Respondent Hastings College of the Law (Hastings), a school within the University of California public-school system, denied “Registered Student Organization” (RSO) status to its chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS). Several benefits attend this school-approved status, including the use of school funds, facilities, and channels of communication, as well as Hastings’ name and logo. RSOs must abide by certain conditions, including the school’s Nondiscrimination Policy. Hastings interpreted its policy as to mandate acceptance of all comers: RSOs must allow any student to participate, become a member, or seek leadership positions, regardless of her status or beliefs. CLS, on the other hand, interpreted its bylaws to exclude from affiliation anyone who engages in “unrepentant homosexual conduct” or holds religious convictions different from those in the Statement of Faith. Hastings rejected CLS’s application for RSO status on the ground that the group’s bylaws did not comply with Hastings’ open-access policy because they excluded students based on religion and sexual orientation. CLS filed this suit for injunctive and declaratory relief under 42 U. S. C. §1983, alleging that Hastings’ refusal to grant the group RSO status violated its First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free speech, expressive association, and free exercise of religion.

READ MORE


In Freedman v. Maryland, 380 U. S. 51 (1965), a case involving a state motion-picture censorship scheme, the Court announced procedural requirements necessary to guard against unconstitutional prior restraint of expression. *281 Those requirements included assurance of "a prompt final judicial decision, to minimize the deterrent effect of an interim and possibly erroneous denial of a license." Id., at 59. Twenty-five years later, in FW/PBS, Inc. v. Dallas, 493 U. S. 215 (1990), the Court applied some of the Freedman standards to a municipal ordinance conditioning the operation of sexually oriented businesses on receipt of a license. Unsuccessful applicants for an adult business license, the opinion announcing the judgment stated, must be accorded "an avenue for prompt judicial review." 493 U. S., at 229.

READ MORE


In 1998, President Bill Clinton signs into law the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (CTEA). This law generally extends the copyright term of existing copyrights an additional 20 years. A group of individuals and publishers who rely on works in the public domain for their businesses file a lawsuit in federal court, seeking a declaration that the CTEA is unconstitutional. They argue that Congress exceeded its powers under the Copyright Clause when they passed the CTEA. They also argue that the CTEA violates the First Amendment. Both a federal district court and a federal appeals court uphold the federal law. The federal appeals court says that copyright law already adequately protects free-speech values through doctrines such as fair use. The appeals court reasons that "copyrights are categorically immune from challenges under the First Amendment." The appeals court also determines that Congress had the authority under the Copyright Clause of the United States Constitution to pass the CTEA. The petitioners appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court agreed to review the First Amendment and Copyright Clause questions.

READ MORE


Respondents, Illinois for-profit fundraising corporations and their owner (collectively Telemarketers), were retained by VietNow National Headquarters, a charitable nonprofit corporation, to solicit donations to aid Vietnam veterans. The contracts between those parties provided, among other things, that Telemarketers would retain 85 percent of the gross receipts from Illinois donors, leaving 15 percent for VietNow. The Illinois Attorney General filed a complaint in state court, alleging, inter alia, that Telemarketers represented to donors that a significant amount of each dollar donated would be paid over to VietNow for specifically identified charitable endeavors, and that such representations were knowingly deceptive and materially false, constituted a fraud, and were made for Telemarketers' private pecuniary benefit. The trial court granted Telemarketers' motion to dismiss the fraud claims on First Amendment grounds. In affirming, the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts placed heavy weight on Schaumburg v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 444 U. S. 620, Secretary of State of Md. v. Joseph H. Munson Co., 467 U. S. 947, and Riley v. National Federation of Blind of N. C., Inc., 487 U. S. 781. Those decisions held that certain regulations of charitable solicitation barring fees in excess of a prescribed level effectively imposed prior restraints on fundraising, and were therefore incompatible with the First Amendment. The state high court acknowledged that this case involved no such prophylactic proscription of high-fee charitable solicitation. Instead, the court noted, the Attorney General sought to enforce the State's generally applicable antifraud laws against Telemarketers for specific instances of deliberate deception. However, the Illinois Supreme Court said, Telemarketers' solicitation statements were alleged to be false only because Telemarketers contracted for 85 percent of the gross receipts and failed to disclose this information to donors. The court concluded that the Attorney General's complaint was, in essence, an attempt to regulate Telemarketers' ability to engage in a protected activity based upon a percentage-rate limitation-the same regulatory principle rejected in Schaumburg, Munson, and Riley.

READ MORE


Section 3 of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA or Act), 114 Stat. 804, 42 U. S. C. § 2000cc-1(a)(1)-(2), provides in part: "No government shall impose a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person residing in or confined to an institution," unless the burden furthers "a compelling governmental interest," and does so by "the least restrictive means." Plaintiffs below, petitioners here, are current and former inmates of institutions operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and assert that they are adherents of "nonmainstream" religions: the Satanist, Wicca, and Asatru religions, and the Church of Jesus Christ Christian.[1] They complain that Ohio prison officials (respondents here), in violation of RLUIPA, have failed to accommodate their religious exercise

READ MORE


The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention or Berne), which took effect in 1886, is the principal accord governing interna- tional copyright relations. Latecomer to the international copyright regime launched by Berne, the United States joined the Convention in 1989. To perfect U. S. implemen- tation of Berne, and as part of our response to the Uru- guay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, Congress, in 1994, gave works enjoying copyright protection abroad the same full term of protection available to U. S. works.

READ MORE


Silvia Ibanez, an attorney, included "CPA" and "CFP" designations after her listing in the yellow pages. Those designations were truthful. The Florida Board of Accountancy, however, believed the designations were misleading and reprimanded her for deceptive conduct. Despite the fact that the Board was unable to point to any person who claimed to have been misled, the Board's decision was affirmed by the Florida District Court of Appeal. In Virginia State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time recognized that commercial speech speech that concerns only commercial or economic activity is entitled to some First Amendment protection. The government therefore may regulate commercial speech only if it is false or misleading or if the restriction directly and narrowly advances a substantial state interest. Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Public Serv. Comm. of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1978)

READ MORE


"It is a principle of general application in Anglo-American jurisprudence that one is not bound by a judgment in personam *2167 in a litigation in which he is not designated as a party or to which he has not been made a party by service of process." Hansberry v. Lee, 311 U.S. 32, 40, 61 S.Ct. 115, 85 L.Ed. 22 (1940). Several exceptions, recognized in this Court's decisions, temper this basic rule. In a class action, for example, a person not named as a party may be bound by a judgment on the merits of the action, if she was adequately represented by a party who actively participated in the litigation. See id., at 41, 61 S.Ct. 115. In this case, we consider for the first time whether there is a "virtual representation" exception to the general rule against precluding nonparties. Adopted by a number of courts, including the courts below in the case now before us, the exception so styled is broader than any we have so far approved.

READ MORE


Colorado amended the state law regulating the ballot initiative and referendum petition process. Several plaintiffs, including the public interest group American Constitutional Law Foundation, Inc., sued. The group claimed various provisions of the law violated First Amendment political free-speech rights: (1) a six-month restriction on when circulations must be filed; (2) a requirement that all circulators sign an affidavit; (3) requirement that circulators be 18 years or older; (4) a requirement that circulators be registered Colorado voters; (5) a requirement that circulators wear identification badges; and (6) disclosure requirements. The appeals court upheld the six-month restriction, the age of majority requirement and the affidavit-signing provisions. However, the appeals court ruled that the registered voter, badge identification and disclosure requirements infringed on First Amendment rights. The circulating of petitions during elections represents core political speech which receives the highest level of protection under the First Amendment. Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414 (1988). Though a state may regulate such activity, the state must show that its regulations serve a compelling state interest without burdening speech. However, states must have the ability to regulate elections to ensure a fair and honest democratic process. Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724 (1974).

READ MORE


Protesters gathered outside of President Bush's hotel in Oregon while he sought reelection. Protesters alleged that the Secret Service agents gave only those protesting Bush's policies the order to relocate, allowing those supporting the President to stay. The Court found that the Secret Service was eligible for qualified immunity, and furthermore, the Secret Service did not break the law while protecting the President.

READ MORE