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First Amendment

May 24, 2012

Elections – Judges – Public Finance – Constitutional – First Amendment

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 [...]

May 24, 2012

Labor & Employment – Public Employees – Civil Rights – First Amendment – Union Affiliation – Municipal – Firefighter – Policymaker

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 boar[...]

Mar 8, 2012

Civil Rights – Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Abortion Protest – Qualified Immunity

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.

Mar 7, 2012

Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Video Games – Sweepstakes Results

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. Sta[...]

Mar 6, 2012

Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Video Games – Sweepstakes Results

Hest Technologies, Inc. v. State ex rel. Purdue G.S. § 14-306.4 does not outlaw sweepstakes, but it prohibits the sweepstakes company from revealing results via a videogame. The statute violates the sweepstakes company’s freedom of speech.

Nov 18, 2011

Labor & Employment – Constitutional – First Amendment – Speech & Religion – Professorship

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 summar[...]

Nov 11, 2011

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

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 drivin[...]

Feb 23, 2011

Civil Rights – Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Expression – Adult Clubs – Liquor Statute – Conduct, Attire & Entertainment Regulation

  Legend Night Club v. Miller. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-01-0198, 30 pp.) (Wynn, J.) No. 09-1540, Feb. 17, 2011; USDC at Baltimore (Garbis, J.) 4th Cir. Click here for the full text of the opinion. Holding: In this appeal of a permanent injunction prohibiting the enforcement of a Maryland statute that limits the range of […]

Jan 21, 2011

Private college organization watches campus police case

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 hi[...]

Oct 22, 2010

Vets stand guard over Christian flag in NC town

KING (AP) – The Christian flag is everywhere in the small city of King: flying in front of barbecue joints and hair salons, stuck to the bumpers of trucks, hanging in windows and emblazoned on T-shirts. The relatively obscure emblem has become omnipresent because of one place it can’t appear: flying above a war memorial […]

Aug 30, 2010

College’s focus is on education, not religion

News flash: “Davidson College’s primary goal is education.” That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about higher education in this state. After all, Tom Ross, the president of the small but highly regarded liberal arts college, also a Davidson alum, was just elected president of the University of North Carolina system. […]

Aug 27, 2010

High court grants stay in Davidson campus police case

By SYLVIA ADCOCK, Staff Writer [email protected] The N.C. Supreme Court last week agreed to stay the effects of a case involving Davidson College that raised questions about whether church-affiliated college campuses could have sworn police officers. The state Attorney General’s office had filed an application to stay the effects of an appellate court ruling that […]

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