.

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Government waist: Dunn mulls ban on too-loose pants (access required)

At the request of the Dunn city council, city attorney Tilghman Pope is busy researching just how tight constitutional protections of saggy pants might be. Earlier this month the council voted unanimously to have Pope explore the possibility of a baggy-britches ban despite warnings from the American Civil Liberties Union that the First and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee an individual’s right to a wide range of questionable fashion choices.

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Criminal Practice – Impersonating an Officer – Constitutional – First Amendment – Freedom of Speech (access required)

U.S. v. Chappell The 4th Circuit says a former deputy sheriff who told an officer he was a deputy in an attempt to avoid a speeding ticket cannot overturn his conviction for impersonating an officer by claiming the Virginia statute at issue, Va. Code § 18.2-174, violated his First Amendment right to free speech.

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Municipal – County Budget Cuts – Legislative Immunity – Constitutional – First Amendment – Opposition to Ambulance Fees (access required)

Kensington Volunteer Fire Dep’t Inc. v. Kurtz A group of local volunteer fire and rescue departments cannot sue county officials on a claim the county reduced funding in retaliation for plaintiffs’ opposition to local legislation; the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of the suit by the district court, who declined to inquire into defendants’ alleged illicit motive behind an otherwise facially valid budgetary enactment.

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Elections – Judges – Public Finance – Constitutional – First Amendment (access required)

North Carolina Right to Life Political Action Committee v. Leake Defendants have failed to distinguish North Carolina’s matching funds scheme for judicial elections from the scheme which was declared unconstitutional in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, 131 S. Ct. 2806 (2011). Other than the state interests rejected in Bennett, defendants have failed to come forward with compelling state interests to justify the scheme.

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