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Tag Archives: Free Speech

Labor & Employment – Constitutional – Free Speech – Unlawful Firing Claim – Public Employees (access required)

Brooks v. Arthur Two Virginia correctional officers cannot sue for alleged unlawful firing for exercise of their First Amendment free-speech rights; the 4th Circuit says complaints about an employee’s own duties pursued through an internal grievance procedure do not relate to a matter of public concern.

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Constitutional – Free Speech – Pregnancy Center – Limited Services — Municipal Ordinance – Sign Posting – No Licensed Medical Staff (access required)

Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County, Md. A Maryland limited-services pregnancy services center wins an injunction against enforcement of a local ordinance that would require it to post a sign saying it did not have a “licensed medical professional on staff”; the 4th Circuit reverses the district court’s denial of an injunction to the center.

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Constitutional – Free Speech — Pregnancy Center – Municipal Ordinance – No Referrals — Abortion & Birth Control (access required)

Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns Inc. v. St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Congregation Inc. The 4th Circuit upholds summary judgment for a Baltimore “Pregnancy Center” on its challenge to a local ordinance the Center said violated its free speech rights by compelling it to post signs saying the Center did not provide or make referral for abortion or birth control services.

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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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Constitutional – Free Speech – Woman’s Right to Know Act – Speech & Display Requirements – Coerced Speech – Strict Scrutiny – Civil Practice – Preliminary Injunction (access required)

Stuart v. Huff G.S. § 90-21.85 requires a medical provider to display images of an abortion patient’s ultrasound so she may see them and to simultaneously explain the display, including the presence, location, and dimensions of the fetus along with the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable. This compelled speech does not withstand strict scrutiny.

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Civil Rights – Constitutional – Free Speech – High School Student — MySpace Page — Discipline (access required)

Kowalski v. Berkeley County Schools A high school could suspend a student for five days for using a MySpace page to target another student with ugly accusations about herpes, on the ground that the out-of-school speech caused an in-school disruption; the 4th Circuit upholds a district court decision that the discipline did not violate the student’s First Amendment free speech rights.

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