In 1956, Rhode Island adopted two statutes, R.I. Gen. Laws __ 3-8-7 and 3-8-8.1, that forbid both sellers and the media from advertising the price of any alcoholic beverage. The stated purpose of this legislation is to promote temperance by increasing the price of alcoholic beverages. These statutes were upheld by Rhode Island state courts. S & S Liquormart, Inc. v. Pastore, 497 A.2d 729 (R.I. 1985);Rhode Island Liquor Stores Ass'n. v. The Evening Call Pub. Co., 497 A.2d 331 (R.I. 1985). In early 1992, 44 Liquormart, a Rhode Island retail store that sells alcoholic beverages, and Peoples Super Liquor Stores, a Massachusetts retailer that would advertise in Rhode Island if it could, challenged the Rhode Island laws in federal court. The trial court, after a trial on the merits, held that the advertising ban was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. On appeal, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. In Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1980), the Court held that, under the First Amendment, truthful, non-misleading commercial speech can be restricted only if (1) the government has a substantial interest in regulating the speech, (2) the regulation directly advances that substantial interest, and (3) the regulation is not more extensive than necessary to advance that interest. In Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Council of Puerto Rico, 478 U.S. 328 (1986), the Court held that a legislature's power to ban a particular product or activity included the power to ban all advertising of that product or activity.

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This case concerns the scope of 28 U.S.C. § 2680, which carves out certain exceptions to the United States' waiver of sovereign immunity for torts committed by federal employees. Section 2680(c) provides that the waiver of sovereign immunity does not apply to claims arising from the detention of property by "any officer of customs or excise or any other law enforcement officer." Petitioner contends that this clause applies only to law enforcement officers enforcing customs or excise laws, and thus does not affect the waiver of sovereign immunity for his property claim against officers of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). We conclude that the broad phrase "any other law enforcement officer" covers all law enforcement officers. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals upholding the dismissal of petitioner's claim.

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(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2012 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ET AL. v. ALLIANCE FOR OPEN SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL, INC., ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED […]

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In 2001, Congress created the Transportation SecurityAdministration (TSA) to assess and manage threats againstair travel. Aviation and Transportation Security Act(ATSA), 49 U. S. C. §44901 et seq. To ensure that theTSA would be informed of potential threats, Congress gaveairlines and their employees immunity against civil liabil-ity for reporting suspicious behavior. §44941(a). But thisimmunity does not attach to “any disclosure made withactual knowledge that the disclosure was false, inaccurate,or misleading” or “any disclosure made with recklessdisregard as to the truth or falsity of that disclosure.”§44941(b).

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For the past 20 years, the congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church has picketed military funerals to communicate its belief that God hates the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality, particularly in America’s military. The church’s picketing has also condemned the Catholic Church for scandals involving its clergy. Fred Phelps, who founded the church, and six Westboro Baptist parishioners (all relatives of Phelps) traveled to Maryland to picket the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq in the line of duty. The picketing took place on public land approximately 1,000 feet from the church where the funeral was held, in accordance with guidance from local law enforcement officers. The picketers peacefully displayed their signs—stating, e.g., “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Fags Doom Nations,” “America is Doomed,” “Priests Rape Boys,” and “You’re Going to Hell”—for about 30 minutes before the funeral began. Matthew Snyder’s father (Snyder), petitioner here, saw the tops of the picketers’ signs when driving to the funeral, but did not learn what was written on the signs until watching a news broadcast later that night. Snyder filed a diversity action against Phelps, his daughters—who participated in the picketing—and the church (collectively Westboro) alleging, as relevant here, state tort claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, intrusion upon seclusion, and civil conspiracy. A jury held Westboro liable for millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages. Westboro challenged the verdict as grossly excessive and sought judgment as a matter of law on the ground that the First Amendment fully protected its speech. The District Court reduced the punitive damages award, but left the verdict otherwise intact. The Fourth Circuit reversed, concluding that Westboro’s statements were entitled to First Amendment protection because those statements were on matters of public concern, were not provably false, and were expressed solely through hyperbolic rhetoric.

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A religious sect with origins in the Amazon Rainforest receives communion by drinking a sacramental tea, brewed from plants unique to the region, that contains a hallucinogen regulated under the Controlled Substances Act by the Federal Government. The Government concedes that this practice is a sincere exercise of religion, but nonetheless sought to prohibit the small American branch of the sect from engaging in the practice, on the ground that the Controlled Substances Act bars all use of the hallucinogen. The sect sued to block enforcement against it of the ban on the sacramental tea, and moved for a preliminary injunction.

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Cite as: 567 U. S. ____ (2012) 1 Per Curiam SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., FKA WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., ET AL. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MONTANA, ET AL. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MONTANA No. 11–1179. Decided June 25, 2012 PER CURIAM. A Montana state law provides that a “corporation may not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candi- date or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” Mont. Code Ann. §13– 35–227(1) (2011). The Montana […]

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(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2010 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus ARIZONA FREE ENTERPRISE CLUB’S FREEDOM CLUB PAC ET AL. v. BENNETT, SECRETARY OF STATE OF ARIZONA, ET AL. CERTIORARI […]

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The Arkansas Educational Television Commission, a state agency, sponsored a debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in Arkansas' Third Congressional District. The Commission only invited the two major party candidates and excluded Ralph Forbes, a legally qualified independent candidate. AETC determined Forbes did not have sufficient "political viability" for inclusion. Forbes sued the agency. After a federal district court dismissed the claim, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit reversed, finding that AETC had created a limited public forum to which Forbes had a presumptive right of access. Forbes v. Arkansas Educational Television Commission, 93 F.3d 497 (8th Cir. 1996). The appeals court determined that AETC's assessment of "political viability" was not a compelling enough interest nor narrowly tailored enough reason to pass constitutional review. The Court analyzes right of access cases using the public forum doctrine. There are three types of fora: traditional public fora, limited or designated public fora and nonpublic fora. Perry Ed. Assn. v. Perry Local Educators' Assn., 460 U.S. 37 (1983). Even in a nonpublic forum, government officials cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, discriminate based on viewpoint. Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U.S. 819 (1995). However, television broadcasters enjoy &"the widest possible journalistic freedom" consistent with their public responsibilities. FCC v. League of Women Voters of Cal., 468 U.S. 364 (1984).

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Petitioner filed suit against respondents, a county school board and school officials, seeking damages for the sexual harassment of her daughter LaShonda by G. F., a fifth-grade classmate at a public elementary school. Among other things, petitioner alleged that respondents' deliberate indifference to G. F.'s persistent sexual advances toward LaShonda created an intimidating, hostile, offensive, and abusive school environment that violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which, in relevant part, prohibits a student from being "excluded from participation in, be[ing] denied the benefits of, or be[ing] subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance," 20 U. S. C. § 1681(a). In granting respondents' motion to dismiss, the Federal District Court found that "student-on-student," or peer, harassment provides no ground for a Title IX private cause of action for damages. The en banc Eleventh Circuit affirmed.

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In May 1993, Gloria Bartnicki, chief negotiator for the Wyoming Valley West School District Teachers' Union, had a cellular phone conversation with Anthony Kane, a teacher at Wyoming Valley West High School about the contentious negotiations over the teachers' new contract. An unknown person intercepted the contents of the cellular phone conversation and gave them to defendant Jack Yocum, president of the Wyoming Valley West Taxpayers' Association an organization formed for the sole purpose of opposing the teachers' new contract. Yocum then gave the tape to a Fred Williams, a local radio show host, who goes by the name of Frederick Vopper. Vopper played portions of the cell phone conversation over the air. Bartnicki and Kane sued Vopper, two radio stations and Yocum in federal district court in 1994 under the Federal Wiretapping Act and a similar state law. In 1995, the federal district court denied all parties' motions for summary judgment, finding there were genuine issues of material fact. The district then later certified two questions of law to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The certified questions asked whether imposing liability on the defendants, none of whom illegally intercepted the contents of the phone call, violates the First Amendment. In 1999, a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the federal law imposing liability on individuals who merely disclose or use material that was illegally intercepted violates the First Amendment. The plaintiffs and the United States, which had intervened to defend the constitutionality of its law, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 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). "State action to punish the publication of truthful information seldom can satisfy constitutional concerns."Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Co., 443 U.S. 97 (1979). Privacy of communication is an important interest.Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises,471 U.S. 539 (1985). The right of privacy does not generally prohibit the publication of truthful information of material that is of public interest. Samuel Warren & Louis Brandeis, The Right to Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193, (1890).

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These cases raise an important question concerning what degree of protection, if any, the First Amendment provides to speech that discloses the contents of an illegally intercepted communication. That question is both novel and narrow. Despite the fact that federal law has prohibited such disclosures since 1934,[1] this is the first time that we have confronted such an issue.

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Keen Umbehr had a contract with Wabaunsee County, Kansas, under which he hauled trash for participating cities in the county. While the contract was in force, Mr. Umbehr spoke at county commission meetings and wrote letters and columns in local newspapers concerning, among other things, alleged violations of law and other improprieties by the county commission and its road and bridge department. The county later terminated the hauling contract. Mr. Umbehr filed suit against three of the commissioners, alleging that they had terminated the contract because of his public criticisms and that the termination violated his First Amendment rights. The trial court rejected Mr. Umbehr's claim, holding that the First Amendment did not prohibit the county from considering Mr. Umbehr's statements when it decided to terminate the contract. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. The Court of Appeals recognized that its decision was contrary to cases in other Circuits but it held that the rationales used in the other cases were no longer valid. The First Amendment prevents the government from terminating employees who speak on matters of public concern. Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138 (1983). Governmental workers also are constitutionally protected from dismissal for supporting or affiliating with a political party, unless such affiliation reasonably can be considered an appropriate job qualification. Branti v. Finkel, 445 U.S. 507 (1980); Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347 (1976). To prevail in an unlawful termination claim, the employee must show that the protected conduct was a substantial or motivating factor in the termination. Even upon such a showing, the government can prevail if it can show that it would have taken the same action absent the protected conduct or if sufficiently strong countervailing governmental interests exist. Mt. Healthy City Bd. of Education v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274 (1977);Pickering v. Board of Education of Township High School Dist., 391 U.S. 563 (1968).

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Petitioner sued respondent unions, claiming that their lobbying, litigation, and other concerted activities violated federal labor law and antitrust law. After petitioner lost on or withdrew each of its claims, the National Labor Relations Board decided petitioner had violated federal labor law by prosecuting an unsuccessful suit with a retaliatory motive. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Because we find the Board *520 lacked authority to assess liability using this standard, we reverse and remand.

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(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2008 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus YSURSA, SECRETARY OF STATE OF IDAHO, ET AL. v. POCATELLO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES […]

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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, […]

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison requires its students to pay an annual fee, in addition to tuition, that is used to support an array of student services and organizations. Three University of Wisconsin law students challenged the fee system in 1996 as unconstitutional. The students, all Christians, said it violated their free-speech and religious liberty rights for the university to funnel their money to groups they oppose on moral grounds. Both a federal district court and federal appeals court ruled that the fee system violated the students' free-speech rights. In 1977, the high court ruled in Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Education,that union members could "prevent the Union's spending a part of their required service fees to contribute to political candidates and to express political views unrelated to its duties as exclusive bargaining representative." The three Wisconsin students argued that the university must grant them the choice not to fund student groups that engage in political and ideological expression offensive to their beliefs.

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After petitioner borough fired respondent Guarnieri as its police chief, he filed a union grievance that led to his reinstatement. When the borough council later issued directives instructing Guarnieri how to perform his duties, he filed a second grievance, and an arbitrator ordered that some of the directives be modified or withdrawn. Guarnieri then filed this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the directives were issued in retaliation for the filing of his first grievance, thereby violating his First Amendment “right . . . to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”; he later amended his complaint to allege that the council also violated the Petition Clause by denying his request for overtime pay in retaliation for his having filed the § 1983 suit. The District Court instructed the jury, inter alia, that the suit and the grievances were constitutionally protected activity, and the jury found for Guarnieri. Affirming the compensatory damages award, the Third Circuit held that a public employee who has petitioned the government through a formal mechanism such as the filing of a lawsuit or grievance is protected under the Petition Clause from retaliation for that activity, even if the petition concerns a matter of solely private concern. In so ruling, the court rejected the view of every other Circuit to have considered the issue that, to be protected, the petition must address a matter of public concern.

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James Dale, who earned his Eagle Scout badge, became an assistant scoutmaster in 1989. While attending Rutgers University, Dale revealed his sexual orientation during a speech in his capacity as co-president of the university's Lesbian/Gay Alliance group. In July 1990, scouting authorities sent Dale a letter, severing all ties with him. When Dale wrote to inquire the reason, the response said "the grounds for this membership revocation are the standards for leadership established by the Boy Scouts of America, which specifically forbid membership to homosexuals." Dale sued in state court, saying the Boy Scouts violated a state law, which prevents places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. After a trial court judge ruled in favor of the Scouts in 1995, both the Superior Court of New Jersey and the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Dale. The Boy Scouts appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case on Jan. 14, 2000. The freedom of association includes the freedom not to associate with certain individuals and ideas. Though the First Amendment protects free-association rights, the freedom of association is not absolute. In order to qualify for free-association protection, a group must engage in some form of expressive association. States have a compelling interesting in eradicating discrimination in public accommodations.

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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.

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