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Tag Archives: First Amendment

Labor & Employment – Public Employees – Civil Rights – First Amendment – Union Affiliation – Municipal – Firefighter – Policymaker (access required)

Minnick v. County of Currituck The county board of commissioners has policymaking authority over county personnel matters. Plaintiff has not alleged that the board of commissioners was aware of the alleged constitutional violation (i.e., that he was fired for speaking out about safety violations and for his union affiliation). Plaintiff has presented no evidence that he informed the board that he believed his termination, transfer, or other adverse employment action was retaliatory. Therefore, plaintiff has failed to demonstrate the necessary involvement by the relevant final policymaking authority.

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Civil Rights – Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Abortion Protest – Qualified Immunity (access required)

Lefemine, d/b/a Columbia Christians for Life v. Wideman The 4th Circuit upholds a judgment that a local sheriff’s department violated a pro-life group’s First Amendment rights when officers asked group members not to display “large, graphic signs” with aborted fetuses as part of a roadside demonstration, but the appellate court also upholds qualified immunity for defendants.

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Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Video Games – Sweepstakes Results (access required)

Sandhill Amusements v. State ex rel. Purdue The trial court determined that G.S. § 14-3-6.4 was constitutional, dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint for a declaration that their sweepstakes systems did not violate N.C. gaming or gambling laws, and dissolved a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendants from taking enforcement action against plaintiffs. Since Hest Technologies, Inc. v. State ex rel. Purdue [Lawyers Weekly No. 12-07-0254] declared § 14-306.4 void as unconstitutionally overbroad, we must reverse the trial court’s order.

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Labor & Employment – Constitutional – First Amendment – Speech & Religion – Professorship (access required)

Ginsberg v. Board of Governors Where the university’s film studies department was looking for someone with a different area of focus, and where plaintiff was over-qualified for the position, plaintiff failed to show that comments she made – which were interpreted as pro-Palestinian liberation – were the reason she was not hired for an open professor’s position. We affirm summary judgment for defendant.

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Constitutional – First Amendment – Freedom of Religion – Criminal Practice – Church-Affiliated College – Campus Police — DWI (access required)

State v. Yencer The Campus Police Act’s provision of secular police protection for the benefit of the students, faculty, and staff of Davidson College, as applied to defendant’s conviction for driving while impaired, does not offend the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Defendant has failed to demonstrate that her arrest and conviction for driving while impaired were influenced by any consideration other than secular enforcement of a criminal statute, G.S. § 20-138.1.

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Private college organization watches campus police case (access required)

It started out as a simple DWI arrest on the campus of Davidson College. Five years later, it's turned into a First Amendment case that could put into jeopardy the ability of many of North Carolina's private colleges and universities to have their own police forces. The case of State v. Yencer received coverage in the Chronicle of Higher Education, considered the paper of record in the world of higher education. Private college and university campuses in other states "are watching it very closely," said Hope Williams (pictured), president of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, an advocacy group for the state's 36 private post-secondary schools.

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