The Petitioners in this case sought to expand the Harold Washington Party, an established party within the City of Chicago, to the surrounding suburbs within Cook County. Under Illinois law, the organizers of a new political party must collect 25,000 signatures of eligible voters in order to field a candidate for state office. If the organizers wish to run candidates solely for offices within a large political subdivision, such as Cook County, they must obtain 25,000 signatures from that subdivision. If the subdivision is comprised of separate "districts," the organizers must obtain 25,000 signatures from each district. Cook County contains two districts city and suburban. Illinois law also provides that a new political party may not use the name of an established political party. The Petitioners gathered 44,000 signatures from the city district, but only 7,800 signatures from the suburban district. When the Petitioners' slate of candidates was challenged on several grounds, the Cook County Officers Electoral Board ruled that the Petitioners could use the Harold Washington Party name in the suburban district elections and that the failure to gather 25,000 signatures from the suburban district disqualified the candidates who were running only for suburban district offices, but did not disqualify the party's candidates running for city and county-side seats. On appeal, the trial court affirmed the Board's ruling on the use of the party name but held that the failure to obtain 25,000 signatures from the suburban district doomed the entire slate of candidates. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Illinois law prohibited use of the party name and that the inability to obtain 25,000 signatures in the suburban district required disqualification of the entire slate of candidates. A court considering a challenge to an election law must balance the magnitude of the injury to the challenger's First Amendment rights against the offered justifications for the law, taking into account the extent to which the justifications make it necessary to burden the challenger's rights. Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780 (1983). When the challenger's rights are subjected to severe restrictions, the regulation must be narrowly drawn to advance a compelling state interest. Illinois Elections Bd. v. Socialist Workers Party, 440 U.S. 173 (1979). When the restrictions are only reasonable and nondiscriminatory, however, the state's important regulatory interests are generally sufficient to justify the restrictions. Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780 (1983).

READ MORE


512 U.S. 687 (1994) BOARD OF EDUCATION OF KIRYAS JOEL VILLAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT v. GRUMET   No. 93-517. United States Supreme Court.   Argued March 30, 1994. Decided June 27, 1994.[*] CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK*689 Souter, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II—B, II—C, and III, in which Blackmun, Stevens, O’Connor, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined, and an opinion *689 with respect to Parts II (introduction) and II—A, in which Blackmun, Stevens, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Blackmun, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, […]

READ MORE


The issue is whether a state wide association incorporated to regulate interscholastic athletic competition among public and private secondary schools may be regarded as engaging in state action when it enforces a rule against a member school. The association in question here includes most public schools located within the State, acts through their representatives, draws its officers from them, is largely funded *291 by their dues and income received in their stead, and has historically been seen to regulate in lieu of the State Board of Education's exercise of its own authority. We hold that the association's regulatory activity may and should be treated as state action owing to the pervasive entwinement of state school officials in the structure of the association, there being no offsetting reason to see the association's acts in any other way.

READ MORE


Documents in issue here, passing between Indian Tribes and the Department of the Interior, addressed tribal interests subject to state and federal proceedings to determine water allocations. The question is whether the documents are exempt from the disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, as "intra-agency memorandums or *5 letters" that would normally be privileged in civil discovery. 5 U. S. C. § 552(b)(5). We hold they are not.

READ MORE


Since 1907, federal law has barred corporations from contributing directly to candidates for federal office. We hold that applying the prohibition to nonprofit advocacy corporations is consistent with the First Amendment.

READ MORE


In 1986, the Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee paid for several radio ads attacking the voting record of Tim Wirth, the potential Democratic senatorial candidate. The ads ran before the Republican nominee for senator had been selected. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) filed an action alleging that the party had violated the Party Expenditure Provision (PEP) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by exceeding spending limits for political parties. The Colorado Republican Party sued in federal court, claiming that the provision violated the First Amendment. The case eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. Federal Election Commission, 518 U.S. 604 (1996)("Colorado I") that the provision could not be applied to independent expenditures by political parties. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a plurality decision that the PEP was unconstitutional as applied to the particular expenditure at issue. The Court characterized the radio ads as "independent expenditures" (not subject to the PEP) as opposed to "coordinated expenditures" (subject to the PEP). The majority determined the Wirth ads were "independent expenditures" because the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party had approved the ad and had not consulted with the respective Republican candidates. The Colorado I court then remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings with regard to the broader issue of whether the PEP of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 violates a political party's First Amendment rights by limiting the amount of money a party may spend in "coordination" with its congressional candidates. Four justices in Colorado I (Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy and Rehnquist) ruled that they would have struck down the PEP with regards to both independent and coordinated expenditures. In 1999, the U.S. District Court granted summary judgment to the Colorado Republican Party, ruling that the limits on political parties' coordinated expenditures violated the First Amendment. In May of 2000, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on Oct. 10, 2000.

READ MORE


In 1994 Missouri enacted a statute limiting contributions to candidates for state and local offices. Shrink Missouri Government PAC (a political action committee) and Zev David Fredman (a candidate for state auditor) sued the parties responsible for enforcing the statute, challenging its constitutionality. They claimed that the contribution limits violated their First Amendment free-speech rights and that Fredman could not run an effective campaign with the limits in place. The district court upheld Missouri's campaign-contribution limits. The court of appeals reversed the judgment of the district court and held that the Missouri campaign limits violate the First Amendment. In Buckley, the Supreme Court struck down federal expenditure regulations as violating the First Amendment, but upheld contribution restrictions. The Respondents in this case claim that the State must justify the imposition of these limits by showing actual evidence of their claim that the absence of limits encourages corruption in the political process.

READ MORE


A veterans' organization has for almost 50 years organized the Boston St. Patrick's Day parade. A group of gay, lesbian, and bisexual descendants of Irish immigrants requested permission to march in the parade. After the parade organizers denied this request, the group obtained a state court order allowing it to march. The state court relied on a Massachusetts statute that prohibits operators of public places from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. First Amendment protections attach to parades and persons in them. Gregory v. Chicago, 394 U.S. 111 (1969). One of these protections is that a speaker has the freedom to decide what not to say. Pacific Gas & Elec. C. v. Utilities Comm. of Cal, 475 U.S. 1 (1986).

READ MORE


Executives of two counties posted a version of the Ten Commandments on the walls of their courthouses. After suits were filed charging violations of the Establishment Clause, the legislative body of each county adopted a resolution calling for a more extensive exhibit meant to show that the Commandments are Kentucky's "precedent legal code," Def. Exh. 1 in Memorandum in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss in Civ. Action No. 99-507, p. 1 (ED Ky.) (hereinafter Def. Exh. 1). The result in each instance was a modified display of the Commandments surrounded by texts containing religious references as their sole common element. After changing counsel, the counties revised the exhibits again by eliminating some documents, expanding the text set out in another, and adding some new ones.

READ MORE


Respondent companies distribute free software that allows computer users to share electronic files through peer-to-peer networks, so called because the computers communicate directly with each other, not through central servers. Although such networks can be used to share any type of digital file, recipients of respondents’ software have mostly used them to share copyrighted music and video files without authorization. Seeking damages and an injunction, a group of movie studios and other copyright holders (hereinafter MGM) sued respondents for their users’ copyright infringements, alleging that respondents knowingly and intentionally distributed their software to enable users to infringe copyrighted works in violation of the Copyright Act.

READ MORE


This is a Bivens action against criminal investigators for inducing prosecution in retaliation for speech. The question is whether the complaint states an actionable violation of the First Amendment without alleging an absence of probable cause to support the underlying criminal charge. We hold that want of probable cause must be alleged and proven.

READ MORE


Respondent-plaintiff in this case alleges that Government officials intentionally deceived her in concealing information that her husband, a foreign dissident, was being detained and tortured in his own country by military officers of his government, who were paid by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). One count of the complaint, brought after the husband's death, charges that the official deception denied respondent access to the courts by leaving her without information, or reason to seek information, with which she could have brought a lawsuit that might have saved her husband's life. The issue is whether this count states an actionable claim. We hold that it does not, for two reasons. As stated in the complaint, it fails to identify an underlying cause of action for relief that the plaintiff would have raised had it not been for the deception alleged. And even after a *406 subsequent, informal amendment accepted by the Court of Appeals, respondent fails to seek any relief presently available for denial of access to courts that would be unavailable otherwise.

READ MORE